How to Unlock a File That Can't Be Saved in Photoshop

Tips for how to work around a locked file that can't be saved

What to Know

  • On Mac, use the Get Info shortcut (Cmd+I) and uncheck the box next to Locked.
  • On Windows, right-click the file, select Properties, and uncheck the box next to Read Only.

When you try to save a file in Adobe Photoshop CC and you receive a message saying the file could not be saved because the file is locked, you need to remove the lock to avoid losing the work you've done on the image. If you've opened and started work on the file, save the image under a new file name, using the Save As command in the File menu.

The techniques we outline work for Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7 and macOS.

How to Unlock an Image Before Opening it on a Mac

When you run into a series of locked images on a Mac, unlock them before opening them in Photoshop by using the Get Info keyboard shortcut—Cmd+I. Remove the checkmark from in front of Locked on the screen that appears. You may need to enter your administrator password to make the change.

Also, at the bottom of the Get Info screen, confirm that you have Read and Write next to your name. If not, toggle the setting to Read and Write.

How to Remove the Read-Only Property on a Windows computer 

Images copied from CDs have a read-only attribute. To remove it, copy the file to your Windows computer. In Windows Explorer (File Explorer in Windows 10), right-click the file name, select Properties and uncheck the Read-only box. If you copy an entire folder of images from a CD, you can change the read-only property on all of them at one time by changing the folder's properties.

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