18 Best Free Photoshop Actions

Transform an image into something spectacular with a few clicks

Free Photoshop actions transform a regular image into something jaw-dropping in a matter of seconds.

So what are they? It's simple: a series of recorded, predefined steps that can be applied to an image. The action itself is an ATN file that, when loaded into Photoshop, offers a handy shortcut to a stunning result. Most actions handle the entire transformation, while others direct you through the necessary steps to achieve the effect.

Learn how to import actions into Photoshop if you need help.

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Pencil Draw Photoshop Action

Colored image versus a pencil drawn image using a free Photoshop action

This stunning Pencil Draw Photoshop action gives your image the look of a pencil drawing. This action places the sketch layer on top of the original.

Activating the action prompts you to adjust the blur of the new layer. As you adjust the blur to the left, the picture looks more like a sketch; adjusting it in the other direction produces a more realistic photo that simply looks black and white.

Once added to Photoshop, this action is called Propias, or Dibujo if viewing your actions in Button Mode

This action and most of the others below, are downloaded in an archive—either a ZIP or RAR file. To get the file out of there so that it can be installed in Photoshop, you'll need to extract it out of the archive; we recommend using 7-Zip or PeaZip.

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Out of Bounds Photoshop Action

Screenshot of the Out of Bounds free Photoshop action

The Out of Bounds action does nearly all the work for you to create this cool "popping out of frame" effect. Two actions are included: one for a flat image and one for a curled image.

This action is advanced; while you can alter the shadowing effects and positions of the frame and image with ease, you must manually select the part of the picture you want to pop out. This isn't too difficult for beginners if you closely follow the instruction prompts.

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Portrait Photoshop Action

Screenshot of the Portrait free Photoshop action

This one is best achieved on a portrait image. You'll be asked to alter the sharpness and saturation manually, so the same image could have different effects depending on how you customize it.

Although it's a bit more complex than the others in this list because not all the steps are automated, there are easy-to-follow instructions on the download page.

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Reflections Photoshop Action

Screenshot of the Reflections free Photoshop action

Create a striking image reflection with this tool that comes with three actions: one for a reflection below the image, another that's identical to the first but for transparent pictures, and one that splits the image into three parts.

Adjust the background colors, border size, reflection height, and other effects to get the perfect outcome.

Register for a free account with PanosFX.com to access the download link.

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Teeth Whitening Photoshop Action

Screenshot of white teeth from a free Photoshop action

This Teeth Whitening action for Photoshop is perfect if you need a guided tour through whitening teeth, but it doesn't do everything automatically.

After starting the action you'll be told to choose the teeth using one of the selection tools. Then select Play to finish.

Double-click the adjustment layer icon called Whiteness and adjust the Lightness to make the teeth as white as you want. Just don't go too white or it might not look very realistic.

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Folded Paper Photoshop Action

Folded paper free Photoshop action

This action creates an awesome folded-paper look. The image is readable but sits as if it's in 3D with shadows strategically placed behind it.

Everything in the image takes part in the effect, so make sure nothing else is on the canvas but the paper you want to appear folded. The background, layers, and gradient overlay effects are fully customizable after the action runs.

This action installs with the name www.psd-dude.com (Folded leaflet).

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Break of Day Photoshop Action

Break of Day free Photoshop action showing two pots and a pitcher with a morning glow effect

The Break of Day Photoshop action adds an old, dusty look to any image.

It's best to use a square image for this one. If you don't, when the action has finished running, you may need to resize the top layer so the gradient effect isn't so obvious.

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Vivid Blur Photoshop Action

Screenshot of the Vivid Blur free Photoshop action

This Photoshop action is very simple yet effective, applying a strong contrast with a Gaussian blur.

It takes only a moment to apply, creating a new layer on top of the original one. Keep both layers present for the effect to remain or merge the layers before saving.

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Stickers and Tape Photoshop Action

Screenshot of a free Photoshop action with tape

This creates an image that looks taped down, as well as an image that looks like a round sticker peeling off paper.

The tape can be created anywhere on the paper because the tape layer is adjustable after you run the action. Add air bubbles under the tape for a more realistic look.

When the action completes, the border and background effects are editable.

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Polaroid Generator

Screenshot of the Polaroid Generator free Photoshop action

Produce a fun Polaroid effect with this action. It has a few more steps than others in this list, but it's worth it.

To begin, start the RUN ME FIRST action and then choose another action, such as Type 600 Black&White for a black-and-white Polaroid. Color photo options are also available.

Once it finishes running, move the image around within the Polaroid frame to get just the right shot without having to re-launch the action.

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Rainy Day Photoshop Action

Screenshot of the Rainy Day free Photoshop action

Use the Rainy Day Photoshop action to create either a photo that appears to have rain falling or one with rain on the camera lens, depending on how you adjust the settings.

After running it, you'll have full control over the size of the raindrops, fog, and other settings. Prompts instruct you on making smaller or larger drops and related configurations.

Alter the different effects and opacity of the layers even after the action completes to manipulate the effects without having to start over.

Run Mail Actionthen Little Drops and Condensation to complete the whole effect.

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Abbey Road Photoshop Action

Screenshot of the Abbey Road freePhotoshop action

Use the Abbey Road action if you need a quick and subtle change.

There's also an additional folder of actions in this file that applies a few swift brightness alterations.

If you list your actions in Button Mode, Acción 54 is its name.

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Go Boom Photoshop Action

Screenshot of the Go Boom free Photoshop action

Go Boom is a free Photoshop action with different settings to manipulate your image into a cool, retro-like photo.

Some of the prompts you'll be presented with include Gaussian Blur, Gradient Fill, Curves, Hue/Saturation, and Vibrance settings.

Once the changes are made, the image appears as a new Smart Object layer without affecting the layer you started with.

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Old Tones Photoshop Action

Screenshot of the Old Tones free Photoshop action

This action changes the hue, adds a grainy feel, sharpens the image, and creates adjustment and fill layers for charming effects.

After importing this action into Photoshop, find it by looking for the name Lieveheersbeestje Old tones V9.

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Skin Glow Photoshop Action

Skin Glow Enhancement free Photoshop action showing before and after of a woman's face

As the title suggests, the one provides the illusion of glowing skin. It targets the entire photo, not just the skin. The overall effect looks semi-professional and the blur effect may even serve as a quick solution to removing skin blemishes.

Look for the name iscarlett1 or action1byiscarlett in Photoshop to use this action after you've installed it.

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Sepia Photoshop Actions

Screenshot of Free Sepia Photoshop Actions

Warm up your photos with sepia effects with this free Photoshop action. There are seven actions to choose from with varying shades of sepia.

After you add it to Photoshop, it'll be called Sepia actions - freaky665, with each different action in its own subfolder.

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Photo Coloring Photoshop Action

Screenshot of the Photo Coloring free Photoshop action

Use this action to create some fill layers, change the layer mode, and make numerous changes to enhance the image's colors, creating an effect similar to the picture you see here.

This one requires a particular type of image; it won't work on everything.

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Light Rays Photoshop Action

Screenshot of light rays free Photoshop action

Easily add stunning light rays to your image with a single click. This action also comes with a free tutorial on creating light rays in Photoshop.

For more ways to transform your creations, check out tools such as free Photoshop brushestexturestemplatesfilters, and shapes. There are also several no-cost alternatives to Photoshop if you're looking for an editing program.

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