Designers, photographers, and digital artists spend many hours working in Photoshop, whether designing, editing photos, or creating art. As a professional in these fields, you may receive photos from clients that require touch-ups or have to edit your own photographs. In both cases, Photoshop actions can be extremely useful for streamlining repetitive tasks and achieving specific, and often stunning, photo effects quickly.
Actions are pre-recorded sets of instructions that automate the process of applying a sequence of edits to an image. By using actions, you can create complex photo effects with just a few clicks, saving you time and effort. Countless actions are available for free, but finding high-quality ones can sometimes be challenging.
We’ve curated a collection of fifty Photoshop action packs that are all available for free. These actions will give you the tools you need to apply various effects to your photos, from matte and film to vintage styles, stunning black and white conversions, and even HDR.
With these actions in your toolkit, you’ll be able to save time while editing your photos and won’t have to spend hours scouring the web for high-quality free actions. Whether you’re a professional photographer or a designer, these actions will help you achieve the look you want without spending hours on each individual photo.
Free Vintage & Retro Photoshop Actions
These free Photoshop Actions can create a range of photo effects, including a vintage or retro look, a washed-out or faded effect, a gritty or grungy feel, or even a black and white or sepia-toned effect.
1. Old & Dirty Photoshop Action (Free)
Turn your colorized photos to black and white, and then apply a subtle vintage effect. The action works with Photoshop as well as Lightroom.
2. Animated Retro Vintage Film Photoshop Actions (with Envato Elements)
This action adds a vintage retro look and feel to your photos. It can also be applied to videos and includes 24 different colors, which are applied non-destructively.
3. Vintage Landscape Photoshop Action (Free)
As the name suggests, this free Photoshop action is perfect for landscape photos that you want to style to appear vintage.
4. Faded Films – 75 Film & Retro Effects (with Envato Elements)
Apply the faded look similar to Instagram filters with this collection of 75 retro and film effects for Adobe Photoshop. Actions are easy to use and customize.
5. Instant Hipster Retro Photoshop Actions (Free)
This Photoshop action pack contains ten actions that will make your photos appear more retro and vintage. The actions mimic Instagram filters.
6. Vintage Art Photoshop Action (with Envato Elements)
This Photoshop action makes use of various brushes, filters, and effects to create a vintage art look. It works well with action photos.
7. Vintage Heaven Photoshop Action (Free)
Apply a nice vintage look to your photos with the help of Photoshop and this beautiful set of Photoshop actions. The actions work with Photoshop CC versions.
8. Vintage Wedding PS Action (Free)
Wedding photographers rejoice as this free Photoshop action will allow you to add a vintage effect to your wedding photos. The collection comes with a total of 15 individual actions.
With this collection of Photoshop actions, you will be able to quickly generate vintage, lomo, and retro effects, and apply them to your photos.
Free Film & Cinema Effects Photoshop Actions
These Photoshop actions can create a range of effects that are commonly found in classic films and cinema. These actions can add a cinematic feel to your images, such as a soft and warm film look, a faded or desaturated effect, a film grain texture, or even a dramatic and moody style.
10. Old Film Photoshop Action (Free)
Try this Photoshop action if you want to apply an old-film look to your photos. The action supports Photoshop CC and Lightroom 4 and higher versions.
11. Vintage Film Photoshop Actions (with Envato Elements)
This pack of 10 Photoshop actions will turn any photo into a vintage-looking photograph. The pack supports non-destructive editing.
12. Cyberpunk Photoshop Action (Free)
This free action applies a specific set of effects that will give your photos a cyberpunk-style. Cyberpunk is characterized by a futuristic feel, featuring neon lights, and sci-tech elements.
13. Free Cinema Photoshop Action (Free)
This Photoshop action, called Warm Cinema, will give a cozy and cinematic look to your photos. This action is part of a more extensive collection and speeds up your workflow considerably.
14. Film & Cinema Effect Photoshop Actions (with Envato Elements)
Try this Photoshop action if you want your photos to have a cinematic look and feel. This collection is perfect for bloggers, wedding, and portrait photographers.
15. Vibrant Film Photoshop Action (Free)
This Photoshop action produces an interesting vintage effect with brilliant, vibrant colors. The action works with Photoshop as well as Lightroom.
