Troubleshooting Premiere Pro: How to Diagnose and Fix Common Problems

Troubleshooting Premiere Pro: How to Diagnose and Fix Common Problems

Like all advanced, cross-platform applications, Premiere Pro faces an enormous challenge. Because it needs to run on an impossible variety of hardware combos, OS versions, driver versions, and different codecs, testing for every variable just isn’t feasible.

So it’s no surprise that some users, on some systems, maybe using some specific codecs, might run into trouble. Sometimes, these can be the result of known bugs, so if you hit a snag, the first place to check is the Known Issues page.

More often than not, problems are caused by user error, third-party plug-ins, or hardware issues. This article will help you deal with those.

Top eight fixes

Software consists of files that can become corrupted as the software creates and changes them—especially if you have crashes or hangs. When this happens, you’re in trouble. Here’s a TL;DR list of quick fixes for corrupted files before we dive deeper. (You’ll find descriptions on how to do the fixes later in the article.)

With some luck, this list can save you. But sometimes, the problems are more complex. Let’s dive in and have a look at some problems you may run into.

Software-related problems

Let’s get the obvious fix out of the way first: running the latest version of Premiere Pro on the latest version of macOS or Windows will typically yield the best performance.

Regardless of what version you’re on, there are some things you can do to fix or prevent problems.

Delete media cache files

You should delete your media cache files regularly. (It’s my go-to when troubleshooting Premiere Pro.) This is especially true if you recently updated to a new version of Premiere Pro, or have had Premiere Pro crash, or if you’re having problems with specific files, or misbehaving waveforms. Your media cache files may be corrupted, or out of date, and should be re-created.

To do this, close all projects, then choose Preferences->Media Cache->Delete->Delete all media cache files from the system.

Locate the Media Cache setting in the Preferences panel…
Locate the Media Cache setting in the Preferences panel…
…then delete all your media cache files.
…then delete all your media cache files.

Note: This option will only be available when no projects are open in Premiere Pro.

In the current beta (v23.1 Build 46) you can press Alt or Option while starting Premiere Pro to get the Reset Options dialog, where deleting Media Cache is one of the options.

Make sure the specified folder for the Media Cache is available, and that Premiere Pro can read from it and write to it. If Premiere Pro tries to save media cache files to a disk that is no longer connected, or has had its name or drive letter changed, or to a read-only folder, this may cause some weird problems.

Manually delete the media cache folders

You can also delete the folders manually. The media cache files will be in a subfolder named (surprise!) Media Cache Files. In a separate folder named Media Cache you’ll find the Media Cache database files (.mcdb). If Premiere Pro is re-creating media cache files every time you open a project, the chances are that the database is corrupted. To fix this, delete both the Media Cache Files folder and the Media Cache folder and let Premiere Pro rebuild everything.

If you want to get rid of all types of accelerator files you can also delete the Peak Files folder and the PTX folder inside the Common folder.

macOS: /Users/username/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Common
Windows: \Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Common

If you’re using Dynamic Link between After Effects and Premiere, you should also delete the After Effects disk cache files. In After Effects, go to Preferences->Media & Disk Cache->Empty Disk Cache.

For best performance, these accelerator files should be stored on a separate fast drive (SSD or NVMe) on a fast connection—not on the system drive. If your system drive is the only fast drive, buy an extra fast drive for Media Cache when you have a chance, and attach it with a fast connection.

Turn off GPU acceleration

If you’re experiencing glitches during playback, weird colors, strange overlays etc., there’s a chance your GPU driver is outdated. Try turning off GPU Rendering: File->Project Settings->General->Video Rendering and Playback and set Renderer to Software Only.

If the problem goes away, that narrows it down considerably. You should update your GPU drivers—or the whole OS if you’re on macOS.

To make sure everything still looks the same while GPU acceleration is turned off, remember to set your Sequence Settings to Max Render Quality and Maximum Bit Depth. Do the same when exporting. Read more about why in the article on The Ultimate Guide to Premiere Pro’s Render Quality and Bit Depth Settings.

Premiere Pro also has GPU acceleration for decoding and encoding some formats—most notably h.264 and h.265. Turning this off in Preferences->Media will let you know if this was the cause of your playback glitches or export results.

