Save your files in Photoshop

Learn how to save your document in Photoshop in various file formats

You can use the Save commands in Photoshop to save changes to your documents based on the format you want to use or the way you want to access them later.

To save a file, go to the File menu and select any of the Save commands: Save, Save As, or Save a Copy. On selecting a save command, the Save on your computer or to cloud documents dialog opens. You can always switch between the available save options in the cloud document picker— Save to cloud documents and Save on your computer.

Select the Don't show again check box if you don't want to see Save on your computer or to cloud documents window again. Photoshop remembers the save behavior from your last session and intuitively presents you with the same experience when you try to save a document again. 


To save changes to your document and save in the current format, choose File > Save.

Save As

To save a file with a different name,location, or format, do the following:

  1. Choose File > Save As.

  2. Choose a format from the Format menu.

  3. Specify a filename and location.
  4. In the Save As dialog box, select saving options.
  5. Click Save. A dialog box appears for choosing options when saving in some image formats.


To copy an image without saving it to your hard disk, use the Duplicate command. To store a temporary version of the image in memory, use the History panel to create a snapshot.

Save a Copy

If you’d like to save a layered file as a flat file, you’ll need to create a new version of the document. Also, if you don't see a desired format like JPEG or PNG, use Save a Copy option for all formats and create a preserved version of your document.

To do so, choose:

  • File > Save a Copy 
  • Save a Copy button under the Save As dialog box
Save a copy
Find Save a Copy option under File menu

Not seeing the desired format like JPEG or PNG? Save a copy of your document for all formats
Not seeing the desired format like JPEG or PNG? Save a copy of your document for all formats

Revert to legacy Save As options

With Photoshop 22.4.2, you can revert to the legacy Save As workflows by using the following preferences options.

Enable legacy Save As

You can both revert to the legacy Save As workflow and/or omit the addended “copy” when saving as a copy, if desired. 

To find these new preference options, navigate to: 

  • (macOS) Photoshop > Preferences > File Handling > File Saving Options
  • (Windows) Edit > Preferences > File Handling > File Saving Options 
Revert to legacy Save As workflow in Photoshop desktop

When you turn on the Enable legacy "Save As” preference:
  • macOS: The Save As and Save a Copy options will now both open the legacy save dialog enabling the Save As options that were available in Photoshop v22.3 and earlier, including the As a Copy checkbox. With the legacy workflow enabled, if you use the Save a copy option to save your Photoshop file, the As a Copy checkbox will be turned on by default. When selecting the Enable legacy "Save As” option in preferences on macOS, you will receive a warning dialog alerting you to the risk of overwriting files that arises when using the legacy Save As workflow, as “copy” will no longer be interactively appended to the filename. Because of this, when selecting the Enable legacy “Save As” preference the Do not append “copy” to filename when saving a copy preference will automatically become enabled and cannot be turned off unless the Enable legacy “Save As” preference is turned off.
Warning dialog for legacy save as

  • Windows: The Enable legacy "Save As” preference operates the save as workflow as it originally did, including the interactive appending of “copy” to the filenames when appropriate. Hence, you will not see a warning alert when turning on the legacy preference on Windows. Additionally, since the legacy Save As workflow can append “copy” to filenames, you will not see a warning alert and the Do not append ‘copy’ to filename when saving a copy preference option can be turned on or off based on your requirement. 

Do not append ‘copy’ to filename when saving a copy

macOS and Windows: The Do not append ‘copy’ to filename when saving a copy preference controls whether “copy” is appended to the filename of your Photoshop document in situations where the user is exposed to the risk of overwriting files. By selecting this preference, the term "copy" will no longer be automatically appended to file names when you save as a copy, both in the new Save a Copy and the legacy Save As (macOS and Windows) options.

Additionally, when you turn on this preference, you will see alert dialogs to warn you of the potential risk of overwriting your Photoshop file in absence of "copy" in the filename on both macOS and Windows. 

Warning dialog for legacy save as

File saving options

You can set a variety of file saving options under the Save As and Save a Copy dialog box. The availability of options depends on the file you are saving and the selected file format.

Alpha Channels

Saves alpha channel information with the image. Disabling this option removes the alpha channels from the saved image.


Preserves all layers in the image. If this option is disabled or unavailable, all visible layers are flattened or merged (depending on the selected format).


Saves notes with the image.

Spot Colors

Saves spot channel information with the image. Disabling this option removes spot colors from the saved image.

