Photoshop 7 crashes on startup

Back at the end of 2003 I experienced a problem with Adobe Photoshop 7 crashing on a Windows XP machine. Since then, everything has been fine, but tonight the problem re-emerged so I dug out my old notes (which predate this blog) to try and find the answer.

Basically, when starting Photoshop, the splash screen displays as components are loaded and then nothing else appears (not even an error message).

Luckily, when this happened to me a few years back, I found a forum post with the answer to the problem – hold down the Ctrl, Alt and Shift keys whilst launching Photoshop (this will allow the settings file to be deleted and recreated). It’s worked twice for me now, hopefully blogging about it here will help someone else out too.


  • Anonymous
    Thursday 13 July 2006 - 20:11 | Permalink

    Saved my client, thanks!

  • Monday 17 July 2006 - 20:41 | Permalink

    Wow, I had this problem today and reinstalled Photoshop with no change. It took one Google search to find your post and it worked. Thank you thank you.

  • Anonymous
    Monday 24 July 2006 - 21:58 | Permalink

    Ok, I’ll give it a shot.

  • Anonymous
    Monday 24 July 2006 - 22:01 | Permalink

    P is for VICTORY!

    thnx tim graves

  • Anonymous
    Thursday 21 September 2006 - 21:53 | Permalink

    Teckspertise: The gift that keeps on giving. :) ThanX!

  • Bash
    Sunday 15 October 2006 - 11:11 | Permalink

    Awesome!! Hats off!!! mate, i was about to reinstall Photoshop 7, your blog solved my problem. Thanks once again….

  • Renee
    Tuesday 17 October 2006 - 3:07 | Permalink

    Fantastic!! I was going mad. Had reinstalled but still had the same problem.

    This little trick got everything working again.

  • Anonymous
    Thursday 23 November 2006 - 9:39 | Permalink

    Thanks. I had wasted a lot of time on this and you solved the problem in seconds.


  • Anonymous
    Tuesday 27 February 2007 - 21:16 | Permalink

    I really, really hope this works – I’m on a deadline and going crazy with this stupid bug all of a sudden o_o;

  • Anonymous
    Friday 2 March 2007 - 10:50 | Permalink

    Tnx m8.. . I HAd reinstalled Photoshop like 20 times :S.. i had deleted everything but the problems are still there .. but when i seech this furom .. i saw your solution.. i tried it and there they go.. they are working again.. Thank you very much (Y)

  • saurabh
    Tuesday 20 March 2007 - 18:41 | Permalink

    Thanks man! i freelance, and as such have nobody to explain except the paying client when ps7 just refuses to work. You’re a life saver. This one particular client that im workin for right now is a tuff one. Thanks buddy. this bailed me out.

  • Rich
    Tuesday 10 April 2007 - 19:30 | Permalink

    Thank you so much! I was about to smash my computer with a hammer. You’re a god among men.

  • Friday 13 April 2007 - 4:14 | Permalink

    You are my hero. I love you! I thought I had lost photoshop forever. Thank you!

  • Friday 13 April 2007 - 11:13 | Permalink

    I’m really glad that this post is helping people :-)

    It’s particularly good for my ego when people refer to me as “my hero” and “a god among men” :-)

  • Saturday 14 April 2007 - 15:52 | Permalink

    Thank you so much, This really saved me.

  • Anonymous
    Thursday 26 April 2007 - 2:22 | Permalink

    this worked. thank-you so much!

  • G00nage
    Thursday 3 May 2007 - 5:40 | Permalink

    Thank you Thank you

  • Anonymous
    Saturday 12 May 2007 - 5:48 | Permalink

    it worked!!! i couldnt figure oyut what was wrong… i thought it was my scanner haha …but not any more! thanks!

  • Wednesday 16 May 2007 - 3:45 | Permalink

    Hey thanks soooo much. You saved the day, I had tryed uninstalling and reinstalling and everything else I could, to try to fix it. Now its working, and now I can tell my 19 year old son “I fixed it”” hehe

    Thanks heaps :-)

  • Wednesday 16 May 2007 - 10:22 | Permalink

    Monique – so glad it helped… it’s always nice to show the teenagers that we know stuff too!


