This is annoying. I've been using PS since v2.5. I'm using PS CC 20.0.1 release. They must have recently changed this feature but in the past, when I selected an area of a layer and hit delete, the removed selection would be transparent. Now it is filling with the fill color of the 1st layer. I've googled and looked on SX and the solutions I've seen are that I need to unlock the layer (it's not locked) and make sure it is not the background. It isn't. (See images)

enter image description here

I am trying to delete a selection on layer 3. It is not locked.

Here's is the selection:

enter image description here

Here is what is happening on delete. Which is not what I want.

enter image description here

So, how can I get PS CC back to functioning the way it has for the past 20 years or so? TIA.

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    Your last image shows the selected area transparent allowing to see the orange color from the background (layer 1)... To make this area totally transparent you should press delete at the Layer 1 (the orange filled layer). – user120647 Nov 2 '19 at 15:57
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    …or switch off all layers except the one you're deleting from. It just looks like what you see is the layers behind, not a fill. – Tetsujin Nov 2 '19 at 16:08
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    Looks like this is normal behaviour. You appear to be deleting from Layer 3 only. The orange background is on Layer 1, and is simply unaffected by the deletion. Photoshop has always worked this way. – Billy Kerr Nov 2 '19 at 18:59

What's happening here is that your selection is becoming completely transparent on that layer, which results in showing what's on the highest visible layer below your current layer. In this case, this the fill from Layer 1. As far as I know, this is a behavior that has remained constant for some time. I cannot say for certain but this is how Photoshop handles deletion of a selection since I've been using it which was sometime in the midst of CS4's software lifecycle. To make that entire selection transparent on all layers by deletion, you would need to make the selection on the layer you want to delete information from, and then use that same selection on any other layer which shows information below it.

This being said, using deletion is typically the wrong way to go in any scenario for multiple reasons, one of them being that one should never ever delete information in a way that cannot be undone. If you ever have a problem where you need to revert and have no "undo's remaining" (such as if you saved/closed/reopened the file), you'll be stuck and you may have to end up redoing/replicating elements, which may or may not go as intended.

Instead, use layer masks. In this scenario, you would make your selection on a layer, then click the "add layer mask" button on the layers panel. This will allow you not only to make specific areas transparent for a given layer, but this layer mask can be easily copied to other layers. Additionally, if you ever wanted to revert the change, simply delete the layer mask(s) and you're back to what you had before (or even better, "disable" the layer masks so you don't lose your selection/mask configuration either). Additionally, this can also help with saving selections that you may want to reproduce later for other operations without going through the hassle of making the same selection all over again.

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