Troubleshooting Photoshop Actions in CS6: Background Not Available

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Photoshop CS6 is now available for purchase.  There are some amazing new features.  You can read about our favorites in the Best Features in Photoshop CS6 for Portrait Photographers article.

We love the new skin tones option in the color range dialogue, the iris blur, better resizing features, richer opacity controls and search functions in the layers panel, improved patch tool, non-destructive crop tool, and more.

As we mentioned before, most of our Photoshop actions work in CS6. Here are the exceptions:

  • If you bought the Rounded Blog It Boards or the Rounded Print It Boards or have the Facebook Fix actions, you will want to re-download your purchase from our website  Details are in the support/FAQ area of our site.  The title of your download will still say the versions you purchased originally, which is a limitation of our e-commerce cart.  But we will magically replace the downloads to include these additional files at no charge to you.
  • Additionally, if you use any of our other actions, this may impact you: If you crop photos at the beginning of your workflow, rather than at the end, you may get an error that reads, “The object layer ‘Background’ is not currently available” when you run some Photoshop actions.

You’ll probably panic the first time you see it and assume your actions don’t work.  They do.

  • Photoshop actions that worked properly in CS5 will work in CS6 too.
  • If you use the crop tool first, and have the box labeled “Delete Cropped Pixels” unchecked, you will have a non-destructive workflow.  That is a good thing. You retain all pixel information in your photograph and can re-crop at any time (assuming that you save as a layered, non-flattened file).   The drawback is that the “Background” layer in the layers panel becomes “Layer 0.”  Any Photoshop actions that call upon “Background” will get the error: “The object layer ‘Background’ is not currently available.”

Watch the video below to learn how to avoid or fix this issue manually. Also you can download the Free MCP Action Fixer for CS6, which does the work for you.

If you run into the error message here is what you can do:

  1. Good: Check off “Delete Cropped Pixels” – this will preserve your “Background” layer and actions will work.  The downsize is cropping will trash pixels, as it did in CS5 and below.
  2. Good: Flatten after cropping, even if you only have one layer called”Layer 0.”  This will rename the layer to “Background.” We included an action to flatten in our Free Photoshop Action: MCP Action Fixer for CS6: Flatten. Download it now.
  3. Better: Crop at the end of your workflow after running action. Leave “Delete Cropped Pixels” unchecked. Save as a layered file if you may want to crop in the future.
  4. Best: Use our Free Photoshop Action: MCP Action Fixer for CS6: Background.  Download it here. This will preserve the layers and rename the “Layer 0″ to an unlocked “Background” layer.  Photoshop actions will work and you can enjoy non-destructive cropping.
  5. Best: Rename the layer titled “Layer 0″ to “Background” – same advantages as five.
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 Troubleshooting Photoshop Actions in CS6: Background Not Available

Jodi Friedman, MCP Actions

Jodi Friedman is the founder of MCP Actions. She designs popular Photoshop actions and Lightroom presets that make editing faster, easier and more fun.

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6 Comments and 1 Replies



  1. 1
    Alice C. says:

    Thanks for the help!!

  2. 2
    Rae Higgins says:

    Great article!

  3. 3
    Maryvel says:

    Sound to me easiest thing to do is to run all of your actions first and then wait till the very end to do any cropping you need to do! Thanks for the heads up on this though, I hadn’t notice that problem yet, so if it happens, now I know what to do! ;)

  4. 4
    Jean says:

    Thank you!

  5. 5
    FR says:

    Your MCP Action Fixer for CS6 will not unzip. I keep getting that it’s not a valid file.

  6. 6
    Daniel Coats says:

    This is not working for me. I am getting that Background error you mentioned in the video. I tried all the work-a-rounds suggested in the video but none of them work. I downloaded the fixer action for the background but now get a error “The object “Layer 0″ is not currently available”. I do not have any lock icons on any of my layers. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong? Need help!!!!



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