If you are experiencing crashes, slow performance, or unexpected behavior with Dreamweaver on Microsoft Windows, the steps below will help solve the problem or isolate the source. If you still experience problems after completing the suggested procedures, check the additional information section at the end of this document.

The easiest techniques are listed first, followed by more involved and time-consuming procedures. However, some of the more involved techniques, like reinstalling Dreamweaver, are often the ones that end up solving the problem. 

Abbreviated list of techniques that most often solve Dreamweaver issues on Windows:

Restart Dreamweaver and the computer

Are you able to launch other Adobe programs?

Install the latest Dreamweaver updater if available

Try a new file in a new site, and re-create the site cache

Re-create the user configuration folder for Dreamweaver

Reinstall Dreamweaver in Selective Startup Mode or Safe Mode with virus protection disabled

 

Comprehensive list of troubleshooting techniques:

1. Verify system requirements

Verify that your computer meets the minimum system requirements to run Dreamweaver, as listed in Dreamweaver system requirements.

2. Are you unable to launch Dreamweaver?

If you are unable to launch Dreamweaver, here a few troubleshooting tips in particular to focus on:

  • Dreamweaver 8 users should try the suggestions in this forum post.
  • Check if it's an activation problem
  • Try disabling the Dreamweaver Welcome screen
  • Dreamweaver MX 2004 users should try the following steps. This step does not apply to version MX, 8 or CS3:
    1. Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete and click the Task Manager button. Select the Processes tab. If you are using Windows 98, the Close Window dialog box appears, which does not have any tab options.
    2. Click the Image Name column header to sort the processes by name.
    3. Locate any dreamweaver.exe processes.
    4. Select each process and click End Task for each one.
    5. Repeat Step 4 for any ~e5d141.tmp and Macromedia Licensing.exe process(es) running as well, if present.
    6. Try to launch Dreamweaver again.

3. Are you able to launch other Adobe/Macromedia programs?

If you are unable to launch Dreamweaver, see if you are able to launch any other Adobe/Macromedia applications (for example: Flash, Fireworks, Contribute, Photoshop, Illustrator). If you are unable to launch other Adobe/Macromedia programs, then this usually indicates a product activation problem. Another resource for product activation issues is the Activation Support Center. If you do not own other Adobe products, you can download trial versions to test with.

4. Do problems also occur in other non-Adobe or non-Macromedia programs?

If you are experiencing problems with other non-Adobe programs in addition to Dreamweaver, then you likely have problems with your operating system or a hardware-related issue. These types of issues are beyond the scope of this guide, so Adobe recommends that you contact Microsoft or the vendor who sold you the computer and let them know that you are experiencing problems with multiple programs. Some of the general Windows diagnostics mentioned in this guide may help: hardware acceleration, video card, scan for viruses, run in Safe Mode, and general Windows utilities.

5. Gather important background information

If the problem only occurs with Dreamweaver, answering the following questions may help you, Dreamweaver forum members, or support staff to isolate the problem:

