When file-sharing or emailing PSDs as an attachment, you might encounter a file size limit that prevents you from uploading your file.

An easy trick for making your Photoshop file size smaller is to hide all of its layers. This trick was shared to me by designer and Design Instruct author, Mikolaj Podlasek. He was emailing me a Photoshop file, and gave me a heads-up that all of the layers were hidden because he wanted to reduce the PSD’s file size.

How to Hide All the Layers of a PSD File

There are several methods for hiding all the layers of a PSD file. One way is to select all the layers in your Layers panel and then in Photoshop’s main bar choose Layer > Hide All Layers.

All layers in a Photoshop file selected

Photoshop Hide All Layers command

You’ll know that all your layers are hidden when the canvas is blank and when there are no "eye" icons on the left of the layer names.

A Photoshop file where all layers are hidden.

After hiding your layers, re-save your PSD by choosing File > Save (Ctrl + S). Then look at the new file size — your Photoshop file should now be smaller.

Photoshop Save command

Does it Really Work?

To see if hiding all the layers really lowers PSD file sizes, I tested this tip using three PSDs from our feebies archive:

  1. Free PSD: Toucan UI Kit
  2. Free Stationery Mock-Up Template (PSD)
  3. Free PSD Template: Presentation Folder Mockup

In all cases, the Photoshop file size became smaller when all layers were hidden. The file size savings were between 14% to 33%.

  Original file size File size with layers hidden % file reduction
Toucan UI Kit 6.16 MB 5.18 MB 15.9%
Stationery Mock-Up Template 69.7 MB 46.8 MB 32.8%
Presentation Folder Mockup 48.0 MB 41.1 MB 14.4%

Reducing the Photoshop File Size Even More

To get even smaller file sizes, you can zip up your PSD.

I used 7-Zip, and free and open source file archiver, to create zip archives of the PSD files.

Reduce PSD file size via 7-Zip

Here’s a summary of the file sizes after zipping up the PSDs:

  Original file size File size with layers hidden + zipped Total File reduction
Toucan UI Kit 6.16 MB 1.35 MB 78.1%
Stationery Mock-Up Template 69.7 MB 18.8 MB 73.0%
Presentation Folder Mockup 48.0 MB 10.6 MB 77.9%

Using the two tricks above, PSD file sizes were reduced by as much as 78%.

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Jacob Gube is the co-founder of Design Instruct. Join him on Twitter @sixrevisions