Where Are Photoshop Actions Stored and How to Load Them

Who doesn’t love a timesaver? Photoshop Actions allow you to save a set of commands and have them run automatically so you don’t have to perform every command by itself. This is great for both speeding up your workflow and creating a consistent look between images. 

Hey there, I’m Cara! I’m a professional photographer, and while I love editing photos, I don’t love needlessly wasting hours at my computer. Thus, anything that will save me a little time is useful in my book!

Check out this tutorial to learn how to create Photoshop Actions. Once you’ve got your actions created, you may run into a problem – they disappear! This may happen when you download a new version of Photoshop or move to a different computer. 

But, no worries. As long as you know where Photoshop Actions are stored and how to load them, you’re good to go!

Note: I use the Windows version of Photoshop. If you are using a Mac, the workspace will look slightly different from the screenshots displayed here.

Where Are My Photoshop Actions?

Every action must be saved inside an Action set and of course, Photoshop has a default location for this. 

You can also create your own action sets and save them in a location of your choosing. This is helpful for creating a backup of your actions as well as moving them from one computer to another. Some people even sell their Photoshop actions to help out other photographers!

When you go to record a new action, you’ll get this box where you choose a name for your action and it’s set. We’ll stick with the default for now.

When you get done recording your action, it will be visible in the action panel under the Action set you chose. 

If you don’t see your Actions panel, go to Window and choose Actions from the menu.

But where are the actions stored on your computer?

To access this folder, click the three lines at the top right of your Actions panel. Then click on Load Actions…

This will take you straight to the folder on your computer where your actions are stored. If all your actions are already loaded into Photoshop, the folder will appear empty. 

But if you follow the file path outside of Photoshop, you’ll see all your actions nicely laid out. Here’s the file path I followed from my C drive. 

How to Load Actions in Photoshop

If you have new actions you want to load, this is where you paste them. Then, you can go back inside Photoshop and click the Load Actions… button we just mentioned and you’ll see your new actions. 

Click on the action you want to add and click Load. And that’s all there is to it!

If you want to save a copy of your actions in another location, this is where you come to do it. Make sure you don’t remove the action from this folder or it will disappear from Photoshop, but you can save a backup in another location.

Playing with Photoshop Actions

Now that you know how to load Photoshop actions, I would suggest downloading a couple of interesting ones from the Internet. Like brushes, you can sometimes find free ones, or usually, they aren’t too expensive to buy. 

Using other people’s actions is a great way to save time, but you can also learn more about how Photoshop works. You’ll be able to follow all the steps they used to create the effect and then be able to apply what you’ve learned to more images! 

Curious to try making your own actions? Many of the tutorials here on Photoshop Buzz like how to turn a photo into a drawing can easily be turned into a useful action. Give it a try and let us know how it goes!

About Cara Koch
Cara fell in love with photography circa 2014 and has been exploring all corners of the imagery world ever since. When she felt limited by Lightroom, she dove headfirst into Photoshop to learn how to create the images she wanted.

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