Troubleshoot Photoshop graphics processor (GPU) and graphics driver issues

Resolve issues caused by defective, unsupported, or incompatible GPU or graphics driver

Topics in this article:

GPU compatibility check

With the Photoshop 23.0 release, you can run the graphics processor compatibility check to ensure your GPU is compatible. To do so, go to Help > GPU Compatibility and see the report dialog that opens.

GPU compatibility check

GPU compatibility check

Also, to determine your graphics card make and model, you can launch Photoshop and choose Help > System Info to see the Graphics Processor info:

Photoshop System Information

Verify if GPU is causing Photoshop issues

Unsure if your graphics processor or driver is the cause of the issue you're facing with Photoshop? Disabling the GPU acceleration will help you narrow down the cause of the issue.

To do so, navigate to Edit > Preferences > Performance (Windows) or Photoshop > Preferences > Performance (macOS) and uncheck Use Graphics Processor. Then, restart Photoshop. To learn more about photoshop preferences, see Adjust preferences in Photoshop.

If the problem persists, continue troubleshooting by performing the GPU and graphics driver troubleshooting steps as outlined below.

GPU and graphics driver troubleshooting steps

If your GPU preference is disabled and you cannot enable it, verify your monitor is connected to the high-powered GPU and not the built-in port on your computer.

Follow the troubleshooting steps below:

  1. Update your graphics driver.

    Updating your graphics driver can fix many issues, such as crashing, incorrectly rendered images, and performance problems. Get driver updates directly from the video card manufacturer:

    macOS: Graphics drivers are updated via operating system updates.

    Windows: Windows Update won't always give you the latest and greatest drivers. You must go directly to your card manufacturer’s website to check for driver updates:

    • Be sure to choose the correct driver. Notebook drivers sometimes have a different name than similar desktop drivers.
    • If you are experiencing flickering or stuttering responsiveness within Photoshop, and you have a GPU that supports G-Sync, turn G-Sync off for Photoshop using the NVIDIA control panel.
    • Some video adapter manufacturers have other software that requires updating in addition to the video driver. Read the update instructions carefully, and contact the video adapter manufacturer if you don't understand the instructions.
  2. Check your Cache Levels setting.

    If you've set your Cache Levels to 1 in Photoshop preferences, you may experience performance issues with features that take advantage of the graphics processor.

    Reset the Cache Levels to the default setting, which is 4:

    1. Choose Edit > Preferences > Performance (Windows) or Photoshop > Preferences > Performance (macOS).
    2. Set Cache Levels to 4.
    3. Quit and relaunch Photoshop.

    After relaunching Photoshop, retry the steps that caused the problem.

  3. Reset your preferences.

    Resetting preferences returns Graphics Processor settings to their default status.

    See Restore preference files to default.

    After resetting your preferences, launch Photoshop and retry the steps that caused the problem.

  4. Change your Advanced Settings for Open CL.

    a. Choose Edit > Preferences > Performance (Windows) or Photoshop > Preferences > Performance (macOS).

    b. In the Performance panel, click Advanced Settings.

    c. Disable Open CL.

    d. Quit and relaunch Photoshop.

    If you’re changing Performance preferences to troubleshoot a problem, relaunch Photoshop after each change. 

    Disable Open CL


    With the August 2021 (v22.5) release, the Advanced Drawing Mode selector has been removed. For earlier versions, set Drawing Mode to Basic in step c (above).

  5. (Optional) For Windows users only: Select Older GPU mode (pre-2016) from the Preferences > Technology Previews section to force Photoshop to fall back to an alternate rendering engine. You must restart for changes to take effect. While this is recommended for older GPUs, sometimes newer GPUs could become more stable with this option selected.

  6. Configuring computers with multiple graphics cards.

    Ultralight laptops and low end desktops, often use an integrated graphics card that uses less power to preserve battery and shares memory with your CPU.

    Higher end computers often have a discrete, dedicated graphics card that uses its own memory (VRAM), has greater processing power, and doesn't eat up RAM.

    Higher end laptops ofter use two graphics cards, an integrated one when you're using the battery, and a discrete graphics card when you're plugged into an outlet.

    If your system has more than one graphics card, ensure that Photoshop has been assigned the High-Performance graphics card rather than Integrated Graphics or Power-Saving graphics card for the best experience. Changing these settings on laptops will increase battery usage.



    a. Right-click anywhere on the desktop and choose the NVIDIA control panel.

    b. Click Manage 3D settings.

    c. Click Program Settings and add Photoshop.exe and sniffer.exe. Change the preferred graphics processor to High-performance NVIDIA processor.


    a. Right-click anywhere on the desktop and choose the AMD Catalyst Control Center or Configure Switchable Graphics.

    b. Click Browse and choose High Performance instead of Power Saving.


    Choose System Preferences > Energy Saver, and then deselect Automatic Graphics Switching.

    Automatic Graphics Switching.

  7. Disable the less powerful graphics card.

    If the above step does not resolve issues when using more than one graphics card, consider disabling one of the graphics cards. Before disabling the onboard graphics card, please ensure you have the video output of your monitor connected to the dedicated graphics card.

    To disable a graphics card, use the Device Manager on Windows. In the Device Manager, right-click the card's name and choose Disable.

    • Please use caution and bear in mind that disabling the graphics card may lead to system instabilities.
    • Read the instructions carefully, and contact the video adapter manufacturer directly if you don't understand the instructions.
  8. Do not use Photoshop on a virtual machine (VM). 

    Running Photoshop under virtual machines (VMs) is not tested extensively nor officially supported because of known issues with features that rely on the graphics processor in VM environments.

After performing the troubleshooting steps above, you can confirm the results by enabling the Use Graphics Processor option in the Preferences > Performance panel and retrying the steps that caused the problem.

Additional information

  Discontinuation of 3D features in Photoshop

Photoshop’s 3D features will be removed in future updates. Users working with 3D are encouraged to explore Adobe’s new Substance 3D collection, which represents the next generation of 3D tools from Adobe. Additional details on the discontinuation of Photoshop’s 3D features can be found here: Photoshop 3D | Common questions on discontinued 3D features.

Common issues

Caused by a defective, unsupported graphics driver, or incompatible graphics processor (also called a graphics card, video card, or GPU):

  • You can encounter an error message - " Your graphics processor is incompatible" on Windows if you've got the Microsoft OpenCL/OpenGL compatibility pack installed.
  • Crashes, performance issues, incorrectly-rendered windows or objects, canvas flashes/flickers, artifacts in Photoshop.
  • Photoshop crashes or hangs upon launch.
  • Image canvas flashes or flickers.
  • Photoshop's menu bar is missing.

See Graphics processor (GPU) troubleshooting.

Graphics hardware error messages

When you first launch Photoshop, you might encounter some hardware error messages:

See Graphics hardware not officially supported for 3D.
See Photoshop has encountered a problem with the display driver.

Disabled features

See Features that won't work without a GPU

Camera Raw issues

Adobe Camera Raw uses a graphics processor differently than Photoshop. If you experience crashes, performance issues, or incorrectly-rendered windows or objects, redraw issues or artifacts, specifically when opening files in Adobe Camera Raw.

See Camera Raw graphics processor (GPU) FAQ.

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