You’ll find hardware acceleration toggles in the Media settings.
You’ll find hardware acceleration toggles in the Media settings.

Again, updating the GPU driver or the OS is your next step. If you’re on Windows using an Nvidia card, you want the Studio drivers, not the Game Ready drivers. On a Mac, go to Apple menu->About this Mac->Software Update.

Once you’ve updated the drivers, you can safely turn GPU acceleration on again.

Reset your preferences

A quite common cause for strange behavior in Premiere Pro—especially on macOS, it seems—is a corrupted Preferences file. Press Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac OS) while launching Premiere Pro to reset them. You can release the Alt or Option key when the splash screen appears.

I cannot count the number of times I’ve asked someone to try this, and then got an answer like “Oh, that worked”!

If you’re on macOS, you can also delete any com.Adobe.Premiere Pro.xx.x.plist files, where xx.x is the Premiere Pro version number. Open the Library folder in Finder and find the Preferences folder. Drag the Premiere Pro .plist file from there to the trash, and then restart the system.

Interestingly, the current October 2022 beta offers a different approach, allowing you to bring up a Reset Options dialog by pressing the Alt or Option key while starting Premiere Pro. Reset app preferences is among the options presented, so keep an eye open for this in a future release.

Check the Reset app preferences box and hit Continue.
The Premiere Pro Reset options panel is currently in beta.

Reset your workspace

A thing that has helped with many users in Premiere Pro is to use Reset to Saved Layout. Especially if you’re experiencing workspace issues like a blank workspace (or even a crash or hang) after opening a project, after switching between workspaces, or after disconnecting a monitor—or if you’re unable to save a new workspace. But many other seemingly unrelated quirks in Premiere Pro have also been fixed by resetting the workspace.

This works best when you’re in one of the default workspaces, so choose the Edit workspace and then reset it. I prefer using the keyboard shortcut: Alt/Option+Shift+0, but you will also find the option under Window->Workspaces.

Sometimes, it’s best to just remove all the custom workspaces and recreate them. Here’s how Adobe recommends you do that.

  • Quit Premiere Pro.
  • Navigate to Documents->Adobe->Premiere Pro->22.0 (or whatever version you’re on).
    • If Sync Settings is turned on, go to the Profile-yourprofilename folder.
    • If Sync Settings isn’t turned on, go to the Profile-CreativeCloud- folder.
  • Rename the Layouts folder to Old_Layouts.
  • Launch Premiere Pro and create a new project.
  • From the Premiere Pro menu bar, choose Window->Workspaces and deselect Import Workspace from Projects.
  • Save & close the empty project.

Your project won’t open—what now?

If your problems are project related, meaning the behavior only happens in a specific project and not in a fresh one, the XML based project file (the .prproj file) may be damaged. If opening an Auto-Saved version doesn’t work, try cleaning the XML. To do this, create a new Project, and then import the old project into the new one. This often fixes project related issues.

Tip: As we’ve seen, workspaces can sometimes cause trouble, so it’s best to go to Window->Workspaces and deselect Import Workspace from Projects before you import the old project.

Hang or crash at launch

If Premiere Pro crashes on launch, check if any instance of the app is running in the background. If so, force quit it using Activity Monitor (macOS) or Task Manager (Windows). Launch Premiere Pro again.

If Premiere Pro still does not launch, try manually deleting the preferences file (simply named Adobe Premiere Pro Prefs) in Documents\Adobe\Premiere Pro\22.0\Profile-name or Documents\Adobe\Premiere Pro\22.0\Profile-CreativeCloud.

Also delete the media cache folders as explained above. If a project won’t open, it’s also worth disabling Restore Open Sequences when Opening Projects in Preferences. Normally, we’d want it on, but if Premiere hangs while loading a project, turn it off temporarily using Preferences->Timeline->Restore Open Sequences when Opening Projects.

If Premiere Pro gets stuck on the splash screen, take a closer look at the splash screen and check if the app is frozen while loading a specific plugin. If so, removing that plug-in from the MediaCore folder may fix the problem.

