How to get a Sample Process or Spindump | macOS

Typically, a freeze (sometimes referred to as a "freeze," "freezing", "hang", "spinning cursor", or "rainbow wheel") occurs when an application is waiting for a response from the OS or another process.

In the event an Adobe application becomes unresponsive, support or engineering may request Sample Process or Spindump to help in determining the cause.

  • Sample Process: Creates a report on a selected process over a period of 3 seconds.
  • Spindump: Creates a report for unresponsive apps that were terminated using force quit.



A freeze and crash are completely different incidents. To report a crash:

See Submitting crash reports.

Use Activity Monitor to get a Sample Process or Spindump

  1. Launch Photoshop

  2. Launch Activity Monitor, which can be found in the Utilities folder located inside the main Applications folder.

  3. In Activity Monitor, make sure that CPU is selected and select "Photoshop" from the list under Process Name:

    Activity Monitor


    You can use the search field in the upper right of the Activity Monitor dialog to search for the name "Photoshop" if you have a long list of processes.

  4. Switch back to Photoshop and repeat your steps until the freeze occurs. While the freeze is occuring in Photoshop, go to back to Activity Monitor, click on the gear and select Sample Process:

    Gear Icon


    You may need to enter your admin username and password.

  5. After the process is complete a new window opens up to display the diagnostic. Click the "Save..." button in the upper right and save the file to your desktop.

    Save File

Report a Problem or Contact Support

To share a Sample or Spindump to troubleshoot an issue:

Sample Process or Spindump privacy

The only personal information contained in these diagnostics is the path to the application being sampled.

For further information see Apple's documentation for Run system diagnostics in Activity Monitor on Mac.


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