Quick Tips

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.



  1. Mike Hanson 1 January, 2010 at 02:56 Reply

    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. Jeff 28 April, 2010 at 10:24 Reply

    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.

  3. Jeff 28 April, 2010 at 10:33 Reply

    Forgot to mention the other way to do it. Hold the ALT key and double click on the lock will do the same thing.

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