Adobe CS3 Responding Slowly Opening New Window, Opening Image of any Type or Size


Adobe’s new CS3 (Photoshop and Illustrator mostly) experiences slow performance and lagging when opening or creating files regardless of size or type.



Check your printers. this error is related to the default printer and print service. If you have an offline or unconnected printer, this is most likely your issue.

Remove any offline or old/duplicate references to networked printers. If the printer is timing out, you will experience lag in Photoshop and Illustrator even on fast systems.


My Personal Experience: After installing the Adobe Photoshop CS3 Trial and using it for a little bit, I noticed it bogging very badly whenever I would create a new image or open an existing file of any type or size.

After searching around for a while, I caught wind of it being printer related, more specifically the printspooler service in windows. I had recently moved and not hooked up one of my networked printers.

After removing the offline printers (and printer that was trying to connect but would time-out) Photoshop opened files and created new ones with a snap!!

I’m very glad to have resolved this issue, it was getting very annoying having Photoshop lag on a Dual Core system running 4gb of DDR2 on a Rapter! Anyways, glad to have it cleared up! For anyone out there having this same issue, check your default printer and also remove any offline printers or ones that cannot connect!

Note: If you decide to repost this solution on your site, please reference my post above by linking to me somewhere on your page. Thanks!!! Hope this information helps!

UPDATE: If you missed this one, the ability to view PSD files in Windows Explorer is always nice!

Comments 174

  1. Pingback: Long Delays Opening Illustrator Files in OS X

  2. damn man…

    I’d all but given up on finding a fix for this problem and then you came along…

    worked like a charm…now CS3 runs like lightening.

    many yhanks for sharing this info.


  3. This didn’t work for me… Running Vista. CS2 works great, but CS3 is slow. Bogs down the whole system. Takes 8 seconds just to open a small jpg. But the all other apps slow down too. Are there any other solutions? (quad core, 2.3ghz, 2gb ram, 712mb graphics card)

  4. This didn’t exactly work for me, I do have a network printer but was online, however when I changed my default printer to a local printer then it fixed this slowness problem for me. Too Cool! Thanks for the info.

  5. I thought you were crazy! I deleted some old printers no go. Then I started removing the rest of the printers one by one. It worked! I added them back in and it was still fine. Snap and the picture is open. Lifesaver!

  6. I am experiencing the same problem, tho it isn’t just opening PS CS3 its using it too. I don’t have any printers installed except the vista(32bit) defaults.

    Im on a laptop HP Pavilion dv6000 w/ 2gigram dual core AMD, Nvidia geforce, PS cs2 ran with no problem. I have Adobe master collection and the rest of the programs run fine its just m,y PScs3 that is slow. Any help?

  7. This solution worked like a charm! I thought it was just me with this problem too, thank you so much for sharing! Really grateful πŸ˜€

  8. setting my default printer to a local one solved the problem for me, images open instantly now πŸ˜€

    I just set it to the “send to one note” thing that was installed with vista.

    I shouted with excitment haha everyone at work now thinks im insane!

  9. Since the slowness is caused by a DEFAULT printer, which can ALSO be a network printer causing it to run slow, it’s not really a solution to delete a network printer.

    The best solution is to set a LOCAL printer as your default printer. In my case, I set the Acrobat PDF printer as the default, and things are back to normal.


  10. I’m still using CS2 on a dual processor iMAC. Illustrator is bogging down when it is opening and when I try to open a new document.

    Does anyone know what I can do to rememdy this???


  11. I’m running CS3 on an iMac 2GB and initially photoshop opened files fairly quickly. Now I read a book while waiting for a small file to open–about 5 minutes. I’ve read everything about the printer solution. However, I only run one printer (the default) but I have no idea how to make another one the default. If someone would be good enough to walk me through the steps of doing this I’d be most grateful.

    Thank you, anyone!

  12. Thanks! I never would have guessed this was the cause of my problem. I suffered through opening and painting over 500 scenes since moving my printer to a network storage device and I never realized that this was causing the problem. I’m so happy to have it finally fixed πŸ˜‰

  13. WOW! CS3 now works like I though it was ment to on my intel quad core, 4gb ram, vista system!

    Thanks heaps for this super simple fix! I had given up on trying to get it to work faster. πŸ™‚ You made my day.

