How do I get rid of program errors in Photoshop?

Photoshop is a powerful image editing software that is used by professionals and amateurs alike. However, like any complex program, Photoshop can sometimes encounter errors that disrupt your workflow. Fixing Photoshop errors can be frustrating, but there are several troubleshooting techniques you can try to get the program running smoothly again.

Check for Photoshop Updates

One of the first things to try when Photoshop is giving you errors is to check for app updates. Adobe frequently releases patches and bug fixes, so making sure you are running the latest version of Photoshop can often resolve issues. Here are some tips for checking and installing Photoshop updates:

  • On Windows, open the Creative Cloud desktop app and click on the Updates tab. This will check for any available updates.
  • On Mac, go to Creative Cloud > Apps > Photoshop and click Update.
  • If an update is available, click the Update button and allow the update to install.
  • Restart Photoshop after the update is complete.

Updating to the latest version has resolved errors for many users. Check for updates periodically to stay current.

Reset Photoshop Preferences

Resetting Photoshop’s preferences is another quick fix that can clear out corrupt settings that may be causing errors. Here are the steps:

  1. Close Photoshop if it is open.
  2. On Windows: Go to Edit > Preferences > General. On Mac: Photoshop > Preferences > General.
  3. Click the Reset Preferences button near the bottom.
  4. Restart Photoshop – this will reset the preferences.

Resetting removes customizations, but often resolves errors caused by problematic settings. If errors persist, you can redo your customizations.

Update Graphics Drivers

Outdated or buggy graphics drivers are a common source of errors and crashes in Photoshop. It is a good idea to check for graphics driver updates for your computer’s GPU if you are encountering program errors. Here is how:

  • Windows: search for “Device Manager” and open it. Expand the Display adapters section and right-click on your GPU. Select Update driver and follow prompts.
  • Mac: open System Preferences > Software Update to check for any macOS updates containing new graphics drivers.

Installing the latest drivers from Nvidia, AMD, or Intel can often resolve unstable behavior in Photoshop. Restart your computer after updating drivers.

Run Photoshop in Safe Mode

As a troubleshooting step, running Photoshop in safe mode strips down the program to its basic functions. This can isolate whether an add-on, preset, or other customization is causing errors. Here is how to activate safe mode:

  • On Windows: Launch Photoshop while holding Ctrl+Alt+Shift.
  • On Mac: Launch Photoshop while holding Shift.
  • Click Yes to launch in safe mode.

If the errors do not occur in safe mode, then they are likely being caused by a third party plugin, preset, or other add-on. You can then selectively disable or remove customizations to further isolate the conflict.

Uninstall and Reinstall Photoshop

If you have tried the above steps and Photoshop errors persist, doing a clean uninstall and reinstall can often resolve even stubborn issues. Here is how to uninstall Photoshop:

  • On Windows: Go to Control Panel > Programs > Uninstall a program. Select Adobe Photoshop and click Uninstall.
  • On Mac: Drag the Photoshop app icon from Applications to the Trash.

After uninstalling, download the Photoshop installer again from the Creative Cloud app and do a fresh install. Be sure to customize your preferences and install any plugins again.

Run a Repair on Photoshop

The Adobe Creative Cloud desktop app includes a built-in repair function that can fix corrupt program files causing errors. Here are the steps to run a Photoshop repair:

  1. Open the Creative Cloud desktop app and click on the Assets tab.
  2. Under Apps, select Photoshop and choose Repair from the menu.
  3. The repair tool will run, fixing corrupt files.
  4. Restart Photoshop – many errors should now be resolved.

The repair function acts as a less intensive fix compared to fully reinstalling Photoshop. Try it before doing a full uninstall and reinstall.

Free Up Hard Drive Space

Photoshoprequires plenty of hard drive space for scratch disks and optimal performance. If your hard drive is nearly full, Photoshop may encounter errors due to lack of free space. Try the following fixes:

  • Set Photoshop’s primary scratch disk to a drive with at least 20GB free.
  • Delete unused files and clear caches to free up space.
  • Add an external hard drive for extra storage capacity.
  • Use the Creative Cloud cleaner tool to remove unwanted install files.

Running Photoshopon a full hard drive can cause slow performance and program errors. Keeping an adequate amount of free spacecan prevent issues.

