How to Lock Layers in Adobe Photoshop CS6 - dummies

How to Lock Layers in Adobe Photoshop CS6

By Barbara Obermeier

With so many options in Photoshop Creative Suite 6, after you complete your work, you may want to lock your layers. Locking your layers prevents them from being changed. To lock a layer, select it in the Layers panel and select one or more of the lock options at the top of the Layers panel.


You can also choose Layer→Lock Layers or select Lock Layers from the Layers panel menu.

When you select the Lock All option, a solid, dark gray lock icon appears on the layer, indicating the layer is fully locked. When you select any of the other lock options, the lock appears light gray and hollow, indicating the layer is partially locked.

By default, the background is locked and can’t be unlocked until you convert the background into a layer by choosing Layer→New→Layer from Background. In addition, type layers have the Lock Transparent Pixels and Lock Image Pixels options selected. These options are grayed out and can’t be deselected. However, if you need to paint on the type layer, you can always rasterize it, thereby removing all locking options.

If you have layer groups, you can choose Layer→Lock All Layers in Group or select Lock All Layers in Group from the Layers panel menu.

Name What It Does
Lock Transparent Pixels Prevents you from painting or editing any transparent areas on
your layer. To quickly select or deselect the Lock Transparent
Pixels check box, press the forward slash key (/).
Lock Image Pixels Prevents you from painting or editing your layer. You can still
select, move, or transform items on the layer.
Lock Position Prevents you from moving and transforming the layer but gives
you free rein on everything else.
Lock All Prevents you from painting, editing, moving, or transforming
your layer. (But you can still make selections.)