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Install Actions in Photoshop Elements 8

by Erin Peloquin on December 2, 2009 · 39 comments

I know some of you have been waiting on pins and needles for information about installing actions in Photoshop Elements 8.  Here’s the bad news:

  1. It’s no easier to install actions in PSE8 than it was in PSE7.

Here’s the good news:

  1. It’s no harder in PSE 8 than it was in PSE7.
  2. Installing actions in PSE 8 uses exactly the same method in PSE8 as it did in PSE7.  You might not need to learn anything new!
  3. I haven’t had to refresh the mediadatabase file in PSE8 as much as in PSE7.  So the installation process might not take as long.  I’m not sure if that because I currently have fewer actions in PSE8, or because the software itself is different.  It would be interesting to hear what everyone else on PSE8 experiences.

Click here for installation instructions for your operating system.

Can any of you who are using Photoshop Elements 8 on Windows 7 or Mac confirm that my instructions are right?  Thank you so much!

Have you checked out CoffeeShop Rita’s Watermarking Action?  Might be a good one to test out these instructions on!

Coming up soon on Texas Chicks – more in the “Welcome to PSE8 Series.”  How to Get Rid of the Opening Splash Screen and How to Organize Your Actions By Category in PSE8 – subscribe here so that you don’t miss them!

And read the Texas Chicks Photoshop Elements 8 review if you’re thinking about upgrading.

{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy December 2, 2009 at 12:31 pm

I’m running PSE8 on Windows 7 and this did NOT work for me. Here’s the path I used:
C:>Program Data>Adobe>Photoshop Elements>8.0>locale>en_us>Workflow Panels>Actions.

Install only the .atn file in that folder. You can’t get a preview of the action anywhere, which sucks. Anyway, then you’ll find your actions in the action player under the “Guided Edit” mode.

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Elizabeth H January 4, 2010 at 4:18 pm

Oh gosh I hope you can help me I’m pulling my hair out. I did absolutely every single step here (I’m on a mac) and when I restarted PSE8, it even said something about updating effects or whatever and then, the actions still aren’t there. I’ve been trying this for weeks and no one can tell me why it’s not working. And surprise, surprise Adobe doesn’t have anything on their support site about installing actions in action player. }:(

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sharon April 18, 2010 at 5:36 pm

I am having the same problem! Been trying this for days. Did you find an answer? I see my actions in my files but they aren’t showing up in the PSE either.

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Victoria March 12, 2010 at 11:28 pm

I’m using PSE8 for Mac, and don’t have the same file path that you lay out. Rather, I have Library > Application Support > Adobe > Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 > Presets (the only folder in there) > Actions (presumably?). Have tried this and it doesn’t work! Also, I can’t find the Mediadatabase.db3 file to save my life.

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admin March 13, 2010 at 9:07 am

Victoria, can you do a find for the mediadatabase file? Use that location to back into the correct Actions folder (the one you’ve found isn’t it). Let me know if that works – I will help you if not.

Erin

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Victoria March 13, 2010 at 11:17 am

Hi Erin. I did do a global search for the file and my computer can’t find it! I very recently downloaded PSE8 (a couple of weeks ago) so maybe I did something wrong when I downloaded it?

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Mara April 9, 2010 at 2:34 pm

The paths on Mac are a little confusing are two seem similar. Click on Finder, then in the right column, click on Macintosh HD and navigate from there. It is a different library folder than what you initially see pop up on your screen. HTH.

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catz April 28, 2010 at 2:19 am

For Mac you need to start with Mac HD\Library\Application Support\Adobe\Photoshop Elements\8.0\Photo Creations\Photo Effects. Load all the files that come with the atn. Back track one level and select folder Locale\en_US\change MediaDatabase.db3 to MediaDatabaseOLD.db3. Restart PSE 8.0. You will find the actions under the Effects folder in the Edit Full category. Scroll down to the bottom and you will see them there. Select a picture and then double click on the action. They will not be found in the Edit Guided category.

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KathyinMN June 9, 2010 at 6:54 am

Thank you catz-that was VERY helpful. =)

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KathyinMN June 9, 2010 at 7:02 am

And I should add-it worked! Yippee!

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Leah August 24, 2010 at 9:00 am

This worked! To the TX chicks, you should put these instructions at the top!

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charis echterling May 17, 2010 at 5:26 pm

I am wanting to install actions into PSE 7 could someone help me in the steps! I have never worked with actions so I am a bit confused!

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admin May 17, 2010 at 7:35 pm

Charis, did you find this page? Hope it helps. http://www.texaschicksblogsandpics.com/photography-page/installing-actions-in-photoshop-elements/. Thanks for reading Texas Chicks Blogs and Pics!

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janice August 20, 2010 at 1:39 pm

YES!!! these installed with no problem for me (pse8/windows7). i just had to “unhide” the program data folder. i think most using windows 7 will have to do so. thank you for the directions!!

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Nikki October 31, 2010 at 2:57 am

I am installing actions in PSE 8 on windows 7 . I have done this before, so I kinda know what I’m doing but now only SOME of the actions are showing up in PSE. It even said it was updating when I added new ones and still they won’t show up! I don’t know what to do! Please someone help me!

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admin October 31, 2010 at 7:55 am

Hi Nicki,
Without seeing you computer, I wouldn’t know what is going on. I can help you via my action installation service, if you’d like.

