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Layer panels are always collapsed when I open PS, I don't know how to fix this and no "Auto-Collapse Iconic Panels" is not enabled. I have to manually click each one to get them back to my preferred layout.
Reset your workspace to default, launch Photoshop. Maybe it's going to help.
When I have the Panels set up where I want them, I save them as a Custom Workspace and give it a name. Panels should then stay as they are, and in case they don't, you can fix that with Reset <Workspace name>. Resetting a Workspace is instant and not require a restart.
The quick way to get to your Workspace list as well as create new workspaces and delete or reset them, is to click on this down-pointing arrow located at the right side of the Option bar.
I've tried this already, resetting the workspace will reopen all the panels but if I close the program and reopen PS everything is collapsed again. I also tried creating and saving a new workspace but the problem still persists.
Yup, seems like reseting preferences did it and then I just reloaded my saved workspace.
So your last option is to reset preferences 😉
That's right. There are many custom settings I have to remember to put back when I reset. So it really is a last resort for me.