Planet Photoshop

Unlocking The Background Layer

Can’t move the Background layer? That’s because back in Photoshop 6.0, Adobe locked the Background layer from movement. That wouldn’t be so bad, except that if you look at the top of the Layers palette, you can see that “Yup, the checkbox to lock movement is turned on,” but the frustrating part is that it’s also grayed out, so you can’t simply uncheck it to unlock it. The only way around this is to double-click on the Background, which brings up the New Layer dialog. Click OK, and your Background layer becomes Layer 0 and is unlocked. Now you can move it.

Posted by Corey Barker

Corey is an education and curriculum developer for KelbyOne. He is a graduate of the Ringling School of Art & Design in Sarasota, FL, with a degree in Illustration. Over the years, Corey has worked as a graphic artist in a variety of disciplines such as illustration, commercial design, large format printing, motion graphics, web design and photography. His expertise in Photoshop and Illustrator have earned him numerous awards in illustration, graphic design and photography. Using Photoshop since version 2, his expertise and creativity have evolved exponentially with every new version, which makes Corey an invaluable addition to the KelbyOne team.

4 comments on “Unlocking The Background Layer

  1. Why would they have set the default of “lock” when you open a doc to edit it? And then make the unlock so mysterious? (by graying out the option to unlock). Anyone understand the Adobe thinking on this? If you open a document to edit it, why would they ever set the default in such a way, and make it so difficult to change? It helps to understand the program if I can figure out why they did the things they did when creating it.

  2. It’s not the only way. Another simple way is to just click on the lock icon and drag it to the trash can. It unlocks the layer and makes it layer 0.