You can automatically migrate application presets, user presets (including actions), and workspaces from Photoshop CS4 to Photoshop CS5 or 5.1. Likewise, you can move them from Photoshop CS5 to 5.1. To move them, use the File Migration script. 

Important: Photoshop CS4 plug-ins are not compatible with Photoshop CS5. Don't migrate Photoshop CS4 plug-ins to Photoshop CS5. Likewise, do not point to the Photoshop CS4 plug-ins folder as an additional plug-ins folder from Photoshop CS5 preferences.

Before you start

Before migrating actions to Photoshop CS5 or 5.1, make sure that they reside in one or more saved sets in Photoshop CS4 or CS5. 

  • Start Photoshop CS4 or CS5 and choose Window > Actions.

Folder icons identify action sets. See Actions panel overview and Manage action sets in Photoshop CS5 or 5.1 Help for more information about action sets.

  1.  If necessary, click Create New Set at the bottom of the Actions panel, and drag the actions you want to migrate into the new set. 
  2. Select the set that you want to migrate and choose Save Actions from the Actions panel pop-up menu.
  3. Save the set in the default location.
  4. To migrate multiple action sets, repeat steps 2 - 4 for each set.

Download and install the File Migration script

  1. Right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac OS) one of the File Migration scripts below. Then, save the resulting zipped file to a location on your hard disk, such as your Desktop.
  2. When the downloaded completes, double-click the .zip file to extract it.

  3. Drag the extracted FileMigration script file to one of the following folders:
  • Windows: C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CS5\Presets\Scripts
  • Mac OS: Applications\Adobe Photoshop CS5\Presets\Scripts

Run the File Migration script

Running the File Migration script requires administrative privileges or the ability to validate the process as an administrator.

  • Windows 7: Choose Start > Control Panel > User Accounts And Family Safety > User Accounts > Change User Account Control Settings, and choose Never notify.
  • Windows Vista: Choose Start > Control Panel > User Accounts > Turn On User Account Control (UAC). Then, deselect the option UAC To Help Protect Your Computer check box.
  1. Start the version of Photoshop that you want to move the files to, either Photoshop CS5 or CS5.1.
  2. Choose Help > File Migration.
  3. Select the type of items you want to migrate from the pop-up menu: Application Presets, User Presets, or User Workspaces. Actions are listed in User Presets.

    The script finds the presets and workspaces that are in the source folders from the previous version of Photoshop (CS4 or CS5). It doesn't find them in the source folders for the current version (CS5 or CS5.1). The script lists those files in the File(s) To Migrate box.

  4. Select the files that you want to migrate:
  • Double-click files in the File(s) To Migrate list to add them to the Files To Remove From Migration list.
  • Double-click files in the File(s) To Remove From Migration list to add them to the File(s) To Migrate list.

    Select files to migrate
  1. When you've selected the files that you want to migrate, click Start.
  2. Click OK to confirm the migration.

  3. When the migration is complete, click OK.

  4. To migrate additional items, repeat steps 3 - 7.
  5. When you have finished, click Quit.
  6. Restart Photoshop for the changes to take effect.

The scripts

Use this script to migrate your files from Photoshop CS4 to Photoshop CS5: File migration from Photoshop CS4 to CS5

Use this script to migrate from Photoshop CS4 to Photoshop CS5.1:  File migration from Photoshop CS4 to CS5.1

Use this script to migrate your files from Photosop CS5 to Photoshop CS5.1:  File migration from Photoshop CS5 to CS5.1


Report issues

If you find any issues with the script, send an e-mail to

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