What to do if Photoshop Actions aren't working

photoshop actions not working


Photoshop Actions are a series of pre-recorded steps set to play out in Adobe Photoshop. Actions make use of Photoshop's built-in features. All LSP Actions and Presets are designed using Adobe Photoshop CC and Lightroom CC (Creative Cloud) and are up-to-date with the latest versions.

TIP: Always download your actions and back the folder up to a secure Drive should you need them again in the future


But what happens when Photoshop actions aren't working as they should? This troubleshooting 101 guide should help you fix any issues with your Photoshop Actions:


As I mentioned above, Photoshop Actions are pre-recorded steps and occasionally issues can arise if something is changed within the action. This is easily done and can be rectified by deleting the entire action set and re-installing from your original file. 

If your actions were working well to begin with, but have suddenly stopped performing, then 99% of the time it is down to one of the following issues and can be rectified by deleting, restarting and reinstalling: 

  • The actions were working well, but have now stopped working properly
    Please delete your actions, restart photoshop and reinstall your actions from your original purchased file. If they were working well before, it means something has been changed. Please make sure your corrupt set is definitely deleted before reinstalling.


  •  Nothing happens when you paint onto the layer mask box
    1: Please check your brush flow is set to 100% and your opacity to 100% to test the issue. If this corrects the issue, it means your opacity or flow were too low to notice your brush strokes. You can now adjust accordingly.

    2: You are accidentally painting onto the layer itself, not the mask. Please click on the layer mask box to paint.

    3. Your brush mode needs to be set to "NORMAL" (in the drop-down menu). If your brush is set to a different mode, this will not paint onto a layer mask well (ie pin light, overlay, linear light etc etc). Please change back to normal.

  • Background layer
    The actions need a Background layer to call upon whilst running. If you have cropped your image in Photoshop, there is a chance your base layer is now called "layer 0" which means the actions cannot run. Fix this by flattening your image before running any LSP Actions, or renaming your base layer "Background" This is a common cause of the error message "The command SELECT is not currently available"
  • There is a run issue with the order of your actions
    It is easy to accidentally click, record or toggle the order of your actions. Just one tiny change can break the line of commands set by your actions resulting in error messages as the actions are unable to complete their task. Again, remove, restart and reinstall.

  • Too many actions at once / too many layers
    It is important to flatten your image regularly in between actions. If too many action layers build up, it can play havoc with your runtime and can cause error messages/program errors. This depends a lot on your computer spec and how well photoshop can handle rendering lots of layers. Keep things clean and simple, if you worry about flattening please save back up versions. Sometimes, similar actions can conflict each with each other if your image isn't flattened. I recommend flattening every one or two actions to keep things running smoothly.
  • The actions have never worked properly
    This could be to do with your version of Photoshop - please check that your version is compatible [as mentioned above] before purchasing the actions as due to the nature of digital downloads, I cannot refund. If you are using an illegal copy of the latest Photoshop, the actions may well not play properly as not all features will be installed. Please always use the latest version of Adobe Photoshop CC/CS6 for best results. Please also check your Photoshop Preferences to ensure you are working using the maximum performance your computer allows.


Generally, if the actions worked well in the past and have now stopped working for you, removing and reinstalling is the only way to go.


If you are having issues with LSP Actions or Presets, please contact me at hello@lsp-actions.com or post in the LSP Actions facebook group :) www.facebook.com/groups/lemonskyactions if you are still having issues.


Note - LSP Actions work best in the later versions of Photoshop or Lightroom CC. Please bear in mind I cannot vouch for how well they will run in older versions of PS or PSE or in future updates to the software. By purchasing, it is assumed you know how to run and use Photoshop Actions as I am unable to reply to every email or personal message to walk you through, so for installation and set up basics please see the HELP section for more information and also the VIDEO GUIDES to get started. You can also join the private Facebook Editing group LSP Actions - the Photographers playground for near real-time chat and advice.

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