  14. Holy crap. The instant I saw “check your printer” I almost slapped myself. Why didn’t I think of that! I had like 8 defunk printers showing up. DELETE! This also resolved the same issues I was having with MS Office 2003 (slow as Moses opening files.) Sounds too easy to be true – but it worked for me. Thanks!

  15. This definitely works – but it doesn’t solve the problem! It’s incredible that Adobe doesn’t consider this a bug. So for one program on my computer, I have to change my printer settings and affect all the other programs on my computer. Why doesn’t Adobe just fix the problem? Each time I open Photoshop, I have to change my printer settings. Rediculous!

  16. I too need all my printers.. So I can’t even test this…. πŸ™

    Adode PDF

    XPS Doc Writer

    Samsung ML-2570

    Well I guess I could dump the XPS writer…

  17. thank u!!!!!!!! i really thought something was wrong with a specific sector in my new hard rive, or that even a virus may have affected program file.

  18. Great job. this fixed my problem.

    I just bought a new computer and thought it was something wrong with the RAM but it was the default printer being networked and not connected.

    Thanks heaps for sharing your findings with us!

  19. Not working..

    CS3 was running great for a long while, now suddenly takes 5-10 seconds for every action I do. Did this printer thing many times and different ways to try it out. I cant make anything with photoshop it takes hours to do something that should only take 15 mins. I even downloaded and installed the 10.1 update thats suppose to fix and null this printer problem.

    If someone finds a fix could you e-mail me?

  20. great!


    i deleted all the printers on my Vista64, just left the epson network printer, then add a local PDF printer and set it as default.

    Now my illustrator cs3 open and save like a lightning.


  21. Pingback: A Modern Fable :: Adam J. McIntyre discusses user experience, web development, web design, CSS, HTML, and JavaScript » Blog Archive » This is why my Photoshop CS2 kept lagging…

  22. My wife recently got a WI-FI All-in-one printer, and about a week or so later she was complaining to me that Photoshop CS3 was taking forever to load images. This forum saved the day! We set the default printer back to the old USB printer (which we still have connected), and it works just as it used to. I never would have guessed that a printer could be the cause for sluggish file opening. Thanks, everyone!

  23. thank you very much!

    cs3, xp pro x64

    It was very slow! the worst was alt+tab or copy paste from illu to ps .. almost 3 minutes of waiting, new document the same

    first i though it has something to do with x64 system, but this helped! thanks again

  24. Pingback: Chase Gassert » Blog Archive » Slow Photoshop? OOOOOOHH YEAAAAHHHH

  25. Thank you so much. Just got the same issue since 2 weeks because of a coworker who installed a printer on my computer πŸ™‚

    I spent countless hours on defragmenting my HDD, should have better checked for the issue on google earlier.



  26. Worked great! I didn’t remove my networks printers, however, I just set my default printer to a Easy PDF Printer and CS3 worked great! Lightening Fast!

  27. Ditto!!!

    What a stupid fix, but I should have been keeping up with unused printers anyway.

    I can FINALLY use Photoshop on my main PC again!


  28. Worked. Actually, there’s no need to delete printer that makes problem. Problematic printer should not be set as default.

  29. So many thanks, I could not understand why my PS was going so slow. I was about to do a full reinstall but that won’t be necessary. From the bottom of my heart: THANX!

  30. Aint that something. Ive been scanning bunch of old photos last few days and Photoshop was working perfect.

    Other night I needed to print tickets and turned on my network printer, ever since then Photohop was dirt piss slow. Glad I did a google search on this problem.

  31. Not sure if setting up the cache helped or deleting ALL my printers on my laptop but Bridge is flying now! Never used them. Maybe I CAN go back to Lightroom!

  32. the comment:


    Since the slowness is caused by a DEFAULT printer, which can ALSO be a network printer causing it to run slow, itΒ’s not really a solution to delete a network printer.

    The best solution is to set a LOCAL printer as your default printer. In my case, I set the Acrobat PDF printer as the default, and things are back to normal.”

    Really works! thanks so much. strange how cs3 suddenly started running slow though…

  33. Wonderful!. (kinda silly on Adobe’s part though) Cut the save time down to 2 or 3 seconds, instead of nearly 20!

    And by setting the default to a local printer like the XPS writer, it’s obvious if I forget to change the printer selected in other apps.