16. Film Effect Photoshop Action (Free)
Make your photos come to life with this Film Effect Photoshop action. The action makes your colors pop and applies them non-destructively.
Free Color Effects Photoshop Actions
These actions allow you to add warmth or coolness to your photos, enhance contrast, or even apply selective color effects to specific areas of your photo. You can achieve a variety of moods and styles, whether you want a vintage, a cinematic look, or a colorful, vibrant style.
17. Split-Toned Photoshop Action (Free)
This free Photoshop action will apply a vintage-like, split-toning effect to your photos, enhancing the color and feel of the shot.
18. Double Color Exposure Actions (with Envato Elements)
Create a striking effect with your photos, text, and other graphic designs thanks to this collection of beautiful and bold double color exposure actions. The collection includes seven different color styles.
19. Blue Evening Photoshop Action (Free)
The free Blue Evening Photoshop action will apply an atmospheric, blue-toned effect to your photos, creating a calming and serene look and feel.
20. Photoshop Crimson Shimmer Action (Free)
This Photoshop action is bound to make your photos stand out as it adds a subtle touch of crimson to any photo. The action is easy to adjust and apply.
21. Color Fusion Photoshop Actions (with Envato Elements)
Add pops of neon coloring to any photo with this Color Fusion Photoshop action. The action is applied non-destructively and can be adjusted to your liking.
22. Honey Photoshop Action (Free)
Choose this Photoshop action if you want to make your food photography pop. The action is applied non-destructively and can easily be adjusted.
23. Color Dust Photoshop Action (with Envato Elements)
Create a stunning color dust explosion effect with this Photoshop action. It will instantly transform your photos and make them appear more dynamic.
24. Nightmare Photoshop Action (Free)
With this action for Photoshop, you can apply a dark and somewhat haunted look to your photos. A great choice to help you create a dark, moody look and feel.
25. Copper Photoshop Actions (Free)
Apply an interesting copper look to your photos with the help of this free Photoshop action. You can tweak and adjust the action to your needs.
26. Creamy Photoshop Actions (Free)
If you want to apply a soft, almost pastel-like look to your photos, this collection of Photoshop actions is a must. The action works best for portrait and outdoor photos.
27. Silver Photoshop Action (Free)
The Silver Photoshop action will transform your colorized photos into black and white. This effect works well with a variety of photos and is applied non-destructively.
28. Autumn Warm Glow Photoshop Action (Free)
Add an instant autumn glow to any photo by using this free Photoshop action. The action works non-destructively and works best with landscape and nature photos.
29. Sunset Photoshop Action (Free)
Enhance your sunset photos or give any other photo a warm, golden glow. This action works best with nature and outdoor photography.
Free Special Effects Photoshop Actions
These special effects Photoshop actions can add texture, lighting, and color enhancements to your photos, allowing you to create a one-of-a-kind look.
30. Create Tiny Planets Photoshop Action (Free)
Tiny planets are all the rage but creating them from scratch takes work. This Photoshop action will change that and allow you to transform any photo into your very own tiny planet.
31. Dust Storm Animation Photoshop Action (with Envato Elements)
Make your photos appear more dynamic with these Photoshop actions. The action works with Photoshop CC.
32. Corrupted VHS Photoshop Action (Free)
This Corrupted VHS Photoshop action will make your photos seem as they were captured on an old VHS tape, giving your shot a distinctive and artistic appearance.
33. Brick Mosaics Photoshop Actions (Free)
Ever wanted to turn your photos into fun mosaics? Well, now you can with the help of this Photoshop action! The pack includes a total of 10 actions.
34. Anaglyph / Glitch Photo FX Actions (with Envato Elements)
This Photoshop action allows you to quickly and non-destructively apply a fun glitch effect to your photos. The actions are easy to use and include video instructions.
35. Pixelate Photoshop Actions (Free)
Similar to the action above, this Photoshop action collection will pixelate your photos. Perfect for creating unique backgrounds. The collection also includes frame and border styles.
36. Dispersion Effect Photoshop Action (Free)
Try this Photoshop action if you want to produce a cool-looking dispersion effect. Make any photo appear as if it’s dispersing. Play the action and make adjustments as necessary.
37. Comic Poster Photoshop Actions (Free)
Turn any photo into a comic-style poster using this Comic Poster Photoshop action. The action works in Photoshop and newer as well as Photoshop CC editions.
