When I go to open a GIF I have saved on PSE, it comes up as only the first layer and it's locked. I go to mode and unlock the layer, but it's not a gif anymore, just a still of the first layer. How do I fix this so all the layers show up?

(Photoshop Elements v. 6)

3 Answers 3


Not sure if you can do that in Elements.

But if you are willing to install GIMP(dot)org which is free, you could simply open the GIF in GIMP, which will import all the frames as layers, then Export as a PSD from GIMP. Then open the exported PSD in Elements, and all the layers should be there for you to edit.

Or perhaps just edit the GIF entirely in GIMP . . . it's more complex than Elements, but also more advanced.


Try re-opening the GIF from the menu using File > Open video frames as layers. I'm not positive if Elements has that capability, but it's worth a shot.

Edit: If that fails, try one of the online GIF extractors/exploders, like http://gifmaker.me/exploder/


Photoshop Elements is a cut-down version of Photoshop without all its big brother's features, however, you can download a free version of Photoshop CS2 (with Image Ready) Mac / Windows which will open the Gif (despite being 10 years old now). Link for procedure here: (3rd Party) Download here or go to Adobe's website. Nothing illegal although you do have to sign up for an Adobe account to activate the software.

Open the gif-file in Imageready. Go to File: Edit in Photoshop

The free CS2 offer began in 2013. As far as I can tell its still running, (although I haven't check it recently). There may be a later version now.

Hope this helps

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.