  • peterwalker
    Saturday 19 May 2007 - 22:20 | Permalink

    Brilliant tip! Thanks.

  • Tuesday 22 May 2007 - 18:57 | Permalink

    Thanks so much, I was just about to attack the registry with an ax, but I read your post before I went crazy. Thanks!

  • Sunday 17 June 2007 - 8:32 | Permalink


    I have no idea what caused the error, but you fixed it for me! I love PS7 and have no hopes for upgrading any time soon.

  • Amanda
    Thursday 5 July 2007 - 0:17 | Permalink

    You rock! You saved me! Thank you for taking the time to help all of us, you are a kind, good person. A special prayer for you and yours this evening!

  • Thursday 26 July 2007 - 22:28 | Permalink

    Thankyou my friend, finding this page has made my night. Full respect for taking the time to send it round. I raise my hat to you man, if you are ever in town i owe you a pint.

  • Wednesday 15 August 2007 - 2:11 | Permalink

    I’ll add my thanks to this growing list, I’m going to link over here on my little blog and click a couple of ads to show my gratitude!

  • Wednesday 15 August 2007 - 9:02 | Permalink

    I’m glad this advice has turned out to be so useful!

    Links and ad clicks are always good ;-) – thank you.

  • Ulysses
    Sunday 9 September 2007 - 1:13 | Permalink

    Hi Mark

    I did use the Ctrl-Shift-Alt solution; and thanks it worked.
    I have the same problem today, but C _ S _ A does not work: I get the Adobe Photoshop Properties page.
    Any quick solution left?


  • Saturday 6 October 2007 - 17:35 | Permalink

    As I was another one who was actually stuck with this problem I also need to say THANK YOU!

  • Anonymous
    Monday 15 October 2007 - 14:32 | Permalink

    One simple google search and I found this. Worked perfectly. thanks for putting this up!

  • Wednesday 28 November 2007 - 15:13 | Permalink

    You saved me, Mark – I work two hundred miles from my IT department, without admin rights on my laptop, and today my PS7 wouldn’t load. You rescued me from a long drive (or, just as bad, an intrusive Remote Desktop visit from IT!).


  • Friday 30 November 2007 - 14:21 | Permalink

    this just helped me! thanks!

  • Em
    Tuesday 18 December 2007 - 22:29 | Permalink

    Thanks a mil, saved my day! Before i saw this post i thought everything was crashing so ran out to get backup disk… (dreaming a lot about it happening lately) now photoshop works and i have peace of mind!

  • John Hotchkiss
    Thursday 20 December 2007 - 21:40 | Permalink

    Saved my butt here – thanks!

  • Wednesday 2 January 2008 - 20:07 | Permalink

    awsome, tried reinstalling and everything, worked a treat

  • Hank
    Tuesday 12 February 2008 - 16:26 | Permalink

    It doesn’t work for me. :'(

  • Anonymous
    Monday 31 March 2008 - 16:47 | Permalink

    Thank you a million times – I have spent so much on this that I don’t even want to know why this solution works – thanks again.

  • Anonymous
    Monday 31 March 2008 - 16:48 | Permalink

    Works for CS3 as well – I’ve just experienced it for the last 2 hours…Well done

  • katy boyd`
    Friday 4 April 2008 - 11:29 | Permalink

    I cannot thank you enough!!! I was going crazy trying to sort this out, and you did it! Also having a terrible time with CS on my mac… pretty much the same problem… any suggestions?

    Thanks again!!!

  • Friday 4 April 2008 - 14:25 | Permalink

    Hi Katy, I’m glad it helped you out. I’ve not has that problem with CS2 on my Mac (haven’t got CS) but someone left a comment to say that the same fix works for CS3, so I guess it might work for CS/CS2 as well.

    Good luck, Mark

  • Iris
    Sunday 6 April 2008 - 21:46 | Permalink

    Been having this problem for months, sometimes it would load fine, other times it would crash time and time again. This trick solved my problem! Thank you!

  • Cassi Anderson
    Monday 7 April 2008 - 14:54 | Permalink

    OMG!!! YOU SAVED MY ASS! I was getting SOOOO frustrated!!
    Thanks for sharing!

