Unwanted Icon on Layer Mask


Today’s Question: Enlarging the thumbnails on the Layers panel in Photoshop made it easier to see the layers and layer masks, but there is still a small intrusive thumbnail appearing on the mask. I was hoping to get rid of the layer mask icon altogether, but I guess this isn’t an option?

Tim’s Quick Answer: The new badge that appears at the bottom-right corner of layer masks in Photoshop is a new feature of Photoshop version 25.1. The public beta version of Photoshop includes an option to remove the badges.

More Detail: Today’s question is a follow-up to Monday’s question, where I addressed the option to enlarge the thumbnails for layers and layer masks on the Layers panel in Photoshop. However, with the latest update to version 25.1 of Photoshop there is a new badge feature that puts an icon on the layer mask for any layers that include a mask.

Several readers have reached out to me about this, as they find the badge gets in the way of evaluating a layer mask. I completely agree that the new badge icon isn’t all that helpful and can interfere with evaluating layer masks.

In Photoshop version 25.1 there isn’t an option to remove the badges on layer masks. However, there is such an option in the current public beta version of Photoshop. So, if you want to get rid of the badge icons you could either revert to an earlier version of Photoshop or use the public beta while we await an update to Photoshop that will include the option to remove the badge.

If you install the public beta version of Photoshop (via the “Beta apps” category on the Apps tab of the Creative Cloud application), you can click on the panel popup menu button at the top-right of the Layers panel and choose “Panel Options” to bring up the Layers Panel Options dialog. There you’ll find a “Show layer mask badges” checkbox that you can turn off to remove the badges on layer masks.

I would assume that this option in the public beta will soon be available in an update to the production version of Photoshop soon. At least I hope so, because I certainly don’t think the badges on layer masks provide a benefit, and I suggest disabling them.