For the longest time I've endured a bug with Quick View and PSD files which I really want to quash.

The preview of PSD files in Quick Look is broken. I hit the spacebar and hey presto: the most recent saved selection / channel in the Photoshop file is cast in grey, and thus much if not all of the preview is ... a grey block, or whatever happens to be the outline within Photoshop.

This has afflicted many operating systems, going back at least 6-7 years: currently latest macOS Ventura. Different laptops likewise (currently MacBook Air 2021). And likewise many versions of Photoshop (full, deep wipe reinstallations along the way, including betas, and now the latest version). And finally, lots of different cameras, lots of different sizes of files, colour profiles, etc. etc.

I tried deleting Quick View caches, and a few other similar solutions over the years. And within Photoshop, making the saved preview "compatible" or not.

The only fix is the PSB Quick Look plugin (https://johnrellis.com/photoshop/psbquicklook.htm#uninstall) which is great: I have installed now but would prefer to get to the root of the problem.

Any suggestions?

1 Answer 1


By default, the preview of PSD files is supported by MacOS itself. I don't know whether Adobe Photoshop.app contains its own QuickLook generator.

A list of available file types and the plug-ins that create the previews can be obtained with qlmanage -m.

Interestingly, I can't find a listing for Photoshop files, though as said, it's a supported format: I have several .psd files that generate preview in the Finder.

I have one particular .psd file whose preview is all grey and crappy, but the file itself displays correctly in Affinity Photo, for instance.

Tellingly, if I open the PSD file in Preview, I get the same grey, crappy result as QuickLook. That suggests that the problem is with MacOS's ability to parse the PSD correctly, rather than a problem with the QuickLook generator itself.

The one file that doesn't preview correctly has transparency and un-rastered text. It's possible that certain types of component (layers, transparency, vectors, bit-ness? etc) may effect the error.

In short: the root of the problem is a limitation on macOS's ability to parse the format completely. Make sure you submit feedback to Apple on their website's feedback page, if you want to see this fixed.


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