Troubleshoot issues related to playback and performance in Premiere Pro

  1. Adobe Premiere Pro User Guide
  2. Beta releases
    1. Beta Program Overview
    2. Premiere Pro Beta Home
    3. Features in Beta
      1. New import & export in Premiere Pro (Beta)
      2. FAQ | New import and export in Premiere Pro (Beta)
  3. Getting started
    1. Get started with Adobe Premiere Pro
    2. What's new in Premiere Pro
    3. Release Notes | Premiere Pro
    4. Keyboard shortcuts in Premiere Pro
    5. Accessibility in Premiere Pro
  4. Hardware and operating system requirements
    1. Hardware recommendations
    2. System requirements
    3. GPU and GPU Driver requirements
    4. GPU Accelerated Rendering & Hardware Encoding/Decoding
  5. Creating projects
    1. Creating projects
    2. Open projects
    3. Move and delete projects
    4. Work with multiple open projects
    5. Work with Project Shortcuts
    6. Backward compatibility of Premiere Pro projects
    7. Open and edit Premiere Rush projects in Premiere Pro
    8. Best Practices: Create your own project templates
  6. Workspaces and workflows
    1. Workspaces
    2. Working with Panels
    3. Windows touch and gesture controls
    4. Use Premiere Pro in a dual-monitor setup
  7. Capturing and importing
    1. Capturing
      1. Capturing and digitizing footage
      2. Capturing HD, DV, or HDV video
      3. Batch capturing and recapturing
      4. Setting up your system for HD, DV, or HDV capture
    2. Importing
      1. Transferring and importing files
      2. Importing still images
      3. Importing digital audio
    3. Importing from Avid or Final Cut
      1. Importing AAF project files from Avid Media Composer
      2. Importing XML project files from Final Cut Pro 7 and Final Cut Pro X
    4. Supported file formats
    5. Digitizing analog video
    6. Working with timecode
  8. Editing
    1. Sequences
      1. Create and change sequences
      2. Add clips to sequences
      3. Rearrange clips in a sequence
      4. Find, select, and group clips in a sequence
      5. Edit from sequences loaded into the Source Monitor
      6. Simplify sequences
      7. Rendering and previewing sequences
      8. Working with markers
      9. Scene edit detection
    2. Video
      1. Create and play clips
      2. Trimming clips
      3. Synchronizing audio and video with Merge Clips
      4. Render and replace media
      5. Undo, history, and events
      6. Freeze and hold frames
      7. Working with aspect ratios
    3. Audio
      1. Overview of audio in Premiere Pro
      2. Audio Track Mixer
      3. Adjusting volume levels
      4. Editing, repairing and improving audio using Essential Sound panel
      5. Monitor clip volume and pan using Audio Clip Mixer
      6. Audio balancing and panning
      7. Advanced Audio - Submixes, downmixing, and routing
      8. Audio effects and transitions
      9. Working with audio transitions
      10. Apply effects to audio
      11. Measure audio using the Loudness Radar effect
      12. Recording audio mixes
      13. Editing audio in the timeline
      14. Audio channel mapping in Premiere Pro
      15. Use Adobe Stock audio in Premiere Pro
    4. Advanced editing
      1. Multi-camera editing workflow
      2. Editing workflows for feature films
      3. Set up and use Head Mounted Display for immersive video in Premiere Pro
      4. Editing VR
    5. Best Practices
      1. Best Practices: Mix audio faster
      2. Best Practices: Editing efficiently
  9. Video Effects and Transitions
    1. Overview of video effects and transitions
    2. Effects
      1. Types of effects in Premiere Pro
      2. Apply and remove effects
      3. Effect presets
      4. Automatically reframe video for different social media channels
      5. Color correction effects
      6. Change duration and speed of clips
      7. Adjustment Layers
      8. Stabilize footage
    3. Transitions
      1. Applying transitions in Premiere Pro
      2. Modifying and customizing transitions
      3. Morph Cut
  10. Graphics, Titles, and Animation
    1. Graphics and titles
      1. Create titles and motion graphics
      2. Applying text gradients in Premiere Pro
      3. Using Motion Graphics templates for titles
      4. Replace images or videos in Motion Graphics templates
      5. Use data-driven Motion Graphics templates
      6. Best Practices: Faster graphics workflows
      7. Add Responsive Design features to your graphics
      8. Working with captions
      9. Speech to Text
      10. Speech to Text in Premiere Pro | FAQ
      11. Upgrade Legacy titles to Source Graphics
    2. Animation and Keyframing
      1. Adding, navigating, and setting keyframes
      2. Animating effects
      3. Use Motion effect to edit and animate clips
      4. Optimize keyframe automation
      5. Moving and copying keyframes
      6. Viewing and adjusting effects and keyframes
  11. Compositing
    1. Compositing, alpha channels, and adjusting clip opacity
    2. Masking and tracking
    3. Blending modes
  12. Color Correction and Grading
    1. Overview: Color workflows in Premiere Pro
    2. Get creative with color using Lumetri looks
    3. Adjust color using RBG and Hue Saturation Curves
    4. Correct and match colors between shots
    5. Using HSL Secondary controls in the Lumetri Color panel
    6. Create vignettes
    7. Looks and LUTs
    8. Lumetri scopes
    9. Display Color Management
    10. HDR for broadcasters
    11. Enable DirectX HDR support
  13. Exporting media
    1. Workflow and overview for exporting
    2. Quick export
    3. Exporting for the Web and mobile devices
    4. Export a still image
    5. Exporting projects for other applications
    6. Exporting OMF files for Pro Tools
    7. Export to Panasonic P2 format
    8. Exporting to DVD or Blu-ray Disc
    9. Best Practices: Export faster
  14. Working with other Adobe applications
    1. After Effects and Photoshop
    2. Dynamic Link
    3. Audition
    4. Prelude
  15. Organizing and Managing Assets
    1. Working in the Project panel
    2. Organize assets in the Project panel
    3. Playing assets
    4. Search assets
    5. Creative Cloud Libraries
    6. Sync Settings in Premiere Pro
    7. Using Productions
    8. How clips work across projects in a Production
    9. Consolidate, transcode, and archive projects
    10. Managing metadata
    11. Best Practices
      1. Best Practices: Working with Productions
      2. Best Practices: Learning from broadcast production
      3. Best Practices: Working with native formats
  16. Improving Performance and Troubleshooting
    1. Set preferences
    2. Reset preferences
    3. Working with Proxies
      1. Proxy overview
      2. Ingest and Proxy Workflow
    4. Check if your system is compatible with Premiere Pro
    5. Premiere Pro for Apple silicon
    6. Eliminate flicker
    7. Interlacing and field order
    8. Smart rendering
    9. Control surface support
    10. Best Practices: Working with native formats
    11. Knowledge Base
      1. Green and pink video in Premiere Pro or Premiere Rush
      2. How do I manage the Media Cache in Premiere Pro?
      3. Fix errors when rendering or exporting
      4. Troubleshoot issues related to playback and performance in Premiere Pro
  17. Monitoring Assets and Offline Media
    1. Monitoring assets
      1. Using the Source Monitor and Program Monitor
      2. Using the Reference Monitor
    2. Offline media
      1. Working with offline clips
      2. Creating clips for offline editing
      3. Relinking offline media


