Actions in Photoshop Elements: Installation Problems

Action Makers:  You are so welcome to link to this information!  However, the following article is copyrighted, as are all articles on Texas Chicks Blogs and Pics.  It is not ok to copy it in any form into your product information, website, or anywhere else. Otherwise, I fully reserve the right to copy your actions! :)  Thank you!

Installing actions into Photoshop Elements is not, as we all know, the easiest task.  Many people think that learning how to use PSE is easier than installing actions, and that’s saying sumthin’.

I install actions all the time.  Multiple times a day sometimes.  And I can tell you two things:

  1. There is always a way to get the actions installed (unless you purchased PSE from the Mac App Store.  See below.)
  2. There might be lots of roadblocks along the way.

Here are some of the most commonly encountered problems and their solutions.

Elements crashes every time I open it after installing actions.

  • Open Elements from Start/All Programs rather than the desktop shortcut.
  • OR, reset PSE’s preferences when you open it.  Do this by holding down control+alt+shift (Mac: Opt+Cmd+Shift) while opening Elements.  Keep those keys depressed even if you have to click on the Edit button in the “Welcome” screen.  Do not release the keys until you get a message asking if you want to delete the Preferences/Settings file.  Say yes, and release the keys.  Elements will open properly now.

After installing my actions, my new actions don’t appear in the Photo Effects palette.

  • You need to reset the Mediadatabase.db3 file.  The installation instructions that came with your action should tell you how to find it.  If you rename Mediatadatabase.db3 to MediadatabaseOLD.db3, this hides the database from Elements.  The next time it opens, it will build a new database.  This rebuilding process is what imports your new actions.  After Elements opens successfully with your new actions, you can return to this folder and see that Elements has, in fact, created a new Mediadatabase.db3.  At this point, you can delete the file whose name you changed to OLD, because you no longer need it.

One point about resetting this database – when opening PSE for the first time after resetting it, it can take a LONG time to open.  Anywhere from 2 minutes to 20 minutes.  Even thirty in rare cases.  Do not touch Elements, or even your computer, until Elements finishes processing.  Wait until the hourglass cursor and progress message disasspear.  Even if Elements tells you it’s not responding, don’t touch it.  It will respond, eventually.

What happens if you don’t wait?  That brings me to my next topic:

After resetting Mediadatabase, all my other actions disappear.

  • PSE was interrupted while rebuilding the Mediadatabase (see prior topic).  If you close Elements because you think it’s “not responding,” Elements will open with an incomplete database and it will look like all you actions (including your old ones) have disappeared.  To fix this, return the folder with Mediadatabase.db3 in it.  Delete that file, and any “old” versions.  Reopen Elements and walk away from your computer.  Seriously.  Don’t touch it until PSE is finished rebuilding, once and for all.  If you let it complete its processing, all your actions will appear where they should appear.

I can’t find Photo Effects/Mediadatabase (Mac).

  • When installing actions, start your navigation path on the Mac HD icon on your desktop or inside the Finder.  Do not start in the path for your specific user account. If you’re using Lion, please right click on Applications on the left side of your finder.  Select Open Enclosing Folder, and you will find the Mac HD there.
  • Did you purchase Elements from the Mac App Store?  It is an incomplete version of Elements and does not support most of our actions.  Many people have been successful in requesting refunds from the App Store, since they don’t disclose this issue.

I can’t find Photo Effects (PC).

  • Program DATA is not the same as Program FILES.  Try your navigation path again.

I get messages like this:

Could not complete your request because the file is not compatible with this version of Phtooshop.

Could not complete your request because there is not enough memory (RAM).

  • You have installed a file into your photo effects folder that doesn’t belong there.  The only file types that should be in Photo Effects are files that end in ATN, PNG , thumbnail.JPG, or XML.  (In versions 5 and prior ONLY, you can have a  psd file.)  You should have no subfolders in Photoshop Effects (versions 6 and up).  You receive those messages because you are clicking in the Effects palette on files that aren’t actions.  Delete these files out of Photo Effects to end this message.

These messages could also be caused by thumbnails whose names are slightly different from the name of the action.  See the “black boxes” topic below.

I get this message:  The object “layer “Background” ” is not currently available.

You should run most actions on images that are flat – meaning that they only have one layer.  This layer’s name should be background.  If your image isn’t flat, flatten it by right clicking on a layer in the Layers palette and selecting “Flatten.”

I have black boxes in my Effects palette.

This could be caused by several items:

  • The maker of the action you are trying to install did not provide you with a thumbnail to install along with your action.  This thumbnail is usually a PNG file.  If you double click on actions of this type, they will run properly even without a thumbnail.
  • The name of the PNG is not EXACTLY the same as the name of the ATN (action) file (except for the PNG or ATN suffix).  Rename the PNG to the same name as the action to solve this issue.
  • You have installed an action that should be installed via the Action Player into the Effects palette.  Check with the instructions that came from the maker of the action on where to install it.


