Learn how to fix, "Photoshop could not complete your request because of a program error" when opening or saving files

When opening or saving image files, you get one of the following errors:

  • "Could not complete your request because of a program error."
  • "Could not save as "yourfilename.psd" because of a program error."

Program error while saving files

Could not save as because of a program error

The ‘Photoshop could not save as "yourfilename.psd" because of a program error.’ error can occur for various reasons from layer compositing to improper system permissions.


Follow the below troubleshooting recommendations to resolve program errors while saving files in Photoshop.

  1. Update Photoshop

    Make sure Photoshop is up to date with the latest bug fixes. 
    See Keeping Photoshop up to date.

  2. Grant Photoshop "Full Disk Access" in macOS System Preferences

    To change this preference on your Mac, choose Apple menu  > System Preferences > Security & Privacy > then click Privacy. 
    See Change Privacy preferences on Mac

  3. Hide all layers in the Layers panel then Save again

    Click or click and drag across the visibility icon on each of the layers to hide them.

  4. Disable the Discover panel

    • Quit Photoshop
    • Navigate to the following location:
      • macOS: Navigate to "/Applications/Adobe Photoshop 2021/Adobe Photoshop 2021.app/Contents/Required/UXP/"
      • Windows: Navigate to "~\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop 2021\Required\UXP\"
    • Rename the "com.adobe.unifiedpanel" folder to "~com.adobe.unifiedpanel"
  5. Roll back to the previous version of Photoshop

    If none of the above suggestions help, back up your preferences/settings folder then roll back to the previous version of Photoshop (either 22.0.1 or 21.1.4)

    See Revert to the previous Photoshop version

Program error while opening files

Photoshop Program error

The ‘Photoshop could not complete your request because of a program error’ error can occur for various reasons from damaged Photoshop preferences to incompatible system hardware or software.


Follow the below troubleshooting recommendations to resolve program errors while opening files in Photoshop.

  1. Update Photoshop

    Make sure Photoshop is up to date with the latest bug fixes. 
    See Keeping Photoshop up to date.

  2. Check the system requirements

  3. Disable Generator

    • Navigate to Preferences > Plug-ins
    • Uncheck Enable Generator
  4. Reinstall your graphics driver

  5. Restore Photoshop's default preferences

  6. Turn off GPU acceleration

  7. Roll back to the previous version of Photoshop

    If none of the above suggestions help, back up your preferences/settings folder then roll back to the previous version of Photoshop.

    See Revert to the previous Photoshop version