38. Firestorm Photoshop Action (with Envato Elements)
Add an interesting effect to your portraits and make them appear as though they are disintegrating into a giant firestorm. The action works in Photoshop CS4 and newer versions.
39. Glitch Effect PSD Photoshop Action Kit (Free)
This free Photoshop action will add a subtle glitch effect to your photos, making them mimic the look of old VHS tapes. The action works non-destructively, and you can make adjustments.
40. Double Exposure Photoshop Actions (Free)
With this pack of Photoshop actions, you can easily recreate the double exposure effect without starting from scratch.
Free HDR Effects Photoshop Actions
These HDR Photoshop actions can help you achieve a range of styles, from a natural and realistic look to a more dramatic and surreal effect. These actions will enhance your photo’s contrast, saturation, and sharpness, giving you a bold and vivid photo effect.
41. HDR Photoshop Action (Free)
Add a strong and bold HDR effect to your photos with the help of the HDR Photoshop action. The pack contains a non-destructive action, so you can safely revert back if needed.
42. HDR Pro Photoshop Action (with Envato Elements)
Try this Photoshop action if you want to add a sharp look to your photos. The action supports Photoshop CS4 and newer versions and is applied non-destructively.
43. HDR Lightroom Preset & Photoshop Action (Free)
Use this Photoshop action to open up the dynamic range of your photo and apply a beautiful and bold effect. The action works with both Photoshop and Lightroom.
44. HDR Stock Photoshop Actions (with Envato Elements)
This set of 18 different Photoshop actions will allow you to reproduce an HDR effect on any of your photos quickly. The pack supports non-destructive editing.
45. HDR Photo Action (Free)
This beautiful Photoshop action will apply a stunning HDR effect to your photos. It works well with all kinds of photos, especially nature and outdoor photography.
Free Black & White Effects Photoshop Actions
These actions will allow you to transform color photos into stunning black and white images, giving them a new level of depth and emotion. They can also add a range of effects to your images, from a classic and timeless look to a more artistic and stylized effect.
46. Black & White Photo Actions (Free)
This set of Photoshop actions will allow you to turn your photos into black and white works of art. There are several actions included which allow you to turn photos more white, more black, give them a more faded look, and more.
47. Black White Photoshop Actions (with Envato Elements)
This collection of Photoshop actions contains a total of 31 actions which are applied non-destructively and work exceptionally well with portrait photography.
48. Shifted B&W Photoshop Action (Free)
Turn your photos into black and white but with a hint of color. This produces a nice vintage effect and makes your photos pop.
49. High Contrast Black & White Photoshop Action (Free)
If you want to apply high contrast to your photos and turn them black and white, don’t miss out on this Photoshop action. It works with both Photoshop and Lightroom.
Free Matte Effect Photoshop Actions
These actions will add a matte effect to your photos, reducing the contrast and saturation and adding a subtle haze or film-like grain. They help to enhance the texture and depth of your photos, creating a nostalgic and timeless effect.
50. Matte Photoshop Action (Free)
Apply a matte effect easily to your photos with the help of this Matte Photoshop action. The action is free and works both with Lightroom and Photoshop.
51. Matte Blogger Photoshop Actions (with Envato Elements)
If you’re a blogger and want to make your photos have a matte look, try this Photoshop action. An excellent choice for fashion, travel, and lifestyle bloggers.
52. Matte Lightroom Preset & Photoshop Action (Free)
With the help of this free Photoshop action, you will be able to quickly and easily apply a subtle matte effect to your photos. The action comes as a Photoshop action and Lightroom preset.
53. Warm Matte Photoshop Action (Free)
This action will apply a warm matte look to your photos, making them appear retro and vintage. It works well with portraits, as well as landscape and nature photos.
54. Matte & Faded Photoshop Actions (with Envato Elements)
This set of matte actions will not only add a matte effect but will also fade out colors and produce an interesting effect. This action is perfect for nature and landscape photos.
55. Deep Matte Photoshop Action (Free)
If you’re looking for a deep matte look, be sure to give this action a try. It’s compatible with both Photoshop and Lightroom.
56. Vintage Matte Photoshop Action (Free)
The Vintage Matte Photoshop action will make it easy to add a lovely vintage effect to your photos. The action supports non-destructive editing.
