How to lock a layer in Photoshop 2023

How to lock a layer in Photoshop 2022 | Editing a picture in Photoshop

Have no idea how to lock a layer in Photoshop? We've put together this handy guide to help you find out everything you need to know about the image editing software.

Photoshop can definitely be a challenging program to master. Beginners may often find layers very confusing, and there is always a risk of accidentally moving them around or removing them completely.

To prevent this, Photoshop allows users to lock layers so that they won't mess up their work. But it seems many people don't know how to do it. So, here is how to lock a layer in Photoshop.

How to lock a layer in Photoshop

Locking a layer is a quick way to protect your work from unwanted changes. By using a shortcut or the mouse to lock it, you can be sure that no edits will happen to touch it.

Thankfully, Photoshop has a straightforward and simple way to lock layers that makes it easy to work on multiple layers at the same time.

Here is how you can lock a layer in Photoshop, so it will be intact while you work on other layers.

Fully lock a layer in Photoshop

Here's how to lock a layer and be sure it stays that way:

  • Select the layer you wish to lock in the Layers panel.
  • Then click on the little lock icon near the top of the Layers panel.

Also, there is a shortcut to lock a layer in Photoshop. Just select the layer you want to lock, then press the forward-slash (/) key on your keyboard to lock it. If you press the (/) key again, it will be unlocked.

Partially lock a layer in Photoshop

But what if you want to lock only a certain part of the layer? Here's how:

  • Select the layer you want to lock.
  • Click one or more lock options in the Layers panel:
    • Lock Transparent Pixels: Confines editing to the opaque portions of the layer.
    • Lock Image Pixels: Prevents modification of the layer’s pixels using the painting tools.
    • Lock Position: Prevents the layer’s pixels from being moved.

When the layer is locked, a lock icon appears to the right of the layer name. The lock icon appears solid when the layer is fully locked and hollow when the layer is partially locked. To unlock the layer, simply press the corresponding lock(s) you acquired on it.

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What does it mean to lock a layer in Adobe Photoshop?

You can lock layers fully or partially to protect their contents. Locking a layer fully means that all its content is protected from changes while locking partially means that either the position, transparency or pixels is protected from changes.

Locking a layer in Adobe Photoshop is extremely useful when you have a complex image with many layers and you want to make sure that you don't accidentally move or paint over or basically harm this layer in any way.

That's everything you need to know about the Adobe program. If you want to find out more about editing images, check out our guides on best way to edit pictures on iOS and best way to edit pictures on Android.

For more articles like this, take a look at our How To page.