5 Ways to Reduce PSD Size | TrickyPhotoshop

Home / Photoshop / Photoshop Tips / 5 Ways to Reduce PSD Size | TrickyPhotoshop

Hey guys I am Vaibhav and I am back with a new tip for Photoshop lovers. Today I am going to show you 5 Ways to Reduce Your PSD Size. Last time I discussed about Brightening the Whites of an Eye in Photoshop which is really a recommended tutorial for studio and fashion photographers. Today I am going to talk about reducing your Photoshop file size i.e. your PSD size which really becomes huge in size if the precautions are not taken properly. This huge size creates lot of problems when you need to deliver to your PSD to your client. Suppose your PSD size in 100 MB and you need to deliver 100 PSD’s then the total size will be more than 10 GB which I think takes lot of time to delivers. Apart from this will also fill up your hard drive with 10 GB.

TIP 1: Use Adjustment Layer’s for Blending Modes

I have seen many photographers (even myself) sometimes duplicates a layer and change their Blend Mode to Screen, Overlay etc. to bring life to the image. Duplicating a Layer increases the PSD size drastically. Let me demonstrate you this fact with an example. In the below screenshot, my initial file size is 46 M.


As my image is too much underexposed so if I try to duplicate my “background” layer and then if I change the Blend Mode to Screen, my file size will become twice the initial size.


Instead of that if I create a new adjustment layer and then change the blend mode to Screen, my PSD size will not exceed. In the below screenshot you can see that instead of duplicating a “background” layer I have created a new adjustment layer and then I changed the Blend Mode to Screen. By doing this my PSD size is still 46M.



TIP 2: Hide All The Layers Before Saving

This tip might not be suited for everyone but this tip also decreases the PSD size by 10-20%. In the below screenshot you can see that I have duplicated my layers couple of times to increase my PSD size.


After saving the image in PSD, my file has become 198 MB.


If I turn off the visibility of all the layers then my PSD size should be decreased.


After saving the image in PSD, my PSD size is decreased by 70 MB. Now it is 128 MB.


TIP 3: Create a New Layer at the Top and Fill it With White

This tip might look weird but it also decreases the file size by 20-30%. In the below screenshot you can see that I have duplicated my background layer couple of times to increase my file size.


if I save the file in PSD format, my file size id 198 MB.


Now I am creating a new layer at the top of the layer panel. To create a new layer press Ctrl+Shift+N/Cmd+Shift+N. Now fill this layer with white color just like shown below.


After this save the image is PSD format and my PSD size is reduced to 160 MB which is nearly 40 MB less than the original size.


TIP 4: Turn Off “Maximize Photoshop Compatibility”

This tip might not be suited for everyone. If your “Maximize Photoshop Compatibility” is turned on then whenever you save your image in PSD format, Photoshop also saves a flatten version of all the layers. This flatten layer is compatible with the older versions of Photoshop, Lightroom, InDesign and many other applications. But this process also increases your PSD size. But if you are saving your PSD for your own use or personal use then there is no point to maximize your PSD compatibility because you are already using newer version of Photoshop.

To turn off this option, go to Edit>Preferences>File Handling and the change the “Maximize PSD and PSB Fie Compatibility” to Never.


After saving the file, the size should be decreases by 20-30%. As we know that our initial PSD size was 198 MB which we calculated in TIP #2 and now our file size is reduced to 159 MB.


TIP 5: Always Compress Your PSD Before Sending

This is really a life saving tip. If we compress our PSD file to RAR format, the size would reduce drastically. Usually it reduces by 40-50%. In our tip #2 I showed you that my PSD size is 198 MB. But if I compress it to RAR format my PSD size is reduced to 118 MB. There are lots of software presents to compress your PSD to RAR format but I basically prefers WinRAR.


All Tips Applied At Once

If I apply all the tips that we just discussed above in my image then my PSD size is reduced by 50%. The initial size was 198 MB and now the size is 94.6 MB which is approximately 50%.



Some Other Known Facts

Now I am going to write some more tips to reduce PSD and PSD size and I guess that you might have already aware of these tips. But I think it would be nice if I write them also.

  • If you are using Photoshop CS6 then always turn on Delete Cropped Pixels when you are cropping an image. This feature is not available in CS5 and older versions. Read my tutorial about Cropping an Image in Photoshop.
  • Delete unused layer and adjustment layers.
  • Delete the white “Background” layer if the white “background” layer is not contributing to your image.
  • Change the resolution to 72 pixels per inch if you are using Photoshop for designing purpose.
  • Change the mode to CMYK if you are using Photoshop for designing purpose. Read my tutorial where i discussed about RGB Color vs. CMYK Color.
  • If your image contains only vector layers then there is no point for saving your work in large dimension. You can save it as small dimension (400 pixels for longer edge) and then whenever you need the design in larger format just increase the file dimension by press Ctrl+Alt+I/Cmd+Alt+I. Read my tutorial where I discussed about Raster Image vs. Vector Image.


And we are done here.

Read my next tutorial where I will be discussing about Removing Eye Veins using Photoshop.

Also read : Lesson 2 – Google Page Rank and Alexa Rank

Thank you for reading this tutorial. Hopefully we’ll meet again in four days.

Vaibhav Sharan
Vaibhav Sharan
Hello guys I am Vaibhav Sharan and was born in 1992. I am pursuing electrical and electronics and also a self learnt Photoshop enthusiast. Check out my new website: FixMyLifestyle.
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Showing 4 comments
  • Michael

    I read your article, 5 Ways To Reduce PSD File Size, and am wondering if you can offer some insight to a file size problem I’m having. Your article and tips are great and I will certainly use them going forward. For now, however, I’m having an issue with tiff files that I can’t figure out. Here’s an example: I open a 40 mb tiff (no previous editing), add one curves adjustment layer, and save the file using LZW, Interleaved, IBM PC, and RLE. My file balloons in size when saved to 133 mb. Again, it’s a simple tiff with no previous editing and the curves adjustment layer is the only change (no resizing, nothing). If I save the same file as a psd it jumps to 86 mb. Meanwhile, the onscreen Document size remains at 44.9/44.9 for the psd.If I delete the single adjustment layer the psd file size drops to 45.9 mb. Why is the adjustment layer causing the file size to so dramatically increase whether it a tiff or psd file? Any ideas? Thanks!

    • Vaibhav

      Hello Michael,

      Glad that you like the tutorial.

      Regarding to the TIFF file, I am not very much sure about it. To be honest, I rarely use TIFF file. I usually use PSD, NEF. CR2 or JPEG formats.

      The most probable answer that I can say is that the file size does not jumps up because you have added one extra adjustment layer. The reason may be the details that the adjustment layer brings to the image. Generally, more the details more will be the file size.

      Best Regards,

      • Michael

        Thanks for the reply. This also happens when using PSD files. If I flatten the image (whether psd or tiff) the saved file returns to its normal size. This happens on any random file I select. Perhaps you could try this out on your installation of Photoshop?

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