When using Premiere Pro, you may encounter issues relating to playback and performance. Here is a list of some common Issues that can occur along with steps to troubleshoot.

Why am I getting choppy playback and poor performance?

Many issues that are related to playback and performance are linked to the Media Cache and Media Cache DatabaseMedia Cache contains the.CFA and.PEK files that are generated by Premiere Pro while importing clips for the first time in Project bin. Clearing cache files can help in solving such issues.

Watch the video or read the instructions.

Viewing time: 2 minutes 21 seconds

  1. Select:
    • Edit > Preferences > Media Cache (Windows). 
    • Premiere Pro > Preferences > Media Cache (macOS).
  2. Click the Delete button next to Remove Media Cache Files.
Option to remove media cache files
Option to remove media cache files

Navigate to the location of the Media Cache Files and Media Cache Database and delete the files manually. After you delete the files, empty the trash. For information on how to free up hard disk space by removing cached media files, see Managing the media cache database.

Default locations of the media cache files:

  • Windows: \Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Common
  • macOS:  /Users//Library/Application Support/Adobe/Common

 If you have customized the media cache location, you need to navigate to that custom location and clean the media cache files from there.

Why is my rendering slow?

If you have issues with slow rendering, try changing the Renderer.  

Select File > Project Settings > General > Renderer and change the setting to Mercury Playback Engine GPU Acceleration

Changing rendering settings
Changing rendering settings


If the Mercury Playback Engine GPU Acceleration option is grayed out or not available, then check if there is any update available for your GPU drivers.

Why doesn't my timeline show any video preview?

Delete the preview files and check if the preview works. You can delete render files within Premiere Pro, or by navigating to the folder where they are saved, and deleting them from that location.

If you have preview issues, try deleting the preview files. 