  • Did Dreamweaver ever work or has the problem always been present?
  • If the problem just started occurring, did anything change on the computer? For example, did you install any new software, hardware, drivers, or Windows Updates? Was your computer affected by any of the following: virus, power outage, or physical trauma?
  • Is there an error message associated with the problem? If so, write down the exact text of the error message and any error numbers. Some error messages may help support staff or forum participants identify the problem quicker.
  • If you are working in a group environment (for example, an office or a school), do other computers in your work group have the same problem?
  • Look for any Dreamweaver crash logs in one of the following locations. If you contact technical support, they may ask you to send these logs. Crash logs were introduced in Dreamweaver MX 2004, so this step doesn't apply to Dreamweaver MX (version 6) and earlier.
    • Dreamweaver CS3 on Windows Vista:
      C:\Users\[user]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Dreamweaver 9\Configuration\CrashLogs
    • Dreamweaver CS3 on Windows XP:
      C:\Documents and Settings\[user]\Application Data\Adobe\Dreamweaver 9\Configuration\CrashLogs
    • Dreamweaver 8 on Windows Vista:
      C:\Users\[user]\AppData\Roaming\Macromedia\Dreamweaver 8\Configuration\CrashLogs
    • Dreamweaver 8 and MX 2004 on Windows XP & Windows 2000:
      C:\Documents and Settings\[user]\Application Data\Macromedia\Dreamweaver [version]\Configuration\CrashLogs
  • Check the Windows Event Viewer for clues.
    • Windows XP and Windows 2000: Start button > Settings > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Event Viewer. Check the Application log for any Dreamweaver related errors.
    • Windows Vista: Start button > Control Panel > click the Classic View link > Administrative Tools > Event Viewer. Expand the Windows Logs node and check the Application log for any Dreamweaver related errors.
  • Do you have any firewall software or Internet security software installed on your machine? There is a known issue with older versions of the CyberArmor firewall software not allowing Dreamweaver to launch. Upgrading to the latest version of CyberArmor resolves the issue.

6. Restart Dreamweaver and the computer

When a problem first occurs, exit from Dreamweaver and restart it to see if the problem persists. If it does, reboot Windows and launch Dreamweaver to see if the problem still occurs. If you are unable to launch Dreamweaver, try the following steps:

  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete and click the Task Manager button. Select the Processes tab.

  2. Click the Image Name column header to sort the processes by name.

  3. Locate any dreamweaver.exe processes.
  4. Select each process and click End Task for each one.
    Note: This step only applies to Dreamweaver MX 2004:

    Repeat Step 4 for any ~e5d141.tmp and Macromedia Licensing.exe processes running as well, if present.
  5. Try to launch Dreamweaver again.

7. Try a new file, in a new site and re-create the site cache

Create a new file (choose File > New) to see if the problem persists.

  • If the problem does not happen on the new page, your installation of Dreamweaver is working properly, but some code on the page is causing problems. Slowly rebuild your old page in the new file that works, testing at each step of the way. Either you will reconstruct a functional version of the page, or you will be able to track down which element on the page is causing the problem.
  • If the problem still occurs with a new file, create a new Dreamweaver site definition, and work with a new file within the new site definition. If a new file works in a new site, try re-creating the Dreamweaver site cache in the old site: choose Site > Advanced > Recreate Site Cache.

8. Install the latest Dreamweaver updater if available

If an updater is available for your version of Dreamweaver, install it and see if it resolves the problem. For Dreamweaver 8, install the 8.0.2 updater. For Dreamweaver MX 2004, install the 7.0.1 updater. For Dreamweaver MX, install the 6.1 updater.

9. Disable the Dreamweaver Welcome screen

If you are having problems launching Dreamweaver, try the suggestions in Welcome screen appears on every launch.

10. Re-create the Dreamweaver user configuration folder

If Dreamweaver starts behaving unpredictably, this sometimes indicates a corrupt user configuration folder. Dreamweaver (MX version 6 and later) allows multiple users to log in to a machine and customize Dreamweaver to their liking. For example, each user can have different snippets, menu options, extensions, spelling dictionaries, and so on. These customizations are saved in each user's configuration folder in Windows. To test for a corrupt user configuration folder, see How to re-create the Dreamweaver user configuration folder on Windows.

11. Test with a new Windows Admin user account

If re-creating the Dreamweaver user configuration folder as described above does not help, try creating a new Windows account with administrator privileges as a test. Do not delete your existing Windows account; the new account is only for testing purposes, and you can revert back to your original Windows account after you finish testing. Once you have the new account setup, login to it and see if you can run Dreamweaver.

  • On Windows XP, you can create a new user account by going to Start button > Settings> Control Panel > User Accounts.
  • For Windows Vista, see Create a user account.

For more details on creating a new Windows user account, consult with your IT administrator or the Windows documentation.