Erin

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Nikki November 21, 2010 at 4:38 pm

I finally figured “something” out, I somehow had 2 photo effects folders. I have no idea why or how or what but I found the 2nd photo effects folder and put all the actions in there and now it works fine. Very weird, but all fixed!!! :)

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Cooper Creek November 21, 2010 at 2:07 am

I am using PSE 8 on Windows 7 and followed your instructions to the T and have restarted the computer and still cannot see the actions in the effects panel…. please help!

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admin November 21, 2010 at 1:10 pm

Hi there. I don’t have enough info to help you based on your message, but I can connect remotely to your computer if you need me too. More information is available here.

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Nikki November 21, 2010 at 4:36 pm

Okay, so I have windows 7 and had the same problem with PSE8, I’m not sure if this will help you or not because I’m not sure how I did it or what happened, but I somehow found ANOTHER photo effects folder. Yes, I had 2!!! And all my actions were in the one and it wasn’t working, so I moved them to the other one and now I can see them. I don’t know how to find the other photo effects folder, but maybe this will help you knowing there are 2 and maybe you are using the wrong one too. I hope you find it!!! :)

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Amanda Psenisky November 23, 2010 at 2:28 pm

I have successfully installed 3 different sets of actions to PSE8 using your instructions but have now hit a road block. When I get to the Media Database file, it will no longer open. I was prompted to pick another program to open it and of course nothing worked. Help!! Where do I go from here?

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admin November 23, 2010 at 8:43 pm

Hi Amanda, mediadatabase isn’t supposed to open. You just want to rename it.

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alyssa January 9, 2011 at 12:45 pm

did you find an answer for:
Elizabeth H January 4, 2010 at 4:18 pm
Oh gosh I hope you can help me I’m pulling my hair out. I did absolutely every single step here (I’m on a mac) and when I restarted PSE8, it even said something about updating effects or whatever and then, the actions still aren’t there. I’ve been trying this for weeks and no one can tell me why it’s not working. And surprise, surprise Adobe doesn’t have anything on their support site about installing actions in action player. }:(

REPLY

sharon April 18, 2010 at 5:36 pm
I am having the same problem! Been trying this for days. Did you find an answer? I see my actions in my files but they aren’t showing up in the PSE either.

Having the same problems as them. I did everything as you said… it did stall and say it was rebuilding or something, but none of my actions are in the effects folder…

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Chaucee April 5, 2011 at 2:23 pm

I have tried this multiple times, did everything it says to do but I can’t find the mediadatabase file to delete it. Please help!!!

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Chaucee April 5, 2011 at 2:24 pm

I have Photoshop Elements 8

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Jackie Gregg April 26, 2011 at 11:23 am

Thank you so much I have been trying to figure this out forever I have elements 8 on a mac computer. You have just made my day!!!!

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Andrea May 21, 2011 at 6:28 pm

Hey there! I have used your technique FOREVER with my actions and never had a problem. However, I purchase an iMac yesterday, installed PSE8 and then tried to load my actions using this way again. I changed the mediadatabase file to the OLD. When I restarted PSE8, it acted like it was loading them like every other time, but when I go to effect, it is just the ones that came with PSE8 not my loaded actions. IDK what I am doing wrong! Any ideas?

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admin May 21, 2011 at 7:32 pm

Hi Andrea, as long as you are going down through All Users rather than your specific user drive, I don’t have any tips. Try deleting Mediadatabase and any old versions and starting over. Just make sure not to interrupt Elements while it starts up. Make sure that all watches and waiting icons are gone from your cursor. If that doesn’t work, I can connect to you remotely.

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Tiff July 9, 2011 at 6:21 pm

I have installed the actions for Photoshop Elements 8. All the actions and thumbnails are in my palette, but my mouse keeps shaking and I see the spinning loading circle randomly. I have started and restarted my computer is there any way to get this to stop?

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JackC November 23, 2011 at 5:00 pm

Habving all the kinds of trouble with pse8 and win7 described in the preceding comments.
I note that in the photo effects foldetr (“C:\ProgramData\Adobe\Photoshop Elements\8.0\Photo Creations\photo effects”) I actually have 5 Photo effects folders–5.0,6.0,7.0,8.0 and 10.0. Each of them, except 10.0, have a full complement of atn and associated files.!!
Is this a source of trouble? (gonna delete all except 8.0 and see what happens).
–jack

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Wona Chennault March 11, 2012 at 1:18 am

I have windows 7 and PSE8 i can follow the path to en_us but there is no workflows folder…i purchased my PSE8 from Best Buy so I know I have a good copy. Can you tell me why I wouldn’t have that folder?

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Erin March 12, 2012 at 8:58 am

Please look for the troubleshooting info on this website. Thanks!

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Jessica Lee April 26, 2012 at 9:28 pm

I used this method the first time that I installed photoshop actions, and I was successful. However, I am trying to add a few more and now they are not showing up. Any suggestions?

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Erin April 27, 2012 at 11:51 am
kristy June 10, 2013 at 10:12 am

Hi all,

I have a Mac (OS X) and have the PSE 8. I do not have any of the file paths that you guys talk about. Mine are:

Adobe Photoshop Elements 8
– Assets
– Legal
– Locales
– en_US
-Layouts
-Plug-Ins
– Support Files
– Plug-ins
– Presets
– Tutorials

I can’t find anything that says “actions”. I’m getting so frustrated! I’m afraid I’m going to have to suck it up and buy photoshop, which is so expensive!

If anyone can help me, I would greatly appreciate it!

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Erin Peloquin June 11, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Hi Kristy, you aren’t following the instructions exactly. Read through my troubleshooting here: http://www.texaschicksblogsandpics.com/category/digital-photography/install-actions-in-photoshop-elements/

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