  34. Thanks sooooo much! This problem has been bugging me for months! it just suddenly happened~ I reinstalled, read all the Q&A from Adobe, changed settings, etc and it still limped like a one legged mice! I deleted all the offline network printers, didn’t work. Then I deleted ALL the network printers, on and off. It did the trick! Sweeeeeeeet!!!

  35. I had a very difficult time with this over the past few months. I spoke with Adobe and ended up removing Photoshop cs3 and dealt with the hassle of trying to reinstall it again and again. Now to find out it was only my printer.

    After further investigation I found that the issue is with the compatibility of the printer drivers. You need to install the alternate drivers which are Universal printer drivers for your default printer. I am using a HP DeskJet which is wireless. Photoshop documents take 1 min to load. And Photoshop would freeze while it was loading. Now with my new universal driver loaded and set as my default driver I can open files instantly again.

    This is a printer driver issue not a Photoshop issue. You must contact the manufacturer of your printer for assistance with downloading an alternate printer driver.

    Happy computing!


    1. Sorry Steve, but this is not simply a ‘printer driver issue’ otherwise the huge lag and frequent ‘not responding’ would happen in other programs when printing and not just CS4. So clearly an Adobe issue IMHO.

  36. Thanks the author for the tip.

    Another helpful tip, if you you want to disable the automatic discovery of printers in Windows XP visit:

    This is useful for laptops, because you end up picking up loads of printers on different networks you “visit” and may sometimes clog the Photoshop file opening procedure.

  37. thanks! i was having the same issue, removed my default printer that i have been having problems printing too, set my default printer to a known printer that works and TADA! CS3 is rolling just fine now.

  38. I’ve been having this problem for awhile. I, always, have one offline printer and it did not used to do it. I had my Epson 7800 offline and turned it back on. I only have one offline but, again, it stays offline. I haven’t had this problem until recently. This didn’t fix my problem. Anyone else have a suggestion?

  39. Thanks for the info, but I have to agree with others that this should be considered an adobe bug. There is no reason Photoshop should need to look at my printers to open a file–think of how often you work with a file and never EVER print it. I work with a laptop at two locations nearly every day. At one of them, photoshop and illustrator work great, at the other location I am screwed every time I try to open even the tiniest gif. Changing my print drivers twice a day is preposterous. Will try the above link on addressing it via windows. I hope that will help.

  40. Post

    I definitely agree Astroby, this is an Adobe bug.

    There is no reason Photoshop needs to check and test the printer configuration upon opening each document. Maybe once when you first open the application, but not everytime. Also, they could easily remedy the EXTREMELY long load time by setting it to time-out after a few seconds?

    Seems like Adobe dropped the ball on this issue. I’ve tried mentioning it a few times on their boards but everyone just seems to point fingers. “It’s a microsoft error.” or “It’s a printer error.”

    Hopefully they announce an official fix for this issue sometime in the future.

  41. If you are opening over a network, check the adapter speed settings.

    I changed one from auto to 100-half duplex & files started opening like lightning!

  42. I have been going crazy over how ridiculously slow illustrator has become when saving. I even spent valuable time reinstalling when your solution is so easy to do. Thank you very much! You’re now bookmarked!

    1. Post
  43. Joining in the love here. I have an HP network printer that was set to the default, I switched it to the Microsoft XPS Document Writer since I’m not on my home network and…BAM! New files are opening fast again. Thanks.

  44. Thanks for your information, I tried many methods to speed it up but all fail! You help me to resolve the slow problem!! Thanks a lot!!

  45. wow! this work just great! thanks alot and appreciate it alot! its been really bothering me! and you just save my day!

  46. Here is the solution that worked for me (Windows XP, Photoshop C4, Files on a network drive opened slowly and even Explorer ran slowly over a network.


    Right-click My Computer.

    Click the Hardware Tab.

    Click Device manager button.

    Click the plus sign next to Network Adapters.

    Right-click on [Intel(R) . . . ] Network Connection and click Properties.

    In the Speed and Duplex dropdown, select Auto Detect.


  47. Thank you JESUS

    You are truly my Saviour.

    I have spent countless hours over the last 6 months trying to get My CS3 to perform like it used to and your tip was the true answer.

    My 4gb of Ram 1mb Graphics card and dual channel processor was taking 30 sec to load a 5mb pic. Now it is almost instantaneous Again, all because I connected a printer locally that used to be through a network and didn’t delete the old connection.

    Where do I send the Check?

