15 Ways to Slim Down Your PSD File SIze

How to reduce file size in photoshop

A Photoshop source file is often hundreds of megabytes in size. Is there any way to reduce the file size? There are 15 ways you can use to reduce file size in Adobe Photoshop without losing image quality.

Adobe Photoshop PSD files are normally large. This can bring issues when you are uploading the file or sending it to a recipient.

Hence, you can use any of these 15 tricks to reduce file size in Adobe Photoshop. If you have limited space on your disk, these tricks can save you from deleting other files to save this specific one. Some methods are technical, while some are easy to perform.

1. Overlay the Plain White Layer

The first method is by overlaying the image with a plain white layer. Once done with editing your Photoshop image, create a new layer, take the paint bucket tool filled with white, then pour on the layer, and save your photo. This will help to reduce the file size.

Overlay white layer

Yes, this works because Photoshop's high-quality file previews are weighty; hence, adding the solid white layer makes it easier to preview. This saves on space. However, the downside is losing the nice file previews. If saving space is your priority when uploading, this method is efficient.

2. Merge Layers

If you have two effects on a particular effect, such as a light effect on the left and a light effect on the right, then you can merge the two light effects.

However, it can be a bit troublesome to make changes to your file later. Simply hold down the Shift key, select the two layers that you want to merge, and then right-click on “Merge Layers”. They will be merged and reduce the PSD file size. This method is appropriate if the file type won't need to be edited by the person receiving it.

Merge Layers

3. Clean Up Layers

In the process of designing an image in Adobe Photoshop, there will be unwanted layers. Therefore, before saving the PSD file, delete the unwanted layers to make the image file smaller.

Just right-click on the unwanted layers and select “Delete layer”. Remove all the duplicates and unused layers that you mistakenly created. If the recipient of the file doesn't need to see some stuff, delete it.

Clean Up Layers

4. Rasterize Smart Objects

Smart objects can operate on layers without damaging the source data. This means that all of your actions are stored as instructions. Simply rasterize by clicking on Layer > Rasterize > Smart Object.

Rasterize Smart Objects

Rasterize the smart object, and these instructions will be applied to the layers. Consequently, this will reduce the amount of storage space. When you rasterize, it's like taking away an image’s intelligence in terms of the different functions used.

5. Create Adjustment Layer

What would you do if you wanted to change the layer's color, contrast, and saturation? Do you change it in ACR? This will change the original image, possibly making the bigger.

We suggest you use the Adjustment Layer because it only records the changed data and does not apply to the original image. Simply click on Layer > New adjustment layer.

creating the adjutments layers

Then select the image effect from the Color Palette. This gives way to change the current effect by adjusting the layer.

6. Change the image size

You can adjust the Pixel dimension based on what scene, magazine, or album you are creating. On the top menu bar, select image > Image size.

Change the image size

As long as it doesn’t affect your printer resolution requirements, reduce the image pixel dimensions and resolution. Ultimately, this will reduce the image size, making it smaller.

7. Turn Off Layer Visibility

In this method, before you save the file, turn off all the layer eyes (layer visibility) so that the file will be partially shrunk when you finally save it. It's not clear how this works, but it works. You can decide to hide all the layers or just some.

Turn off layer visibility

However, be cautious when you start working on your PSD file again. If you are planning to save it as a JPEG, disregard this method. When you preview the image using any application, the hidden layer won't be visible. It is appropriate if you are just saving to work on it later.

8. Cut Out the Excess

If the target area is only a partial part, you can crop the canvas using the Crop Tool to remove the excess parts.

Simply use the shortcut “C”, drag the dotted box, select the part you want, and then press Enter. Alternatively, choose the crop tool on the right-hand menu bar or select Image > Crop.

Image Crop

9. Change file compatibility

The other method to reduce file size in Adobe Photoshop is by changing the compatibility. On the top menu bar, select Edit > Preferences > File Handling. Set “Maximize PSD File Compatibility” from to Never.

Set PSD File Compatibility

However, this may pose an issue if the image file is opened on another Photoshop version; there may be a file error. You can also set to ask if you want to decide on individual files.

10. Save your Photoshop image as a tiff file

You don't have to save your Adobe Photoshop file as a PSD. You can choose to save it as a.tiff file. The TIFF file saves all layers and can be edited again. This helps to make the file smaller while retaining image quality.

Simply click on File > Save As > .tiff format. After you save on your local device, a dialog box window will appear; set “Image compression” and “Layer compression” to ZIP before clicking OK. This may take some bit of time before it saves the TIFF file.

Photoshop image as a tiff file

11. Merge All Layers

Once you have finished your design, you can merge the layers into one layer. The pros and cons of all of this are fairly obvious.

Merge All Layers

The advantage is that merging greatly reduces the original file size, and the disadvantage of merging is that you can no longer edit them. This method is only appropriate if your file won't need to be edited again.

12. Compress to a ZIP archive

Suppose the file size cannot be reduced to your desired level after using the above methods.  Ultimately, compress the PSD file to a ZIP file. You use the same procedure you use while saving files. Simply save the PSD file on your local device, right-click > compressed zipped folder.

PSD to ZIP Archive

I recommend you use compression software like 7Zip and BandZip, which are free and have a higher compression rate.

13. Slimming Plug-Ins

This free scripting plugin can help you reduce the file size of your PSD.  Please click here to download our collection of Windows and Mac versions.

Step 1: Download the script plugin, unzip the folder.

Download script plugin

Step 2: Open your Photoshop software; in the menu bar, select File > Script > Browse.

photoshop script menu

Step 3: Select the sucaitu.jsx file, wait for the processing to finish. It may take a few seconds to minutes.

It is effective if you want to use a plugin to reduce your PSD file size.

14. Compress the Original Image Online

Yes, if the original file can be compressed, then the file size in the PSD will be greatly reduced.

Step 1: Open the image compressor website. It is an online tool you can use to reduce image size.


Step 2: Upload your file, and it will be compressed.

Upload your file

Step 3: Click on download to get your file in a zipped folder. Unzip to see your image file.

download zipped folder

You can use this method to compress batch photos or single photos.

15. Combine All approaches

Ultimately, we can compress the image in combination with some of the above methods to reduce it to the smallest possible size.

Combine All approaches to reduce psd size

First, compress the image using the online tool, crop all unnecessary parts, merge the layers, delete the hidden unnecessary layers, change the image file size, make the layers invisible by hiding them, add a white layer on top, and compress the final file to a zip format. This will still preserve the PSD file image quality.


If you have enough disk space, I recommend that you do not change the source files arbitrarily. After all, missing images are not retrievable, and redesigning is troublesome.

You can use a combination of these methods or specific ones that you feel will work best. It is important to reduce the huge file size in Adobe Photoshop to make it better. This is one of the most common questions asked in the Photoshop community.

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