  1. Pamela
    Posted on March 2, 2011 at 10:26 am

    I have a mac and I did opt, cmd, shift and it asked if I wanted to delete the settings (instead of preferences). I’m new to pse (just purchased 9) and I’ve attempted on several occasions to install actions and I’ve miserably failed, but plan to figure it out. Do I want to delete the settings?

    • admin
      Posted on March 2, 2011 at 10:43 am

      yes, Pamela, delete the settings. Hope that helps!

  2. ingrid Says :
    Posted on March 2, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Thanks! This is very helpful. I’m going to check to make certain those “black box” actions that I have shouldn’t be in the action player.

  3. Noob Mommy Says :
    Posted on March 2, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    You must have been lurking at my house last night as I fiddled and fiddled and shouted at my PSE 7 while trying (at least 5+ times) to get my new Flora Bella actions to load. I haven’t had any problems in the past, but this time things were all funky. I definitely had several freeze ups. I will be bookmarking this post for the future. Hoping I won’t have to revisit this post again though, if you know what I mean! By the way, have you ever had to save any of your old Meta files? I usually rename to “old” so that it can create the new version upon startup of PSE. But after doing this many times, is it ok to just keep deleting those “olds” or should I be stashing them somewhere in case of emergency?

    • admin
      Posted on March 2, 2011 at 12:42 pm

      I delete those old mediadatabase files as soon as Elements opens successfully. No reason at all to keep them. Good question!

  4. Pamela
    Posted on March 2, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    OMG, super excited!!! I attempted to download some actions for the 3rd time today and said to myself that it would be my last try today and what do you know…it finally worked! I can finally use some actions and I just can’t wait. I guess those settings needed to be deleted (not that I have a clue what that did, but I’m sure glad it worked). Thanks for posting this.

  5. Anita Says :
    Posted on March 2, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    I came across the message about Layer Background not available. What is the difference between Merging Visible Layers and Flattening? Can you do either? I always get confused between the two.

    • admin
      Posted on March 3, 2011 at 9:32 am

      H Anita, merging visible won’t flatten your image – it will create a new layer that is a copy of all the visible layers. Flatten is the choice you want here.

  6. Layne
    Posted on March 4, 2011 at 9:26 am

    Thanks! It’s like you read my mind and answered all the questions running around in there. Love your site!

  7. Shirley
    Posted on April 11, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    Thank you…thank you…thank you!!! I have tried everything short of calling via landphone…I did what you said about holding down ctrl, alt shift…and PSE is back in order. Now I need to go back and rebuild my mediadatabase and hope I can get back in business.

  8. Ann
    Posted on September 4, 2011 at 9:25 am

    So I go through the steps one by one for hours last night…. over and over….The part where I think there is a snag is when the actions are all listed. I have FloraBella (which by the way was sooooo hard to figure out how to install), listed with the file folders of Pioneer Woman. They are there. From that exact step…
    1. I go back to Finder and hard drive
    2. Library
    3. Application Support
    4. Adobe
    5. Photoshop Elements
    6. 8.0
    7. Local
    8. en_US
    9. RENAME Mediadatabase.db3 or MediadatabaseOLD.db3….. my question is
    at this point… I rename the gray folder that is listed first? Or the File that has the icon of a piece of paper? After I rename it… then I am supposed to do nothing but open PSE?
    When I open it, nothing new is listed. Florabella is still there… but no new actions. I appreciate you helping me with this. I love photography and spend hours working with my photographs and serving others by giving them amazing photos of their children… I just can’t get this to work. I appreciate you so much.


    • Erin Says :
      Posted on September 4, 2011 at 9:43 am

      Ann, first off, you shouldn’t paste folders, only files. Also, please reread the instructions above carefully in the “My Actions Don’t Show Up” section. It doesn’t say rename Mediadatabase OR MediadatabaseOLD. Try deleting all Mediadatabases, old or not, and see if that helps.

  9. Dawn
    Posted on September 5, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    I’m getting frustrated here, and I know it’s totally user error, but I can’t figure it out. I have PSE 9.0, when I follow the directions (I think) I go to Mac HD, Library, Application Support, Adobe…and there’s no Photoshop elements listed or PSE or anything that appears to be that. And yet, I have it on my computer, I can open it…

    What am I missing here?? I feel stupid. lol

  10. Dawn
    Posted on September 5, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    nevermind. sigh. just found your post about not buying it from the app store. Grr. Gonna try to get a refund now…

    • Dawn
      Posted on September 6, 2011 at 1:13 pm

      Just as a note to anyone else who was as dumb I was: Apple was very considerate. All it took was an email to them about the issue, and within a few hours I had a response that they were crediting the amount back to my card.

