I have Photoshop documents with layers organized into groups, and some of the groups are nested within other groups.

When I move them around, auto-select is set to group. The whole "parent" group moves. I have 5 other groups within, which means all 5 are moving. This is not what I want.

I would like to be able to select a group within parent/top group and move it individually.

Is this possible?

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    Jul 16, 2015 at 13:20
  • Just click on the group that you want to move in the Layers Panel
    – Manly
    Jul 16, 2015 at 14:58

2 Answers 2


Everything inside a group will move together, that is the point of grouping objects. If you want to move a child group then you will need to select the inner group in the layers panel.

Auto-Select will not select the inner groups but will only select the Parent Group. To select inner groups you must make sure Auto-Select is unchecked.

Your groups might look something like this. 1 Parent group holding several child groups. You must manually select the inner group. Now everything in Child Group 1 will move together but Child Group 2 & Child Group 3 will not be effected.


  • 2
    Once you deselect Auto-Select you can just right click on your image to select the Group.
    – Ryan
    Jul 16, 2015 at 14:14

As stated in the other answer, there is no native way to select nested groups in Photoshop on the Canvas directly. But there is a shortcut for selecting nested layers (not groups)

With the Move tool selected, hold Ctrl/Cmd + Alt and right click on the visible part of the layer and it will be selected and movable. Just the layer (not the group).

I thought it was worth mentioning.

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