How to Instantly Make PSD File Size Smaller

May 12th 2020
3 minute read

Photoshop is great for doing mockups, photo manipulation and graphic design, but there’s just one big problem with it… the completed PSD file isn’t quite optimized for web transfer!

PSD files tend to get very large, so it might get really inconvenient to send them over the internet.

Even with the modern internet speeds, you can’t escape the fact that even Gmail has a 25mb file limit which is nothing in PSD terms.

Here are a few tips for instantly making your Photoshop PSD file sizes smaller.

NB: make a backup of your original PSD file before you experiment with some of these tips!

1) Add a White Layer on Top

Simply add a new blank white color layer on top of everything else, and save the PSD file. This small trick can save up to 50% in file size.

Why it works? This has to do with the preview image generated by Photoshop. If it is a single color layer, then the image will be smaller.

2) Hide layers

This works similarly to the previous tip. Hiding (clicking the eye icon) on all the layers inside a Photoshop file can drastically reduce the file size once you save the changes in the file.

3) Merge layers

You can always merge layers which you don’t need to edit separately. This will also reduce the amount of data that Photoshop needs to store.

4) Crop Hidden Pixels

This one is a sneaky issue that is often overlooked. Sometimes you don’t even know that there are still pixels or large parts of images outside the visible canvas.

Graphics that are off the canvas and not visible also affect the file size.

Crop your entire document to delete the graphics that are out of the bounds of the visible design.

If the parts of the image are still not deleted, make sure to tick this option while the crop tool is selected:

5) Zip it

Choose a file compression tool like WinRAR to compress your psd into a .zip or .rar file. This is the best and classic way to compress any file since the dawn of the internet.

6) Rasterize Smart Objects

Does your Phohoshop file contain smart objects? If you don’t need to scale them up anymore, or they are not used as placeholders, you can rasterize them. 

A smart object layer, even when it’s small in scale, still contains the original big image which was used to create the object. By rasterizing you will save in file size, but also the original quality will be lost.

7) Reduce the Image Size

Do you really need a 3000px image? If you do, then the above scenarios might work better for you, but in case you can work with a smaller image, then you could consider making your image size smaller, which will also reduce the file size.


Did any of these tips help you to make the PSD file size smaller?

Please do let us know in the comments, which solution worked best for you and how much did you save, so it will also be useful for other Photoshop users to know.