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Troubleshoot graphics processor (GPU) and graphics driver issues

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Learn how to resolve issues caused by defective, unsupported, or incompatible GPU or graphics driver.

GPU problems with Photoshop could manifest in a variety of ways, including:

  • Photoshop displays the GPU compatibility screen just after launch
  • Performance issues, incorrectly rendered windows or objects, canvas flashes/flickers, visual artifacts in Photoshop
  • Photoshop crashes or hangs upon launch
  • Image canvas flashes or flickers
  • Photoshop's menu bar is missing
  • Slow screen drawing when zooming in or out
  • Partial screen redraws, including remnants of images from other windows
  • Some graphic elements of Photoshop tools, like the crop handles, or transform controls lose color or look different than usual
  • Your image is filled with a bright green color

Read the full article to learn how to setup your GPU for high performance in Photoshop.

GPU compatibility check

Adobe Photoshop deeplink

Try it in the app
Follow along to check your GPU compatibility in a few simple steps.

With the Photoshop 23.0 release or later, 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.

A typical GPU compatibility check report when your GPU is compatible for use.
A typical GPU compatibility check report when your GPU is compatible for use. Here minimum VRAM requirement isn't met.

A typical GPU compatibility check report when your GPU is turned off for use.
A typical GPU compatibility check report when your GPU is turned off for use.


We have this known issue where the dialog could report that 'Your graphics processor is incompatible.' If you're running Windows on an Intel-based system with the 'Microsoft OpenCL/OpenGL Compatibility Pack' installed, the solution is to uninstall the compatibility pack and restart the computer.

Unsupported workflows

Some configurations are known to be problematic for GPU use in Photoshop. Avoid all the following, which are not supported currently:

  • Out-of-date hardware or software

Adobe supports Photoshop only when your Mac is running one of the last three system updates from Apple. See the troubleshooting steps 2 and 3 below for instructions on how to update to the latest version of macOS and Photoshop and how to proceed if your computer is losing support for current versions of the operating system.

  • Virtual Machines

Running Photoshop under virtual machines (VMs) is not tested extensively nor officially supported. Virtualization configurations often use software-based GPU drivers that are configured below Photoshop specifications. Do not use Photoshop in virtual machines or connect remotely to Photoshop running on different hardware. At the very least, your GPU should be turned off in these scenarios.

  • 3D Rendering Issues

3D features are being phased out of Photoshop. If you notice rendering problems (e.g., text extrusions or updates not appearing on screen) with files that contain 3D content, that is expected. Consider evaluating Adobe’s Substance line of 3D products.

  • Plugging/unplugging displays

If you run Photoshop while changing display configurations (e.g., plugging in an external monitor without quitting Photoshop), your windows may draw in the wrong place on screen or fill with a solid green color. If you need to attach a new display to your computer, quit Photoshop, attach the display, then start Photoshop.

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.

  1. Navigate to Edit > Preferences > Performance (Windows) or Photoshop > Preferences > Performance (macOS).
  2. Uncheck Use Graphics Processor
  3. Restart Photoshop. 

If the problem persists, continue troubleshooting by performing the troubleshooting steps as outlined below:

Troubleshoot GPU and Graphics driver


  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.

    NVIDIA drivers | AMD drivers | Intel drivers

    • 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
    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

    b. In the Performance panel, click Advanced Settings

    c. Disable Open CL

    d. Quit and restart Photoshop for the change to take effect


    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. Enable Older GPU mode (pre-2016) setting

    (Optional) For Windows users only: 

    1. Choose Edit > Preferences > Technology Previews
    2. Enable Older GPU mode (pre-2016)
    3. Quit and restart Photoshop for the change to take effect

    This preferences forces Photoshop to fall back to an alternate rendering engine. 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. 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. Also, 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. See Quick Tips on setting up GPU for high performance in Photoshop.


       See how to setup your NVIDIA GPU for high performance in the quick tutorial below.

    1. Right-click anywhere on the desktop and choose the NVIDIA control panel.
    2. Click Manage 3D settings.
    3. Click Program Settings and add Photoshop.exe and sniffer.exe. Change the Preferred graphics processor to High-performance NVIDIA processor.

    Note: Nvidia provides a choice between Studio and Game-ready drivers. Preferably, you should use Studio drivers.


       See how to setup your Intel & AMD GPUs for high performance in the quick tutorial below.

    1. Right-click anywhere on the desktop and choose the AMD Catalyst Control Center or Configure Switchable Graphics.
    2. Click Browse and choose High Performance instead of Power Saving.

  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.

    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.


  1. Restart your computer

    Some issues can occur directly after installing or upgrading the Adobe Creative Cloud application and/or Photoshop. Restart your system after a fresh update or install of Adobe software and see if symptoms clear up.

  2. Update macOS

    Apple includes GPU drivers in the system software and frequently adds bug fixes in updates. If you have a system update or security patch awaiting, install them and restart the Mac. If your computer does not let you install the latest version of macOS, then your computer hardware is falling behind current specifications for the operating system, and by extension, Photoshop. It may be necessary to use an older version of Photoshop that coincided with your final operating system version’s release date. To learn more, see:

  3. Update Photoshop

    All the most recent bug fixes are included in the latest version of Photoshop, and if your computer meets all current requirements for macOS and Photoshop, it should be the most stable.

    Update Photoshop

    As noted above, if your computer can no longer install the latest version of macOS, then you may want to have the last known working version of Photoshop installed at the time of your operating system, plus the latest version in case you are able to use it as well. See these steps to install multiple versions of Photoshop.

  4. Creative Cloud issues

    If you experience crashes, particularly on opening new files, sometimes the Creative Cloud application can be the source. Refer to the following documents for help installing or troubleshooting the Creative Cloud desktop app:

  5. Turn off the GPU

    Try turning the GPU off in Photoshop preferences to check whether problems go away with the GPU turned off. Go to Photoshop > Preferences > Performance and uncheck Use Graphics Processor, then restart Photoshop. 

    • If the problems do NOT clear up after turning off the GPU, then your problem is more generic in nature. Try these tips.
    • If problems go away with the GPU disabled, then you may opt to work without the GPU, or try some of the other steps below to straighten things out.

    Re-enable the Use Graphics Processor option in the Preferences > Performance panel, restart Photoshop and try some of the following suggestions.

  6. Camera Raw issues

    Adobe Camera Raw uses the 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, then see Camera Raw graphics processor (GPU) FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions).

  7. Turn off Automatic Graphics Switching

    If you are using a MacBook or MacBook Pro, go to System Preferences > Energy Saver, and turn off Automatic Graphics Switching. Restart Photoshop and see if the symptoms still occur.

    Automatic Graphics Switching.

  8. Turn off OpenCL

    1. Choose Photoshop > Preferences > Performance
    2. In the Performance panel, click Advanced Settings
    3. Uncheck the ‘Use OpenCL
    4. Restart Photoshop
    Disable Open CL

  9. Check your Cache Levels setting

    If you have 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 Photoshop > Preferences > Performance
    2. Set Cache Levels to 4
    3. Restart Photoshop

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

  10. Reset Photoshop preferences

    Resetting preferences returns Graphics Processor settings to their default status.

    See Restore preference files to default

    After resetting your preferences, launch Photoshop and retest for errors. Sometimes preferences files can become corrupted, and a refresh can resolve a wide range of issues.

Additional information

Graphics hardware error messages

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

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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