Networks, removable media | Photoshop

When you save and open files across a network or from removable media, many variables affect application performance. Therefore, some problems occur more frequently when you work across a network or from removable media than from a local hard disk. (Network-related problems include damaged files, denied access, or slow performance.) In these situations, Photoshop can return one of the following error messages:

  • "Could not complete this operation because this file is in an unknown format."
  • "Could not complete the request because the file is locked."
  • "Could not save because of a disk error."

Note: Problems using Photoshop files across a network or from removable media can be intermittent or delayed.

Adobe Technical Support only supports using Photoshop and Adobe Bridge on a local hard disk. It's difficult to re-create or accurately identify network- and peripheral-configuration problems. 

Important: External hard drives should work with Photoshop without a problem, although depending on how they are connected, might be slower than working with files on your internal drive. Testing against these drives by temporarily disabling them and working exclusively on an internal drive is appropriate. However, Adobe is not stating that there should be regular problems storing files and working with external hard disks. 

Issues when working from networks or removable media

Photoshop is a resource-intensive application that requires more RAM and hard disk space than most other applications. While Photoshop works across networks and removable media, these configurations compromise the performance and reliability of the application. For example, Photoshop reads and writes image data while you work on an image. Therefore, the faster the access speed of the disk containing your image or the Photoshop scratch disk files, the faster Photoshop can process image data. Internal hard disks have faster access speeds than network servers (a hard disk accessed over a network) and removable media.

For information about optimizing Photoshop, see Optimize performance Photoshop.

Note: Photoshop does not support network or removable drives as scratch disks.

Additional variables when using networks

There are many different types of network configurations (for example, client-server or peer-peer) or types (for example, ethernet or IP) that many different companies make. Each configuration requires specialized software and hardware, with varying setups, preferences, and updates. This additional layer of software and hardware increases the chances of an error occurring (for example, from line noise, RF interference, or packet collisions).

Multiple factors affect data transmission over a network, including file servers, routers, bridges, network cards, software, cables, connectors, power cables, and power supplies. Network connections can suddenly become unavailable, increasing the risk of data loss and application errors. During transmission and reception, network software verifies that data has been sent and received. The depth of verification depends on the network software package and sometimes isn't accessible by the operating system. When you try to save files across a network, you could receive the error. For example: "Could not complete the request because the file is locked," or "Could not save because of a disk error." However, the network and operating system could not notify you if a Photoshop image file contains damaged or incomplete information.

Additional variables when using removable media

There are many kinds of removable media (for example, portable external hard drives, flash drives) that many companies manufacture. They all require your operating system to recognize cables or connections and device drivers. Also, removable media are more easily damaged than internal disks, increasing the risk of damaged image data.

Technical Support strongly recommends working in Photoshop directly on the local hard disk. To prevent data loss, save files to your hard disk first. Then transfer them to the network or removable drive in the Finder or in Windows Explorer. To retrieve files, copy them in the Finder or in Windows Explorer from the network or removable drive to your hard disk. You can then open the files in Photoshop. This workflow avoids problems that occur when network system setups or removable media device drivers are incompatible with the operating system or Photoshop.

Suggestions for troubleshooting

Different factors can cause problems with application performance, including memory conflicts among device drivers, damaged or conflicting files, operating system software or hardware problems. If you work directly from networks or from removable media and you experience problems, use the suggestions below to troubleshoot.

Disclaimer: The following suggestions are provided as a courtesy. Adobe Systems does not provide support for networks and removable media.

  • Make sure that you use the latest version of Photoshop. Update Photoshop using the Creative Cloud Desktop Application.
  • Transfer the file from the network or removable disk to a local hard disk, and then open it in Photoshop.

    Note: Once a file has artifacts, they  can be permanently a part of the image data. Replicate your image in a new file using the local hard disk. See File recovery troubleshooting for further assistance with potentially damaged images.
  • Use another computer connected to the same network or type of removable media.
  • Check with your network administrator about known issues with the network or changes in network configuration (for example, updated drivers or changed access privileges).
  • Make sure that Photoshop is installed on and running from a local hard disk, and try to replicate the problem. If you can, troubleshoot the problem on the local configuration. If you can't, your problem could be caused by working from removable media or a network.


Get help faster and easier

New user?