12. Try to run Dreamweaver in Selective Startup Mode or Diagnostic Mode

Occasionally, other programs and services running on your machine can conflict with Dreamweaver. This includes programs that you launch manually as well as programs that startup automatically and run in the background. To disable other programs, boot up your system in Selective Startup Mode or Diagnostic Mode. If the problem does not occur in Selective Startup Mode or Diagnostic Mode, then it's likely that another application which runs in Normal Mode is causing the conflict.

For instructions, see Running Dreamweaver in Selective Startup Mode and Diagnostic Mode.

13. Try disabling some of the new Vista features

If you are running Dreamweaver 8 on Windows Vista, try disabling some of the following features to see if they are related to your problem:

Disabling Visual Themes

  1. In Windows Explorer, browse to the Dreamweaver.exe file:

    C:\Program Files\Macromedia\Dreamweaver 8\Dreamweaver.exe
  2. Right-click Dreamweaver.exe and choose Properties > Compatibility tab.

  3. Leave the Run This Program In Compatibility Mode For option deselected, but do select "Disable Visual Themes." All other checkboxes should be deselected.

  4. Click OK and see if the problem stops.

Disabling Aero and running the Windows Vista Basic color scheme

If you have the Vista Aero user interface turned on, the try disabling it as a test. To disable Aero:

  1. Choose Start > Control Panel.
  2. Choose Classic View in the left pane.
  3. Double-click Personalization and select Window Color And Appearance.
  4. Click Open Classic Appearance Properties For More Color Options.
  5. Select Windows Vista Basic and click OK.
  6. Try to reproduce the problem.

To re-enable Aero after testing:

  1. Choose Start > Control Panel.
  2. Choose Classic View in the left pane.
  3. Double-click Personalization and select Window Color And Appearance.
  4. Choose Windows Aero from the Color Scheme menu and click OK.

Running Dreamweaver in Windows XP Compatibility mode

  1. Navigate to the C:\Program Files\Macromedia\Dreamweaver 8 folder.
  2. Right-click the Dreamweaver.exe file and select Properties.

  3. Click the Compatibility tab.

  4. Click Run This Program In Compatibility Mode For and select Windows XP (Service Pack 2).

  5. Select Run This Program As An Administrator.

Disabling User Account Control (UAC)

The Vista User Account Control (UAC) feature can help prevent unauthorized changes to your computer. Microsoft recommends that you leave UAC turned on to help protect your computer. After running this test, turn UAC back on.

To disable UAC:

  1. Choose Start > Control Panel.
  2. Choose Classic View in the left pane.
  3. Choose User Accounts.
  4. Click Turn User Account Control On Or Off.
  5. Deselect Use User Account Control (UAC) To Help Protect Your Computer and then click OK.
  6. Restart your computer.

14. Turn down hardware acceleration

Hardware acceleration is a setting for the video card driver that allows it to interact with some of your system's resources in rendering the screen display. By default, hardware acceleration is set to Full. Turning down this default setting sometimes resolves display problems and crashing issues. The steps for changing this setting are:

  1. Right-click in a blank area of the Windows Desktop.
  2. Do one of the following:

    • Windows XP and 2000: choose Properties > Settings tab> Advanced button > Troubleshoot. The location of the hardware acceleration control may differ for your video card driver.
    • Windows Vista: choose Personalize > Display Settings > Advanced Settings button > Troubleshoot tab > Change Settings button.
  3. Slide system hardware acceleration from Full to None.
  4. Restart the computer.
  5. Launch Dreamweaver.
  6. Increase hardware acceleration gradually to find a setting that does not conflict with Dreamweaver.

15. Test the video card

Invalid page faults, general protection faults, freezes, and other problems are sometimes caused by a conflict with a Windows device driver, most commonly a video card. These types of conflicts are often resolved with new driver releases available from the manufacturer's website (usually a small and free download). In some cases, rolling back to a prior version of a driver may be the solution.

Windows Vista: See Verify that device drivers are compatible.