  • dave
    Friday 18 April 2008 - 13:37 | Permalink

    thanks for tip will try it asap. from your responses, It looks like that will fix it. I only do photo touchup for newpaper pix so photoshop 7 has lots more than I need but still have the program thanks agin from illinois

  • Carolyn
    Friday 25 April 2008 - 2:08 | Permalink

    This was driving me mad, even after I uninstalled/reinstalled. It would just disappear while it was loading. I know it’s not my computer, as it has just been cleaned and defrag’d. I was ready to give up entirely and then I found this. It worked! HORRAY!!! THANK YOU!! :-D

  • Prominio
    Wednesday 7 May 2008 - 1:35 | Permalink

    Thanks a lot! After 3 days without photoshop, I was planning to format my computer, when I came across this simple trick! You are great, thanks again!

  • Jessie
    Thursday 8 May 2008 - 7:05 | Permalink

    Genius! You have saved me from one heck of a headache!

  • Tuesday 20 May 2008 - 20:32 | Permalink

    Mark, you have just saved me from hours of frustration. Thank you so much!

  • Salo
    Sunday 6 July 2008 - 10:19 | Permalink

    Thx a lot!

  • Sunday 27 July 2008 - 9:09 | Permalink

    Being my PS is corperate inatall I didn’t have time to a bookshelf to read up on this kick-start but as I get time I will definately wiki-nate this for a PS ref as it saves time and install as well as haggling with SMS Perms. Being that all users aren’t Admins, (thank goodness),and can’t get around SMS, this provides a very nice end-user option to try and avoid a reinstall / reimage.

    After re-installing over the top, uninstalling and re-installing still had same issue of PS7.0 crashing (as #44 stated) where as IR7.0 worked just fine. All I can say after reading this post is NICE SAVE, Excellent.
    This worked for my instance, and strange that PS7.0 would not delete the setting upon uninstall and re-create on fresh install.
    Nevertheless, this worked while other options didn’t.
    Kudos, and cheers on the remedy.

    Votes: Mark into Adobe’s PS CS FutureCrew Design team :)

  • Eve
    Saturday 9 August 2008 - 6:31 | Permalink

    Thanks a lot. I knew not to panic enough, and Google is my first resource for everything. Respect.

  • Dan The Wolf-Bear
    Tuesday 26 August 2008 - 5:01 | Permalink

    Thanks a lot, you are my hero. The problmem was solved, thanx thanx thanx thanx *bear hugs*

  • Wednesday 10 September 2008 - 8:28 | Permalink

    This is the first time its happened to me. Ive tried just about everything in the book. When I try this technique, it only crashes faster now. I wish I had the luck the rest of you did

  • somak
    Monday 13 October 2008 - 10:46 | Permalink

    thnks a lot. It was really a problem and i could not solve it. One google search and the answer was there!!

  • Friday 14 November 2008 - 15:01 | Permalink

    I love you, I love you. THANK YOU for blogging this! I had this problem once before and the only way I could fix it was to start a whole new profile but with iTunes, I didn’t want to lose all that. I had to figure it out! Thank you so much! I read this elsewhere but not for this problem so I wasn’t sure it would help this problem. Thank you!!!!

  • Monday 17 November 2008 - 2:14 | Permalink

    It worked for me. Thanks a lot, you just saved me countless hours of anxiety!

  • Sharon
    Tuesday 27 January 2009 - 14:25 | Permalink

    THANK YOU!!!
    I was really starting to freak out when uninstalling/reinstalling didn’t work and neither did a system restore, or last known good configuration.
    I concur with Heather Ann up there…
    I love you, I love you, THANK YOU for blogging this lol.

  • Friday 30 January 2009 - 19:02 | Permalink

    I’m so glad I found this page! This fixed my problem :) THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

  • drac
    Sunday 8 March 2009 - 14:06 | Permalink

    Thank you very much!!! i’ve lost 2 days before finding your blog, and it took just2 minutes to solve the problem. Thank you very very much!

