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This article walks you through the simple steps to solving when you can’t edit keyframes in After Effects.

After Effects Keyframes Can’t Be Edited

I’m willing to bet if you’re reading this article you have After Effects open and your layer looks something like this:

After Effects showing layer with keyframes not being able to be edited
Don’t sweat it. We can fix this!

You can’t edit these keyframes in After Effects even though you know that they are there. Why is that? That’s because you can’t edit them from this view. You need to see the actual property of the layer. You can see the property that has the keyframes on them a couple of different ways.

Show Properties With Keyframes in AE

The newbie After Effects user’s way would be to click and twirl open these properties until you get to the property with the keyframe on it. Example: Click the triangle next to Effects, then the triangle next to the effect, and then you should see the property of the effect with the keyframe on it.

If you want to use After Effects like a seasoned pro you’ll use keyboard shortcuts. Select the layer and hit the U key to reveal all properties that have been keyframed. You can do this with multiple layers selected at a time. After doing this you can now select, edit, delete, or move the keyframes.

After Effects with layer showing keyframe so it can be edited
Select the layer who’s keyframe you want to see and hit the U key

Do you know After Effect’s awesome replace layer shortcut? Learn it in this quick tutorial.

One other useful keyboard shortcut you should know is UU (the U key typed twice in a row quickly). This will reveal any property of a selected layer(s) that has been modified. That includes properties without keyframes.

If you are experiencing a different problem, please leave a comment and I’ll do what I can to help troubleshoot it. But if you can’t edit keyframes in After Effects and now you can, I hope you stick around and check out some of the other After Effects tutorials on my website or consider signing up to get notified about new blog posts and happenings around EVF.


– Josh

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