How to Allow Photoshop to Access Your Desktop

Photoshop needs access to your desktop so that you can upload documents and images to edit or change. You may have accidentally said no during the initial installation of the program and now need to change that setting, or maybe the option had yet to be offered.

Whether you got the option or not, it is always good to figure out how to allow photoshop access to your desktop. Here are ways to do this on your Windows desktop and iOS system. We all know each system is not the same.

How to Allow Photoshop to Access Your Desktop

Most of the time, there should be an option when you open your program that asks whether you want to allow access to your computer. This doesn’t always happen, so you may need to find a way to allow access. 

When you don’t allow full permission to your system, it can restrict certain functions that can be made on a document. It may even make it where you can’t open anything. So you will need to allow that access. Here is how based on what type of system you have.

Access on a Windows Computer

When you can’t gain access to your folders on your Windows, this is to keep your computer safe and secure. You don’t want just any unauthorized or unsafe app accessing and changing your files. This could be dangerous, and that’s how important information can get leaked.

To change the access, you must go into your system settings instead of going through the Photoshop program. Follow these easy steps to give Adobe access:

  1. Go to the “Start” Menu.
  2. Find “Settings” and open it up.
  3. Go to “Update & Security”
  4. Next, find “Windows Security” and then find “Virus & threat protection.”
  5. Under the “Virus & threat protection” tab, you will find “Manage settings” and select it.
  6. Find the “Controlled Folder Access” and choose “Manage Controlled Folder access.”
  7. There you will switch the “Controlled folder access” to on if it is turned off.

If you find that the folder access is already turned on, then it could be another program impeding your access. Check for virus protection software and other programs that could cause this problem.

Access on a iOS System

Allowing Adobe Photoshop access to your account is slightly different on your macOS system than on a Windows system. The program needs consent to access all folders and files so that you can use them in photoshop more smoothly. 

You must complete these system adjustments through your computer settings and not within the Photoshop program. This is what you need to do:

  1. Open your general settings menu on your macOS.
  2. Find the little house icon for “Security & Privacy” and click on it.
  3. Find the tab “Privacy” and click on it.
  4. Find the little lock icon and click on it.
  5. A window will pop up and request either your password or touch ID.
  6. Go to “Accessibility” next.
  7. Press the little plus sign, where you will add Photoshop to that list.
  8. Find the latest Adobe Photoshop folder and click on it.
  9. Once you have added that, go to “Full Access” and click on it.
  10. Press the little plus sign again for this section.
  11. Find the latest Adobe Photoshop folder and add it.
  12. Ensure you press the lock icon at your screen’s bottom left-hand corner to return your privacy settings to secure.
  13. Restart your computer.

Once you have completed these steps, you will want to open the program to ensure the adjustments stick. Now you should have full access to the folders and files with the Adobe Photoshop program.

What if I Still Can’t Get Access?

If you have adjusted your system settings to allow Adobe Photoshop access to your folders and files, you still can’t do this. There may be software on your computer that is causing this restriction.

Sometimes it can be your security software that isn’t allowing access. You may need to open that program’s settings to see if it is causing the problem. This process is different with each software company, so you may need to go to that website to find those steps.

If there is nothing on your computer that should be causing this problem. Always check for an update from Adobe. This may be the issue, and the update will solve this glitch. Restart your computer and the program after an update to ensure the settings are correct.

If you still seem to have issues with this access, you can use the last resort of uninstalling the program and re-installing it back onto your computer. This takes a few more steps but sometimes resolves everything.

How to Uninstall and Reinstall Program

Uninstalling a program on your Windows computer and your macOS is pretty similar. You may need to change your words to figure out how to do this. But follow these steps to uninstall your Adobe Photoshop program and reinstall it again:

  1. Go to your settings menu on your desktop.
  2. Find “Apps.”
  3. There should be three dots for other options. Click on uninstall.
  4. Once it has been uninstalled, go to the Adobe Photoshop website.
  5. Click on the Buy Now or download option.
  6. Follow the steps to download.
  7. Log into your account.

Ensure that you click yes to allowing Adobe Photoshop access to your computer. If you don’t, you will have to manually go in and allow access, which can be annoying and quite daunting. It is easiest to allow access at the beginning of the process and then change it later.

With the macOS, you may see a message that says “open settings” or deny. Click on the “open settings.” It should take you straight to the settings where you can turn on full disk access or add the program to the list that can access it.


Not having access to your desktop disables your ability to use Adobe Photoshop, which means you have the program for nothing. There needs to be that access. If you continue to have this issue, always contact Adobe and then your computer’s manufacturer.