Photoshop keeps freezing, lagging, crashing, closing itself or flickering

Adobe Photoshop is one of the most popular graphic software. Photoshop is used for tasks such as image creation, Image restoration, creating posters and business cards and so much more. Persons use Photoshop for their hobby or as a means of income. Those who rely on this software as a means of income will find it quite frustrating when it malfunctions. If Adobe Photoshop keeps freezing, lagging, crashing, closing itself or flickering on your Windows 11/10 computer, here are some steps you can take to resolve the issue.

Photoshop keeps freezing, lagging, crashing, closing itself or flickering

Photoshop keeps freezing, lagging, crashing, closing itself or flickering

Photoshop may begin to have issues at some point and knowing what to do can save precious time. Photoshop may start to freeze, lag, crash, close itself, or flicker. The general rule to troubleshoot any issue whether software or hardware is to start with the easiest first. Look for the easiest thing that you think may be the problem and move up gradually to the hardest if the problem continues. Here is a list of things that could be causing these problems in Photoshop and what can be done to fix them.

  1. Overheating Computer
  2. Low Power to Computer’s Hardware
  3. Photoshop System Requirement Not Met
  4. Outdated Photoshop
  5. Outdated Windows
  6. Image View Needs Changing
  7. Performance Settings Needs Modifying
  8. Low Disc Space
  9. Slow Hard Drive
  10. Outdated Driver
  11. Fonts
  12. Computer Needs Resetting.

1] Overheating Computer

This might seem like a strange one, but an overheated computer may be one of the reasons Photoshop is acting up. Your computer is designed to lower performance if it is getting too hot, it will even shut down if the heat is too much. Feel the computer and check the temperature of the heat coming from the vents. Check if any vents are blocked and clean them if they need to. You can also invest in a cooling pad or something that will keep your computer cool. You may diagnose the heat problem by turning off the computer and allowing it to cool down. Turn it back on and when it is finished booting, start Photoshop, if Photoshop runs OK for a while then starts to act up, check the temperature of the computer at the point when it starts to act up.  If your computer is cooling adequately and the Photoshop problem continues, then it is time to move on to the next step. These Laptop cooling software could also help you.

2] Low Power to Computer’s Hardware

The more power that a computer gets, the better it will perform. This increased power will cause it to heat up, but with proper ventilation, it will be ok. With laptops, lots of manufacturers attract more buyers by bating them with high specifications. However, the wattage on this hardware might be low as the manufacturer may cut corners on the design of the chassis and this affects the cooling. Also, the manufacturer wants to increase sales by adding all these high specification parts in a thin and light chassis. These two will not work well together, especially with high-demand software like photoshop. Laptops already have the limited cooling ability. Take note of a good gaming laptop, it is always well-ventilated, and in some cases, the CPU is not even the highest, but the performance is very good. The gaming laptop has great specifications coupled with a larger well-ventilated chassis. This gives high performance with lots of cooling.

Another trick that manufacturers use in laptops is that of making the components perform sometimes below 50% of their rated level when the power cord is not plugged in. That allows them to use smaller batteries on the laptop. This is cheating though because a laptop is bought for its mobility. Users expect that the laptop will perform at its advertised specification even when the power is unplugged. Users should then be the ones to choose to lower the performance when it is unplugged.

Check if Photoshop starts giving problems when you unplug the power cord. In the case of a desktop, try to check the voltage on the power supply. Check if there may be too many components plugged in on a power supply that may not be rated for that much load.

3] Photoshop System Requirement Not Met

Check to see the system requirements of Photoshop and compare them to the specification of your system. Here you will find the system requirements for Photoshop. Compare these system requirements with your computer’s specifications.

These are the system requirements for Photoshop

You can search for System Information on your computer to find your computer hardware specs.

System Info Page

If possible, try to go higher than the system requirements, this will ensure that you will be able to use the same computer for a long time, even with newer releases of photoshop. You may have met and possibly exceeded the system requirements for Photoshop, however you may be running too many power or resource-hungry applications. Just close some of these and see if this fixes the problem. You can see what is using resources by going clicking Ctrl + Alt + Del then click Task Manager, and this will show you processes, you can then click Performance to see the performance of the CPU, Memory, GPU, and other things.

4] Outdated Photoshop

Keeping Photoshop updated may help fix bugs and known issues and give you some new features. So, if you haven’t updated your photoshop for a long time, it is best to do so now to see if this fixes the freezing and other issues. To see that you have the latest version of Photoshop, open the program, to Help then About Photoshop.  To update your Photoshop, go to Help then Updates.

5] Outdated Windows

Windows Update

6] Image View Needs Changing

If Photoshop keeps freezing or is lagging when you are viewing or editing an image, maybe making some changes within the application can help.

Use the Efficiency Indicator

Efficiency Indicator

By using the Efficiency Indicator, your computer can run Photoshop at 100 % efficiency. To enable it, while there is a document on the screen, go to the bottom of the screen and click the arrow that looks like a play button, then click Efficiency.