  • jessie
    Friday 20 March 2009 - 3:55 | Permalink

    YAY! it’s fixed! i LOVE you!! :)

  • Lunaki
    Friday 24 April 2009 - 18:39 | Permalink

    my question is.. What even causes that bug? Because it happened to me, and I’d like to try avoiding it again.. xD

  • Tuesday 12 May 2009 - 13:13 | Permalink

    Nice one, you’re a legend. It saved me too.

  • Ntsiki
    Wednesday 27 May 2009 - 8:05 | Permalink

    Thanks a lot bro..! It really works. After stressing and re-installing. Thanks man. Really.

  • Bjarne
    Thursday 4 June 2009 - 4:04 | Permalink

    You are a genius, thank you, it saved me hours!

  • chrs2phr - philippines
    Thursday 25 June 2009 - 11:37 | Permalink

    thanks! it worked twice for me too. =)

  • Thursday 2 July 2009 - 22:58 | Permalink

    Thank you, worked perfectly first time, you are truly awesome for posting this. Yay!

  • JeffT
    Saturday 1 August 2009 - 18:22 | Permalink

    Tyvm for the treatment of the problem. I reinstall the sw twice and it didn’t fix the problem. This is awsome !

  • PhilRudd
    Tuesday 11 August 2009 - 14:48 | Permalink

    You just saved the life of my computer because I was about to strangle the bugger….
    There’s a lot of old voodoo and old software at the company I work for. Thanks for solving this for me!

  • Jexx
    Wednesday 25 November 2009 - 9:21 | Permalink

    Well, you just saved the day for one more girl/person. Tech support at work reinstalled my PS7 this morning and it still gave me the same problem…thanks to you I got it sorted out :)

  • Icono
    Thursday 26 November 2009 - 23:59 | Permalink

    I’m past due on a website project and, all of a sudden, my Photoshop 7 started crashing on bootup. I thought it was a conflict with Vista and was resorting to other programs that just didn’t cut it. Your post has saved my ass =) Thanks so much!

  • RandomInsano
    Sunday 6 December 2009 - 22:00 | Permalink

    Wow, thanks a lot for this.

  • Antoine
    Monday 28 December 2009 - 12:57 | Permalink

    Hi Mark,
    You showed us in an explicit way the beauty of symplicity

  • BB
    Saturday 6 February 2010 - 5:56 | Permalink

    It’s Feb 2010 & you still have hero status! This posting is a true gem. I’ll probably never forget this. Thanks a 10^6.

  • Monday 8 February 2010 - 15:36 | Permalink

    Ad reinstalled Photoshop like 20 times :S.. i had deleted everything but the problems are still there .. but when i seech this furom .. i saw your solution.. i tried it and there they go.. they are working again.. Thank you very much (Y)

  • Yongil
    Saturday 13 February 2010 - 15:04 | Permalink

    Great post. Thanks a lot!

  • Kevin
    Wednesday 24 February 2010 - 22:44 | Permalink

    Thank you. Here it is 2010 and found your post. Thanks for having it up. Same boat as most of everyone else – reinstall after reinstall with no luck. Your solution worked.


  • Wednesday 7 April 2010 - 4:01 | Permalink

    I am extremely grateful for your sharing your expertise and your experience. It really helped me out tonight. Thank you!

  • Stephen Daedalus
    Tuesday 27 April 2010 - 11:15 | Permalink

    thanks alot for your post. it was a real help and saved my bacon!

  • Saturday 15 May 2010 - 22:00 | Permalink

    Thanks, this shows again that an old tip still might come in handy.

  • delilah
    Sunday 23 May 2010 - 16:51 | Permalink

    Doesn’t work and in fact makes PS 7 vanish faster than it does without.

  • laxman
    Wednesday 2 June 2010 - 7:58 | Permalink

    its workinggg…
    [hold alt+ctrl+shft while opening adobe PS7…
    and press yes den]

  • Sunday 6 June 2010 - 0:22 | Permalink

    Yep. googled “photoshop 7″ crashes and got to your post.
    At first i thought I was supposed to hold down the keys while clicking on photoshop, but my girlfriend said no. you’re an idiot. click on photoshop and THEN hold down the three keys. (she didn’t really say that). So anyways, it worked and you stopped my headache from becoming extreeeeeeeme. Thanks! ~G

  • Wednesday 15 September 2010 - 11:59 | Permalink

    Thank you. This saved me a lot of time and money.

