While working in Photoshop, layer masks allow removing pixels from the image safely. It is a very useful option because the pixels are not removed permanently, as is the case with the Eraser tool. Layer masks are used for seamlessly combining one or more image in Photoshop. Sometimes, you might encounter problems with these layer masks. If you happen to run into any problems, then check out these simple fixes –
When layer masks don’t seem to work:
- Check if the mask is selected
Make sure the layer mask is selected. There are times when you choose to use a layer mask but observe that you are painting the canvas only black and white. This shows that you have forgotten to select the layer mask you intended to.
This is a common mistake done by many wherein only the actual layer is selected. So ensure that the actual mask is selected so that you can use it to effectively edit your work. You will get to know a mask has been selected when a frame appears around the mask.
- Is the layer locked?
Check if the layer is locked, because you cannot apply changes to a locked Photoshop layer. Of course, locking a layer is good when you want to keep certain parts of the work from changing. But it is annoying when you want to use a layer mask. So you need to unlock the layer before you could use a mask for editing.
- Layer above layer!
You think that your layer masks are not working, when actually there is another layer above covering them. You shouldn’t be covering your work with another layer. But why does this happen? This happens when you use duplicates, because you confuse the copy you are working on for the one which is affected by the mask. So you need to hide the visibility of a layer / layers which is above the layer masks to ensure you are working with the right layer.
Note: While trying to troubleshoot issues with layer masks, if anything goes wrong and your Photoshop PSD file gets corrupted, then you can use a third-party tool to fix Photoshop file easily and quickly .
Here’s another method you can try out to fix Photoshop layer mask problems:
- Check color mode
First check the color mode on the image which you want to manipulate. This is necessary because not all commands used with Adobe Photoshop tools work for all the image modes.
- Restoring default settings
When it comes to layer mask issues, restoring default settings can help. For Adobe Photoshop 6 and higher versions – go to Options, click on tool icon. Now choose Reset Tool (to reset a single tool) or choose Reset All Tools (to reset all tools). For ImageReady, to reset the layer mask tool, click Edit – Preferences – General – Reset All Tools.
- Resetting preferences
If restoring default settings don’t work, then resetting preferences can do the trick to fix layer mask issues. For Photoshop 6 and higher versions, hold down Ctrl + Alt + Shift keys during opening Photoshop or later. If you are prompted to delete the preferences, then click Yes.
For Photoshop versions 5 and 5.5, locate specific files in Settings folder present in the installation folder. These files include Color Settings and Adobe Photoshop 5.0 Prefs. You can either delete or rename the files in order to reset preferences.
So, these are the fixes that may help you fix Photoshop layer mask issues. In case you, still find problems with Photoshop file and is refusing to open, then Remo PSD Repair tool will be helpful. Before performing any of the above steps, first make sure you have backup of your original file and then proceed further.
Senior Editor, Content Analyst and a fan of exceptional customer service. John develops and publishes instructional and informational content regarding partition management, Windows hot-fixes, data management and computer troubleshooting.
As a tenured data recovery specialist, John shares exceptional insights and blog posts about data loss and data recovery across any storage device. With 8+ years’ experience in writing for Data Recovery for both Mac OS and Windows OS computers, he is an avid learner who always wants to polish and simplify the data recovery process. John passes his free time playing Chess and reading Science Fiction novels.