Windows: C:\ProgramFiles\Adobe\Common\Plug-ins\7.0\MediaCore.

macOS: Macintosh HD/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Common/Plug-ins/7.0/MediaCore.

Move all the plug-ins temporarily from this location to another folder and check if Premiere Pro is working properly without them. If the issue is resolved, then update the plug-ins, or contact the plug-in vendor for a compatible version.

Another reason for Premiere Pro on Windows not launching properly is an issue with Microsoft Visual C++ Libraries. If you get error code: 0xc000007b, try updating your Visual C++ Libraries from Microsoft.

If you’re experiencing lots of crashes/hangs, you may want to read this article on avoiding crashes with Premiere Pro.

If Dynamic Link is not working properly, you can try the tips in this article on Troubleshooting Dynamic Link.

Fix permissions issues

If Premiere Pro tries to write to a read-only folder, it may crash, or just not be able to do what it’s trying to do. Unfortunately, OS updates have a bad habit of messing with folder permissions. On macOS, you should be able to just run the Repair Disk Permissions routine, and it should fix itself.

You can repair permissions using the MacOS disk utility.
You can repair permissions using the MacOS disk utility.

If this doesn’t help, you can try manually setting the Preferences folder attributes to read-write. Look for the folder Documents\Adobe\Premiere Pro\23.0 (or whatever version number you’re on), and the macOS Preferences folder mentioned above.

Premiere Pro also writes a few files to the Common folder, so that one should also be set to read/write. You’ll find it in the following locations,

macOS: <user name>/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Common

Windows: <user name>\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Common

In macOS, open the Go menu and press the Option button to see a Library option. In Windows, open a folder and select View->Show->Hidden items to see the AppData folder.

Oh, and here’s how you can change folder permissions on Windows and macOS.

Font issues

Font conflicts can also cause seemingly unrelated problems. Using some specific fonts in captions has been known to cause Premiere Pro to crash. This is especially true for third-party fonts. Some fonts even share the same name as an Adobe font, and that’s a recipe for disaster. Uninstall the third-party font.

Try changing the caption font to see if that stops Premiere Pro from crashing.

Tip: Be aware that if you send your edit to Resolve for online, and you have used Adobe fonts, the Resolve user needs an active Creative Cloud subscription with those fonts activated in the Creative Cloud app to get access to the same fonts.

User error

Sometimes, it’s not the software, but the user that’s the root of the problem. One quick example that may surprise you: the number one problem in Facebook groups and forums: “I have no audio after dragging a clip to timeline—just video.” Number two problem: “I have no video after dragging a clip to timeline—just audio.”

The fix is simple: Check your source patching and enable both Audio and Video.

Let’s have a look at some more user-initiated problems.

Restart the system

If you haven’t booted the system in a while, doing so may make strange behavior go away. I’ve seen lots of seemingly random issues occur after using Sleep mode for a while, and a restart of the whole system seems to clear out such issues effectively.

Restarting the system will clear temporary system files, clean and release all system RAM, and you’re starting the system clean. It’s quite amazing how many people have not tried this before asking for help in forums.

Changes are not saved?

I’ve seen some complaints about this in forums and groups. The most common explanation is that they weren’t working in the project they thought they were. Premiere Pro can have multiple projects open—possibly even without the user knowing it.

Most often it turns out the user saved the wrong project. Make sure you’re saving the project you actually want to save.

Blown-out video

More and more formats are color managed by Premiere Pro. When Premiere Pro recognizes a clip from, say, Sony A7 as an HDR clip or a LOG clip, it will get HDR levels—maybe as high as 1000 IRE or more. In an HDR timeline, showing on an HDR monitor, this will look normal.

But most people still use Rec.709 timelines, and HDR content in a Rec.709 timeline will be blown-out, since the levels are way above the 100 IRE maximum for Rec.709. If you create a sequence from an HDR clip, you will get an HDR sequence (Rec. 2100 PQ or Rec. 2100 HLG) and that may not be what you want. You can change this in Sequence Settings.

To override the color space, select the clip (or multiple clips) in a bin, right-click and choose Modify->Interpret footage->Color Space Override. Set Color Space Override to Rec.709. You can also add an Input LUT to clips in this dialog. Creating a sequence from a clip after overriding the color space to Rec.709 will create a Rec709 sequence.

