The time had come.
Two weeks shy of four years of steady operation, my computer hard drive decided it was time to die.
Thankfully, most of my stuff was backed up. But it turns out that there was something I thought was backed up, but actually wasn’t.
My Photoshop Actions.
I don’t use Photoshop a ton, but there are certain rote processes that I do on a regular basis that Actions really help make go more efficently.
Well, as I was getting back into my normal grind after the crash, I noticed that all the custom Actions I had made over the years were missing.
No sweat, I thought. They’re probably in some AppData folder somewhere, like where Adobe stores most of its other presets.
So I looked, and looked . . . and looked, and looked, and looked!
And I couldn’t find them anywhere.
And that’s because, unknown to me, those presets never were saved anywhere. I had always figured that if I had created the Action in the program, the corresponding preset file would be automatically created behind the scenes as well. Not so. After you create an Action, you need to save it if you ever want to see it again after a hard drive failure.
(UPDATE: a friend who read this post contacted me and helped me find where the Actions were stored! So the above paragraph is not actually true, thankfully. While it still is a good idea to save your Actions as I describe below, I will also mention below where the presets are stored as my friend showed me.)
So, this is what you have to do:
- Create an Action Set (oddly enough, individual actions can’t be saved to your computer; it appears that only sets of Actions can be saved)
- Create an new Action inside the Action Set
- Select the Action Set
- Go to the Action pallet menu
- Choose “Save Actions…”
- Save the .atn file wherever you want on your computer
After this crash, I decided I would start saving little preset files like this in one location. That way, I won’t have to go searching through all those hidden program folders in my backups every time my hard drives crash. So I created a new folder in Documents called, “In Case of Emergency” and synced it up to be backed up online automatically using Google Drive.
Hopefully this will help recovering random files from a hard drive failure a little easier next time. Little details make a big difference sometimes.
The Little Guy
Harrison County, West Virginia
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UPDATE: Ok, so here’s what my friend showed me I needed to do to restore my Actions without having to save them beforehand. FYI, I had already tried to do this, but I had done the process in the wrong order, so here’s the correct order:
- Close Photoshop
- Navigate to the following location on your backup: Users\[user name]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop [version]\Adobe Photoshop [version] Settings
- Copy the “Actions palette.psp” file
- Navigate to the following location on your computer: C:\Users\[user name]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop [version]\Adobe Photoshop [version] Settings
- Paste the “Actions palette.psp” file (the pasted one should be larger than the current one)
- Reopen Photoshop
And you should now be able to see your old Actions! Thank you Ben for showing this to me. 🙂