Select the sequence and click Sequence > Delete Render Files.


This option might be grayed out if the timeline is not rendered.

Deleting render files
Deleting render files

Click File > Project Settings > Scratch Disks. Look for the location specified for Audio/Video Previews. Navigate to that location in macOS Finder or Windows Explorer, and delete the preview files from that location.

Deleting preview files from your scratch disks
Deleting preview files from your scratch disks


If you delete previews you need to rebuild them manually (Sequence > Render In to Out), otherwise the playback might become choppy. 


Clearing the cache causes Premiere Pro to regenerate these cache files when you open the project after clearing the cache. It may take some time for Premiere Pro to respond properly during playback or preview while these cache and pek files are being generated.

What can I do to optimize the playback performance?

Reduced performance could occur because of two issues:

Read on to understand how to identify the cause of the issue and troubleshooting guidance.

Checking for issues with applied effects

To check if an effect is responsible for the reduced performance, disable the audio/video effects applied on a sequence to ease the processing load. You can then enable these effects again when you export.

Use Global fx mute button in the Program Monitor to mute all effects at once. Or, disable the effects individually from the Effect Controls panel.

Muting all effects at once
Muting all effects at once

Muting individual effects
Muting individual effects

For more information, see Remove Audio/Video effects in Premiere Pro. 

Checking for issues with plug-ins

  1. Check the MediaCore folder to verify whether the installed plug-ins are compatible with Premiere Pro.

    For Windows, the files are at:


    For macOS, the files are at:

    Macintosh HD⁩/ ⁨Library⁩/⁨Application Support⁩/Adobe⁩/⁨Common⁩/⁨Plug-ins⁩/⁨7.0⁩/MediaCore.

  2. Move the plug-ins temporarily from this location to any other folder and check if Premiere Pro is working properly without the third-party plug-ins. If the issue is resolved, then update the plug-ins, or contact the plug-in vendor for a compatible version.

What can I do if I think my hardware setup is not optimal?

  1. Check the System Compatibility Report (Help > System Compatibility Report) in Premiere Pro and see if there are any hardware compatibility issues. Alternatively, check the Premiere Pro System requirements page.

  2. If the system is not able to process the media and the effects applied in real time, it may result in reduced performance. In such cases, try the Proxy Workflow in Premiere Pro to use the proxy functionality and switch between native and proxy formats to get the job done faster.


Fast storage is critical for video production. Use solid-state NVMe or SSD storage. For more information on optimizing your system, see Optimizing your system for Premiere Pro and After Effects.

Why does my audio playback keep getting stuck?

Sometimes you may face issues where the playback doesn’t work after hitting the play button. Usually, such issues occur due to Audio Hardware not being configured properly.

  1. Select Edit > Preferences > Audio Hardware, to check the computer audio device and the Device Class settings (ASIO/MME for Windows OS or CoreAudio for macOS) that is used by Premiere Pro for audio playback and recording. For more information, see Audio Hardware preferences.

    Setting audio hardware preferences
    Setting audio hardware preferences

  2. Check for external audio devices in the Default Input/Output and try to disable them. For example, you can disable external mic, Webcam, third-party audio playback devices such as AJA or BlackMagic, USB MICs, or monitor speakers.

    On Windows machines, try to disable all the devices except Realtek listed under Sound Control panel. 

    On macOS, try to create an aggregate device by selecting built-in input/output devices and then select that aggregate device as Default Input/Output under Audio Hardware preferences of Premiere Pro.

  3. Once the third-party audio devices and interfaces are disabled, check if the playback is restored.

How do I get better performance with h.264/h.265 media?

Premiere Pro supports the use of Intel® Quick Sync, which uses the dedicated media processing capabilities of Intel® Graphics Technology to decode/encode h.264/h.265 media faster. 

If h.264/h.265 media is used, enable Hardware-accelerated Decoding/Encoding to get better playback performance and shorter export time. 

To get better playback performance, enable hardware accelerated decoding:

  1. Select EditPreferences > Media
  2. Select Enable hardware accelerated decoding (requires restart).
  3. Restart Premiere Pro.

To get shorter export time, enable hardware accelerated encoding:

  1. Select File > Export > Media
  2. In the Format drop-down list, select H.264 or HEVC (H.265).
  3. In the Video tab, go to Encoding Settings and set the Performance to Hardware Encoding.

 For hardware-accelerated decoding or encoding to work an Intel® CPU with Intel® Quick Sync support is required. For more information, see the system requirements and GPU Accelerated Rendering & Hardware Encoding.

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