Sharpening filters in PS not working?

A couple years ago I put the camera down and didn’t pick it back up until recently. Work and lack of inspiration are the main reasons. I just got tired of shooting the same old locations within a few hours drive and didn’t have the time to travel. When I started making new images I ran into a processing issue that has stumped me completely. Not that I’ve mastered PS but I can usually figure most things out in time. Here’s the problem…I typically use smart sharpen and it has worked well for me in the past but now when I get the image looking good and apply the filter as soon as the action is completed the image reverts back to nearly it’s
pre-sharpened state. It’s hard to tell if any sharpening occurred at all. I tried unsharp mask with the same result. As I said I haven’t been making images in awhile so I could be forgetting something but I don’t think so. Any thoughts or suggestions appreciated. Thanks

Do you have any adjustment layers above the pixel bearing Background layer and you are trying to sharpen a layer that doesn’t have pixels??? Maybe a screen shot of your layer stack might give us a clue.

I thought of that and no but I always sharpen after flattening the layers. Here’s my sharpening process.
-I flatten and resize if necessary.
-convert to smart object if not already there.
-make adjustments in smart sharpen.
-apply filter.

Hmmm…. That all sounds like it should work as expected. Have you tried some extreme amount of sharpening on the Smart Object just you can see it really clearly, then re-edit back to some reasonable amount of sharpening.

Haven’t tried that exactly but I did try way over sharpening to see if it reverted it’s unsharpened state and it did not, it did retain some sharpness. I also uninstalled and reinstalled PS…unsuccessful. I’m thinking about looking into a plug-in shapening tool. I read Topaz AI is pretty good.

When PS misbehaves, a common solution is to reset the preferences. I think you can do it from the menus (I’m not home and don’t have access to PS right now). Or, just google it. There are keys to press when PS starts that will reset the preferences file. Re-installing will not reset the user preferences, so maybe that is worth a try.