Fix: Keyboard Shortcuts are Not Working in Photoshop

Have you checked your Sticky Keys settings?

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keyboard shortcuts not working photoshop windows 11

Adobe Photoshop is the industry standard for digital design, loved and used by the online community daily. However, when keyboard shortcuts stutter or fail, it can significantly slow down any project or your overall productivity on Windows 11. 

Whether you’re a seasoned designer or just dabbling in photo editing, these glitches can be more than just a minor inconvenience in both Photoshop and Photoshop CC.

How do I fix my keyboard shortcuts if they aren’t working in Photoshop?

1. Reset workspace settings

  1. Open Photoshop.
  2. Go to Window in the menu bar > Workspace > Reset [Your Current Workspace].
  3. Restart Photoshop and check if the shortcuts are operational.

2. Disable Sticky Keys

  1. In Windows 11, type Settings in the search bar and click on it.
  2. Locate Accessibility > under Interaction, click on Keyboard.
  3. Turn off Sticky Keys.
  4. Re-launch Photoshop and test the shortcuts.
Note icon NOTE
Also, look for any other related settings (like Filter keys) that might interfere with your keyboard shortcuts.

3. Update Photoshop

  1. Open Photoshop.
  2. Click on Help in the menu bar > Updates.
  3. If updates are available, download and install them. Re-open Photoshop afterward.

4. Reset Photoshop preferences

  1. Close Photoshop.
  2. Relaunch Photoshop while holding down Ctrl + Alt + Shift (Windows) or Cmd + Option + Shift (Mac). A dialog will ask if you want to delete the Photoshop settings file; click Yes.
  3. This resets Photoshop preferences to default. Check if the issue is resolved.

Note: Resetting preferences means custom settings will be lost, so ensure you’ve saved or noted any custom configurations.

5. Check for software conflicts

  1. Close Photoshop and any other running applications. Check Windows 11’s Task Manager to ensure all app instances have been closed.
  2. Reopen Photoshop and test the shortcuts.
  3. If shortcuts are functional, open other applications individually to identify potential conflicts. Once identified, consider updating or replacing the conflicting software.

You can troubleshoot and resolve most keyboard shortcut-related issues in Photoshop by systematically working through the above solutions. Regular software updates and occasional preference checks can preemptively combat such problems, ensuring a frictionless design experience.

If you want to know more about why shortcuts aren’t working in Photoshop, here are some common causes:

  • Custom Workspace Settings: Occasionally, adjusting or switching between workspace settings can reset keyboard shortcuts.
  • Sticky Keys: This accessibility feature might unintentionally activate, affecting shortcut behavior. If your Shift or CTRL keys are affected, this might be the cause.
  • Outdated Photoshop Version: Running an outdated version may result in specific key shortcuts malfunctioning.
  • Corrupted Preferences File: Photoshop’s preferences file might get corrupted over time.
  • Conflicts with Other Software: Other running software can sometimes interfere with Photoshop’s operations. Checking your keyboard driver or resetting to default settings could do the trick here.

When keyboard shortcuts are not working in Windows 11 for different apps, it can heavily slow down your workflows, and Photoshop CC is not the only one with this problem. Users reported the same for Chrome, Microsoft Word, or even Microsoft Excel, but we’ve found fixes.

Many also complained that Ctrl + D shortcut it not working, but we addressed this issue in one of our recent guides.

Creative Cloud is one of the most complete sets of applications out there, and if you’re having issues with key shortcuts or custom shortcuts in any of its other apps, let us know in the comments section below.

More about the topics: Adobe Photoshop, Keyboard issues, Windows 11