Tag Archives: bugs

Photoshop CS6 crashes on launch with ‘Participate’ dialog button

This is one of those ‘just in case anyone is Googling for it’ posts. Non-Photoshop users can skip…

My shiny new copy of Adobe Photoshop CS6 suddenly started crashing after just a few uses. On startup, it would display a blank dialog with only a ‘Participate’ button, which didn’t work.

Screen Shot 2013-07-14 at 09.50.40

I trawled the web and found that I was far from being the only person with this problem. I discovered that, somewhat ironically, this is supposed to be a window inviting you to sign up to Adobe’s ‘Product Improvement Program’. Mmmm. And a suggestion that the problem is a second dialog which appears behind the first so neither can be clicked. But I didn’t find a direct solution I could use.

However, a post by Chris Cox in this thread mentioned a Preferences file which might affect it. It’ll be named something like:


where XXX will vary depending on your installation. ~/Library, in case you don’t know, is the Library folder within your home folder. This is hidden by default in the Finder, but if you hold the option key down and select the ‘Go’ menu, you can select Library from there.

Anyway, open that file with a property list editor. I used XCode, but something like PrefSetter should work too. I burrowed into CS6Headlights > Adobe Photoshop CS6 where there was a ‘LaunchCounter’ variable. I’m guessing this is something to do with the number of times you can run the app before they ask you to participate.

Screen Shot 2013-07-14 at 10.05.23

But setting it to a lower number (I think I went from 5 to 2), saving and quitting XCode and then starting Photoshop brought my world back to life. I was then able to go the the Help menu where you can set your Product Improvement Program options.

Screen Shot 2013-07-14 at 10.04.44

After doing that, various bits of information were also stored in the .plist file under ‘CS6’ about my opting in or out, so if the above fix doesn’t work you might like to investigate those.

Screen Shot 2013-07-14 at 10.25.33

Hope this helps others out if they find themselves in the same state!

© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser