Maximum image size limits in Photoshop Elements

This document describes the maximum limit for the size for an image usable in Adobe Photoshop Elements. The Organizer and Editor have different limits for the dimensions of an image. What you can do with an image that is over the maximum dimensions is also different for the Organizer and Editor. You can override the limit for the Organizer by editing a key in the Windows registry.

Maximum image size limit in the Editor

The Editor in Photoshop Elements limits the maximum dimensions of an image to 30,000 pixels by 30,000 pixels. You cannot open or create an image that is over the limit in the Editor.

Maximum image size limit in the Organizer

The Organizer in Photoshop Elements limits the maximum dimensions of an image based on the amount of RAM installed in your computer. The limit is in place to prevent Photoshop Elements from attempting to use too much memory, which can cause the program to slow down or appear to freeze while it is working with very large images.

If an image exceeds the limit, then you can import the image into a catalog in the Organizer, but the Organizer will not display a thumbnail for the image or show the image in a slideshow or other creation. Also, if you try to print the image, then the Organizer displays the error message, "Unable to print [filename], Adobe Photoshop Elements will skip printing this file". If the image does not exceed the Editor maximum image dimensions of 30,000 by 30,000 pixels, then you can choose Edit > Go To Full Edit to view and edit the image in the Editor.

The image dimension limits are listed in the table below. To determine the dimensions of an image, multiply the width by the height of the image in pixels. To find the width and height of the image in pixels, open the image in the Editor in Photoshop Elements, then choose:

Image > Resize > Image Size and look at the numbers in the Pixel Dimensions box.


The limit values are listed in megapixels. One megapixel is equivalent to 1024 x 1024 pixels, or 1,048,576 pixels.

Amount of RAM installed

Image Dimensions Limit

Less than 512 MB

18 megapixels (18,874,368 pixels)

512 MB to 1 GB

36 megapixels (37,748,736 pixels)

1 GB to 2 GB

54 megapixels (56,623,104 pixels)

More than 2 GB

72 megapixels (75,497,472 pixels)

Special limit for layered PSD files

The Organizer has an additional image size limit for PSD files with layers. If the size of a layered PSD file exceeds half of the normal image size limit, then the Organizer will not display a thumbnail for the PSD file. Layers require more memory to draw than flattened (non-layered) files, so the Organizer restricts layered PSD files.

How to override the limit in the Organizer

You can override the maximum image size limit for the Organizer by adding a key value to the Windows registry. This allows you to open images larger than the normal limit for the amount of RAM installed in your computer. In most cases, adding this key will not adversely affect Photoshop Elements. However, when you work with very large images, the Organizer may slow down or appear to freeze.

Disclaimer: This procedure involves editing the Windows registry. Adobe doesn't support editing the registry, which contains critical system and application information. For information on the Windows Registry Editor, see the documentation for Windows or contact Microsoft Technical Support. You may not have all of these files.

Important: Make a backup copy of the registry before you edit it.

To override the maximum image size limit for the Organizer, Do the following:

1. Exit the Organizer.

2. Choose Start > Run.

3. Type regedit in the Open field and click OK.

4. In the left panel, navigate to

For 64 bit Operating system:

Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Adobe\Elements Organizer\X.0\Organizer


X is the version number, so if you've Photoshop Elements 10.0 navigate to Computer\
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Adobe\Elements Organizer\10.0\Organizer

5. Highlight the Organizer folder in the left pane.

6. Choose Edit > New > DWORD Value, and name the new value MaxImageSize.

7. Highlight the MaxImageSize DWORD and choose Edit > Modify.

8. Change the Base option to Decimal.

9. In the Value Data field, enter the new maximum size for an image in pixels.

For example, if you want to change the limit to 58 megapixels, then enter 60817408.

(To determine a megapixel value in pixels, multiply the value by 1024 x 1024.)

If there is a specific image size you are trying to import, then use this formula: width x height x 1024 x 1024.

10. Click OK.

11. Exit the registry.

12. If you had previously imported images that were over the limit, then delete them from the catalog and re-import them to display the thumbnail.


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