 Disable Third-Party Plugins

Photoshop allows users to add third-party plugins for additional features. However, the third-party plugins may sometimes cause crashing, freezing, and other issues.

Disable Plugins

If you want to disable third-party plugins to see if that will help, you may do so by closing Photoshop, holding Shift, and clicking the Photoshop icon to open it, you will get an option asking Skip loading optional and third-party plug-ins?” Click yes and it will continue opening Photoshop. If Photoshop continues to freeze or lag then the plug-ins are not the issue, you can restart Photoshop to enable them.

If the issues, go away when plug-ins are disabled then you know that the plug-ins may be the problem and you need to figure out the problematic Plug-ins. To figure out the problematic plug-in, you can do a process of elimination. Go to the Photoshop plug-ins folder and move the plugins to a newly created folder, after moving each one you start up Photoshop to see the result. If Photoshop begins to work properly after a certain plug-in is removed, then you would know that the plug-in is the problematic one.

Clear Photoshop Cache

If the issues with Photoshop continue, then you can clear the Photoshop cache. Photoshop usually store date for undo, clipboard, and history to help you work on images more easily. This could consume a lot of memory and cause Photoshop to freeze and crash. Clearing this cache may remedy the issue.

Clear Photoshop Cache

To clear the cache just click Edit on the upper bar then choose Purge and click All. Note that after the cache is cleared you will not be able to undo the most recent changes.

Disable Font Preview

By default, the Font Preview feature is enabled in Photoshop and the size is normally set to medium.  Disabling this feature may help fix Photoshop’s freezing and crashing problem.

Font View

To disable this feature go to Type press Font Preview Size then click None.

7] Performance Settings Needs Modifying

To see if you can resolve the issue of freezing or crashing you may need to go into the Preferences and modify the Performance Settings. This may improve the general working and speed of Photoshop. It may also fix the freezing and problems with Photoshop not responding.

Performance Settings

To change the Performance Settings, go to Edit then Preference then Performance. In this setting, you can modify the Memory Usage and make Photoshop use about 70%. You can increase the Cache Level and Reduce Cache Tile Size to speed up moving and zooming in a document. In the Graphic Processor Settings click Advanced Settings, in the Drawing Mode Click Advanced, Basic, or Normal as will suit your needs.

8] Low Disc Space

Photoshop requires enough RAM to work properly. When enough RAM is not available, it will use free space on available drives to use as Scratch Disc and save data there. When your disc space is low, Photoshop may freeze or become unresponsive.

If the Scratch Disc is full, you can go to Photoshop’s Performance Settings to set another fast drive with more free space as Scratch Disc by using the arrow buttons.

To fix the Low Disc space, you need to remove some files or upgrade to a larger hard drive.

9] Slow Hard Drive

Photoshop may freeze, become unresponsive or move slowly if the hard drive is slow. You may have to upgrade from a slow 5400 RPM hard drive to a 7200 RPM hard drive. You may also upgrade from a mechanical hard drive to a Solid-State Drive (SSD). This post will show you how to increase Hard Drive speed & performance.

10] Outdated Drivers

Photoshop may have performance issues if there are outdated drivers for the computer’s hardware. Try to keep all display drivers updated with the latest one.

11] Fonts

This might be a shocker to some but having bad fonts can affect the performance of software that uses them, and Photoshop is no exception. If you have performance issues and the regular troubleshoots won’t work, try to remember if the issue started after you installed some fonts. Removing previously installed fonts may remedy the problem with Photoshop freezing or crashing. The problem may also be that you have installed too many fonts.

12] Computer Needs Resetting

If the problem with Photoshop persists, you may need to restore your computer to an earlier time when Photoshop was working. If this does not help, then you may need to perform Reset This PC. When you reinstall Photoshop, observe the actions before and after you install additional software and fonts.

Read: How to curve text around an image in Photoshop

How Can An Overheating Computer Cause Photoshop to Malfunction?

Computers are created to lower their performance if they sense that they are getting too hot. Computer components will get damaged if they get too hot. High-performance software will require the processor and other components to draw more power and thus produce more heat. If the heat cannot be dissipated fast enough the computer will slow down its performance until it is cooled down.

Read: Fix Adobe Genuine Software Verification Failure on Windows.

Would a Solid-State Drive Stop Photoshop from Freezing, Crashing?

A Solid-State Drive may help to fix Photoshop’s issues as the Solid-State Drive performs faster than the traditional Hard drive. The Solid-State Drive has no moving parts so it will perform faster. No moving parts also mean it will perform much cooler than the traditional Hard Drive.

Photoshop keeps freezing, lagging, crashing, closing itself or flickering

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Jacob MORRIS

MORRIS is an impassioned technology writer. He always inspires technologists with his innovative thinking and practical approach. A go-to personality for every Technical problem, no doubt, the chief problem-solver!

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