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If Adobe Photoshop doesn’t work the way it should, you might be able to fix it by resetting its Preferences (Settings). There are two ways to do it, and we’ll show you how.

Why Reset Photoshop Preferences?

While it’s an extreme measure to take, you might want to reset your Photoshop Preferences if you’re having difficulty with something, or if you’ve made too many customizations and want to start over with a clean slate.

Just keep in mind that if you reset your preferences, any settings that you’ve made to personalize how Photoshop works will be lost.

How to Reset Photoshop Preferences within Photoshop

If Photoshop opens without issues, use the Preferences menu to reset the app settings. (If it doesn’t open properly, check out the section below).

To do this, open Photoshop on your computer. Next, if you use a Windows PC, click “Edit” in the menu bar and select Preferences > General. If you use a Mac, click “Photoshop” in the menu bar and choose Preferences > General.

Select General from Preferences on the Photoshop window

In the Preferences window that appears, click “Reset Preferences On Quit” at the bottom.

Enable the reset option in Photoshop's Preferences menu

Click “OK” in the warning prompt that appears on your screen.

Select OK from the reset prompt in Photoshop

Next, click “OK” to close the Preferences window.

You’ll need to quit Photoshop to finish resetting Preferences. To do this, using the menu bar, click File > Exit (in Windows) or Photoshop > Quit (on a Mac).

Select Quit from the Photoshop menu in Photoshop

Relaunch Photoshop, and you’ll find that your “Preferences” have been reset to the default values.

How to Reset Photoshop Preferences with a Shortcut Key

If Photoshop doesn’t open or keeps crashing, you can reset your Photoshop Preferences with a special keyboard shortcut on Windows and Mac.

First, locate the Photoshop shortcut that you usually use to open the app. To do this on Windows, open the “Start” menu and search for “Adobe Photoshop.” On Mac, in a Finder window, click Go > Applications in the menu bar, find and double-click the Photoshop folder, and you’ll see the “Adobe Photoshop” app file.

With the shortcut in view, press and hold down Alt+Ctrl+Shift (on Windows) or Shift+Command+Option (on Mac) while you open the program.

Photoshop in Mac's Applications folder

When Photoshop opens and asks whether you want to delete the settings file, click “Yes.”

Select Yes in the delete prompt in Photoshop

After that, Photoshop will launch with default settings, as if it had just been installed.

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Mahesh Makvana is a freelance tech writer who specializes in writing how-to guides. He has been writing tech tutorials for over a decade now. He’s written for some of the prominent tech sites including MakeUseOf, MakeTechEasier, and Online Tech Tips.
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