How to Install Photoshop Actions

Learn how to Install Photoshop Actions with this tutorial.

Photoshop actions are some of the most versatile resources around for photographers, amateur and professional, looking to improve their workflow. They can help you create amazing images with little to no work, aside from a single click. In this post we want to help you better understand Photoshop actions and how to install them.

Today we are going to share a full tutorial of how to install Photoshop actions.

Installing Photoshop actions is pretty easy. Read on to learn two separate methods for installing actions. These each include just a few short steps.

Method #1

Method #1 could be considered the easy method. It takes less than a minute, and is done in a few clicks.

Step One

How to Install Photoshop Actions.

Open your downloaded folder or file and navigate to the actions file. It will end in the .atn file extension.

Step Two

Double-click the .atn file and then open Adobe Photoshop.

Step Three

How to Install Photoshop Actions.

Now the set of Photoshop actions will show up in the Actions Panel and should be ready to use. Once you find the new actions installed you can open up the folder and click the play button on any effect to apply it to your image or design.

The Actions Panel

Photoshop Actions Panel

To access the actions panel, simply go the top bar in Photoshop and click Window > Actions. The panel should then appear somewhere within Photoshop.

Method #2

Method #2 is a little more challenging, but only takes an additional minute or two, and is often the best way to install Photoshop actions if method #1 isn’t working.

Step One

Photoshop Actions Panel Drop-Down

Start by opening Adobe Photoshop and navigating to the drop-down menu in the Actions Panel.

Step Two

How to Install Photoshop Actions.

Next click the load actions link that is highlighted in the image above.

Step Three

Installing Photoshop Actions

Clicking the load actions button will open your folders. From there navigate to the downloaded folder with the specific Photoshop actions file you have downloaded. It will be a .atn file For Photoshop Actions. If you see a .lrtemplate file, this is for Lightroom Presets. Find out how to install Lightroom Presets here.

Step Four

Opening Photoshop Actions

Now select the file and click Open.

Step Five

How to Install Photoshop Actions.

After all this your Photoshop actions will be visible in the Actions Panel and you are ready to start using them!

Also check out our other tutorials about Photoshop actions.

Here are the two easiest and best methods for installing Photoshop actions. Now that you know the basics, put them in to practice with the FilterGrade Bundle!

FilterGrade Photoshop Actions Bundle

26 Replies to “How to Install Photoshop Actions”

  1. Galit says:

    I am a new user on PS.
    I bought a mockup, downloaded it but can’t find a *.atn file for doing step #1.
    I have only PSD files.

    Help please,

    Thank you


    1. Mike says:

      Hi Galit.

      Mockups are usually PSD files. Actions are primarily used for editing photos and designs. That is most likely why you aren’t finding an atn file.

      Open the .psd and you should be able to edit your mockups. Best of luck!

  2. Johannes says:

    Hi Mike,

    your pack is stunning – I love it and would love to use it. But I am using PS CC in German, and in the past most of the actions I´ve downloaded didn´t work because of the translation. Layer names differ, actions and such…

    Can you confirm if this is here also the case or not, or better, do you have a workaround/solution for that?

    Greetings from Austria

    1. Mike says:

      Hi Johannes,

      Thanks so much for the compliments! We do have a workaround for that. Following this tutorial, you can change your language to English in Photoshop (temporarily or permanently). This has worked for our customers from Germany, Spain, France, and other countries all over the world.

      If you have any other questions or need help, feel free to email me [email protected] and I’ll help you out.

      Thanks again,


      1. Johannes says:

        Hi Mike,

        thanks for the reply. I was aware of that workaround, I just thought you may know some nifty Photoshop-Geek-trick that makes those actions work language independent :)

        Anyway, I will give it a shot with the free ones from your newsletter and see how far I come, respectively how good my results will be.

        Thanks mate!


      2. Mike says:

        Ah, yeah. Sorry I really haven’t come across anything else yet. If I do though, I’ll be sure to send you a quick email. :)



  3. marina says:

    What’s up, yeah this piece of writing is truly good and I have learned lot of things from it regarding blogging.

  4. These are great, thanks for sharing them! Do you use the filter before or after editing your photos?

    1. Mike says:

      Hi Sharon! Thanks for stopping by, glad you like the actions. :) Typically I start with the filter and then adjust it based off my needs for the photo. Really just depends on your process though.

  5. Ethan says:

    Hi. My file is not atn. it’s a tgz file. Can you help me out?

    1. Mike says:

      Hi Ethan, a .tgz file is just the compression of your folder/file. Double click it and it should unzip to reveal the actions and other files inside. :)

      More information on TGZ files here:

  6. Jo Mae says:

    Hi. I am trying to figure out how to download via in Lightroom. Looks like you tutorial is not Lightroom friendly? Please assist

    1. Mike says:

      Hi Jo, sorry for the confusion, happy to assist you. This tutorial covers installing Photoshop Actions. Here is where you can find our tutorial on how to install Lightroom Presets:

  7. Dan Mayworm says:

    Can we load your Actions on Photoshop Elements?

    1. Mike says:

      Hey Dan, unfortunately our Photoshop Actions will most likely not work in Photoshop Elements. Sorry. We have not built or tested them in this program. At this time, all of our actions are compatible in Photoshop CS4 or higher.

  8. sunarsaujanya says:

    hello mike, this is my first time looking at purchasing a preset. I’m wanted know that once I purchase the preset, can I use that preset permanently or do i have to buy again after the month?

    thank you.

    1. Mike says:

      Hi there, thanks for reaching out. You can use the preset permanently. We have more info about licensing here.

  9. titofatu says:

    Hi sorry I’m so very new to this and purchased a preset package but am guessing that it can’t be used on a mobile device??

    1. Mike says:

      Hello, no worries. You can use Lightroom Presets with the Lightroom CC Mobile app now by following this tutorial. You can also find presets made only for the Lightroom CC Mobile app here: Lightroom Mobile Presets

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