In photoshop, I have a layer with a mask.

I want to duplicate this mask to then apply it to another layer.

How can I do that?

4 Answers 4


The easiest way to duplicate a layer mask is by holding the Alt (win) or Option (mac) key while dragging the layer mask thumbnail to another layer in the layer panel.

  • Is this for both Mac & Windows OS?
    – Adriano
    Mar 6, 2016 at 16:47
  • 1
    @AdrienBe yes, sorry usually I put both. Updated to specify
    – Ryan
    Mar 6, 2016 at 18:37
  • 1
    To clarify: The modifier key (Alt / Option) needs to be held before the dragging operation is started. Jul 12, 2018 at 19:06

Here are the steps:

  1. Deselect everything.
  2. Ctrl + click (Cmd +clickfor mac) the mask you want to copy (be sure to click the mask thumbnail, not the layer name)
  3. Click on another layer (the one that you want to apply the mask you just selected)
  4. Finally click Add vector mask button (see pic below)

Add vector mask button

This is also explained on http://planetphotoshop.com/creating-and-duplicating-a-layer-mask.html


I discovered another way to duplicate a mask:

  1. Click on the mask thumbnail you want to duplicate;
  2. Click on the 'Load selection' button in the 'Properties' panel (or go to 'Select → Load Selection');
  3. In the 'Adjustments' panel, click a 'New Layer Type' button, or go to 'Layer → New Adjustment/Fill Layer'. The trick here is to remember to have the selection loaded first, otherwise you end up with a blank mask.
  • VERY useful when you don't have an Alt/Option key. Thank you!
    – Bruce
    Sep 13, 2018 at 21:02

Mask is already created on the existing layer.

1) Create a new layer

2) Right-click mask on Layers tab and select 'Add Mask To Selection'

3) Go back to the new layer

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