  11. Stacey Lopez
    Posted on October 5, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    OMG I’m going to cry! I have a pc and wanted to transfer some bought and free actions I had to my mac…I put them on a flashdrive and put them on the photo effects folder. I started elements back up and nothing was there. So I rename the database like told and restarted and nothing again. So wanted to go back and check if anything was wrong and now I can’t find the photo effects folder though the original effects with the program are still running!

  12. Stacey Lopez
    Posted on October 5, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    The folder is back! thank god! I see the ones I loaded but they still don’t come up when I open elements…Im so new to mac and I’m already frustrated. I can’t even image what I’m going to do when I have to transfer a watermark brush I made on my pc for my photos and I want to bring to the mac…

  13. Stacey Lopez
    Posted on October 5, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    think I just need someone to vent to but they are on and working NOW!!! Now for the watermark brush…any advise?

    • Erin Says :
      Posted on October 5, 2011 at 1:14 pm

      Hi Stacey, just use the search box on my blog. You’ll find several articles on brushes.

  14. Roberta McKelvy Says :
    Posted on October 12, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    Erin, I just installed the mcp minifusion actions in PSE8. It installed fine, but it has the little black box in my effects palette, and the action did come with a PNG but I do not know how to get it to install with the action. It did not do it automatically.

    • Erin Says :
      Posted on October 13, 2011 at 10:34 am

      Hi Roberta, there are definitely PNGs in Mini Fusion. Go back and re-download to make sure you have the full set.

  15. Roberta McKelvy Says :
    Posted on October 14, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    Erin, I just installed the .atn…I guess I need to install all three of the items instead of just the .atn? Is that what I did wrong?

    • Erin Says :
      Posted on October 17, 2011 at 9:58 am

      Yes, you do need to install all 3. There is a PDF in the download with detailed installation instructions that might help.

  16. Alana
    Posted on October 26, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    When the installation is complete, only one of that actions from the set is appearing. ??? I can’t figure it out!
    In the original download, the file is just one .atn. I can’t see any additional files. Is this the reason?

    • Dena
      Posted on October 18, 2012 at 10:42 pm

      I’m having this same problem! Can someone help with this??

      • Jessie
        Posted on November 5, 2012 at 3:47 pm

        Me too!

  17. Amber
    Posted on November 5, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    Hiya! I am having a trouble shooting question that I’m not finding an answer for. I have PSE9 for Windows. I have been using my actions just fine for the last 7 months. Today when I opened PSE the actions were no longer there. Tried removing and then replacing the files and nothing works. Between using it yesterday and when I opened the program today nothing has changed. The files are still in the same place, etc. Any ideas? Has this happened to anyone else?

    • Erin Says :
      Posted on November 7, 2011 at 8:43 am

      Just follow the instructions for resetting the mediadatabase.

  18. Kathy
    Posted on November 8, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    I have PSE9 for Windows and downloaded some of your free actions yesterday. I kept getting duplicate icons in my effects palette and followed your directions to delete any .psd files in my effects folder.

    Those duplicate icons are still there! I’ve even tried to remove all the .atn and .png files that I pasted in the effects folder and redo the whole download process (start over), but even with removing all the files, the icons were still there. How do I get rid of the icons? Ideally, I just want to get rid of the duplicates, but is there a way to do over?

    • Erin Says :
      Posted on November 9, 2011 at 10:48 am

      reset the mediadatabase and make sure you don’t have duplicates in your photo effects folder.

      • Kimberly
        Posted on November 14, 2011 at 11:16 pm

        This same thing just happened to me…I have several duplicates in PSE10 now. I have reset the media database and do not have any duplicates in the Photo Effects folder. Is there anything else I can do to get rid of the duplicates?

  19. Rebekah
    Posted on November 13, 2011 at 3:41 am

    I am trying to install the PW actions for elements…
    I have found up to the photo effects…BUT I have no idea where this medidadatabase is located here? Help! I have been at this ALL day! Thanks!

    • Erin Says :
      Posted on November 13, 2011 at 1:53 pm

      Rebekah, please see the troubleshooting on my Pioneer Woman page.

  20. Leslie
    Posted on November 13, 2011 at 10:41 am

    I have been using PSE 5 for years. Recently, I got a new laptop and PSE 9. After completing a scrapbook layout, I save it as a PSD file. When I go to bring it up again, the preview is there, but Elements says “cannot open this file not compatible with this version of Photoshop”. I created the layout in PSE 9, no other version on my system. Help..I’ve lost 2 layouts.


