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How To Install Photoshop Actions – Easy Step by Step Guide

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Do you feel like sometimes editing in Photoshop takes too much time? Photoshop Actions are the solution to make your editing process more efficient.
You can create your own or download and install pre-made Photoshop Actions.

What Are Photoshop Actions

Photoshop Actions can save you a lot of time when working with Photoshop. You can easily add special effects or do complicated adjustments and edits with one click.
The possibilities are endless. It works like this.
When you edit a photo, you’ll apply dozens of operations. Once you develop your own editing process, you’ll apply the same operations over and over again on different photos. You’ll lose time doing this.
Photoshop Actions combine, save and automate all the steps you need to take. You can add effects and adjustments with just a few clicks.
You can either download Actions or create them yourself.
In this article, I’ll show you how to install downloaded Photoshop Actions.

How to Install Photoshop Actions

First, you have to download the action you want to install. There are hundreds of websites where you can buy Photoshop actions.
If you don’t want to spend any money, there are a lot of free Photoshop Actions to download too.
I’ll use a free Photoshop Action called ‘Film Wash‘.

Step 1: Unzip

Usually, Photoshop Actions are packed in a .zip file. Double click the .zip file to unzip the actions.
They either appear in the same folder or in the location you’ve selected.
How to install Photoshop Actions - unzip
Photoshop Actions have the extension .atn.
How to install Photoshop Actions - file extension

Step 2: Install the Photoshop Action

Double click the .atn file.
Usually, that’s it. The action should be available in Photoshop.

Step 3: Check If the Action Was Installed

Open Photoshop and go to Window > Actions to open the Actions window.
How to install Photoshop Actions - open the actions window
You can also click the Actions button in the tool bar on the right.
How to install Photoshop Actions - click the actions button
The Photoshop Action should be available in the Actions window.
How to install Photoshop Actions - actions window

What If You Can’t Install a Photoshop Action

Sometimes, you might run into a problem because of your computer’s configuration.
You’ll have to use one of two alternative methods to install the action.

Alternative Method 1

Step 1: Open the Actions Window

In Photoshop, go to Window > Actions or click the Actions button in the tool bar on the right.
The Actions window will appear.

Step 2: Load Actions

Click on the menu button and select ‘Load Actions…’
Locate the file you want to install and select it. Click ‘Open’.
How to install Photoshop Actions - load actions
The Action will appear in the window.

Alternative Method 2

If that didn’t work, the only way is to manually place the file in the right folder in the Photoshop directory.

Step 1: Locate the Actions Folder

Make sure to quit Photoshop and locate the Photoshop Actions folder on your computer.
For Mac it’s Applications/Adobe Photoshop xxxx/Presets/Actions/.
For Windows it should be something like c:\Program Files\Adobe\Photoshop xxxx

Step 2: Drag the File

Drag the .atn file to the Photoshop Actions folder. You can also copy/paste it.
How to install Photoshop Actions - select action

Step 3: Check if the Action Is Available

Open Photoshop. If you use this method, the action will be available in the Actions window menu.
It doesn’t appear in the window itself.
How to install Photoshop Actions - available menu

Conclusion

It’s very easy to install Photoshop Actions, even if you have to use an alternative method.
Most Actions also have instructions to help you with this process.
Looking for more great Photoshop tips? We have great posts on removing shadows from photos or using Photoshop color modes to check out next!

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