If you’re using the scopes, also make sure that the Color Space setting in your scopes match the sequence color space.

The good news is that it should be easier to deal with HDR content in Rec.709 timelines in future versions. The current beta version (October 2022) has introduced an Automatic Tone Mapping option in sequence settings, and the scopes get an option for automatically choosing the source color space.

The current October beta includes automatic tone mapping in Sequence Settings.
The current October beta includes automatic tone mapping in Sequence Settings.

Trouble linking offline clips

Some users claim that their media files go offline each time they open a project, and they have to relink them. There are a few reasons that this may happen. If the project is on an external drive, the drive may change its drive letter in Windows, or its name in macOS. Premiere Pro will remember the last few places it’s found the assets before, and look there if they’re not found in the expected folders, so it shouldn’t happen too often.

I’ve also seen people claim that they have a relinking problem, only to find out that they never saved the project when the files were linked because they were only using it to copy clips into other projects. They just open the project, relink, and close it—without saving. That means the files will be offline again the next time you open the project. The fix is very easy: save the project after relinking, before you close it.

A similar problem happens when Multiple clips are linking to the same file on disk, and you can get “danger stripes” in the timeline due to clip length mismatches. This often happens with spanned clips if you’ve imported them via File->Import or drag and drop. Importing one of those ways means Premiere Pro doesn’t read the metadata files that live along with the media files, and it doesn’t know that the clips are supposed to be combined to one long clip.

Use the new Import mode or the Media Browser to make sure all the metadata is read. If you already have the problem, try to link the files manually, or export an XML and import it, to see if that helps.

Project gone?

If you don’t see the project in the list on the Home screen, that doesn’t mean it’s gone. The Home screen will only show the projects where the path to the project file is the same as before. So, if you have a project on an external drive and the drive name or drive letter has changed, it will not appear. The same happens when you move or rename the project file, or the folder it’s in.

The project is still on disk, so you will have to navigate to the place on disk where you saved the project and open it from there.

Kill codec packs

Premiere Pro has native support for most video formats, and you do not need codec packs. Codec packs can be bad because they often set their codecs to “highest priority”, which is very lazy coding.

Apart from needing the Blackmagic RAW plug-in to work with BRAW files, you shouldn’t need codec packs. Just remove them from your system.

Running out of resources

Sometimes, you’re just expecting too much from your system. You may be running out of resources, like system RAM or GPU RAM, or the CPU or the storage speed are not able to keep up. When you’re running out of resources, strange things will happen.

I’ve seen MOGRTs take more than two minutes just to appear after dragging them to the timeline in a project. Slimming down the project (making it a Production and separating it into smaller projects) made the same MOGRTs appear instantly. Why? The computer was out of RAM, and was constantly swapping RAM data to and from the disk.

Premiere Pro memory preferences
The memory allocation setting in Premiere Pro’s Preferences panel.

If you’ve checked the memory allocation in Premiere Pro to make sure that it’s not set too low, the only remedy to a starving system (except buying more computer power) is to make sure the system struggles less.

Give the system an easier job

First step, if you think Premiere Pro is starving, is to close other apps that are running if they’re not strictly needed.

If you’re editing h.264 or h.265 based source files, it matters a lot if your system supports hardware accelerated decoding and encoding of the flavors you’re editing. Hardware accelerated and non-hardware accelerated formats behave very differently within Premiere Pro. If the system has a hard time playing back clips without dropping frames, then don’t hesitate to make edit-friendly proxies (or transcode) to get a super-smooth timeline.

Also, to save on RAM, Render & Replace Dynamic Link clips and MOGRTs (that have been created in After Effects). You’ll find it in the right-click menu for video clips, or via Clip->Render & Replace. I use a custom keyboard shortcut.

As a matter of fact, you could Render & Replace almost everything that affects the playback. Use it for things like the Warp Stabilizer, resizing or retiming of clips, “stacked” Lumetri effects, and anything that slows down your timeline. Use ProRes 422 or 422 HQ—or ProRes 4444 if you need transparency. Your system will thank you, and you can use those files when you export, so export will be faster too. You can use Restore Unrendered to get back to the original.

