Photoshop 2019 flattening entire PSD files into a single layer - maintains large file size?

New Here ,
Feb 27, 2019 Feb 27, 2019

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Photoshop 2019 has been the worst experience i've ever had using this program. Every single project, and i repeat, every single project i have worked on in the 2019 version of photoshop has had this issue and it's getting on my nerves.

The program is corrupting the files, and flattening the PSD file into a singular black layer. All of the layers and the actual image is GONE, all while maintaining large file sizes. Example:

https://i.imgur.com/UsPaWCe.png  <--- still 300mb  file even tho it is 1 layer, reminder the program flattened it into a black image, NOT me.

this happens to every file i work on, this was a bug that occurred on previous versions as well, but on 2019 version it's just way too frequent along with the crashes and other bugs i'm experiencing. it just sucks paying for this garbage experience, what do i do?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 27, 2019 Feb 27, 2019

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Hi when you open the file what dialog you get ? for making any change on it let me know....Thanks

Ali Sajjad

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New Here ,
Feb 27, 2019 Feb 27, 2019

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not sure what you mean by dialogue, but when i open the file it just opens to reveal the black image. No warnings/errors ect. and i can draw on top of the black layer if i wanted to. . It feels like a gamble every time i close down my computer, will it corrupt my file THIS time?? oh, it did, time to work off of my last checkpoint i guess...just to remind you though, this has happened on every PSD file i work on in the 2019 version.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 27, 2019 Feb 27, 2019

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Try resetting your preferences and make sure actions and script have not been corrupted.  Photoshop flatting all files seems to only be happening to you. Others have not reported that CC 2019 is flatting all their work.

https://forums.adobe.com/search.jspa?place=%2Fplaces%2F1413024&sort=updatedDesc&q=2019+flattening

JJMack

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New Here ,
Feb 27, 2019 Feb 27, 2019

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i guess maybe not in 2019 there may not have been complaints. it seems like a rare issue or something.. i just did a quick google search and found this: Photoshop: PSD file missing all layers & folders, black background only when opened. | Photoshop Fam...

which is exactly what i'm experiencing. i have used previous versions of photoshop and have used photoshop on multiple devices and all of them have experienced this issue. I'm not sure what i am doing to cause this to happen. The only thing i change in photoshop are keybindings. No actions i have set up currently. i guess i'll just have to deal with it. thanks for the help though.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 27, 2019 Feb 27, 2019

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https://forums.adobe.com/people/Shafiq+Cromwell  wrote

i have used previous versions of photoshop and have used photoshop on multiple devices and all of them have experienced this issue. I'm not sure what i am doing to cause this to happen.

The problem seems to be on your machines you should try to find out where the propblem is. What are you installing on all devices that is causing your problem the CS6 problem you posted was posted 6 years ago.

JJMack

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New Here ,
Mar 06, 2019 Mar 06, 2019

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I've the same issue. Did anyone found a solution or a way to recover the file?

For me its not black, but still all layer is gone leaving only a background. No dialog prompted when opening the file, it just open like nothing is wrong.

The file size is still big 200mb.

I'm using photoshop 2019 20.0.3

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 06, 2019 Mar 06, 2019

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Photoshop should not flatten document on its own.  I have read some appends that state that layers may be unchecked when you use menu file save as.  I think some sequence of save as seened to cause that. Like a save as PDF followed by save as PSD.  If you miss checking Layers your document will be saved flattem.  The document should still be layed however the file will not be. If you then close the document without saving a layerd version you will loose your layers. Make sure layers is checked when you save your layerd documents.  I have not seen this problem for  I do not save PDF files using Photoshop.

JJMack

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New Here ,
Mar 06, 2019 Mar 06, 2019

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Hi,

Thanks for the reply, but that is not the issue. The original poster use the word "Flatten" out of confusion, but if you read the content it say:

"The program is corrupting the files, and flattening the PSD file into a singular black layer. All of the layers and the actual image is GONE, all while maintaining large file sizes. "

That the same issue i've experienced today. It's not flatten, if flatten the content / image is still there.

The issue is all content and layers are gone, but the file size still the same.

