Photoshop SOLVED: "Could not save because the file is already in use or left open."

This is a random irritation that frustrated me for a long time with Photoshop Elements on Mac. I'd make changes to an image and receive this error upon trying to save: "Could not save [file name] because the file is already in use or left open."

I searched forums for the answer to this problem and settled on a workaround of saving-as another file name, then deleting the original version. Doable but clumsy.

Till the day I had a eureka moment that was so simple and so satisfying.

Want to know where the file was "in use or left open"?

It was on my Finder.

In other words, I had that file selected in a folder, and its little preview was showing in the thumbnail window. This is obviously why it's a common error for people to receive, since we click on an image to open it but then don't think to deselect it before working on it in Photoshop!

Anyhoo…click off that photo, and problem solved. I'm serious — just click anywhere else in that folder, or close it, or whatever, and you'll be able to save the image.

Strangely, you won't get the error if you have multiple images selected (even including the one in question), so you're golden if you open several to edit at once.

Hope this helps someone else who's Googling this nonsense!



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