How to Find Your Photoshop Files on Mac

Whether you want to browse your Photoshop files on Mac or recover them, you will need to know how to find them. There are various things you can try, all of them very straightforward and quick to do.

If you have Photoshop on Mac, there are several methods for how to find your files when you need them. Read on below to discover more about what these methods entail.

Open Recent Items

When you need to easily find your Photoshop files on Mac, the quickest way is to look at your recent items. For example, if you are searching for a particular .psd file that you have recently been working on, you should use one of these two methods to find it.

The first method to employ in finding a recent file in Photoshop can be done from the start screen:

  1. When you open Photoshop, you can go to the home menu, where you will see a selection of files.
  2. Set the sorting for these to ‘recent’ to find what you are seeking.
  3. When you are already working in Photoshop, you will find the ‘file’ option on the menu bar at the top.
  4. There, you can scroll down to ‘open recent’ where you should see your desired file in a list featuring the ones you’ve recently been working on.

Now, let’s see the next method.

Search for the File

Another easy way to find your Photoshop files on Mac is to search for them via your Finder. This will require you to remember at least part of the file name.

Here’s how:

  1. Once you want to find it, go to any Finder window on your Mac and click on the Search tab. This tab is usually in the top right corner of the screen, and easily identifiable thanks to the magnifying glass on it.
  2. Type in as much of the file name as you remember, then hit enter.
  3. Check that the search is set to ‘this Mac’ to make sure that the search covers every folder, not just a specific one. This will make it easier to find your file, which you can then open once you see it in the search results.

Keep reading to find another method to find your Photoshop field on Mac.

Search for the Extension

In case you don’t remember the name of the file you want to find on your Mac, there is another option to try out.

You can use the same Finder search method but instead of typing the name, you can simply type the extension:

  1. When you want to find one of these files, go to the Finder and type .psd in the search box, next to the magnifying glass.
  2. You will then see a list of all the .psd files on your Mac.
  3. If you want to narrow down the search, you should click on the three horizontal lines at the top of the menu and choose to sort the list by icons. This will allow you to see the file, which will help with recognizing it.

After you find your .psd file and finish your work, remember to upload it to PlaceIt to make the most out of your art and designs, from posters to prints.

Check the Autosave Folder

If you have autosave turned on, you won’t have to worry about potentially losing a file if Photoshop crashes. You can set the autosave function to save recovery information every five, ten, fifteen, and thirty minutes, or even an hour.

Usually, when Photoshop crashes, you will see the file you were working on before it did when you next open the application. If you don’t, you can find your Photoshop files on Mac by manually checking the autosave folder.

To do so:

  1. Open any Finder window
  2. Hold down the Option key (⌥)
  3. Click on Go in the top menu
  4. Click on Library
  5. Click Application Support
  6. Click Adobe
  7. Under Adobe, you will see an Adobe Photoshop folder.
  8. In this folder, you will find another one called AutoRecover.

Your autosave files will be there for you to find.

Access the Temp Folder

At times, you will need to recover a Photoshop file that has not been autosaved. To achieve this, you will need to know how to find it on your Mac. A safe bet would be using the Terminal to access the Temp folder, where temporary information is stored as you work on it.

The Terminal can be accessed either from the Launchpad, where you will find it in the Other or Utilities folder, from the Finder, or by using Spotlight. For the latter option:

  1. Hold the Command and Space keys
  2. Type in Terminal.
  3. Type “open $TMPDIR” without the quotes.
  4. You may be prompted to enter your admin password for security reasons. This command will open a new menu.
  5. Scroll to Temporary Items and look for whichever file you were working on in Photoshop.

Now, let’s see the next method.

Check File Saving Options

If you are unsure where a Photoshop file on Mac might be found, you should check the file saving settings.

To find them:

  1. Click on Photoshop in the top menu bar
  2. Click Preferences
  3. This will open the Preferences menu, where you should select File Handling on the left.
  4. The File Handling section has a few pertinent settings, including the autosave function we mentioned before.

To make file finding easier, you should check if the Save As to Original Folder option is ticked in the File Handling menu. If it is, it will narrow down the search, because it will automatically save whatever you are working on to the folder you imported it from.

Use Time Machine to Recover Files

Photoshop files on Mac can sometimes be lost or accidentally deleted. If you would like to recover them and find them once more, you may have to use the Time Machine. On a Mac, the Time Machine is the back-up system.

If you have Time Machine enabled on your Mac, it is a highly useful assistant that prevents the loss of files. To find a Photoshop file through the Time Machine, you simply need to:

  1. Attach the device where you are saving your back-ups.
  2. Open Time Machine and search for the Photoshop files you need on it.
  3. Once found, select the file and click on Restore.

This will help you to once again have access to your Photoshop files on Mac.


To find your Photoshop files on Mac, you have several methods at your disposal, from the recent items tab to a quick search, to using the back-ups stored on the Time Machine. No matter which method you pick, you will be able to find the files you need.