    • Erin Says :
      Posted on November 13, 2011 at 1:54 pm

      Leslie, does the file say it’s a psd when you right click on it? Sometimes you have to type in .psd when you save.

  21. Carrie Flanagan
    Posted on November 14, 2011 at 1:51 am

    Please help me! I have been working on this for 24 hrs now, and think I am losing my mind. I have pse9 running in vista. I recently was able to load Pioneer Womans set 1 of actions just fine. I went to add set 2 and everything disappeared. I started over. Instead of set 2 of PW, I tried a Coffeeshop action. Same result. I have deleted mediadatabase, deleted thumbmedia, re-started pse, re-started computer………….I feel like I have tried it all. I am certain I have literally tried at least 30 times in the past day to get this to work. I have no idea what is going wrong, so please help me! I appreciate it so very very much.

    • Erin Says :
      Posted on November 14, 2011 at 10:29 am

      Hi Carrie, my blog has all the information you need to get those actions installed, but I do have a service where I can install them for you. Also, my book has a more concise version of the installation instructions with all the information you need.

      • Carrie Flanagan
        Posted on November 14, 2011 at 9:42 pm

        Hi Erin. I have followed the blog instructions, but no luck. I am just about at the point of having you install them. I am going to try one more time tonight, and will get back to you if I still need help. Thanks so much!! :0)

        • Carrie Flanagan
          Posted on November 15, 2011 at 2:45 am

          Hi Erin….still trying to figure it out. Finally got the PW actions to load, but then only have the black boxes. I checked and have the correct files in the photo effects folder, and made sure the names were exactly the same. In the process of this, I right clicked on one of the png files and looked at the “show properties” tab. At the bottom it had a security message saying the file was blocked b/c it was from a different computer. I unblocked all of the png files, deleted thumb and mediadatabases, and re-started, and still only have the black boxes. Any thoughts?? Thanks so much!!!

          • Carrie Flanagan
            Posted on November 15, 2011 at 2:55 am

            Sorry—another bit of info that may help—-in the coffeeshop actions, which I have not tried to re-install yet, when I click the png file in the photo effects folder, it shows the small thumbnail picture. When I do this on the PW actions png, it does not show the thumbnail pic, nor will it open it with any other program….just thought that may help you….thanks!

  22. Mary
    Posted on November 24, 2011 at 12:31 am

    I am ready to pull out my hair! I’m trying to install actions for PSE 9 onto my mac. I can’t see my “mediadatabase.db3” file. I have google and tried different ways of viewing hidden files… I can’t win! help?

  23. Mary
    Posted on November 24, 2011 at 12:56 am

    I finally got it… now I can go to sleep!

  24. Stephanie Says :
    Posted on November 24, 2011 at 9:01 am

    hi there :)

    i am soooo glad i found your page, because yesterday evening i was kind of frustrated while trying to install the actions for PE 9…

    well, thanks to your page i managed to do it – but i have one question: if i want to install any new actions, and i copy them into the photo effects folder, do i have to delete the mediadatabase again? every time?

    i tried to add new actions, but they don’t appear in the effects menu in PE…

    thanks a lot!

  25. Erin Says :
    Posted on November 25, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    No, those other folders won’t cause any problems.

  26. Shannon
    Posted on November 30, 2011 at 9:49 am

    Are the PW actions compatible with Elements 10? I can’t seem to get it to work?

  27. Jana
    Posted on November 30, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    Hi Erin,

    How much do you charge to install these actions. I have tried everything with no problem following the directions, but the actions are not showing up in PSE. I have even tried deleting the settings when starting PSE up. Please help!


  28. Marla
    Posted on December 1, 2011 at 8:14 am

    Thank you so much! I worked for two hours trying to get my Florabella Actions to work before I found your blog. Should have known that a fellow Texas girl could help me. :)

  29. Lidia Says :
    Posted on December 20, 2011 at 3:30 am

    Erin, I am getting crazy trying to figure out what happened to all my actions installed in Elements 8 This morning after I tried to install MCP free actions all my actions from Florabella disappear, I spend all day trying to fix the problem and nothing worked I did everything you said about reset PSE’s preferences after I did it only one set of my actions was there but when I tried to install other set everything was gone , I am really frustrated, the computer is brand new and all the actions are in the computer when I go through C-adobe-elements-8-photo creation- photo effect I can see the actions but they doesn’t show up any more in the Elements Photo Effect Palette, please help me.

  30. Lidia Says :
    Posted on December 20, 2011 at 3:40 am

    Other Problem Erin, when I try to re install one of the actions from florabella it appears as a PSE file if I click on it to see what in in there it will automatically open PSE 8 I don’t know if this is happening because of the many times trying to download it and have a copyright security or what?
    I would appreciate you help.
    Thank you

    • Erin Says :
      Posted on December 20, 2011 at 9:07 am

      Lidia, you need to follow the instructions exactly. No where does it say to open the PSE file. You’ll get it!

