10 Common Photoshop Problems and Ways to Fix Them

By Ryan Gardner
 on November 30, 2020
Last modified on January 6th, 2022

10 Common Photoshop Problems and Ways to Fix Them

By Ryan Gardner
 on November 30, 2020
Last modified on January 6th, 2022

Photoshop is rather difficult-to-master software. And the learning process becomes even more challenging when users encounter various problems. Frustration can build over time, and some may decide that Photoshop is not worth their time, despite trying to become a graphic designer.

This article will provide you with a list of common Photoshop problems and solutions to these problems.

Problem #1 – Full Scratch Disk

Do not be surprised that Photoshop creates caches and other temporary files. It will not take too long before you start receiving errors about a full scratch if you are careless. But what should you do if your scratch disk is full?

The solution is to hit the Control + K shortcut and select a drive that has enough free storage for Photoshop junk data. You would also benefit by running a disk cleanup tool that removes unnecessary files and creates more space on the drive.

Problem #2 – Malfunctioning Cursor

You may switch to a precise cursor unintentionally. When that happens, you will likely struggle to use Photoshop. A change in the cursor shape is distracting. Luckily, you can go back to the default cursor by pressing Caps Lock.

Hitting the Control + K shortcut will open the Preferences tab, where you can customize cursors manually.

Problem #3 – Disappearing Panels

If you see the menu but not any of the panels you have been working on, try pressing the Tab key. Clicking the key accidentally might have been the cause behind vanishing panels. You should be able to remedy the situation by using the Tab key again. And try to remember this because some people might start to panic when the panels are gone when there was nothing to worry about in the first place.

Problem #4 – Unresponsive Tools

There might be instances where clicking on a tool does nothing, or a tool you have selected is not responding when you try to erase, draw, or heal brush on the Photoshop canvas.

As for solving the problem, there are a few possibilities. The first is to deselect areas that you might have accidentally selected using the marquee tool. Working in the Quickmask mode could also be a potential cause. For that, hit the Q key to return to the default mode.

Problem #5 – Export Errors

Photoshop may become unresponsive whenever you want to change programs. If the software also gives you an error about the clipboard, it means that you should change preferences.

Control + K will bring up the preferences tab. Click on the “General” tab and check the box next to the “Export Clipboard” section. Save the changes and try switching programs again. The error should no longer appear.

Problem #6 – Issues With Documents and New Files

Some files may end up always opening in tabs. Solving this problem is relatively simple. Go to the preferences tab once again and uncheck the “Open Documents as Tabs” box. If you need to open an image in a tab, you can simply drag it there.

Problem #7 – Important Files Become Unresponsive

Photoshop may not be able to open some files because they are not associated with the software. It can be a bit problematic, particularly when you receive important data from clients for a project.

How to deal with the problem? Well, the simplest solution would be to right-click on a file and select the “Open with” section. Then, click the “Choose default program” and associate the file with Photoshop as the default program.

Problem #8 – Lack of Control Over Smart Quotes

There is a difference between straight quotes and smart quotes. The former is actually a notation to measure feet and inches. And while autocorrect tends to fix the problem by replacing straight quotes with smart ones, it does create issues for Photoshop.

Photoshop preferences allow you to disable smart quotes and remove the autocorrect, meaning that you do not have to worry about potential problems with the quotes.

Problem #9 – Constant Window Resizing

Zooming images in and out may lead to the main window not returning back to normal size. It is frustrating when you have to change the window size manually. The solution is available in the preferences tab. Click on the “Zoom Resize Windows” section.

Problem #10 – Lackluster Photoshop Performance

A lackluster overall Photoshop performance may be the result of neglecting to take proper care of your computer.

It is worth noting that as software, Photoshop requires quite a lot of resources, particularly memory. Adding more RAM tends to resolve the matters, but not everyone can afford to invest in new hardware just for Photoshop.

Restarting the computer and Photoshop itself is known to improve the performance. Also, make sure that the system is malware-free. Even an insignificant virus could lead to a drop in computer speed, which also affects Photoshop.

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Article By
Ryan Gardner
Ryan is a developer at Isotropic Design, and publishes detailed thoughts, analysis, and comparisons on the Isotropic Blog.
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