• What to Do When Photoshop or PSE Isn't Functioning Correctly

    Work with any software long enough and you'll encounter some sort of glitch. When your Photoshop or Elements tools go haywire or function in an unexpected way, there are a couple of troubleshooting actions to try before getting frustrated.

    First try closing out of the program and restarting your computer. This action alone solves many issues and is an easy first step.
    If that doesn’t resolve the issue, try resetting the problematic tool. Here's how:

    In Photoshop, select the tool that you are having trouble with. Right click (Mac: Ctrl click) on the down-arrow next to the Tool Preset Picker. This is the tool icon on the top left corner of the Options bar.
    Select "Reset Tool."
    To reset all of your tools at one time, select “Reset All Tools.”

    In recent versions of Elements, select the tool that needs to be reset.
    Look in the Tool Options at the bottom of the editing screen.
    At the top right corner of the Options bar, click the arrow next to the icon that looks like four lines. It is between the ? Help icon and the Minimize arrow. Choose Reset Tool or Reset All tools.

    If the issue persists after trying a tool reset, you can reset Photoshop or PSE to factory settings. Occasionally the preferences file becomes corrupted, causing Photoshop or PSE to crash or behave in unexpected ways. You can force the software to return to the default, permanently resetting the software.
    Here's how:

    In Photoshop, select Edit > Preferences > General.
    Click the button labeled "Reset Preferences on Quit."
    Click OK to confirm the reset and then click OK to exit Preferences.
    Restart the software to activate the reset.

    In Elements, select Edit > Preferences > General.
    Click the button labeled, "Reset Preferences on Next launch" and click OK.
    Click OK again to exit out of preferences and shut down the software. When you reopen PSE, the reset occurs.

    In older versions of Photoshop or PSE, the factory defaults can be set using the following method:
    Press Ctrl Alt Shift (Mac: Cmd Opt Shift) as soon as you click Photoshop to start it. The Delete Settings File dialog box should populate. If the software opens at this point, you didn't click Ctrl Alt Shift soon enough. Shut down PS/PSE and try again, pressing the key combination immediately upon launching the software.
    When the Delete Settings File dialog box populates, click Yes.
    Photoshop will open using the factory defaults.

    In many cases, one of these actions will resolve tool issues. It's worth giving them a try before initiating a complete uninstall and reinstall of the software.