How to undo & redo changes in Photoshop CC 2019

How to undo and redo changes in Photoshop CC 2019

When using Photoshop, one of the actions you will want to do fairly often is to undo your changes. It’s also helpful to know how to redo changes too, in case you accidentally undo too many times, or if you want to reverse and undo to restore your previously undone changes.

For example, you might make a change to your graphic but then not like it and want to put it back to what it was before.

Watch this quick training video to explain how to undo and redo changes in Photoshop CC 2019:

How to undo changes in Photoshop CC 2019

Take a look at the example below.

I could make some changes such as changing the word “graphic” to “image” and duplicating the heart shape and making it larger.

Now, let’s say that I don’t actually like these changes. I feel like “graphic” is a better word to use than “image”. The large heart doesn’t match with the rest of the design and it’s going over the edge of the border which looks messy.

To undo my recent changes and put the design back to how it was in the first screenshot, I can click “Edit” in the top menu and then “Undo”.

The “Undo” link will probably have other words after it that describe the exact action you are undoing – for example in this screenshot it says “Undo free transform” because the last thing I did was resize the heart shape to make it larger (aka “free transform”) and in that same movement I moved it over to the left side of the design.

Edit Undo

The first time I click this, it undoes the last change I made. In this case, it undid the free transform movement, so it put the heart back over on the right on top of the other one (which was where it appeared when I duplicated the layer) and put it back to the original size.

If I click “Edit > Undo” again then it undoes the next change which would be duplicating the heart shape.

The more you click to undo changes, the further you can “step back” on your design.

Keyboard shortcut to undo changes in Photoshop

To make undoing changes even quicker, you can use Photoshop’s keyboard shortcut of Ctrl + Z.

Adobe made a change to how this keyboard shortcut works for the CC 2019 edition of Photoshop.

Now, all you need to do to undo multiple changes is keep pressing Ctrl + Z on your keyboard.

In older versions of Photoshop, you could only press Ctrl + Z once to undo your most recent change. If you wanted to undo more changes, you had to change the shortcut keys to Ctrl + Alt + Z.

Luckily, now from version 20.0.0 (CC 2019) onwards, we can just press Ctrl + Z which makes things a little easier.

How to redo changes in Photoshop CC 2019

If you accidentally undo too many changes and get rid of something you wanted to keep, you can put it back again using Photoshop’s redo functionality.

You can redo changes in Photoshop by clicking “Edit” in the top menu and then “Redo”.

There is also a keyboard shortcut to redo changes in Photoshop which is Ctrl + Shift + Z.

How to increase Photoshop’s undo limit

Photoshop only stores a set amount of changes in its memory, so there’s only a certain amount of times you can “Undo” before it stops working.

This is to help the performance of your computer by limiting the amount it has to store in its memory.

If Photoshop didn’t set an undo limit it would mean that every single change you make to a file has to be stored by your computer, which will use up its resources and could make it start to run slowly.

If you find that you are often getting to the point of wanting to undo more changes than Photoshop lets you, you can increase the undo limit so it will remember more of your changes.

This allows you to step back further and undo more actions.

To increase the undo limit in Photoshop, click “Edit” in the top menu and then click on “Preferences”.

In the popup that appears, choose the option that says “Performance”.

In the Performance section there is a little dropdown in the middle of the page called “History States”.

Photoshop's history states in preferences menu

In the image above, the undo limit it set to 20. This means I can undo 20 changes in my files, but once I get to 20 then it won’t let me go back any further.

I recommend setting a limit to around 20-30. You shouldn’t need to go back any further than that – in fact, I rarely find myself needing to undo more than about 4 or 5 times.

Remember that the higher you make the number, the greater the negative impact on your computer’s performance.

When you are happy with the number you have set, click the “OK” button and your changes will be saved.

Any future changes that you make to your files will get stored in Photoshop’s history up to your new undo limit number.

Please note that changing the undo limit does not affect changes you have already made – only new changes that you make to your designs after resetting the limit.

Access more free Photoshop training

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