Clive R. Haynes FRPS

Why do it?

Locking the 'Preferences' folder (as a 'Read Only' setting) will cause Photoshop to open in the way you choose every time. This is especially useful if you're in the habit of leaving all sorts of 'odd settings' when you close down. 'Locking' reduces the unnecessary build-up of 'Temp' files (.TMP) at close down. It also means that if other people use Photoshop, the way that they leave the settings will not be 'remembered' and so when you return, the layout, preferred tools and other settings will be as you require and as you are familiar with.

OPTION: Often, the best practice is to delete the Preferences folder via 'Explorer' - this will simultaneously delete any minor glitches that may have accumulated and so to start afresh - To find the folder go via the route described below. However, this is only an option, you can proceed without deleting the folder.

However before deleting, make note of the preference settings as you had them set - they are probably largely OK. However, in the event of a problem you can return to the starting point! (You could make a copy of the prefs' folder if you prefer).

Finding the Prefs folder This varies from version to version.

Go to Windows Explorer - find this by right clicking on the Windows 'Start' Button (at bottom left of computer screen) > click on Explore

Photoshop 5 and 5.5 route

Explore > C Drive > Program Files > Adobe > Photoshop 5.5 > 'Adobe Photoshop Settings' folder > Adobe Photoshop 5.5 Prefs.psp.

Photoshop 6 route

Explore > C Drive > Windows > Application Data > Adobe > Photoshop > 6.0 > Adobe Photoshop 6 Settings > Adobe Photoshop 6 Prefs.psp


Having found the folder by the correct route above

Open P'shop

Set up P'shop as you wish to open it every time this will include the position of all the palettes, ideal brush sizes, preferred grad settings etc.

Set the General Preferences and your preferred palette options too (including order, position and what tools you wish to open with, brush size & choice, etc. AND Printer Space (via print menu) - Bruce RGB.

Refer to 'Setting Your Preferences' in the Know-How page list (choose the version you need) for more details about Preferences.

Close P'shop - this saves the preferences as set.

Return to the Adobe preferences folder via Explorer, highlight it and RH click > choose 'Properties' - tick the 'Read only' box. 'Archive ' will also be ticked with 'Hidden' unticked (off).

Next time you close Photoshop and don't worry about the 'Cannot Save Preferences warning', it'll be OK (this will happen each time from now on because the 'read only' box is ticked - BUT remember this is your safeguard against preference changes and internal glitches).

When, from time to time changes to preferences are be needed, go to the Photoshop Prefs folder, right click, choose Properties, untick the 'read only' box. Return to Photoshop and the make the changes. Close down. Back at the Prefs folder- re-tick the 'read only' box and away you go.

Create a Settings Shortcut

I've found it a good idea to create a 'shortcut' to the Photoshop Settings (not 'Prefs) folder and place on it on the 'Desktop' - this gives speedy access when required. Simply open the shortcut and right click on 'Prefs' to tick/untick the 'Read only' box in 'properties'.