  31. Lidia Says :
    Posted on December 20, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    Erin I read everything on this page , I have tried it all to recover the actions only two sets are there now , before all this problem I had 6 group of actions, every time I try to recover another group I loose the one that I have , so I am desperate I have two sessions to edit and I am stuck here .
    Thank you anyways Erin I so appreciate your prompt response .

    • Erin Says :
      Posted on December 20, 2011 at 9:01 pm

      Lidia, there is just nothing else I can tell you. Everything you need to know is on my site. You’re missing something somewhere. If you’d like me to look at it for you, you can check out my remote service here.

  32. Erica
    Posted on January 5, 2012 at 11:33 am

    I just purchased a new Mac over Christmas and installed PhotoShop Elements 9. I used your tutorial to install actions on my PC in the past and everything worked fine. On the Mac, I can’t even find Photo Creations, Photo Effects or the MediaDatabase file. I have navigated through the Finder and I have found my PhotoShop Elements 9 folder but the other folders don’t seem to be in there like they were on my PC. Any advice?

  33. Britt
    Posted on January 17, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    Do these actions work in PSE 10? I believe I’m downloading and installing them correctly but they aren’t showing up in my effects.

    • Erin Says :
      Posted on January 18, 2012 at 4:04 pm

      Which actions?

      I haven’t encountered any actions which work in prior versions of Elements that don’t work in 10. If they’re not showing up, you’re not installing correctly. Please search also for the post about purchasing Elements from the Mac App store, if that applies to you.

      • Britt
        Posted on January 19, 2012 at 10:09 am

        I purchased it from amazon, so I used a disk to install the software. I tried the luminosity sharpening action first. I just wanted to verify that the actions work on PSE 10 before I continue to try to install them. Thank you for providing this site, I love it!

  34. Stephanie
    Posted on February 13, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    when I add actions (yes I have re-named to OLD for meta file), and Elements rebuilds the new actions upon starting the application, I have not one but three of the same action in Elements. This happened to me also in version 8 and now 10. Why does it do this? How do I get rid of them? I also have a Mac.

  35. amanda Says :
    Posted on February 22, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    help! i downloaded quite a few actions last year (i have elements 8), and after returning home from a vacation with 1,000+ pictures, opened elements to see that all the downloaded actions are gone! i’ve tried everything i can think of… i searched my computer for “pw” and nothing exists. if i go into program data… photo effects, all the actions are there, but none show up! i’ve uninstalled and reinstalled elements 4 times. restarted my computer a dozen times. renamed the database… what am i missing!?!? i did this once before- where did they magically go, and why won’t they come back!? help!?

    • Erin Says :
      Posted on February 23, 2012 at 9:47 am

      This is covered in the Troubleshooting info on my website. Look for the link in the action section at the top or use the search box.

      • amanda
        Posted on February 23, 2012 at 2:36 pm

        shoot! well, i’ve searched & tried again with no success. thanks anyway!

        • Erin Says :
          Posted on February 24, 2012 at 9:17 pm

          Amanda, sorry, I just saw this. Don’t don’t what you were searching for so can’t help.

  36. Trish Says :
    Posted on February 28, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    THANK YOU! I thought I lost everything because I interrupted the rebuilding process and I almost had a melt down. This information is a lifesaver for the computer illiterate like me :)

  37. Adriana
    Posted on March 7, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    Dawn, we too bought the Elements from the app store but if you right click on the Elements icon and the Show package contents – Contents – Application data you will see the same path everybody else is talking about.

    And now to my problem… I followed the path, pasted all the files in the right place, no folders were added just the contents and renamed the file, opened Elements and nothing. It opened really fast, no messages, no nothing. The old photo effects were there, no actions and no other functioning buttons. Nothing else works except for the old photo effects. I read your troubleshooting advise, went back, deleted the file and reopened Elements and again, nothing. What do I do now? I am running OSX Lion if that makes a difference…

    Thank you!

  38. Adriana
    Posted on March 7, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Sigh…ok. Thank you!

  39. Barb
    Posted on April 12, 2012 at 10:41 am

    Hello, I work in vista on a PC. I have PSE9 installed. I was having problems loading an action on my computer a while back finally got it. Everything was working great! I turned on my computer yesterday and my Guided was gone? I did delete my older version PSE6 from my computer is that part of the problem? What can i do to get it fixed?

    Thank you so much for any help you can give. Barb

    • Erin Says :
      Posted on April 12, 2012 at 1:59 pm

      Are you saying your entire Guided Edit is gone, or the actions inside it? If the entire Guided Edit, I would reinstall PSE 9. And call Adobe if that doesn’t work.

