How to Unlock a Layer in Photoshop CS5

Occasionally you will encounter situations where you want to make an edit to an image in Photoshop CS5, but you are unable to do so because the layer that you want to edit is locked. This can be frustrating when you need to make an adjustment that you have previously been able to do on unlocked Photoshop layers. Fortunately it is easy to unlock a layer in Photoshop and gain access to all of the editing options that you usually have with unlocked layers.

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Unlocking a Photoshop CS5 Background Layer

We are going to use a background layer as our example for this tutorial, because that is the most commonly locked layer that most people will encounter. It is especially common for the background layer to be locked when you are dealing with a single layer image, such as a JPEG file. Unlocking that layer will allow you to make edits to the layer as if it were any normal layer that you had created in your Photoshop file.


Step 1: Open your image in Photoshop CS5.


Step 2: Locate the Layers panel at the right side of the window. If it’s not visible, press F7 on your keyboard.

locate the layers panel



Step 3: Click the lock icon on the locked layer, then drag it to the trash can at the bottom of the Layers panel.

drag the lock icon to the trash can



The lock will now be gone from the layer, and you will be able to make the edits that you had previously been unable to make because the layer was locked.

how to unlock a layer in photoshop cs5



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Find out how to draw a square or a rectangle in Photoshop CS5.