About preferences

In order for Photoshop to run as smoothly as possible, in a way that's customized for your particular workflow, you need to set up your Preferences to your liking.

Numerous program settings are stored in the Adobe Photoshop Prefs file, including general display options, file-saving options, performance options, cursor options, transparency options, type options, and options for plug‑ins and scratch disks. Most of these options are set in the Preferences dialog box. Preference settings are saved each time you quit the application.

Unexpected behavior may indicate damaged preferences. If you suspect damage to preferences, restore preferences to their default settings.


Detailed information about specific preference settings appears in task-specific topics. For example, search Help for “Transparency preferences” to see those settings discussed in the context of related features such as layers.

Open a preferences dialog box

  1. Do one of the following:
    • (Windows) Choose Edit > Preferences and choose the desired preference set from the submenu.
    • (Mac OS) Choose Photoshop > Preferences, and then choose the desired preference set from the submenu.
  2. To switch to a different preference set, do one of the following:
    • Choose the preference set from the menu at the left of the dialog box.
    • Click Next to display the next preference set in the list; click Prev to display the previous set.

For information on a specific preference option, search Help.

Restore preference files to default

Restore preference files to default
In this video, learn the two methods of resetting your preference files back to default: a manual preference file removal method and a keyboard shortcut method (starts at 5:05)
Julieanne Kost

To manually restore preferences to default:

To restore preferences quickly using a keyboard shortcut:

  • Press and hold Alt+Control+Shift (Windows) or Option+Command+Shift (Mac OS) as you start Photoshop. You are prompted to delete the current settings. The new preferences files are created the next time you start Photoshop.

Note: Using the keyboard shortcut, preference files for custom shortcuts, workspaces, and color settings will also be reset to default.

Disable and enable warning messages

Sometimes you will see messages containing warnings or prompts. You can suppress the display of these messages by selecting the Don’t Show Again option in the message. You can also globally redisplay all messages that have been suppressed.

  1. Do one of the following:
    • (Windows) Choose Edit > Preferences > General.
    • (Mac OS) Choose Photoshop > Preferences > General.
  2. Click Reset All Warning Dialogs, and click OK.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License  Twitter™ and Facebook posts are not covered under the terms of Creative Commons.

Legal Notices   |   Online Privacy Policy