I am using Photoshop CS5 and am encountering an odd issue:

I have simply layer A sitting on top of layer B.

When I select layer B, layer A becomes invisible. The visable/non-visable icon (the eye) on the layers tab is not toggled, nor are the positions of the layers switching (they arnt covering each other anyway). There are no filters set for either layer. Simply, when layer A is not selected, it goes invisible. This is reversible if I click on the area where layer A should be - it then returns.

Tried restarting PS but it still occurs.

Does anyone know if there is a setting to stop this?



4 Answers 4


First thing to all troubleshooting is to reset the Photoshop Preferences. Hold down Command-Option-Shift (Mac) or Ctrl-Alt-Shift (Windows) when you launch Photoshop to reset its preferences. Then see if the issue remains.

  • I wouldn't call trashing prefs the first thing in troubleshooting, but it's definitely the one that looks indicated here. :) Oct 19, 2012 at 18:43

I had an issue similar to this where all the layers disappeared occasionally for no consistent reason. I work with dual monitors - my MacBook Pro and a lower res external screen I use for menus and other clutter. I realized by accident that sometimes I accidentally move the photoshop window over both screens and thats when my layers disappear. When I move it back onto the MBpro screen fully, all my layers come back. It makes sense in that Photoshop can't show both screen resolutions at once. This bugged me for months until I realized it. Don't think this is the issue in this thread, but someone else may stumble by with the same problem...

  • 1
    Are you talking about actual layers or the layers panel? If the latter, it's not the same problem as the question
    – Luciano
    Apr 4, 2017 at 8:25
  • It's not the same problem but some of the behaviours are similar (all or occasionally some disappearing layers) which is how I wound up on this thread - As I mentioned, I only left the comment in case anyone else with my same problem came across this thread Apr 4, 2017 at 12:24
  • Actually you left an answer, not a comment. And layers disappearing is not the same as a panel disappearing. If you don't have an answer to the question, do not use the "Your answer" field. If you want to know more about the site, please see the help center. Keep contributing and enjoy the site!
    – Luciano
    Apr 4, 2017 at 12:27

This is still the case on CC 2017. I select 2 groups, have Auto-Select disabled, and the second I move them, layers in the 2nd group become invisible.

I have to move the 2nd group separately or click hide/show for it to reappear.


Did you import a clip of a video or worked with Timeline feature? (Under Window dropdown) If so, clear/ delete what's there, I was having the same issue and now it's working as it should!

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