Another way would be to use Render In to Out, but then you must make sure your preview codec is a high-quality one. I don’t like Render In to Out and Render Effects In to Out as much as Render & Replace, because moving clips around often forces a re-render. Render & Replace clips can be moved around without any problems. Much better!

If you’re not depending on an external monitor, turn off Mercury Transmit in preferences to save on resources.

To make the job easier for the system, make sure you match your sequence settings (frame rate, frame size) to the footage if possible.

If you get a message saying Premiere Pro can’t create a frame you may be running out of GPU RAM. This happens mostly with large still images or high-res video.

The approximate amount of GPU memory needed is Width x Height / 13,107, so a 4K video frame requires approximately 675 MB and an 8K video frame requires approximately 2.7 GB. High-res still images at 8,688 x 5,792 pixels eat approximately 3.8 GB, so you need a GPU with at least 4 GB video RAM. A cross dissolve or wipe between two clips, or a picture-in-picture effect, needs the double of that! So it’s probably best to batch resize those large stills before importing them.

Remember, the GPU also pushes pixels to your monitors. The more monitors you have, and the higher the resolution they have, the less GPU RAM you’ll have available for Premiere Pro.

Playback Problems

You probably know if you’re dropping frames. But if you’re not sure, or if you want to know exactly how many frames are being dropped, you can use the Dropped Frame Indicator. In the Settings menu (wrench icon) at the bottom right of the Program Monitor, select Show Dropped Frame Indicator. You’ll see a small green dot that turns yellow when you’re dropping frames during playback.

Premiere Pro has a dropped frames indicator in the Preview panel.
You can add a dropped frames indicator to Premiere Pro’s Program Monitor.

OK, so what do you do when that green dot turns yellow?

This may sound strange, but playback problems are often audio related. Try setting the input to None in Audio Hardware preferences, and make sure that the Sample Rate is set to 48kHz. Go to the audio settings in the OS (there’s a Settings button in the Audio Hardware preferences that takes you there) and make sure your microphones and speakers are set to 48kHz. This quick procedure has helped many editors get smoother playback. You can also try changing the buffer size in the same preferences.

You can try lowering Playback Resolution in the Program Monitor to ½ or ¼. This works wonders with RED RAW, as that format has lower resolutions built-in, courtesy of wavelet encoding. But alas, lowering the Playback Resolution doesn’t work that well with all formats.

You can also disable High-Quality Playback in the Program Monitor settings menu, to see if that helps. It depends entirely on what’s in your sequence.

Close or hide the Lumetri Scopes panel if you’re not grading. Scopes are also rendered, in a separate render pipeline, and use CPU and/or GPU resources.

If the playback problem is caused by too heavy effects, and you don’t want to use Render & Replace, use Global FX Mute in the Program Monitor settings menu (wrench icon) to temporarily turn off all effects. You can also add the Global FX Mute button to the Program Monitor or create a keyboard shortcut. Just remember to turn the effect on again before you export your masterpiece.

In the Timeline Display Settings (the wrench icon in the timeline panel) turn off Show Duplicate Frame Markers and Show Through Edits. Both take some computer power to calculate, so only have them active when you need them.

If you’ve used a lot of Audio Effects on single clips in the timeline, consider using Track Effects instead of Clip Effects, as this is much easier on the system.

If you’re using h.264 proxies, having HEVC/h.264 Hardware Accelerated Decoding on can slow things down. ProRes Proxies do not cause any such problems.

If you’re not sure how bad your playback problems are, enable Dog Ears (a debug tool built into Premiere Pro) to check your system’s prefetch time.

You can toggle Dog Ears using Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+F11. This which will enable a very detailed overlay to your video preview, which will appear once you start playback. You may get an idea where the bottleneck is by reading the strange numbers here.

This will enable a detailed overlay of the media currently being played.
Enabling Premiere Pro’s DogEars will reveal a detailed overlay of the media currently being played.

If that doesn’t provide you with meaningful results, maybe run through Chris Salter’s advice in his article on fixing choppy playback in Premiere Pro.