  48. Post

    Glad you found my post helpful, Ron. I remember how annoying this issue was for me! I’m sure you jest about the check, but if you’re feeling generous.. there’s a donation button at the top right of this website. πŸ™‚

  49. On a Mac, try deleting the file ‘com.adobe.mediabrowser.plist’ from your Preferences folder:

    Users/(user name)/Library/Preferences/com.adobe.mediabrowser.plist

    This should solve the speed issues for both Illustrator and PhotoShop.

  50. Change it to a local and it worked great, my laptop is now working great with CS3. Thanks for your help, saves me from almost rebuilding my laptop out of frustration.

  51. Hallelujah. Don’t know why I didn’t search for a solution to this sooner, it’s been bugging the hell out of me for ages (as it turns out, apparently ever since January when I replaced a printer in my house). I tried changing all of the settings in Photoshop that could reasonably be related to this with no success whatsoever. Never dreamed that it would be related to a leftover printer that was still configured on my computer, even though it wasn’t set to be my default printer and my default printer was on and working normally.

    Anyway, this definitely did the job. Still seems like CS3 opens files measurably slower than older Photoshop versions, but the difference between how long it was taking vs. how long it takes now to open a file, is night and day, particularly when processing a large batch of files (ugh).

  52. Thanks man! I was thinking why all of a sudden my Photoshop became too slow when opening files and more. Thank you so much!

  53. Really a pisser. I did everything everyone else spoke of and Adobe help was no help at all.Our network printer is a HP 7200 all in one.I changed the default printer to the XPS Writer for opening and working on files but when I go to print and highlight the HP printer the printer dialoge box now takes forever to open. Any solution to this? Has anyone tried to uninstall/reinstall the printer drivers and had success?

  54. Photography being my hobby and an avid user of Adobe Photoshop CS3 that enhances my work. I upgraded my operating system to MS Windows 7 Ultimate from MS Windows Vista Home edition. I do have a HP Photosmart C8180 (All in One) Printer and I also have a Canon Pixma iP8500, I had the HP network printer as my default printer, so I made the Canon printer as my default, and true to the solution my photo files and RAW files jumped into CS3 as soon as I hit my mouse button!

    But, I strongly feel that this is an Adobe bug within Photoshop CS3, why it has to test my printer’s configuration each time I donΒ’t know, the first time I open a document fine, but there is no reason. I note that Adobe is pointing the ‘Bug Problem’ as being a MS Windows problem, or even a printer problem. Adobe, being such a large organisation should officially announce an antidote for this Bug!

    Congratulations for coming up with this solution, I didn’t feel like upgrading to CS4… Well not just yet!

    Kind Regards!

  55. Never did I ever think that this silly solution ould fix the problem! All I had to do was go into my control panel, into printers and use a different printer as my default! WTF! All of the suden the last few days my CS3 became unbearably slow and I almost gave up on it completely until I searched and found this….THANK YOU!!!!!!!

  56. My hat is off to you… This problem has been so annoying for the last year. Even very large projects open lightening fast now. Cheers to you for posting this & making me a happy designer again!

  57. I tried resetting my default printer to a “good” printer and that did not work. I tried nearly EVERY printer (Adobe PDF, Microsoft Image Writer, I even installed a DUMMY printer).

    What finally DID work was ridding myself of the few printers that consistently could not connect or were offline.

    It’s a bummer that you have to go through multiple printers (if you have more than a few–especially networked ones), but I am confident this is the major reason the files open slowly. I traced the whole file-opening procedure using SYSINTERNALS Process Monitor, and I found that the delay happened while Windows access C:\WINDOWS\system32\comdlg32.dll. JUST before it accessed that file, it grabbed my default printer and ran a few checks on some printer files.

  58. DUDE, Thats been bugging me forver. Adobe seriously needs to fix this bug. Adobe phone support is clueless. Figures it would be something like that. Great fix!