      • Barb
        Posted on April 12, 2012 at 3:11 pm

        Yes the entire guided is gone. Everything was on my computer when shut down my computer for the night, when I turned it on yesterday morning my guided was gone??

  40. Barb
    Posted on April 12, 2012 at 10:50 am

    Should I reinstall PSE9 or PSE6?

  41. Becky
    Posted on April 20, 2012 at 9:47 am

    I have this bookmarked and have used it several times. I had to go back to it today and I can’t tell you how grateful I am that you took the time to spell all this out so clearly!! You saved me so much time, frustration and probably money, I REALLY appreciate it! Thanks again, you made my day :)

    • Erin Says :
      Posted on April 23, 2012 at 1:11 pm

      You are so welcome! Thank YOU for this comment!

    • Erin Says :
      Posted on April 25, 2012 at 8:18 am

      Thanks so much, Becky! What a nice comment!

  42. Shirley
    Posted on April 23, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    All your help is appreciated but…..if PHOTOSHOP only fit into my budget………I would forget all about these installation problems with Elements!
    I’m exhausted !

  43. Karen
    Posted on May 7, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    I have PSE 9, and I have used MCP actions, and Paint the Moon actions with minimal difficulty. But yesterday, I bought and downloaded some actions from Florabella and added them to my effects folder. Now I cannot get the paint on Layer masks to work (such as skin smoothing, eye whitening/brightening, ect) in any of my actions. And as far as I know, I installed it the same way as I did my other actions from MCP, and PTM. I’m fairly new with all this, and not very computer savy, so if anyone has any tips, I’d sure appreciate it because I’m about to pull my hair out!! :(
    Thanks a lot!

  44. Mary
    Posted on May 16, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    Help!!!!! Everytime I try to use a brush with one of my actions, PSE 10 shuts down,I can apply an action to the whole picture with no problem, but I can’t use the brushes. I have uninstalled everything even PSE 10, the actions are installed correctly and I even did the step listed above to delete the preferences/settings. ANY help would really be appreciated!!!! Thank you! this is this message I get:
    Problem signature:
    Problem Event Name: APPCRASH
    Application Name: PhotoshopElementsEditor.exe
    Application Version:
    Application Timestamp: 4e70c16d
    Fault Module Name: PhotoshopElementsEditor.exe
    Fault Module Version:
    Fault Module Timestamp: 4e70c16d
    Exception Code: c0000005
    Exception Offset: 00a0b7bf
    OS Version: 6.1.7601.
    Locale ID: 1033
    Additional Information 1: 0a9e
    Additional Information 2: 0a9e372d3b4ad19135b953a78882e789
    Additional Information 3: 0a9e
    Additional Information 4: 0a9e372d3b4ad19135b953a78882e789

    • Erin Says :
      Posted on May 17, 2012 at 7:42 am

      Mary, I can’t help with that. Sounds like you need to call Adobe. Good luck!

  45. Anna
    Posted on May 19, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    Hi Erin! I downloaded the PW actions for PSE5, both sets. I followed the instructions for installing them. I deleted the mediadatabase. I restarted the computer. I hold the shift while restarting the PSE. I can’t see the actions… All I see is a blank space where the actions should be and a black crossed out circle.. Any idea what might be the problem? Thank you so much!!

    • Erin Says :
      Posted on May 21, 2012 at 4:21 pm

      Sorry, Anna, can’t tell what you did wrong without seeing what you did.

  46. Debra
    Posted on June 3, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    Hi Erin
    I’ve just gone through the steps of downloading Pioneer Woman actions following along with the instructional vidio. Followed all steps and all seemed to go well untill about 10 minutes into the wait of PSE rebuilding Content and Effects (I wasn’t sure if it had completed) When I checked back at Locale >en US there was another MetaDatabase.DB3 above the MetaDatabaseOLD.DB3. Ok, so I decided to open Elements again, the elements screen is there but now the Elements screen says ” Adobe PS Elements Editor has stopped working”. I haven’t deleted the MetaDataOLD yet because I’m not sure that the one listed above it is complete. I’ve tried all the troubleshooting that you suggested, and nothing has helped-HELP!

  47. Debra
    Posted on June 3, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Erin – You said that I interrupted, in the reply to my recent post, but I didn’t touch anything on my computer as it was processing at the end ( as you had instructed in the video). Now I did have multiple pages open from my e-mail>kim klassen >pioneer woman>your video. Would that have mattered? My question now is, should I delete that MetaDataOLD and start over (and also it had created a MetaData right above it)? Also tried the troubleshooting control+alt+shift while opening Elements (didnt work)

    • Erin Says :
      Posted on June 3, 2012 at 7:37 pm

      You said: “When I checked back at Locale >en US there was another MetaDatabase.DB3 above the MetaDatabaseOLD.DB3. Ok, so I decided to open Elements again”

      This interrupted the process.

