How to Move Photoshop Actions & More to Photoshop CS5

Adobe Photoshop CS5

Are you considering an upgrade to Photoshop CS5?  Did you already purchase CS5 and are unsure how to move over your products, like Photoshop actions? It can take a little bit of time and preparation, but setting up Photoshop CS5 should be fairly easy.

If possible, start preparing before the program arrives via mail or prior to downloading.

  • Make a list of all products that you currently use that did not come with Photoshop (for example Photoshop actions, scripts, filters, plug-ins, brushes, patterns, styles, etc.)
  • Then make a second list of the items you actually want to bring with you.  On this one write down the products you want to see again.  Just because you downloaded and installed something in an older version, does not mean you actually use them.  Think of this as spring cleaning.  You do not want to load your new Photoshop with non-essential stuff.
  • After creating the list, you may want to check with the designers and companies to see that their products are compatible with Photoshop CS5All MCP actions that worked in CS4 and also worked in CS5.  If you use an older version, it likely will work too.  The Tell a Storyboards did have to be redone when CS4 launched.  So if you purchased them prior to the release of CS4, and never upgraded to it, contact me with your receipt for the CS4+ version (which also works in CS5). While certain actions could have issues, hence why you want to contact the designer, most will probably work.
  • Once you have this list, you need to locate each item (where it lives outside of Photoshop).  For Photoshop actions, as an example, you may have them saved on your desktop or in a folder already.
  • On your desktop, so it is easy to locate, create a master folder that says “Photoshop Products” and then have sub folders inside for each type of product you have downloaded in the past.
  • Unfortunately scripts and plug-ins have more that can conflict with upgrades.  So for example, if you own, Imagenomic Portraiture or Noiseware, you may want to contact them directly and ask if your current version will work and the best way to Install. Filters do not load in, they actually have installers.
  • For Scripts, you will need to manually need to move them from the folder in your older version of PS into the Photoshop CS5 folders.  Just find your original instructions from the script maker or contact them, to learn how to move these over.  Again, check compatibility first.
  • For products like tool presets, actions and brushes, the process is easy. And the directions below apply.
  • Go to the folder you created on your desktop labeled Photoshop actions, and move over all the actions you want to keep.  For those you cannot locate, or that you created and never saved, go into Photoshop and save them from the actions palette into this new folder you created.

installing actions in photoshop CS5

Now what? So you have brushes, actions, tools, and more all saved into folders. Once PS CS5 arrives, first install the program. Organize your workspace, and then start loading in the fun stuff. To do this, go to the drop down menu, navigate your way to where you saved everything, click on a specific action set, and then it will load. Do this for each product.

Previous post
Photoshop Actions to Add Life to Your Photos: A Blueprint
Next post
Watermark Your Images in Photoshop CS5: FREE & EASY


  1. […] 1 votes vote How to Move Photoshop Actions & More to Photoshop CS5 Are you considering an upgrade to Photoshop CS5?  Did you already purchase CS5 and are unsure […]

  2. May 5, 2010 at 2:02 am — Reply

    follow minibooks cover Photoshop fundamentals plus the newest tools and techniques. Windscreens Pop Filters

  3. May 5, 2010 at 5:07 pm — Reply

    Will this work if you’re moving your actions from a PC to a Mac?

  4. May 6, 2010 at 2:29 am — Reply

    Thanks for sharing…

  5. May 6, 2010 at 8:42 am — Reply

    I want to win one.

  6. May 19, 2010 at 12:59 pm — Reply

    You can also drag and drop the actions from the storage folder onto the PS desk top and they will load, very fast and easy.

  7. June 9, 2010 at 7:10 pm — Reply

    Thank you! I just upgraded and was frustrated with the process. This helps. 🙂

  8. June 9, 2010 at 10:55 pm — Reply

    After over an hour trying to get such info from Adobe, your site cleared it all up. I’ll be back to look at your products!

  9. Elizabeth Paulsen
    October 9, 2010 at 11:46 am — Reply

    Still having problems…I have moved from PC to Mac and upgraded to CS5 at the same time. Actions are loaded but are not working on photos. Did I miss a step in activating them? Oh so frustrated! eli

  10. Dennis Leser
    November 1, 2010 at 1:11 pm — Reply

    I read your article to find out how to get my brushes from CS$ to CS5 but other then tell me how simple it is, I still don’t have a clue.

  11. Deb
    July 19, 2011 at 11:50 am — Reply

    I really appreciate your specific and concise explanations. I looked for directions at Adobe too. These were excellent and moved me to the next step…having fun with actions!
    Thanks a lot.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *






How to Move Photoshop Actions & More to Photoshop CS5