Photoshop CC 2018: Select a brush and it switches to the smudge tool

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  • Updated 2 months ago
Today one of my standard brush tools that I use quite frequently stopped functioning correctly.  Each time it is selected it switches from brush to smudge tool.  I tried updating my CC, as that is what the suggestion was for others who have experienced similar problems and that did not correct it.  I can't edit and I need this shoot edited now!  How do I fix this?
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Lisa Jorgensen

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  • very unhappy

Posted 2 months ago

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Cristen Gillespie

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Have you tried opening the tool popup at the far left of the Options bar and in the gear menu, chosen Reset Tool?

If that doesn't work, you try the more extreme Reset All Tools. Or, following on, trashed your Preferences and seen if that fixes the issue. I think just resetting the tool will probably fix it if it's only the one tool, but flakier things have been known to happen with corrupt preferences.

If you're not used to deleting your preferences, I suggest you read this first:

https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/using/preferences.html

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Lisa Jorgensen

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What is a "gear menu"?  I can't find anything called anything close to that.
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Lisa Jorgensen

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I figured out what you were referring to as a gear menu.  Unfortunately none of these steps worked.  =(  Thank you for the suggestion!
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Cristen Gillespie

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I'm sorry to hear that. Have you tried reloading the Brush set that has become attached to the Smudge tool? So long as it was saved before now to disk, you can just delete the set and then reload it. Yes, I'm grasping at straws, but something is obviously corrupt if you're clicking on the right brush in the set (not the Recents list) and it's switching to the Smudge tool.

Another possibility—you wouldn't by any chance have two tips in the Brushes panel where one could be the Smudge tool and you're not seeing it because you haven't checked Show Additional Info in the flyout menu? It's possible  with the new Brushes panel that you even accidentally dragged a tip to another position.

It takes Cmd-Opt-clicking on a brush tip with the other tool active to switch it to that tool, but it really shouldn't "stick" at all. If I select the Brush tool after selecting the Clone tool and using that tip with the Clone tool, I'm back to the Brush, or it will switch to whatever tool it was saved with (say, the Mixer Brush). But it won's switch back to the Clone tool unless I select that tool during that session.