      There is supposed to be a new mediadb in addition to the old. Close Elements, delete both the old and the new, reeopen Elements and don’t touch it until it finishes processing. When you did control alt shift, did it ask you about deleting preferences? If not, you didn’t do it right. You probably need to do that again also.

      • Debra
        Posted on June 4, 2012 at 7:23 pm

        Erin, I GOT IT!!!!! Thank you

  48. Cailin
    Posted on June 6, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    I have a new laptop and PSE 10 but i don’t have a media database file in the folder en_us. I have three folders Plug-ins, application_swfs and Support files. Everything about elements seems to open correctly but I’m wondering if it didn’t install correctly?

    Any help would be appreciated as I’m anxious to get editing on all my pics of my newborn :-)

    • Erin Says :
      Posted on June 6, 2012 at 9:27 pm

      Work through all the issues on this page and you will figure it out.

  49. Jan
    Posted on July 10, 2012 at 3:27 am

    This file Mediadatabase.db3 doesn’t excist on my pc running Win7 Dutch, version PSE 10. Where can I find it?

    • Erin Says :
      Posted on July 11, 2012 at 7:50 pm

      Hi Jan, it would probably be in a different location in the Dutch version. It’s not likely that actions will work either, since they are built in English. But you can certainly try!

  50. Karen Aldrin
    Posted on July 18, 2012 at 8:20 am

    Hi. I wonder could you help me. I have PSE10 on a PC and I now have a new iMac. Can I move all my old purchased actions over from my Photo effects folder on the PC into the new PSE10 Photo effects folder on the iMac? Or will I be creating problems for myself. PS I love your site, i find it so helpful.

    • Erin Says :
      Posted on July 18, 2012 at 9:34 am

      Yes, you can move your actions. Thanks!

  51. Barry
    Posted on August 5, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    I have installed the File into the right place I followed all instructions but its not working.

    I installed APE-Load-Selection.atn.
    I get this message “The Command *set is not curriently available”

    I have tried to flatten the Photo but this is not helping.

    I went into Program Data, then adobe, then Photoshop Elements then into my version mine is 10.0 then I went into Locale then into en_us
    then into Workflow Panels then actions I copied APE-Load-Selection.atn
    and restarted Photoshop Elements, Its not working I see the Load Selectoin but it is not adding the marching ants around the shape of the buildings.

    Please help me.

  52. Andrea
    Posted on September 23, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    I have been using elements for almost 2 years now and have installed numerous actions myself. I know how to install them and delete the database file, but recently I have purchased new actions and I cannot get them to show up no matter what I do…any other ideas for me? Thanks so much for you help!

  53. Michelle Says :
    Posted on November 7, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    You are my hero. Just know that.

  54. Wayne
    Posted on December 13, 2012 at 3:03 am

    I just migrated everything from an older MacBook Pro 15 to a new MacBook Pro 17 running Lion. Now when I try to open Elements 9 I get a message saying ‘Some of the application components are missing from the Application directory. Please reinstall the application.’
    Do I have to delete the non working version before I reinstall the program?

  55. Missie
    Posted on January 11, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    I am having a slight problem but I’m not sure if it’s on the download end
    or with my elements program. I followed the install directions for elements to the letter (I’ve installed before and never had a problem)for some actions that I purchased and they worked fine in the
    action player that night. Now today, I went to use them and when I click on the guided edit where they are supposed to be and the window is completely blank… actually just white. Not even the original actions that came with the program or the action player are there… it’s just a white panel with nothing in it. The create and the share tab are the same way… completely blank & white. I tried, re-starting my computer, deleting and reloading the actions into the workflow panel via the given install instructions, read through the troubleshooting section, deleted the mediadata, and now I don’t know what else to do. Any thoughts???

  56. alex
    Posted on January 19, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    i have actions in my player which work, ive added new ones and they dont. ive tried deteleting that meta file and it didnt work. ive even deleted actions from the folder because i dont use them/like them but they are still in my actions player. im really confused and really stressing! any help would be great!!

  57. Lori Lesh
    Posted on January 22, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    Do you have tips for installing Florabella classic workflow into PSE 11 – supposedly the directions have changed but still can’t get them to load correctly – vrey frustrating to say the least!! Thank you for any help you may be able to offer.

  58. michele
    Posted on April 24, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    I have installed new actions and they show up by my old ones (that i purchased) do not. i have walked away and they still aren’t there. Help! I’m in panic mode!!

