How to use filters in Adobe Photoshop

Updated: 12/29/2023 by Computer Hope
Adobe Photoshop

Photoshop filters modify images and selections to create effects, repair images, and move pixels. You can turn photos into graphics and paintings, repair images, define or obscure things, add texture, and convert images for specialized uses. To learn how, follow the instructions below.


This article refers to the image filters that come with Adobe Photoshop CC, desktop version. However, some filters are also in the mobile version.

How to use an Adobe Photoshop filter

  1. Open Adobe Photoshop.
  2. Open your image file.
  1. Select the layer, like a smart object, layer, or layer mask, you want to affect.
  1. Click Window in the menu bar and select Layers to open the Layers panel, if not already open.
  2. Click the layer name (or layer mask to affect that). This highlights the small preview window with a white box to indicate the layer is selected.

Photoshop Layers panel

  1. (Optional) Select the pixels you want affected using any of the Selection tools, including Marquee, Lasso, Object Selection Tool, Quick Selection Tool, Magic Wand Tool, and Pen Tool.
  1. Select Filter from the menu bar.

Photoshop Filter Menu

  1. Navigate to your desired filter and click it.
  2. If an options window appears, adjust the settings, and click OK.

Filters with options have an ellipsis (...) after their name.


If you don't like the results of the filter and you want to undo it, click the Edit menu and select Undo. Or, press the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Z (or Command+Z on a Mac). Then, go back to step 5 to apply a new filter or apply the same filter with different options.

  1. When you're satisfied with the results, save your image.