Use this document to diagnose issues related to playback and performance in Premiere Pro

When using Premiere Pro, you may encounter issues relating to playback and performance. Issues that commonly occur include: 

  • Drop in frames
  • Audio drop out
  • No Video during playback
  • Playback getting stuck when you hit the play button or spacebar

Troubleshoot issues related to Media Cache and Media Cache Database

Many issues that are related to playback and performance are linked to the Media Cache and Media Cache Database. Media Cache contains the .CFA and .PEK files which are generated by Premiere Pro while importing clips for the first time in Project bin. This issue could also be related to any audio/video effects that you apply to clips in sequences. 

  1. Select Edit > Preferences > Media Cache on Windows or Premiere Pro menu > Preferences > Media Cache on macOS.

    Preferences related to your media cache
    Preferences related to your media cache
  2. Delete Media Cache files: Delete the cache files from Media Cache and Media Cache Database folders.  For more information on how to free up hard disk space by removing cached media files, see Managing the media cache database.


    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.

Troubleshoot issues related to rendering

If you have issues with rendering, try changing the rendering options. 

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


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

Troubleshoot issues related to previews

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

You can delete previews in one of the following ways:

  1. Select the sequence and click Sequence > Delete Render Files.

  2. Alternatively, 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.


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

Troubleshoot issues related to 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.

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

Troubleshoot performance issues related to third-party plug-ins

  1. Check the MediaCore folder to verify whether the installed plug-ins are compatible with Premiere Pro 2019.

    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. Try moving 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.

Troubleshoot playback issues related to audio hardware

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

  2. Check for external MIC or audio devices and try to disable them. For example, you can disable 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 restores.

Troubleshoot performance and playback issues due to hardware limitations

  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.

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