One Possible Way to Stop Adobe Photoshop from Randomly Running Slow or Crashing on Windows

Date Published: 11/03/2009 14:05 Logo of Adobe Photoshop CS4

In the course of my work as a web developer I spend a lot of time cutting and slicing images using Adobe Photoshop. I certainly wouldn't say I was a photoshop genius or anything close for that matter but I know my way around it fairly well. Photoshop on Windows (I have never used it on Mac OS X but I have heard it performs better) is particularly CPU and memory intensive. My computer tends to struggle if I have some large PSDs open along with other heavy programs such as Visual Studio. I can just about put up with that as most Windows apps struggle to persuade the OS to provide adequate memory anyway. My main concern is that every now and then it will perform very badly making it almost unusable. I handled this intermittently for a few months until I came across the reason for the problem and thought I would now share this with the world so no one has to suffer with it any longer.

Whats the Problem?

From time to time photoshop will hang for long periods of time and crash performing the simplest of tasks. When it is acting this way it will almost certainly crash if you attempt to open more than one file at once. Saving your work also becomes a big hassle as the menus run so slow you can hardly reach the right option to commit your work to the hard drive. There appears to be no pattern for when these symptoms occur. It could be in the morning when the computer is freshly booted up or it could be late afternoon when the computer has been on for hours perhaps even days on end.

That Sounds Familiar, How do I Fix it?

NOTE: This is a fix for photoshop on Windows it may not work (by which I mean I doubt it will work) on Mac.

When I finally discovered the cause I was astonished that it was something so simple, yet unrelated. Its turns out that your default printer is to blame. If your default printer is not connected it causes photoshop to act like this. Precisely why this is the case I am unsure but there must be some poorly written code in there somewhere which instantiates a never ending loop or something similar when the printer isn't connected. This is by far the weirdest fix for such a problem I have ever found. After discovering this I asked my colleagues to let me know if their photoshop started showing the same symptoms as mine. Within 2 weeks I heard from 3 people and simply connecting for changing their default printer fixed it every time. Strange but true. Well I hope this helps some people out there and if anyone has anything else to add, perhaps they know why it happens, feel free to comment below.

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