For the past 2 weeks we have been exploring the “lock” options in Photoshop and Photoshop Elements.  In case you missed those tutorials, you will find them here:  Lock Options in Photoshop and Lock Transparent Pixels in Photoshop.  Today we will look at the last remaining lock option:  Lock Image Pixels.

The Lock options are located at the top of the Layers Panel, and the Lock Image Pixels is the 2nd icon from the left (the icon that looks like a paintbrush).


The Lock Image Pixels does exactly what its name says it will do.   When you select a layer, and click on the Lock Image Pixels, all of the pixels on that layer are locked, so you are unable to write over them.  It does not lock the image in position, as the Lock Position option does; it just locks the pixels.

I have spent some time playing with this option to discover in what way it might be helpful for either designers or layout artists.   Honestly?  I can’t find a way.  I felt like I surely must be missing something so asked my good friend and design buddy, Jill (Jilbert’s Bits of Bytes) to take a look.  After her own exploration, she agreed with me.

When the Lock Image Pixels is active, there are only 2 things that you can do with that layer, as far as we can see.  You can use a selection tool to make a selection. However, you are unable to do anything with that selection, because the layer is locked.  Secondly, you can go to Filter > Blur > and use the Field Blur, Iris Blur, or Tilt-Shift Blur.  Because those options are available for use on a selected layer anyway, we don’t see any value to locking the image pixels in order to use that filter.


 Are we missing something? Do YOU use this option, and if so what for?  Please share with us so we can all learn.  Thanks so much!

Photoshop Elements users:  The Lock Image Pixels is not an option in Photoshop Elements.

Credit: Paper and element shown are from an upcoming SnickerdoodleDesign release; stay tuned!