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How to load and Install Photoshop gradients tutorial

how to load /  install Photoshop gradients tutorial
  1. Add gradients to the gradients presets folder in Photoshop location -- Program files (PC) and Applications folder (on mac)

  2. Expand the Adobe / Photoshop application

  3. Go to the "presets" folder

  4. Place the GRD Photoshop gradients into the "gradients" folder

  5. Access the GRD gradients via the right side menu of the gradients panel in Photoshop by name

How to install Photoshop gradients in CC CS6 CS5 CS4 etc. Photoshop gradients are in GRD format. This tutorial shows you how to install the gradients into the admin / application folder of the gradients as well as the user account folder. It also shows you how to load the gradients via the gradients presets picker load / replace commands and the edit menu equivalent. The tutorial also shows you how to open multiple gradients into Photoshop as well as reset the panel.

Video of gradients

Installation of Photoshop Gradients

install location for the Photoshop gradients
  1. Add the GRD files to the presets 'gradients' folder in your applications / program files folder

  2. Or Add GRD to your presets 'gradients' folders in your user account (requires no privileges)

The locations for the mac are HD/Applications/Adobe Photoshop CC 2017/Presets/Gradients (requires admin privileges)

The location for the mac and non admin privileges (user account) is ~/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop CC 2017/Presets/Gradients


The equivalent locations on the pc are program files folder and the appdata folder (in your user account). If you are still using Photoshop CS6 etc then go to the equivalent folders for the CS6 or CS5 or CS4 etc versions of the application.

Open command for Photoshop gradients

file open command photoshop for gradients
  1. Start Photoshop

  2. file menu

  3. open

  4. browse for GRD files

  5. Select

  6. click open

In some versions of Adobe ® Photoshop ®, you can use the open command but this is definitely not the case with Photoshop CC on the mac. It is odd that you can open the Photoshop gradients presets this way in one version but not another and you may find that sometimes that the file opens but not all the presets are transferred in the process so it is not my recommended way of loading them.

Load / replace gradients

photoshop gradients install load and replace
  1. select the gradient tool

  2. go to the gradients panel / presets picker (top left)

  3. go to the right side menu

  4. select the load or replace command

  5. browse for the gradients GRD file

You can load / replace the Photoshop gradients in most versions via the edit menu manager (edit menu) and also via the gradients panel right side menu replace (though you can also click the load command on the dialog itself). The load / replace gradients is available in a number of places such as with the gradient tool and also via the layer styles panel and the fill content panel

Preset manager and gradients load

edit menu and presets and gradients in Photoshop
  1. edit menu

  2. presets

  3. preset manager

  4. select the preset type to gradients

  5. load gradients GRD file

The good thing about the replace and load means that you can add the GRD files into any folder and not rely on the Adobe's folder structure and especially useful if you want manual control over where the files go and how they are added into the tool and also if you have multiple versions of the application and wish to still keep them active and the presets active in them.

Reset gradients

reset gradients via the gradient panel
  1. select gradient tool

  2. click gradient dropdown

  3. gradient editor and presets display

  4. right side menu (cog) of the presets

  5. reset gradients

If you decide to remove the colorful designs and return to the factory default, just select the reset command on the right side of the preset's panel.


You can also do the same via the edit menu and the preset manager and the right side menu 'reset'

How to load multiple gradient files

Photoshop gradients install drag

In many cases, you may wish to load a lot of Photoshop gradient files in one go and have 1000s of presets added in your panel. This is quite useful if you are happy to trawl through a large panel of lots of very small thumbnails.

  1. One approach that seems to work well in some versions is to select a set of GRD files

  2. drag them into the application but it is likely that an error will appear as the application says that it does not accept the format (weird as it is a valid format)


  1. select a number of Photoshop gradient GRD files

  2. right click and select open with the version of Photoshop you want and all the files will be fairly rapidly added to the panel (though it is not instant)

  3. you will then see the set and you can then select from 1000s of great designs (especially if you go for the 32,000 gradients set available on this site).


You can also just go to the save command in the panel and then save them all to a single GRD file. You can join all the gradients into a single gradient GRD file. I would make certain that you make a backup of the file in case of corruption. A good location would be the CC libraries

Other resources

1. 32, 000 Photoshop gradients (for linear, diamond etc modes)

2. 13,000 custom shapes for Photoshop and elements collection (which also includes 2000 gradients)

Free gradients to tryout

1. selection of red themed gradients for free

Other tutorials

1. How to load and install brushes into Photoshop tutorial

2. How to install custom shapes into Photoshop CC 2017 2015 CS6 etc tutorial

3. How to create a contour themed artwork using Photoshop gradients

4. How to create gradient color effects using channels in Photoshop

5. How do you create new gradients in Photoshop tutorial

Sources and references

1. Gradients on

Youtube Video tutorials

1. Video: install / load them in PS Elements 12 / 11 [Youtube]

2. Showing the load / install on a mac [Youtube]