How to Save and Recover Files from a Frozen Photoshop


Uh oh. Your Photoshop froze. What do you do? Here’s what you can try if Photoshop is frozen. Here’s how to save.

Photoshop Frozen How to Save

We’ve all been there. You’re working along on a document inside Photoshop, and suddenly the application freezes. Oh no! The last time you saved was 2 hours ago. Usually, this occurs because your system memory is too overloaded. Luckily, if your Photoshop is frozen, we have a solution on how to save your work. 

To prevent yourself from losing your work, make sure to hit Ctrl+S (Windows) or ⌘+S (Mac) every couple of minutes, so you never lose a big chunk of progress. We know that’s not why you came to this article, but if you make it a habit, you can prevent losing precious work in the future. 

How to Save When Photoshop is Frozen

If your Photoshop is frozen, here’s how to save: 

  1. Hit Ctrl+Shift+Esc (Windows) ⌘+Shift+U (Mac) to open your Task Manager. 
  2. Click the Memory header to sort your programs by highest memory usage. 
  3. Click the top unneeded program and click End Task (Windows) or Force Quit (Mac) to force close the program. DO NOT close Photoshop.
  4. ONLY close applications that you know. Continue doing this until your Photoshop unfreezes. Do not End Task on critical process like kernal_task (Mac) Desktop Windows Manager (Windows) or your computer may require a reboot to function again. 
  5. Go back to your document and hit Ctrl+S (Windows) or ⌘+S (Mac) before it freezes again. 
  6. Reload the application and your project. 
  7. If this does not work, go to C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop 2022\AutoRecover (Windows) or hard disk/Users/<username>/Library/Preferences/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop CC 2022/AutoRecover (Mac) and see if you can recover your last save file. 

And there you have it! Hopefully, this enabled you to salvage your work. 

Photoshop auto-saves every 10 minutes, so if your application does crash, you may be able to open it back up and start from 10 minutes ago. If all else fails, try it and see if it works. 

What is the auto recover or autosave path in Photoshop? 

On Windows, the autorecover or autosave file location is: 

C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop 2022\AutoRecover

On Mac or iOS, the autorecover or autosave file location is: 

hard disk/Users/<username>/Library/Preferences/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop CC 2022/AutoRecover