  • Chris Brown
    Wednesday 22 September 2010 - 8:23 | Permalink

    Awesome! – It works, If only everything software problem was this easy to fix. Thanks very much, you saved me so much time

  • Lucilius
    Saturday 25 September 2010 - 12:52 | Permalink

    It worked! Thank you, you’re awesome! :)

  • Saturday 9 October 2010 - 5:32 | Permalink

    Thx so much…
    today i’m solved the problem in my office, because your tips.
    Thx so much….

  • Staci
    Friday 15 October 2010 - 0:12 | Permalink

    PHEW!! My stomach sank when this happened… So great – thanks for posting. Worked like a charm!

  • Lorraine
    Monday 15 November 2010 - 12:03 | Permalink

    Will that work on a mac? or is it command key instead or ctrl or alt?

  • Monday 15 November 2010 - 14:39 | Permalink

    @Lorraine – I haven’t tried this on a Mac – if it would, then I think you would use Cmd instead of Ctrl and Opt instead of Alt but I imagine the Mac version works differently.

  • Lorraine
    Monday 15 November 2010 - 20:46 | Permalink

    Hi Mark
    Thanks for your reply, tried both versions but alas no joy so it must be something different on a Mac. All of a sudden both illustrator and photoshop are not opening, but Image ready is which is strange.

  • Anonymous
    Thursday 30 December 2010 - 5:25 | Permalink

    THANK YOU it worked!!

  • Tuesday 8 February 2011 - 4:31 | Permalink

    you, have saved my day mr!

    although i’ve installed ps7 again, but you saved me from going crazy (because of the repeating error)

    thank you again, mr.

  • Paedi
    Sunday 6 March 2011 - 5:55 | Permalink

    Ahhhh thank you so much! It worked!

  • Maomao
    Tuesday 7 June 2011 - 3:48 | Permalink

    Thank you so much. It works now.

  • Sonu mittal
    Friday 12 August 2011 - 12:25 | Permalink

    Thanks sir,
    Great trick

  • Jeff
    Wednesday 12 October 2011 - 22:06 | Permalink

    Thanks for the tip. This is the only thing that worked.

  • narsim
    Tuesday 6 December 2011 - 5:40 | Permalink

    thanks brothes its work thank u so much

  • Surendra Singh
    Monday 12 December 2011 - 13:33 | Permalink

    thanks a lot, it’s working now

    thanks …………….

  • A.Wakeel Khan
    Saturday 7 January 2012 - 5:42 | Permalink

    it worked for me also but no through explorer open photoshop by going through start button and then Programs and ….photoshop. In explorer trying this trick will open properties of the program.


  • swapan
    Monday 12 March 2012 - 3:26 | Permalink

    thnx in adv. yet to try when it comes again

  • Thursday 26 July 2012 - 14:41 | Permalink

    Thank you for this post. I saved a lot of time because of it. I’m grateful.

  • Dipkiran Gajmer
    Saturday 15 September 2012 - 15:23 | Permalink

    oh man you are a life saver….thanks a lot.

  • nairdy
    Tuesday 12 February 2013 - 18:12 | Permalink

    like so many people who previously commented I uninstalled, reinstalled, uninstalled, cleaned up registry, installed again, etc etc all to no avail … and here was a simple fix! why oh why do software suppliers let their programs out into the big wide world with faults like this and with no intelligent report on the problem !!!

  • Anonymous
    Thursday 21 February 2013 - 14:35 | Permalink

    Its February of 2013 and this still works! Thank you so much :)

  • jojo
    Tuesday 16 April 2013 - 0:07 | Permalink

    fantastic. saved my deadline… bless you

  • aj sidhu
    Friday 22 May 2015 - 5:31 | Permalink

    Dude u are simply awesome. Saved my day

  • Anonymous
    Wednesday 17 June 2015 - 9:37 | Permalink

    Thank you really working fantastic….

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