Restoring Old Photoshop Gradients


Today’s Question: Some time ago with a Photoshop update the default gradients were replaced by a series of gradients that each represent one basic color. I would often use the previous gradients for various creative effects. Is there any way to get those old gradients back?

Tim’s Quick Answer: Yes, you can access the old gradient presets by enabling the Legacy Gradients option on the Gradients panel in Photoshop.

More Detail: When Adobe changed the default gradient presets in Photoshop a while back, the original gradients were left out. Fortunately, there is a way to restore access to the original default gradient presets from earlier versions of Photoshop.

To get started, bring up the Gradients panel by choosing Window > Gradients from the menu in Photoshop. On that panel you’ll see a list of folders matching the gradient presets you can find elsewhere, such as with the Gradient tool. These are primarily organized by color, such as options for “Blues” and “Pastels”.

If you don’t see a “Legacy Gradients” folder on the list, click the panel popup menu, which is an icon showing three horizontal lines at the top-right of the Gradients panel. On the popup menu that appears choose “Legacy Gradients”. At this point you will see a Legacy Gradients folder on the Gradients panel, and within that folder you’ll find the original gradient presets you’ve been missing.

Once you have enabled the Legacy Gradients presets on the Gradients panel, you’ll also find those presets elsewhere, such as on the gradient preset popup on the Options bar for the Gradient tool, and within the same popup available for the Gradient Map adjustment layer, among other options.