Use Proof Setup, ICC Profile (Windows), or Embed Color Profile (Mac OS)

Creates a color-managed document.


The following image preview and file extension options are available only if Ask When Saving is selected for the Image Previews and Append File Extension (Mac OS) options in the File Handling Preferences dialog box.

Thumbnail (Windows)

Saves thumbnail data for the file.

Use Lower Case Extension (Windows)

Makes the file extension lowercase.

Image Previews options (Mac OS)

Saves thumbnail data for the file. Thumbnails appear in the Open dialog box.

File Extension options (Mac OS)

Specifies the format for file extensions. Select Append to add the format’s extension to a filename and Use Lower Case to make the extension lowercase.


As of the 2015 release of Photoshop CC, the File > Save For Web option has been moved to File > Export > Save For Web (Legacy) alongside newer export options. To learn about these new export options, see Export artboards, layers, and more.

Set file saving preferences

  1. Do one of the following:
    • (Windows) Choose Edit > Preferences > File Handling.

    • (macOS) Choose Photoshop > Preferences > File Handling.

  2. Set the following options:

    Image Previews

    Choose an option for saving image previews: Never Save to save files without previews, Always Save to save files with specified previews, or Ask When Saving to assign previews on a file-by-file basis. In Mac OS, you can select one or more preview types. (See Mac OS image preview options.)

    File Extension (Windows)

    Choose an option for the three-character file extensions that indicate a file’s format: Use Upper Case to append file extensions using uppercase characters, or Use Lower Case to append file extensions using lowercase characters.

    Append File Extension (Mac OS)

    File extensions are necessary for files that you want to use on or transfer to a Windows system. Choose an option for appending extensions to filenames: Never to save files without file extensions, Always to append file extensions to filenames, or Ask When Saving to append file extensions on a file-by-file basis. Select Use Lower Case to append file extensions using lowercase characters.

    Save As to Original Folder

    When saving, defaults to the folder images originated from. Deselect this option to instead default to the folder you last saved in.

    Save in Background

    Background saving lets you keep working in Photoshop after you choose a Save command. You don’t have to wait for Photoshop to finish saving the file.

    Automatically Save Recovery Information

    Photoshop automatically stores crash-recovery information at the interval that you specify. If you experience a crash, Photoshop recovers your work when you restart it.

Mac OS image preview options

In Mac OS, you can select one or more of the following preview types (to speed the saving of files and minimize file size, select only the previews you need).


Uses the preview as a file icon on the desktop.

Full Size

Saves a 72‑ppi version of the file for use in applications that can open only low-resolution Photoshop images. For non‑EPS files, this is a PICT preview.

Macintosh Thumbnail

Displays the preview in the Open dialog box.

Windows Thumbnail

Saves a preview that Windows systems can display.

Save large documents

Photoshop supports documents up to 300,000 pixels in either dimension and offers three file formats for saving documents with images having more than 30,000 pixels in either dimension. Keep in mind that most other applications, including versions of Photoshop earlier than Photoshop CS, cannot handle files larger than 2 GB or images exceeding 30,000 pixels in either dimension.

  1. Choose File > Save As, and choose one of the following file formats:

    Large Document Format (PSB)

    Supports documents of any file size. All Photoshop features are preserved in PSB files (though some plug-in filters are unavailable if documents exceed 30,000 pixels in width or height). Currently, PSB files are supported only by Photoshop CS and later.

    Photoshop Raw

    Supports documents of any pixel dimension or file size, but does not support layers. Large documents saved in the Photoshop Raw format are flattened.


    Supports files up to 4 GB in size. Documents larger than 4 GB cannot be saved in TIFF format.

Export layers to files

You can export and save layers as individual files using a variety of formats, including PSD, BMP, JPEG, PDF, Targa, and TIFF. Layers are named automatically as they are saved. You can set options to control the generation of names.

  1. Choose File > Export > Export Layers To Files.

  2. In the Export Layers To Files dialog box, under Destination, click Browse to select a destination for the exported files. By default, the generated files are saved in the sample folder as the source file.
  3. Enter a name in the File Name Prefix text box to specify a common name for the files.
  4. Select the Visible Layers Only option if you want to export only those layers that have visibility enabled in the Layers panel. Use this option if you don’t want all the layers exported. Turn off visibility for layers that you don’t want exported.
  5. Choose a file format from the File Type menu. Set options as necessary.
  6. Select the Include ICC Profile option if you want the working space profile embedded in the exported file. This is important for color-managed workflows.
  7. Click Run.
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