How To Install Photoshop Actions

Do you want to delve into the world of photoshop actions but can’t figure out where to start?

We’re going to go through the process of installing actions into photoshop from start to finish to help you. Our 4 step guide will give you all the information you need to know about installing actions to photoshop.

This guide uses Windows 10 & Google Chrome, other browsers and operating systems may vary in appearance but generally, all do the same thing.

Step 1: Download An Action

First, you need to find and download the action that you want.

Once downloaded, a bar will appear at the bottom of the screen, like this.

If you click the arrow to the right of your download, you can choose to Show in folder.

This opens the folder where the file has been downloaded too and gives you quick access to the files.

Step 2: If Your Download Is In A Zip File

This is how your Photoshop actions will look if it is inside a ZIPPED file.

In order to extract your files, simply right click and select Extract All.

A new box will appear:

This is where you will select the destination for your files. If you leave it as it is, the files will appear in the same folder as the zipped file.

Clicking Browse will give you the option to find another place to extract your files too.

Click Extract and wait for the folder to be extracted.

A new folder will appear with the same files inside but this time you can access them as they’re “unzipped”.


Step 3: Open Photoshop

To show actions in your workspace, click Window and then Actions. You can then drag it to anywhere around the workspace.

For easiest use, click the three lines at the top of the “actions” tab. Next, click Button Mode.


If the tab is too wide, it sometimes shows too many tabs and this can be a little confusing, so make sure its closed enough to display the actions in one column.

To use an action, just click on it once with the left mouse button.

Alternatively, to use actions in the normal mode, click on the action and then press Play at the bottom of the tab.


An example of our own winter actions set.

The Play Button is at the bottom of the tab and looks like this.


Step 4: Installing Your Newly Downloaded Actions

Find the action in the folder. There are three ways of installing them to your photoshop software.

1 — Simply drag and drop the ATN file directly onto your photoshop workspace. Photoshop will automatically load the actions into your action box for you.

2 — Double click with your left mouse button on the ATN file from the folder it is already in. Photoshop automatically installs the actions to the action box.

3 — Click the three lines at the top right-hand corner, and go down to “Load Actions”.


Now you will find your computer, simply locate the actions you saved earlier (Usually in the downloads folder) and open them.

That’s it! You’re all set. Now we’ll give you some extra tips and advice on using the actions.

Useful Advice:

Once you have played the action, either a group/folder or a layer will appear. You can either leave the action how it looks once you’ve played it, or adjust each layer to your liking.

If the action you’ve used has many layers, we recommend you hide all of the layers with this button next to the layer itself.

Once all of the layers are hidden, start from the bottom and reveal the first one. Adjust this layers opacity and layer mask to how you would like it.

Then go to the next layer and do the same until you’ve looked at all of the layers and adjusted them to how you would like them. Sometimes you may wish to leave out a layer if it looks better that way.

Sometimes actions cannot play correctly when you have an issue with the computer reading photoshop.

To rectify this, you can either reload the action into photoshop, restart photoshop or reboot your computer.

If all actions do not work, including basic actions that come with the programme, you need to try to reinstall the programme and failing that speak to a member of Adobe for help.

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