How to close images in Photoshop

How To Close Images In Photoshop

Learn the various ways to close an image in Photoshop when you're done viewing or editing it. We'll learn how to close a single image, how to close multiple images at once, how to close images with unsaved changes, and how to close an image and return to Adobe Bridge.

Written by Steve Patterson.

In this series of tutorials on getting our images into Photoshop, we've learned how to set Photoshop as our default image editor for both Windows and Mac. We learned how to open images using Photoshop's Start screen, and how to open them into Photoshop from Adobe Bridge. We've even looked at how to open images into Photoshop's image editing plugin, Camera Raw, before moving them over to Photoshop.

Knowing how to get our images into Photoshop is obviously important. But so is knowing how to close those images when we're done. In this quick tutorial, we'll learn how to close a single image, and how to close multiple images at once. We'll look at what happens when we try to close an image with unsaved changes. And finally, we'll learn how to close an image and return to Adobe Bridge.

This tutorial is part of our Opening Images Learning Guide. Let's get started!

How To Close A Single Image

Here we see that I currently have a single image open in Photoshop:

Adobe Photoshop with one image currently open. Photo copyright Steve Patterson.
An image open in Photoshop CC. Photo credit: Steve Patterson.

To close a single image, go up to the File menu in the Menu Bar along the top of the screen and choose Close. You can also use the keyboard shortcut, Ctrl+W (Win) / Command+W (Mac):

Choosing the Close command in Photoshop.
To close a single image, go to File > Close.

Another way to close a single image is by clicking the small "x" icon in the document's tab. On a Windows PC, the "x" is located on the far right of the tab. On a Mac (which is what I'm using here), it's on the left:

To close a Photoshop document, click the 'x' icon in the tab.
Click the "x" in the tab to close the document.

How To Close Multiple Images At Once

If you have two or more images open in Photoshop and need to close them all, you could close each image one at a time. Or, you could close all of your open images at once. To close all open images, go up to the File menu and choose Close All. There's also a handy keyboard shortcut, Ctrl+Alt+W (Win) / Command+Option+W (Mac):

Choose the Close All command under the File menu to close all open images.
To close all open images, go to File > Close All.

Closing An Image With Unsaved Changed

If you see a small asterisk after the file's name and other information in the document's tab, it means you've made one or more edits to your image and haven't yet saved your work:

An asterisk in the document tab means you have not saved your changes.
An asterisk in the tab means you have unsaved changes.

To close an image that has unsaved changes, go up to the File menu and choose Close, or click the "x" icon in the document's tab. Photoshop will ask if you want to save your work before closing the image.

On a Windows PC, your options will be Yes to save, No to not save, or Cancel to escape out of the closing process and just return to your image. On a Mac, your options are Save, Don't Save or Cancel:

Photoshop asks if you want to save your work before closing the image.
Choose whether or not you want to save your work.

One very important thing to be aware of is that if you choose No (Win) / Don't Save (Mac), Photoshop will still close your image. But since you didn't save your work, any edits you made will be lost forever. If you simply want to cancel the closing process and return to your image, choose Cancel instead.

Close Multiple Images With Unsaved Changes

If you have two or more images open in Photoshop that have unsaved changes, you can close them all at once by going up to the File menu and choosing Close All. Before it closes your first image, Photoshop will ask if you want to save your work. You'll see the same options to choose from (Yes, No or Cancel on a Windows PC, or Save, Don't Save or Cancel on a Mac).

If you want the same choice to apply to all of the images you're closing, select Apply to All, then make your choice:

The Appy to All option will save or not save all images you're closing.
Choose "Apply to All" to save or not save all open images.

How To Close An Image And Return To Adobe Bridge

Finally, if you're using Adobe Bridge to select and open your images into Photoshop, you can close an image and return to Bridge by going up to the File menu in Photoshop and choosing Close and Go to Bridge:

Choosing the Close and Go to Bridge command in Photoshop.
Going to File > Close and Go to Bridge.

This closes the image and sends you back to Adobe Bridge where you can select the next image you want to open into Photoshop:

Back to Adobe Bridge.
Adobe Bridge CC.

Where to go next...

And there we have it! That's a quick look at all of the ways to close your images in Photoshop! And, that brings us to the end of this Learning Guide! Check out our Photoshop Basics section for more learning guides and tutorials!