Photoshop CC to 2014: Where’s my stuff? (Settings, workspaces, presets, panels, plug-ins)

Some common questions came up after the 2014 release of Photoshop CC which were mainly centered around the theme of “Where is my stuff?”… more specifically:

Welcome2014Why a separate, new version for 2014?

“Why do I now have two versions of Photoshop installed?” is  is at the heart of the confusion. The 2014 release of Photoshop CC (2014.x) is a completely separate application from Photoshop CC (14.x). But, why?

The most common reaction is: “I thought the whole idea around Creative Cloud was there wasn’t going to be new versions…just continuous updates.” In theory, yes, but there are times when software and hardware changes require us to make more radical changes to the application. We may need to change hardware or OS compatibility as we continually modernize our software. We may need to cull some existing features as part of an architectural spring cleaning. Some applications may need to make changes to their file format. Some changes may break compatibility with old plug-ins or device drivers.

In the past, we regularly released separate, full versions that you could go back to for compatibility reasons – perhaps to work with a client on an older version, or to eke out a few more years from an ancient computer, scanner, printer or favorite plug-in that was no longer being developed. If you’re a long time Photoshop user, you’ve lived through compatibility changes with shifts from 32-bit to 64-bit OSs and hardware, and older shifts for things like OS9>Mac OS X, PPC>Intel, etc.

With the 2014 release, there were enough major changes to necessitate the release of a new full version. By default, we install full new versions on release, however you can uninstall the prior version if you like.

In the future, should the need to release a new full version arise, I’d like to see us provide a way to replace the current version by default, but also offer a way for you to decide if you want both versions installed.

Why aren’t my settings, workspaces and presets synced?

Photoshop has provided a way to Migrate Presets between versions since CS6. In CC, the idea of Sync Settings was introduced. There currently are some subtle differences/behaviors between Migrate Presets and Sync Settings that need to be considered.

  • Sync Settings synchronizes settings between installations of the same major version of Photoshop. For example, settings are synchronized between a Photoshop CC version 2014.0 installation and a Photoshop CC version 2014.1 installation.
  • Sync Settings does not synchronize settings across installations of different Photoshop major versions. For example, Photoshop CC version 14.1 settings are not synchronized with an installation of the 2014 release of Photoshop CC (2014.0).
  • Migrate Presets works to migrate your presets from one major version of Photoshop to another major version of Photoshop locally on a single computer. For example, if you have Photoshop CC, you can migrate your presets from Photoshop CC (14.x) to the 2014 release of Photoshop CC (2014.x) if they are installed on the same computer.

There are two ways to Migrate Presets:

  • When you first launch the newer version of Photoshop, you are prompted to migrate the presets/settings. Choose Yes.
  • At any point in time, select Edit > Presets > Migrate Presets to migrate settings.

After you Migrate Presets from Photoshop CC (14.x) to the 2014 release of Photoshop CC (2014.x), you can use Sync Settings to synchronize those settings across computers on which the 2014 release of Photoshop CC (2014.x) is installed.

In the future, I’d like to see us auto-magically handle Preset Migration and Sync Settings for any update, whether it’s a minor version update or a full version upgrade so that when you launch the new version, all your settings, workspaces and presets will be available.

Where are my plug-ins? Where are my Extensions? Why is the Extensions menu disabled?

3rd party plug-ins using their own installation mechanism aren’t automatically moved or syncronized between major versions. Often, 3rd party plug-ins put required files for things like DRM (activation) in directories outside the plug-in folders. For this reason, just moving the plug-ins between versions can sometimes break things. It’s always best to go to the 3rd party developer’s website and download the installer for the latest compatible version.

If you installed extensions in CS6 or CC (v14) using the Extension Manager, your 3rd party extensions aren’t automatically synchronized between major versions. Further, extension panels using Flash are no longer supported. We’ve worked with 3rd party developers to migrate most panels to use the new SDK/HTML5 so they are compatible with the 2014 release of Photoshop CC.

There is good news for customers who use plug-ins and panels. With the advent of Adobe Add-ons, add-on products (including extension panels, plug-ins, scripts and presets) installed from the Add-ons site will automatically be synchronized between desktops and compatible application versions.

In the future, I’d like to see us continue to work with 3rd party developers to use Adobe Add-ons such that the synchronization story is stronger for plug-ins and extensions panels.

We’d love your feedback!

Let me know if you have any feedback on other improvements you’d like to see. You can share your feedback here in the comments section or via the following links:

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