57. Oil Painting Photoshop Action (Free)
These free actions will transform your photos images into oil paintings, replicating the unique brush strokes, textures and color variations of classic art.
Free Light Leak Effects Photoshop Actions
These actions can simulate the appearance of light leaks, which occur when light enters the camera through unintended openings, creating a washed-out and soft effect on your photos. They can help you achieve various styles, from a soft, romantic look to a more dramatic and surreal effect.
58. Light & Bright Photoshop Action (Free)
Add bright light leaks to any photo with the help of the Photoshop actions in this pack. The action creates layers and supports non-destructive editing.
59. Light Leaks Bundle (with Envato Elements)
This Light Leaks bundle contains 32 actions to add various light leak effects to your photos. The collection works well with landscapes with bright scenes and even portraits.
60. 25 Light Leaks Photoshop Actions (Free)
These free actions will allow you to add various light leak effects to your photos, giving the impression that light has leaked into the camera body during exposure.
61. Premium Looks Photoshop Actions (Free)
Add a touch of class to your portraits with the help of this Photoshop action. The action contains five different effects and two light leaks that can be combined for a unique look.
Free Golden Hour Photoshop Actions
These Golden Hour actions simulate the soft and warm glow of the golden hour light, allowing you to enhance the beauty and atmosphere of your photos, creating a captivating and enchanting effect.
62. Golden Hour Photoshop Action (Free)
Use this Photoshop action whenever you need to make a photo look like it was taken during the golden hour. It works well with cityscapes and nature photos.
63. The Golden Hour Photoshop Actions (with Envato Elements)
This set of 12 Photoshop actions that will produce various golden hour effects. The collection works great on nature photos.
64. Golden Glow Photoshop Action (Free)
This Golden Glow action will lighten your photo and give it a golden tint. Use it with landscape and nature photos, but don’t be afraid to experiment with other types of photos as well.
Free Sketch & Pencil Effect Photoshop Actions
These actions will add a hand-drawn effect to your images, creating a unique and artistic look. They can add depth and texture to your photos, creating a visually striking effect.
65. Pencil Drawing Photoshop Action (Free)
Make your photos appear sketched using this Pencil Drawing Photoshop action. The action works non-destructively and produces a black and white sketch.
66. Pencil Sketch Photoshop Actions (with Envato Elements)
This Photoshop action will turn any photo into a realistic black and white sketch. The set contains 15 unique actions which are applied non-destructively.
67. Sketch Photoshop Action (Free)
This set of Photoshop actions makes it easy to apply the sketch effect with a single click. You can even adjust the result to your liking.
Free Lomo Effects Photoshop Actions
These Photoshop actions simulate the look of the Lomo camera, which creates photos with high contrast, vibrant colors, and vignetting effects. They will add a touch of nostalgia to your photos, creating a unique and eye-catching look.
68. Lomo Photoshop Action (Free)
Apply a Lomo effect to your photos and make them appear as though they were taken with a Lomography camera. The action produces a fun vintage effect.
69. Lomographist Photoshop Actions (with Envato Elements)
With the help of these 10 Photoshop actions, you’ll quickly make your photos appear vintage. This set of actions is compatible with Photoshop CS4 and newer.
70. Lomo-Inspired Effects Photoshop Actions (Free)
The Lomo-Inspired Photoshop action applies a retro effect that works well with a wide variety of photos. It’s a great way to add a fun toy camera effect.
Free Watercolor Effects Photoshop Actions
These watercolor effects Photoshop actions mimic the artistic charm of watercolor painting, adding depth, texture, and vivid colors to your images, elevating them to a new level of creativity and visual appeal.
71. Michelangelo Watercolor Photoshop Action (Free)
The aptly named Michelangelo Painting Photoshop Action will quickly transform your photos into beautiful watercolor works of art. You will also get a free watercolor brush (ABR) and pattern PAT) file for Photoshop.
72. Watercolor Photo Effect Photoshop Action (with Envato Elements)
This watercolor Photoshop action has been created to allow you to quickly give your photos an artistic look and feel. A PSD template is also included in the download.
How to Install a Photoshop Action
Photoshop actions will help you transform your photos into works of art and save you time during your editing workflow. They will also help you achieve a consistent look easily instead of trying to remember all the adjustments and filters you used.