Windows XP: To test for a video card driver conflict, disable the device in Device Manager:

  1. Right-click My Computer, select Properties, and select the Hardware tab.
  2. Click the Device Manager button.
  3. Expand the Display Adapters node, right-click the video card, and select Disable.
  4. Restart the computer.
  5. Launch Dreamweaver and test to see if the problem persists. If the problems stop, then the video card driver is the likely culprit. However, even if the problems persist, updating to the most recent or a different driver may still be the solution. You can find the name of the video card model and manufacturer in the Settings tab.

Downloading and installing a new driver

Visit the manufacturer's website to download and install the most recent driver according to the manufacturer's instructions. Restart your computer after installing the updated driver before testing to see whether the problem has stopped.

16. Scan system for viruses and run Windows Update

Crashes and lockups can be caused by a virus on the system. Install anti-virus software if you do not have it already, update the virus definition files and run a full system scan. Update your virus scanning software frequently and keep your operating system up-to-date with the latest service packs and security updates from Microsoft.

17. Reinstall in Selective Startup Mode or Safe Mode with virus protection disabled

Some problems with Dreamweaver are caused by a corrupt or incomplete installation. For most users, Dreamweaver installs fine without any special set of actions. However, if you have experienced problems with a prior installation of Dreamweaver, you may want to consider reinstalling Dreamweaver using the guidelines below.

One of the most common causes of Dreamweaver crashes and JavaScript errors inside the Dreamweaver authoring environment is installing Dreamweaver when virus protection software is running. Reinstalling while booted up in Selective Startup Mode or Safe Mode should automatically disable your anti-virus software. These modes will load only the minimal required number of components needed to run the operating system, which may eliminate software that is conflicting with the Dreamweaver installation.

Note: This does not mean running Dreamweaver after installation without virus protection. However, modifying your virus protection settings may result in improved system performance when using Dreamweaver. See Slow system performance using Dreamweaver for more information.

18. Try the same steps on another system

Testing on another system can sometimes help you determine if the problem is specific to a particular system or configuration. If the problem is not reproducible on another system, focus attention on any differences between the two systems to help determine the cause of the problem. If the problem is reproducible on another machine, this could indicate that these two systems both have a common conflict with Dreamweaver or it could be an instance of a bad installation CD.

19. Download the Dreamweaver installer again

If you downloaded the Dreamweaver installer from the Adobe website, the file may have been corrupted during the download process. Download the installer again and install in Selective Startup Mode or Safe Mode as described above.

20. Uninstall prior versions of Dreamweaver

Though unlikely, an existing installation of an older version of Dreamweaver may be causing a conflict with the newer version of Dreamweaver. To correct this problem, try uninstalling the older version of Dreamweaver using Add Or Remove Programs on Windows XP and Windows 2000 (select Start > Settings > Control Panel), or using Programs And Features on Windows Vista (select Start > Control Panel > Classic View). If you uninstall all versions of Dreamweaver, only reinstall the newer version. Before uninstalling, back up any site definitions you want to continue using and any special customizations you may have made to Dreamweaver (snippets, menu options, extensions, spelling dictionaries, and so on.).

21. Try general Windows utilities

If the suggestions above do not help, then you may want to try some general Windows system utilities like Disk Cleanup, ScanDisk, Defrag (Disk Defragmenter), chkdsk, System Restore, System File Checker, Norton Utilities, other tools and lastly, reinstalling the Windows operating system. Please note that running these tools and operations can have a wide ranging impact on your system's functionality, so use caution. Some of these utilities should only be run by advanced users and only after exhausting all other options. For more details on how to run these utilities, please see the Windows documentation or search on the Internet.

Additional information

You can also search Dreamweaver Help for problems you may be experiencing. Also, consider searching existing posts on the Dreamweaver forum and submitting your own post if your question hasn't already been answered. Dreamweaver forum participants include Adobe Product Support specialists, Adobe Community Experts, professional web developers, and new Dreamweaver users.

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