This document contains basic troubleshooting steps that should solve most problems you can encounter while using Photoshop. Try all the steps below before posting on the forum or contacting support for Photoshop-specific issues.


If you happen to encounter a crash, be sure to submit all crash reports. If you submit a crash report for a known issue to Adobe with your email address, we can email you a solution for correcting the problem.

Get the latest Camera Raw support

The most commonly asked support question is "Photoshop doesn't recognize my new camera's raw files. How to I get Photoshop to open my raw files?"

For solutions, see Photoshop or Lightroom doesn't support my camera.

Install application updates

You can fix many problems by simply making sure that your Adobe software is up-to-date. See Keep Photoshop up to date.

Install operating system updates

You can fix many problems by simply making sure your operating system is up-to-date. For Mac OS, see Get software updates for your Mac. For Windows, see Windows Service Pack and Update Center.

Creative Cloud doesn’t show available updates, or applications are in trial mode

Not seeing the available updates? Are your applications showing as trials? See Available updates not listed.

I can't activate Photoshop, or applications are in trial mode

If you can't activate Photoshop, or applications are appearing as trials, then a firewall or host file might be blocking the software from talking with the activation server. See Troubleshoot connectivity issues.

Install video adapter driver updates

If you're experiencing image rendering issues, slow performance, or crashes, the cause could be a defective, unsupported, or incompatible graphics driver. See GPU and graphics driver troubleshooting steps.


IMPORTANT: Windows Update won't always give you the latest updated drivers. Go directly to your card manufacturer’s website to check for driver updates.

Troubleshoot graphics processor

In some cases, having the latest driver may not cure all problems related to video adapters and drivers.

The quickest and easiest way to determine if the problem is with your video adapter or driver is to disable the Use Graphics Processor preference. See Disable the GPU to quickly narrow down the issue.

For specific errors, see the following:

Unexpected results using a tool

If a tool in Photoshop isn't working properly (for example, the crop tool crops a tiny little gray square, or painting with a brush paints the wrong color or nothing at all), try resetting the tool settings:

  • Right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac OS) the Tool Preset Picker in the Tool options bar and choose Reset Tool to reset the active tool, or choose Reset All Tools to reset all tools to their factory default settings.
Choose Reset Tool

Missing tools

If a tool or multiple tools are missing from the Toolbar, try resetting Toolbar customization to the default:

  • Edit > Toolbar... and click the "Restore Defaults" button in the right-hand column


If you've selected a workspace other than Essentials, each of the other workspaces in Photoshop customize the Toolbar to present a different set of tools. Selecting Window > Workspace > Essentials (Default) or Window > Workspace > Reset Essentials can also restore the default Toolbar.

Restore preferences

Returning Photoshop’s preferences to their factory fresh state can solve many issues. See Restore preference files to default.

Troubleshoot plug-ins

Many issues arise from using incompatible plug-ins created for previous versions of Photoshop in a newer version or simply by installing plug-ins incorrectly. See Photoshop plug-ins troubleshooting.

Troubleshoot fonts

Many problems can occur when you use third-party fonts, including crashing or hangs when selecting the Type tool or when making the Character panel active/visible. A bad font or fonts can also cause general performance issues when launching or using Photoshop. Validate and remove duplicate or troublesome fonts to improve stability and text tool performance. See Troubleshoot fonts.

Troubleshoot user permissions

If none of the troubleshooting steps above solve your problem, your problem may be user permissions–related. Using the Repair Permissions command repairs permissions for the operating system, but not for applications, such as Photoshop.

Create an admin user account to identify permissions problems. For instructions on creating an admin user account, see the following: 

Mac OS:


Be sure to change the New Account pop-up window from [Standard] to [Administrator] when creating the user.

If you still experience trouble on Mac OS, try repairing the permissions on the disk. For details, see Repair disk permissions with Disk Utility.


After you create the admin user account, log in to the new user and run Photoshop to see if the problem goes away.

Start in safe mode

Sometimes, third-party extensions and other utilities can interfere with Photoshop’s operation.

If you start your computer in safe mode, third-party extensions and utilities are turned off, which can help solve your problem.

Mac OS:

  • Starting up in safe mode: On Mac OS, safe mode disables all third-party extension and startup items and runs only required kernel extensions and Apple-installed startup items.


Additional troubleshooting

If you have a how-to question or question about changes in behavior between Photoshop versions, see the following: 

If you need additional general troubleshooting help, see the following:

If you need help with app installation/downloads or your Creative Cloud membership, see the following: