Problem with gif files – locked background layer

Q. I have a .gif file that I’m trying to drag onto another document in Photoshop but the image won’t copy across as normal. I’ve tried to unlock the layer but the padlock is greyed out and I can’t unlock the layer by double clicking it either.

A. If you open the gif file and go to Image > Mode you will see that the process of saving the file as a gif has changed the format to indexed color. To free the file, so that you can drag it into a different document you will need to change the Mode from Indexed Colour back to RGB. To do this go to the top menu, select Image > Mode and select RGB Colour.

About hannah
Hannah works as a website designer for a digital agency based in the UK. She has over 15 years of experience using Photoshop and has been using it daily since 2005.

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  • AnonyUser

    Thanks so much for the tip! Exactly the solution I was looking for. I just couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t create new layers in my file.

  • Hanh

    Hooray! Thanks for that!

  • hannah

    You’re welcome 🙂

  • malintha

    thankz u’r very helpful

  • Dan

    This tip was VERY helpful to me. thanks

  • Anonymous

    Good karma to you!