Here’s a quick tutorial on how to install and use Photoshop actions:
- Download and unzip the action file
- Launch Photoshop
- Go to
Load Actionsfrom the menu and go to the folder where you saved the unzipped action file to select it. The Action will now be installed
- To use the newly installed action, locate it in the
- Click the triangle to the left of the action name to see the list of available actions.
- Click the action you want to play and press the play button at the bottom of the Actions panel
Tips For Using Photoshop Actions
Here are some valuable tips for using Photoshop actions effectively:
- Organize Your Actions: As you accumulate actions, create folders to organize them by category or purpose. This makes it easier to find and use the right action quickly.
- Use on Duplicate Layers: Before applying an action, duplicate your original layer. This will allow you to apply the action non-destructively and compare the edited version with the original.
- Adjust Opacity & Blending Modes: After applying an action, experiment with adjusting the opacity of the action layer and trying different blending modes to achieve your desired effect.
- Mask & Brush: Use layer masks to selectively apply the action’s effects to specific areas of your image. You can paint on the mask with a soft brush to control where the action’s changes appear.
- Combine Actions: You can use multiple actions on a single image. You can experiment by applying different actions and adjusting their settings to achieve unique effects.
- Edit Smart Objects: Before applying an action, convert your layer to a smart object. This will allow you to go back and tweak the action’s settings later without losing quality.
- Customize Actions: Don’t hesitate to tweak the settings of an action to match your specific image or style. Each image is unique, and minor adjustments can make a big difference.
- Save Custom Variations: If you frequently modify specific actions, consider saving them as custom variations. This way, you can access your preferred settings quickly.
- Preview Actions: Use the
Previewoption before applying an action to see how it will affect your image. This will help you choose the best action for your specific photo.
- Record Your Own Actions: If you frequently perform the same sequence of edits, consider recording your actions. This can save time and ensure consistency.
- Backup Your Actions: Regularly back up your custom actions to prevent loss due to software updates or computer issues.
- Learn from Actions: Examine the steps and layers in actions you use. This can provide valuable insight into advanced techniques and layer adjustments.
Remember, while actions are powerful tools, they might not work perfectly on every image due to variations in lighting, color, and subject matter.
Be prepared to make minor adjustments to suit each image’s unique characteristics. With practice, you’ll become skilled at using Photoshop actions to enhance your photos efficiently and creatively.
How to Create Your Own Photoshop Actions
Creating your own Photoshop action involves recording a series of steps you perform on an image and saving them as an action. This allows you to apply the same steps to multiple images, saving time and ensuring consistency in your photo editing process.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating your own Photoshop action:
- Open an Image: Launch Photoshop and open the image you want to use as the base for creating the action.
- Open the Actions Panel: Navigate to the
Windowmenu and click on
Actionsto open the Actions panel.
- Create a New Action: On the Actions panel, click on the folder icon to create a new action set. Click the
New Actionbutton (represented by a square icon) to create a new action.
- Name and Set Shortcut (Optional): Give your action a descriptive name that reflects the edits you’ll be recording.
- Record the Steps: Click the
Recordbutton in the Actions panel to start recording and perform the editing steps you want to include in the action.
- Stop Recording: Once you’ve completed the editing steps, click the
Stopbutton (■ square icon) in the Actions panel to stop recording.
- Test the Action: Open another image to test the newly created action. From the Actions panel, select the action and click
Play(▶ triangle icon) to apply the recorded steps to the new photo.
- Adjust & Customize: If needed, you can open the action in the Actions panel, select individual steps, and adjust settings or delete unnecessary steps.
- Save the Action: To save the action for future use or sharing, right-click on the action in the Actions panel and choose
Save Actions. Choose a location on your computer and give the action file a name. The action will be saved with a
- Load the Action: To use the action on another computer or version of Photoshop, you can load the action set by going to the Actions panel’s menu and selecting
Creating your own Photoshop action will significantly streamline your editing workflow and help you achieve consistent results across multiple images. Experiment with different editing steps and adjustments to tailor the action to your specific needs.
You’re a creative talent. The last thing you want is to be stuck performing the same task a hundred times on various images. These Photoshop actions are for you, freeing you up for the real work: being creative.