Check for Conflicting Software

Problems can sometimes occur if other software is conflicting with Photoshop and disrupting normal behavior. Try these tips:

  • Close background programs and apps when running Photoshop.
  • Turn off antivirus scanners temporarily to test for conflicts.
  • UseTask Manager (Windows) or Activity Monitor (Mac) to look for processes hogging resources.
  • Disable startup items that may interact poorly with Photoshop.

Try selectively closing background apps and processes to isolate what could be interfering with Photoshop’s performance and stability.

Remove Plugin Effects or Filters

If Photoshop crashes or freezes when applying a certain filter or plugin effect, that add-on could be the source of errors. Try these troubleshooting steps:

  • Go to Edit > Preferences > Plug-ins and disable suspect plugins.
  • Open filter effects window and uncheck problematic filters.
  • Delete or remove third party plugin files from folders.
  • Reinstall older versions of unstable plugins.

Isolating crashing plugins or filters can prevent recurring errors when applying effects in your images or designs.

Update Problematic Graphics Card Drivers

Some users encounter Photoshop errors due to outdated, corrupt, or incompatible graphics card drivers. Try updating to the latest drivers with these steps:

  • On Windows, open Device Manager, find graphics card, update drivers.
  • On Macs, get latest video card drivers from AMD, Nvidia, or Apple.
  • Perform a clean installation of graphics card drivers.
  • Check driver compatibility lists from Adobe or the manufacturer.

Graphics card driver issues are a common cause of Photoshop crashes. Keeping drivers updated can prevent many errors.

Convert Scratch Disk to NTFS Format

On Windows, setting your primary Photoshop scratch disk to a drive formatted as FAT32 can sometimes cause errors due to file size restrictions. Converting to NTFS fixes this:

  • Open Disk Management utility in Windows.
  • Right-click FAT32 drive and choose Format.
  • Change file system to NTFS.
  • Click OK to convert – this will erase all data.

NTFS has no file size limits, while FAT32 does. Formatting scratch disks to NTFS prevents size-related errors.

Export As PSD Instead of JPEG or TIFF

Some users encounter errors or crashes when exporting large, complex projects as JPEG or TIFF files. Exporting as PSD can prevent issues:

  • Go to File > Export As instead of Save As.
  • Pick Photoshop (.PSD) as the file format.
  • Export the project in layers as a single PSD file.

PSD retains all layers and data, avoiding size/compression issues of flattened TIFFs and JPEGs. Use PSD to export complex projects.

Disable Anti-aliasing and Compression

If errors occur when exporting or printing large files, disabling anti-aliasing and compression can help:

  • Uncheck anti-aliasing in the Print and Export menus.
  • Select no downsampling or compression options.
  • Export layers individually instead of a merged image.

Anti-aliasing and compression can sometimes cause crashes in complex documents. Disabling these fixes errors for some users when printing or exporting from Photoshop.

Delete Photoshop Settings Folder

A corrupted Photoshop settings folder can cause recurring errors and crashes while working in documents. Deleting it may help:

  • Close Photoshop completely.
  • Open users/[username]/AppData/Roaming/Adobe/Photoshop [version].
  • Delete the Adobe Photoshop [version] Settings folder.
  • Restart Photoshop – this rebuilds a fresh settings folder.

This erases custom settings, but removes any corrupted preference files causing problems in Photoshop.

Run Photoshop in Compatibility Mode

Enabling compatibility mode in Windows can resolve errors caused by Photoshop conflicts with certain systems and drivers:

  • Right click Photoshop app icon.
  • Select Properties > Compatibility tab.
  • Check “Run this program in compatibility mode.”
  • Choose compatibility with previous Windows versions.

Compatibility mode configures Photoshop to run more stably on that OS version. Try different versions to see if errors persist.


Debugging Photoshop errors and crashes can be a tricky process, but methodically trying the above troubleshooting steps can usually resolve many common problems. Installing updates, resetting preferences, updating drivers, isolating add-on conflicts, and repairs/reinstalls will fix most issues users encounter with the software. Persistent errors may require help from Adobe customer support to further diagnose and provide customized fixes for your system and files. With some diligent troubleshooting, you should be able to get Photoshop running stably again and avoid frustrating program errors.