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:
Comprehensive list of troubleshooting techniques:
Verify that your computer meets the minimum system requirements to run Dreamweaver, as listed in Dreamweaver system requirements.
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:
- 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.
- Click the Image Name column header to sort the processes by name.
- Locate any dreamweaver.exe processes.
- Select each process and click End Task for each one.
- Repeat Step 4 for any ~e5d141.tmp and Macromedia Licensing.exe process(es) running as well, if present.
- Try to launch Dreamweaver again.
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.
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.
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:
- Dreamweaver CS3 on Windows XP:
C:\Documents and Settings\[user]\Application Data\Adobe\Dreamweaver 9\Configuration\CrashLogs
- Dreamweaver 8 on Windows Vista:
- Dreamweaver 8 and MX 2004 on Windows XP & Windows 2000:
C:\Documents and Settings\[user]\Application Data\Macromedia\Dreamweaver [version]\Configuration\CrashLogs
- Dreamweaver CS3 on Windows Vista:
- 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.
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:
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.
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.
If you are having problems launching Dreamweaver, try the suggestions in Welcome screen appears on every launch.
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.
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.
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.
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
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:
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:
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:
- 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.
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:
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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.
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.