There's already a post similar to this, which describes there is no built in shortcut to deselect multiple layers, but I can clarify my problem a bit.

control + click will select a layer in Photoshop. control + shift + click will select multiple layers.

However, after i've selected multiple layers, if I try control + click again on a single layer, it won't deselect those multiple layers and only select the one layer.

Is there some way around this, such as by deselecting a layer with some key combination, or something? I don't want to resort to custom keyboard shortcuts. I want to have a fast workflow using Photoshop on anyone's desk.

  • 1
    So let me get this straight... You have found a solution, but you don't want to "resort to custom keyboard shortcuts", so that doesn't work for you? Alright… Secondly, if you can select with ctrl+click but you can't deselect with it, then something is wrong with your photoshop.
    – Joonas
    Commented Nov 26, 2014 at 8:08

5 Answers 5


... Deselect those multiple layers and only select the one layer

If you only want to select one layer:

  • Click on the layer

  • Good times commence

  • Only one layer is selected

  • Woohoo


In all seriousness though...

Am I missing something here?


I'm not sure if i got your question right, but using command+click (which is equivalent to ctrl+click on windows) it will deselect that one layer, but only if he's been selected before. You can deselect multiple layers by using shift+click but it will deselect every single layer from that layer on, you can't draw an area - as far as i know.


I know exactly what you are referring to and I also find it frustrating. I don't like to go to the layer panel and click on each layer i want to edit. That dude that answered with a gif didn't read your comment at all. I usually Ctrl + click on several layers at a time and deselecting all of them wasn't easy.

Ctrl+Click will unhighlight all layers and you can just Ctrl+Click to select the one you want to modify again. That really is the easiest way.


This is for Illustrator did not check if it also works in photoshop but I assume it to be the same.

I managed to find the solution after this topic didn't give me the answer. Holding Shift and clicking on the green squire enables deselecting.

What I mean by enable is that holding Shift and pressing the circle before it does not work at first.

After deselecting a layer on the green square only then does Shift+L Click also deselect a layer on the circle.

Not really important but try looking for the difference as for now Shift +L mouse on the green squire selects or deselects a layer.


Ctrl + click in the document window and outside the canvas area with the move tool. This will deselect all the layers.


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