How to Delete Layers in Procreate

Digital art can be intricate and complex, but once you grasp the basics, it opens up a whole new realm of possibilities. With just a few taps and swipes, you can navigate through layers like a pro and maximize your artistic potential. Let’s simplify the process, by going through a few clear, concise steps and tricks to empower your creativity in using Procreate.

Understanding Layers in Procreate

When you dive into the fascinating world of Procreate, understanding layers is paramount. Layers form the backbone of most digital art, allowing artists to work on individual elements without altering the entire piece. But to truly harness this powerful tool, you must first understand its mechanics.

Creating Layers

The first step in your journey of mastering layers in Procreate is to know how to create them. To do this, simply tap on the “+” icon in the layers panel, located in the top right corner of your screen. This action adds a layer above the currently selected one. 

By managing your layers well and knowing what each layer contains, you enable a non-destructive way of working. This means understanding the importance of each stroke and grouping related elements together on a single layer. For example, you might choose to keep all your shading on one layer, while your line art exists on another.

Organizing Layers

As your artwork grows more complex, so does the number of layers you have to manage. The beauty of Procreate lies in its flexible and intuitive layer management system. You can easily rearrange layers by holding your finger down on a layer and dragging it up or down the layer list. You’ll see a blue line indicating where the layer will be placed once you release it. This is especially useful when you want to overlay elements or change the order of your artwork components.

Also, you can group layers together by swiping them to the right. This creates a neat little stack, making your layers panel much cleaner and more manageable. Not only does this help keep related layers together, but it also makes complex artworks easier to handle.

Renaming Layers

Layers, by default, are labeled by numbers in Procreate. However, as your piece gets more complex, identifying layers by numbers alone can become challenging. 

Fortunately, Procreate allows you to rename layers for better organization. By double-tapping a layer, a text box appears for you to input a new name. This practice is particularly useful when dealing with a high number of layers, ensuring that you can quickly find the one you need, saving time and frustration.

Deleting Layers in Procreate

Knowing how to effectively delete layers is just as important as creating them. Whether you’re cleaning up your workspace or you’ve made an error, understanding how to delete layers efficiently will speed up your workflow and keep your artboard clutter-free.

Quick Delete

The quickest way to delete a layer in Procreate is the swipe-to-delete method. By swiping a layer to the left, you reveal a few options – “Lock”, “Duplicate”, and “Delete”. Tapping “Delete” will immediately remove the layer from your workspace. This feature is handy for quickly removing unwanted layers or cleaning up your workspace.

Deleting Multiple Layers

Sometimes, you may need to delete multiple layers at once, particularly when working with complex artworks. Procreate makes this task simple. Tap “Select” in the top-right of the layer panel, choose the layers you want to delete, and then tap the trash icon at the bottom. Procreate will then delete all the selected layers, providing a swift way to declutter your workspace.

Undo Deletion

Everyone makes mistakes, and sometimes that might mean deleting a layer you didn’t intend to. But don’t worry, Procreate has your back with its handy “undo” function. If you’ve mistakenly deleted a layer, simply tap on the canvas with two fingers to undo the last action. This will recover your deleted layer, saving you from potential frustration or lost work.

Handling Procreate’s Layer Limits

Like any software, Procreate has its limits, one of them being the number of layers you can use. This limit depends on the overall resolution of your canvas and the capacity of your device. However, there are several ways to manage and work within these restrictions.

Merge Layers

Merging layers is an effective way to reduce your layer count, freeing up space for more. To merge layers in Procreate, simply pinch two layers together on the layer panel. Be cautious though, as this action is irreversible. Once layers are merged, they can’t be separated again. So ensure you won’t need to edit the individual layers further before merging them.

Flatten Image

If you’re sure your artwork is complete and no longer requires layer adjustments, you can flatten the image to free up all layer spaces. Flattening combines all your layers into one. To do this, tap on the layer menu and select “flatten”. Remember, like merging, this action is permanent, so be sure it’s what you want before committing.

Reducing Canvas Size

The layer limit in Procreate is directly proportional to your canvas size – the larger your canvas, the fewer layers you can have. So, if you find yourself constantly hitting the layer limit, you might need to consider reducing your canvas size. Remember that a smaller canvas may impact the quality of your artwork if you plan to print it, so strike a balance between layer requirements and resolution needs.

Wrapping Up

While managing and deleting layers in Procreate may seem daunting at first, with practice, you’ll find it’s quite intuitive and beneficial to your digital art journey. Mastering these skills allows you to make the most out of Procreate and take your digital art to the next level.


1. Can I recover a deleted layer in Procreate?

Yes, by tapping on the canvas with two fingers, you can undo the last action, including layer depletion.

2. How do I delete all layers in Procreate?

By tapping “Select” in the layer panel, selecting all layers, and then tapping the trash icon, you can delete all layers at once.

3. Is there a limit to the number of layers in Procreate?

Yes, the number of layers depends on the size of your canvas and your device’s capacity.

4. Can I lock layers in Procreate?

Yes, you can lock layers by swiping left on a layer and tapping “Lock”.

5. What happens when I merge layers in Procreate?

Merging layers combines them into one. This action is permanent and cannot be undone.

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