Is there a way to prevent Photoshop from including a mask with each Adjustment Layer I add (unless I have an active selection)?

More times than not, I don't use a mask on an Adjustment Layer. But when I do, it's something I created - from a selection, a path, or a mask rendered with 3D software that I paste in. If I didn't have anything selected, I don't know why Ps would want to create a blank (solid white) mask with the Adjustment Layer. It doesn't change the look, but adds more pixel data, increasing file size. It also makes it harder to distinguish the layers I actually did create masks for, from the ones to which Ps just added them by default. Adding a mask later if desired takes just 1 click, but removing an unwanted mask requires 2.

So I am constantly R-Clicking on these masks and deleting them almost every time I add an Adjustment Layer. It's hindering my efficiency. Just a second or two here and there, but it starts to add up.

And come to think of it, it's not only Adjustment Layers that come with such unwanted masks, but Solid Color Fill Layers too.

Is there a way to change this behavior so that masks will only be added when a new layer is added while an area is selected?


1 Answer 1


Yes, it's an option in the Adjustments panel:

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When it's turned off masks will be added only if there's an active selection in the document.

  • 1
    Thank you! And I see that the setting is universal across all documents (not only for the current document). Also After quitting and re-launching Ps, it is still remembered. It's very helpful to know this. Seems there is no equivalent setting for Color Fills, but oh well - Adjustments were my main concern.
    – Mentalist
    Commented Jun 17, 2020 at 6:32

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