Presets are collections of items and values that are applied to artwork, and that can be saved, loaded, or replaced at any time. Brushes and keyboard shortcuts are two examples. Photoshop comes with presets, but you can also create your own.

Settings are actual values that are currently loaded in Photoshop. They control various elements and tools in the application, such as your current brush and all its values.

You can migrate your custom preset collections, as well as some Photoshop presets, from one version of Photoshop to another on the same computer. The process is similar to how presets were migrated in Photoshop CS6. If you migrated presets in Photoshop CS6, some changes to the automated preset migration feature are listed below.

You can also move your user-defined presets to other computers using Export/Import Presets. Export/Import Presets is not restricted to Creative Cloud computers.

Note: Make sure that you use the same folder structure for when you move the actions to a new computer. Otherwise, some actions may not function correctly.

Migrate settings from an earlier version while installing Photoshop CC

By default, when you install Photoshop CC, Creative Cloud migrates your presets and preferences from earlier versions. To choose not to migrate presets and preferences, deselect Advanced Options > Import Previous Version Settings And Preferences in the confirmation dialog that appears after you click Update in the Creative Cloud desktop app.

If you choose not to migrate your settings when you install Photoshop CC, or if you're upgrading to Photoshop CC from an older version of Photoshop, you can select Edit > Presets > Migrate Presets to enable preset and preference migration at any point in time.


The main preference file is not migrated when you run the Migrate Presets menu command.

Preset and settings migration after installation

You can migrate presets and some settings from Photoshop CS6 to Photoshop CC, or you can copy them to another computer. Preset options are available when you launch Photoshop CC for the first time, and thereafter by choosing Edit > Presets from within Photoshop.

When you launch Photoshop for the first time, the Preset Manager appears. It offers to migrate all the presets listed below from Photoshop CS6 (or the most recent version of Photoshop you have installed).

Several changes were made from the Photoshop CS6 migration process:

  • The Preset Migration dialog box that appears at first launch of Photoshop CC does not appear again after you reset preferences by using Shift+Ctrl+Alt (Windows) or Shift+Opt+Cmd (Mac OS). To migrate after first launch, choose Edit > Presets > Migrate Presets.
  • Restarting Photoshop is no longer necessary after you migrate your presets.
  • Presets are migrated from the latest version installed before Photoshop CC, going back to Photoshop CS3. To migrate from multiple versions of Photoshop, migrate presets from one version of Photoshop at time.

The presets you can migrate are:

  • Actions
  • Black and White (Adjustment)
  • Brushes
  • Channel Mixer (Adjustment)
  • Color Range
  • Color Swatches
  • Contours
  • Curves (Adjustment)
  • Custom Shapes
  • Doutone (Mono, Duo, Tri, Quad)
  • Exposure (Adjustment)
  • Gradients
  • HDR Toning (Adjustment)
  • Hue and Saturation (Adjustment)
  • Keyboard Shortcuts
  • Levels (Adjustment)
  • Lighting Effects
  • Lights (3D)
  • Materials (3D)
  • Menu Customization
  • Patterns
  • Render Settings (3D)
  • Repousse (3D)
  • Selective Color (Adjustment)
  • Styles
  • Tools
  • Volumes (3D)

The settings you can migrate are:

  • Actions Palette.psp
  • Brushes.psp
  • Contours.psp
  • CustomShapes.psp
  • Default Type Styles.psp
  • Gradients.psp
  • Patterns.psp
  • Styles.psp
  • Swatches.psp
  • ToolPresets.psp

Preset export and import

If you want to bring your presets from one computer to another, or to an offline computer, manually export then import your presets.

On the computer that has the presets you want to migrate:

  1. Open Photoshop.
  2. Choose Edit > Presets > Export/Import Presets.
  3. Choose Export Presets.
  4. Select the presets to migrate.
  5. Click Export Presets.
  6. Select the folder to export your presets to. Choose a folder you can use to transfer the files using a USB drive, network, or online sharing service.
  7. On the computer receiving the imported settings choose Edit > Presets > Export/Import Presets from within Photoshop.
  8. Choose the folder to import from, and the presets you want to import.

You can manually import preferences from Photoshop CS6 to Photoshop CC by using Export/Import Presets:

  1. Choose Edit > Presets > Export/Import Presets.
  2. Select Import Presets.
  3. Select the presets you want to import, or click Add All.
  4. If you saved your presets to a folder that is not the default, select Select Import Folder, and choose the appropriate folder.
  5. Click Import Presets.

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