This is the first post i found about the issue from google, so just chip-in into the conversation to raise awareness and looking for a way to recover the file.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 06, 2019 Mar 06, 2019

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You have also use flatten.   Photoshop is not a file editor so it does not corrupt files editing image documents it just read the file to open the image document into Photoshop.  It is possible that Photoshop created a corrupt file saving a document because of a Hardware or Software issue. If the PSD File is flat and readable. It was saved flat and is not corrupt and the layers are gone.  If you have a corrupt PSD file or a PSD file the is flat but is large so you think it may still have layers I have seen some PSD file rescue software on the web you could see if any of the work on your corrupt PSD file.  The PSD file may be flat and large because of ancestor metadata.

JJMack

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New Here ,
Mar 11, 2019 Mar 11, 2019

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This is a real thing!

You close your Photoshop file that has maybe 50 layers in it and then you re-open it, and there's ... "Layer1"

SCREWED!

Maybe "maximize compatibility" is pooching something. So I've turned that off. But this is new.

It has happened twice in the last 2 days making the same complex image.

But I'm a 20+ yr photoshop user and this is terrifying  and maddening.

Has Adobe acknowledged anything yet?

Help us, Obi Wan

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 11, 2019 Mar 11, 2019

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Something must have saved over the  50 layer document  you opened.  For if you open a 50 layer document file play around with it in Photoshop even flatten it in Photoshop and close it without saving it.  The 50 layer document file you opened is still on your disk.  How can you open it one time and have 50 layer in Photoshop.  Then open the same file a second time and only have  layer 1.   Something  wrote over your file.... If you save over it are you sure Layers was checked in the  Save As  dialog. If you used Save and had flatten the document  I could see there could be just Layer 1.    The file had to have been over written. Could you have clicked on Save  or use Ctrl+S???  Photoshop does not save over files on its own..... Are you using any Action or Scripts the may save over files?  If this is a Adobe bug I think many would be complaining.

https://forums.adobe.com/search.jspa?place=%2Fplaces%2F1413024&q=Photoshop+flattening

JJMack

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 11, 2019 Mar 11, 2019

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If you know this is a problem, use backup tools like Window's own File History or any reputable third party backup tool and back up as often as necessary while you chase this problem down.

How to use Windows 10's File History backup feature | PCWorld

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 11, 2019 Mar 11, 2019

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mogz26  wrote

This is a real thing!

[snip]

Help us, Obi Wan

Can we try and tie this down?  What operating system are you using would be the first question?

Are there any contributing actions that cause this to happen?

Are these PSD, PSB or TIFF files?

Is it only after saving a document as a PSD file? I guess that seems like a given.

Do you need to close and reopen Photoshop to trigger the problem?

The Feedback site link takes us back.  It is six years old though, and with CS6 on a Mac system.  Chris Cox  — who no longer works for Adobe — used to tell folk to update their video card driver several times in an average week.  Myself and JJ are Windows users, but I have read the Known issues with Mojave pages, and did not notice that particular issue, and it's way too serious a problem not to have been made a big deal of. 

aggie168  Are you also using a Mac system, and if so, what version of OSX?

mogz26  How about you?

Are you saving to a local drive or server?  There are known issues with Photoshop and servers.

Have you tried opening the image in other apps that support PSD?  I am not so sure about Mac apps, but Faststone and Irfanview come to mind, but I don't know if they come in a Mac flavour.  Google is your friend I guess.  This is only for people who are seeing a black image.  PSD saves a flattened view as a matter of course, so is that intact?  Probably not.

You need to tie down the common denominator.

Turning off Maximize File Compatibility is potentially problematic depending on what functions you are likely to use going forward. Displacement Maps, are one thing that will not work unless that is set to Always.

Good luck guys.  It sounds like a killer problem.