Avoid project bloat

Premiere Pro keeps the entire project in RAM, so the amount of RAM you have is going to make a big impact if you work on long or complex projects. Premiere Pro wants about 2-4 GB RAM per rendering thread so for 12 cores, more than 32 GB RAM could be necessary.

The more complex the project is, the more RAM you need, and when you run out of RAM, the OS must start shuffling data between RAM and disk, and everything slows down.

The number of clips in the project matters, as does the number of clips on the active timeline. A major contributor to project file size (and RAM usage) is duplicate sequences. Some editors like to duplicate sequences all the time, especially before big changes, which means all the data of those sequences is duplicated in the project—and in RAM.

I recommend making a duplicate of the project and only keep the current, necessary sequences. I use the File->Save a Copy command for this. Keep the project file copies in case you need to go back and refer to those older sequences.

Another contributor to project bloat is heavy use of the Warp Stabilizer. The data for the Warp Stabilizer is saved in the project file—and on a long clip it can be a lot of data. I stabilize clips in a separate project and export a ProRes file that I use in the edit project. That way, my edit project does not get slow.

This being said, Productions was created to avoid project bloat. Break your projects into smaller, more manageable ones, and use Productions to keep the RAM usage down. See the chapter on Productions in the Best Practices and Workflow Guide for Long Form and Episodic Post Production for more info on Productions.

Export issues

Nothing is more stressful than a failed export. You’re probably close to deadline, and it can be hard to figure out the reason for the problem. It can be caused by lots of different things. If it’s shared storage, the folder you export to may not have write permissions, or a shared storage may have some limitations. Try exporting to a local drive, and then move the file to the shared storage.

An all-too-common reason for failed export is that there simply isn’t enough space on the drive you’re exporting to. I’ve helped people delete 60 gigabytes of old Media Cache files to free up space for export.

The failed export dialog often refers to a timecode, so you know where in the sequence it failed. Try using Render & Replace on that part of the sequence, and export again.

You can also try to just render the timeline without exporting, to see if that helps you find the problem. Use a good preview codec like ProRes. Once you identify the problem, try removing any effects, and re-apply them. You can also try to export that clip separately, and insert that rendered clip into the timeline before exporting again.

If you’re exporting via Adobe Media Encoder (AME), try unchecking “Import Sequences Natively” in the AME preferences.

Tip: Need to figure out which clips are offline when you get that dreaded Offline Clips warning on export? Queue the export through AME, and the warning will have a list of the clips that need to be reconnected.

Problematic plugins, panels, and extensions

Premiere Pro has a whole ecosystem where developers can make panels, extensions, and plugins. While these can be very useful, and speed up your workflow immensely, they may also cause trouble and performance issues.

Close third-party panels

If you’re experiencing strange behavior in Premiere pro, try closing any custom panels. If the problem goes away, you may want to contact the developer and let them know.

Temporarily disable or remove plugins

Third-party effects plug-ins may need an update. You can use Global FX Mute in the Settings menu in the Program Monitor to turn effects on and off, to see if it makes any difference.

You can also disable third-party plug-ins temporarily by moving the plugins out of the MediaCore folder to verify whether they are compatible with Premiere Pro. If the issue is resolved, then update the plug-ins, or contact the plug-in vendor for a compatible version.

Windows: C:\ProgramFiles\Adobe\Common\Plug-ins\7.0\MediaCore.

macOS: Macintosh HD/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Common/Plug-ins/7.0/MediaCore.

Tip: Make sure you have all licensing info available before uninstalling.

You should also look in the folder /Documents/Adobe/Premiere Pro/xx.x/ for a document named “Plugin loading.log”. Premiere writes that log as it launches. Take a look through that file and see if it mentions any plugins failing and any reason. Be warned, it’s a very long list.

As mentioned earlier, the current beta version of Premiere Pro includes a new Reset options dialog that can be accessed during application startup. This adds an option that lets you quickly disable third-party plugins and reset your plugin loading cache.

Use the Reset function to disable third-party plugins.
Using the Reset options dialog (currently still in beta) to disable third-party plugins.

Until that feature leaves beta, you can reset preferences and plug-in cache at the same time in v23.0 and older by holding down Shift+Alt (Windows) or Shift+Option (macOS) while Premiere Pro is starting.