  59. Ree Barnes
    Posted on July 16, 2013 at 5:43 am

    Heres a Q for yall…I have lots of actions and have never had a problem, until now. When I copy and paste my new actions, they just wont go over to the effects folder. Why? When I extract them, the file says empty. HELP!!!

  60. aya
    Posted on August 11, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    Hi, I Sign up for your website and was hoping that i could get a free actions. What should i do to have it? Thanks

  61. Elizabeth Says :
    Posted on August 28, 2013 at 9:53 am


    I’ve been searching the internet hoping to find a solution to this issue:

    I have PSE10 with many effects installed and they used to be organized and easily accessed by a drop down menu a few months ago that drop down menu disappeared and now all of my effects are together. Its a bit overwhelming and takes longer to find specific effects. I know I could create favorites, but I’d prefer not to and just have them organized in the effects folder via the drop down. Any ideas on how I can get that back? I am not sure what I did to lose it. Thanks in advance for your help!


  62. Aggie
    Posted on September 28, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    I`m using PSE6 on windows 7 how do I install actions I purchased?

  63. Sadie
    Posted on October 13, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    Hi! I purchased some actions for the first time and I followed thier video turtorial to install them, they installed just fine. However now all of my effects ect that came with my PSE 9 program are gone. The ONLY actions that are showing now are the ones I just pruchased and down loaded. Where did all my PSE effects go? How do I get them back?

    Thanks :)

  64. Tammy Says :
    Posted on January 17, 2014 at 11:10 am

    I have a mac book pro with OS X and i’m trying to install actions. I have elements 9. I get to the part to click on the elements 9 folder and it should have a photo creations folder in it and it doesn’t. The only folder there is presets and I can not find the folder to finish the instal of the actions.

  65. Cassidy
    Posted on February 10, 2014 at 11:28 am

    I have Elements 12 and I can download them but then I can not find them. I do not have the photo effects folder. It downloads them as win zip file and will not let me pick where to save file. I can find the file out side of Elements but not when I try to install the action to it. Can you help me?

  66. Danielle
    Posted on March 1, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    I have a Mac and jus recently purchased PSE 12. I tried downloading the PSE for 7 and 8 but when I download I just get a window showing all the files. I have tried right clicking and opening in PSE but nothing happens. Am I missing something? Is there a particular way to get these actions actually into my PSE rather than just on my computer? Hope this makes sense. Thank you in advance for any and all help!

  67. Lauryn Says :
    Posted on April 13, 2014 at 1:53 am

    Hi! I was just wondering if there is a way to reorganize and rename my actions in Photoshop Elements 11 for Mac? I tried renaming the .atn files themselves and reinstalling them into the program but they keep using the original file names and are completely annoying to try to sort through. Thanks!

    • Erin Peloquin Says :
      Posted on April 13, 2014 at 8:17 am

      No, unfortunately you can’t reorganize or rename actions in PSE 11.

  68. Samantha
    Posted on June 16, 2014 at 10:13 am

    I am so frustrated, I hope you can help. I’ve followed your instructions to upload actions into my PSE 9 effects folder. Then I go in and delete the mediatabase.db3 and (OLD), open PSE, none of my new actions or old actions I had installed before are in there. Only the actions that came with the program are in there. I then try to delete the new mediatabase (again) that it created and re-start PSE and the same thing happens. What am I missing??? Please HELP!!!! thanks

  69. Jessica Mitchell
    Posted on July 31, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    I just got a new computer and I am trying to reload my actions to my PSE 9. I have loaded these actions to PSE 9 many times so I know that the are compatible with this version. I have done the installation 8 times. I have erased the metadata and started new every time and when I reopen PSE 9 it loads the new metadata like its suppose to but the actions never show up in the effects area. I researched and tried many different troubleshooting ideas and still have found no solution. I need help I am getting so frustrated!!!

  70. Whitney
    Posted on August 5, 2014 at 9:25 am

    I really need some help here. Nearly every problem you mentioned has happened to me. One set of actions worked just fine, then the 2nd set didn’t work, and the 1st set only worked after hours of fiddling. I even went as far as to completely reload adobe. My actions do not show up, and this is even from an old back up. so I followed the instructions to delete them all and just walk away. I still have no actions. I’m not sure where to go from here.

  71. Judy Luecke
    Posted on March 10, 2015 at 5:37 pm

    Does anyone know why I have duplicate icons of most of the actions/stlyes that PSE comes with, i.e. bevels,wow neon, drop shadows, etc. I can delete them from the actions panel but then whenever I install new actions (and, yes, I know I do that correctly) they come back again. I have even gone into my styles and actions folders and deleted them but the still show up in PSE. Do they not let you delete preexisting styles/actions from PSE? Also, whenever I install new ones the actions I had put in my ‘favorite’ disappear and I have to do that over again. Ugh! Thanks, Judy

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