In trying to reduce file size for PSD, does eliminating saved selections do anything? I've found lots of useful tips, but none relating to selections. Thanks.

  • 2
    Have you deleted them and looked?
    – Scott
    Commented Oct 1, 2014 at 15:41
  • Okay, so I finally had time to try it. Files are large illustrations. Starting with 3 layers @ 129MB. Eliminate 36 selections brings it down to 114MB. Adding a white fill layer on top drops it to 70MB (presumably because it doesn't have to save a preview). Now we all know.
    – sking
    Commented Oct 2, 2014 at 0:00
  • In other words, less layers + layer masks = smaller file size yes.
    – go-junta
    Commented Oct 27, 2015 at 23:03
  • May I ask why you need to reduce the PSD file size? Might be easier in the long run to invest in more memory.
    – DA01
    Commented Nov 27, 2015 at 0:53
  • Because I have to upload it and when the deadline's tight. I want to speed up the process.
    – sking
    Commented Jun 30, 2016 at 15:58

1 Answer 1


If I remember well, each type of layer can each easily add an extra 20mb+ to your unflatten .psd file at high resolution.

If you're using the same mask for many layers, you can group these layers in the same folder and use the mask on the folder instead.

But since you don't want to remove your selections or layers, there is something else you might want to try and that can help reduce the file size.

In Photoshop, all the layers that are not showing on your artboard are still "hidden" in the gray area around your design. If you imported big images that go off the working area, they are still calculated as pixels in your document and they add up to the weight of your file.

If you don't mind losing that kind of data, you can crop your psd file or erase these unused parts to get rid of that "dead weight". It's not always the ideal solution, but you can do some clean-up there on some layers.

How to lower the file size of an unflatten .psd Adobe Photoshop file

  • 1
    > "each type of layer adds a 20mb." I supose the layer size depends on the canvas size, the content of it, and the compression settings.
    – Rafael
    Commented Jul 28, 2015 at 21:09
  • I added some conditional specifications that the image is probably high resolution and a simple psd. I assumed it was high resolution since low resolution are rarely so heavy they need to be optimized when the layers are not flattened!
    – go-junta
    Commented Jul 29, 2015 at 20:45

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