Hardware related problems

Problems in Premiere Pro can be hardware related, even if you only experience them in Premiere Pro. It needs more GPU and RAM resources than most other software you use, and it needs more read speed on your storage than most other software. So Word, Excel, Chrome etc. may be working perfectly fine, even if there’s a problem with one RAM stick or the GPU, but when you run Premiere Pro, the problems will show.

If your new system is repeatedly going black and rebooting during exports that is a clear sign of a hardware issue. Run the diagnostics routines for your system. You can also try stress testing software like Geekbench or Unigene Valley. This will stress your system, and if the problem happens outside of Premiere Pro, you have a clear indication of a hardware issue.

Check your UI Scaling

UI scaling can cause peculiar problems. If you experience problems operating UI elements such as Eye Droppers, Hue/Saturation Curves, buttons etc. go to the Display settings in your OS and check what display scaling (percentage) you are running at? The cursor position may be incorrectly calculated.

UI scaling set to 100%, 150%, 200% etc. seems to be safe, while 125%, 175% and 225% are known to cause trouble. On macOS, you don’t get the percentages, it just says Larger Text, More Space, etc.

Disconnect or bypass I/O Cards

Your Premiere Pro problems may be caused by the I/O card you’re using to connect your broadcast monitor. If you have a Blackmagic or an AJA card, try disconnecting it from the system. If everything works fine without the I/O card, that’s where the problem is, and you need to update the drivers. You’ll find drivers on the manufacturer’s web pages.

Try with only one Monitor

Do you have a secondary display/monitor attached? If you are using more than one monitor, switch to using only one monitor while troubleshooting. Does it work with just one monitor?

If so, it could be a GPU problem or you’re running out of GPU RAM. It could also be a strange issue in macOS. If an application window coming from a second monitor overlaps with the other application window on a different monitor, macOS will have trouble handling those monitors at the same time, and you may see some UI errors in Premiere pro.

RAM-related problems

RAM failure is a real thing, and I’ve seen examples where users have been troubleshooting Premiere Pro for weeks, trying absolutely everything, but they still experience strange behavior, crashes, and hangs. Only when they started removing RAM sticks one by one did the problems go away.

One bad RAM stick out of four made the problem occur only when a lot of RAM was used, so the user didn’t see any problems in other apps, just in Premiere Pro, because it used all the available RAM. No setting in Premiere Pro can fix bad RAM.

Computer overheating

When your system runs too hot, it needs more cooling. Some systems may run the fans at higher speed, and this usually means a lot of noise. If the system has no fans or other cooling methods, or the fans are already running at maximum speed, it must slow down the CPU to avoid hardware damage. Thermal throttling sounds like a great thing, but really just means that it slows down the processor. That’s bad news for video editing, and you may no longer be able to work effectively.

I’ve seen clients with rows of MacBook Pros placed on metal surfaces that were cooled down with dry ice, or laptops with frozen water bottles taped to their bases. It’s a strange sight, but they had to do this to stop thermal throttling since they were working inside a warm editing tent.

If you have this problem regularly, maybe it’s time to consider a new system.

If everything else fails

Reinstall Premiere Pro

Use the steps in the article on Updating Premiere Pro to uninstall Premiere Pro, remove all traces of it, and reinstall.

Check Adobe forums and Helpx docs

Check the links below for the latest information on New Features, Known Issues, Fixed Issues and Troubleshooting Guides.

Release Notes

Playback and Performance Issues

Import and Playback Issues files-premiere-pro.html

Export Issues

Contact Adobe Support

If everything here fails to fix your problems, I’d suggest that you open a case with the Adobe phone support team.

Start a chat and click on More Contact Options, or ask to talk to a person.

You can also contact Adobe Support on Twitter.

Thank you to Jarle Leirpoll for contributing this article.

Jarle Leirpoll is a film maker based out of Norway, and author of "The Cool Stuff in Premiere Pro". He runs, where he shares free templates, presets and projects. Jarle has trained people at top broadcasters and media production companies like Disney, BBC, NRK, DR, Swedish TV4, Warner Bros, Discovery Channel and countless others.

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