Photoshop 7 crashes on startup

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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.

108 thoughts on “Photoshop 7 crashes on startup

  1. 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.

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

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

    This little trick got everything working again.

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

  5. 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)

  6. 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.

  7. 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” :-)

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

  9. 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 :-)


    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.

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

  13. 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!

  14. 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?


  15. 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!).


  16. 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!

  17. 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.

  18. 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!!!

  19. 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

  20. 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!

  21. 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

  22. 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

  23. 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!

  24. 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 :)

  25. 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!!!!

  26. 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.

  27. 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!

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

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

  30. 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!

  31. 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 :)

  32. 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!

  33. 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.

  34. 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)

  35. 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.


  36. 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

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

  38. @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.

  39. 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.

  40. 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.


  41. 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 !!!

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