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Fix A Broken Photoshop Without Re-Installing

I want to share a very useful tip with all of you who have ever wanted to throw your computer across the room because of Photoshop for one reason or another. It's inevitable, every once in a blue moon, software can just make your day a living hell for no obvious reason. It can be anything from the Layers palette won't show up, to menu items grayed out when they shouldn't be. I want to show you a quick way to put your problems behind you without having to re-install Photoshop.

Fix A Broken Photoshop Without Re-Installing

Last week, I was Photoshopping and I noticed that (screenshot below) all of my brushes looked pixelated. not only did they looked pixelated in the Brushes palette, but even when I used the brushes, they even drew like the document was in bitmap mode, but of course it wasn't. I tried everything under the sun to fix it, and I even called a few good designer friends of mine and they had never heard of such a thing. This is a recreation of what my brushes palette looked like:

Fix A Broken Photoshop Without Re-Installing

When it should have looked like this:

Fix A Broken Photoshop Without Re-Installing

And this is what the brush looked like when I used it:

Fix A Broken Photoshop Without Re-Installing

When it should have looked like this:

Fix A Broken Photoshop Without Re-Installing

After some discussion with colleagues, we decided that it wouldn't hurt to try and delete the Photoshop Preferences file from my system and see if that works. Well I'm not exactly sure where to even find that file or if it's a hidden file or not, so I did some searching. I came across a thread in the Adobe forums that was a godsend.

(*Works for Photoshop 6x and newer!) All you have to do to delete your settings and start fresh is 1) Close Photoshop, and 2) Hold Command + Option + Shift (Control + Alt + Shift, PC) while you restart Photoshop. This brings up a dialogue box where you can choose to delete your settings file, no need to search through your system folders to find it.

Fix A Broken Photoshop Without Re-Installing

After I did this, my Brushes palette was back to normal. Who woulda thunk it! Now, this little shortcut may not fix every glitch you run into, but it's a butload faster than re-installing, so It's worth a shot if Photoshop is acting up on you 🙂

I'm the editor-in-chief of Bittbox.com. I'm a designer and developer by day, and a writer and musician when the feeling strikes. I enjoy vintage advertisements and puzzles with an absurd amount of pieces. Follow me on Twitter.

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