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New Here ,
Mar 12, 2019 Mar 12, 2019

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I am running a MacBook Pro, 3.1 GHz Intel Core i7 with 16GB of RAM, OS Mojave 10.14.3, Photoshop 2019 20.0.2

I would save the file, then save as a pdf to create a smaller copy name it as xxxcopy.pdf. The pdf would get flattened when I unchecked layers in the dialog box. But here's the bizarre part, when I go back to the original .PSD that I first saved before making the .PDF and open it and all the layers are flattened into "Layer 1". Bizarre. It happened twice and the 2nd time I was really careful and sure that I saved the file as a PSD before I saved as a PDF but it still merged all the layers. Something is getting confused and the pdf seems to be overwriting the already saved PSD, even though they are different file types.

I have since upgraded to Photoshop 20.0.4. Standing by and hoping the upgrade fixes this.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 12, 2019 Mar 12, 2019

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The was an append recently about save as PDF will change Save as Layers check mark the if you save as PSD after that save as PDF the Layers will no longer be checked the you must do it or your document will be saved flattened. I think that is what is was and that Dave appended that.

Re: Photoshop merged my layers for me, can I recover

I never save PDF files using Photoshop.  Many users noet likel never do. I have not had your Problem.

JJMack

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Community Beginner ,
May 08, 2019 May 08, 2019

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I am seeing a similar issue. I have created 2 different files from 2 different blank document presets. Sent the PSD files to 2 different friends on 2 different systems who told me there were no layers. I doubled check on my end, then even went so far as to screen share with the first friend to show her where the layers were. She was accurate there was only one layer. The image was there but it was a flattened image in Layer 1 from the same PSD I was seeing layers on my computer. I ended up rebuilding the PSD from one of my own templates. Then my friend was able to see the layers. I suspect there is something going on with the document presets.

I have taken the second problematic file and opened it on my laptop and yet I see layers where my friend (#2) does not.

Problem Document Created on: Mac OS 10.12.6

Adobe Photoshop CC 20.0.0

My Laptop (layers ok):  Windows 10 Pro

Friend 1: OS 10.11.?,

Adobe Photoshop CC 19.??

Friend 2: OS 10.14.?

Adobe Photoshop CC 20.0.0

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 08, 2019 May 08, 2019

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Aside from updating to 20.0.4, try placing your PSDs in a folder and archiving the folder as a zip file, protecting it from anything in the file transport system corrupting them.

Gene

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Community Beginner ,
May 09, 2019 May 09, 2019

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Gene,

I did another test with my friend's help today. Zipping (compressing, archiving) the folder solved the issue on his end. Thanks for help avoiding any future problems.

Kristen

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 09, 2019 May 09, 2019

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Thanks for reporting back. This will definitely help others. I don't send many files, but I remember emailing files without archiving them can get corrupted in transit.

Gene

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New Here ,
Jun 06, 2019 Jun 06, 2019

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I just had this exact same problem sending a file to a client via email. They were seeing the file flattened into one "Background" layer. I zipped it and it worked. I'm using Mac Mojave (10.14.5) and Photoshop CC 2019 (20.0.4).

Maybe email is truncating some file info?

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New Here ,
Oct 03, 2019 Oct 03, 2019

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I had this problem and found this thread to check my sanity.  I then opened the file by opening up photoshop and selecting the file from the front page(i.e. not double-cliking the file in the file explorer window).  The layers appear to be there.  Did a quick save-as.

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New Here ,
May 29, 2020 May 29, 2020

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Hi, I have just had a similar issue. A large psd with several layers and adjustments has somewhere along the line ,without input from me, ended up as one flat black layer. The |psd was used in an indesign layout and this was forutnately exported before this happened. The psd is still 500megs in size so the info is there somewhere. Does anyone have any idea how i can hope to retrieve my work?

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New Here ,
May 29, 2020 May 29, 2020

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The method the user above describes did not work for me, nor does opening the psd from the links panel in indesign.

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New Here ,
Jan 16, 2021 Jan 16, 2021

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This just happened to me the first time ever. Exactly as described by othe users. 1.5G file with 100+ layers now opens as one layer of black. The file is still the same size, so the data is still there! I see this has happend to other users over the years, but no solution has yet been proposed. Thankfully, I save incrementally and lost only 10 hours of work.

 PSD recovery programs have not worked, I'm on Windows 10:

Adobe Photoshop Version: 20.0.1 20181029.r.41 2018/010/29: 1197484 x64

 

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