  59. have cs3 and it has been running fine. suddenly in last 2 weeks it has taken a nose dive and takes 1 minute to open a 1mb jpg which is on c drive. only have 1 printer which is networked but have tried ‘unsharing’ it and it makes no difference, have tried updating printer driver and graphics card driver but has made no difference.

    recent software installs would be:



    adobe flash 10 plug in

    mozilla firefox 3.5.7

    usb webcam

    debugging tools for windows

    itunes 9 (i think)

    quicktime update

    apple application support

    apple mobile device support

    and a number of office 2007 updates.

    would be really grateful if anyone could advise what i can do next as it is impossible to work on cs3 with it being so slow.

    many thanks

  60. From Harlsen:

    “On a Mac, try deleting the file Β‘com.adobe.mediabrowser.plistΒ’ from your Preferences folder:

    Users/(user name)/Library/Preferences/com.adobe.mediabrowser.plist

    This should solve the speed issues for both Illustrator and PhotoShop.”

    Thank you so much. Everything on the internet refers to this as a printer problem but on our macs it had nothing to do with printers. I did notice that if I disconnected from the network Photoshop worked great. (Never did have a problem with Illustrator or InDesign). Now Photoshop flies. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!

  61. Thank you!!! You rock buddy!!! I was about to set my PC in flames, I could not believe it!!!!! Then you gave me the answer!!!!! I love man!!!! THAAAANNksSS!!

  62. I *heart* you. Seriously. I’ve been going slowly insane since my CS3 started running slowly a few weeks ago. This fixed it in seconds. Thank you!

  63. Thank you sooo much!!

    Had this lagging issue for while now…

    I could never have guessed that the printers where involved! :S

    Working smoothly now! THANKS!! πŸ˜€

  64. I have had this problem with CS3 for a couple of months now and had even re-installed the program but after reinstalling the issue was not solved, thought it could even be a hard drive issue. Finally read your solution, and changed the port settings on my default printer which is an HP photosmart set up on a wifi network. All I had to do was to change the port setting to USB port (even though it isn’t connected) and now CS3 opens files as fast as it used to, in a blink of an eye. Thanks for the solution.

  65. Some addon for the solution.

    Since I’m using a network printer so it’s not possible for me to remove it.

    In this case, what I did is change the default printer of Photoshop to MS office XPS or Adobe PDF.

    That would solve the problem too.


  66. I have the same problem in Illustrator, running on a Mac.

    Did a search for com.adobe.mediabrowser.plist but it didnt show up.

    We have a couple of networked printers.

    When I disconnect the network and go back to an already open illustrator file that has slow down in it, it goes back to normal. So I am guessing its a network issue but not sure what??

  67. Hello,

    I am running Win XP and PS CS3 and both are extremely SLOW!!! I have tried all the things listed here and nothing helped. Is there anything else I can try before throwing this equipment out the window??? Thanks in advance. πŸ™‚


  68. I’ve had the same problem as everyone else here. I changed my default printer to a “dummy” one and CS3 opens immediately. The problem I have is when I try to print, I have to change the printer to my (former default) printer and when this happens, my computer slows down to the point where it locks up when attempting to print. What can I do about that?

  69. Great! problem fixed! But hey wait a second, why the hell is CS3 checking my printer at the first place. This weird behaviour should be fixed by Adobe at the first place.

  70. I have never even had a printer installed on my laptop, yet under the Printer and Faxes tab in the Control Panel, I had five printers listed. They are: Adobe PDF, some kind of HP printer that was the only one listed as offline, Intuit Internal Printer, Microsoft Office Document Image Writer, and Microsoft XPS Document Writer. All the ones except for the HP printer say they are ready…I didn’t delete those because I wasn’t sure if they are necessary or not.

    But I got rid of the offline one and Illustrator – which often takes about two or three minutes to start up (and always must be closed with “End Now” because it decides to enter “Not Responding” mode upon trying to exit) popped up in about ten seconds. Should I remove those other “printers” too?

    Thanks very much for the tip. It’s so nice to use Illustrator and not have it take 30-60 seconds to think about a pen tool line or 2-3 minutes to think at startup.

  71. I don’t have a printer connected and saving my images in PS is going really really slow… any other tips? Thanks!

  72. I had a similar problem, my chance, i just happened to turn off my wireless connection and it sped up instantly, no more lagging! I use my laptop at 2 offices, so i’ll have to figure something out, but that seems like the network printer thing may be the cause. Thanks so much!!

  73. Thanks a lot! I experienced the problem after your company changed printers. All of a sudden my Photoshop slowed down on opening any PSDs or even creating blank canvases. I deletet the old network printers and everything works fine again. Thank you very much!

  74. Glad to see everyone still finds this tip useful!! I’m very surprised Adobe hasn’t fixed this issue yet… I’ve even submitted a bug report to them about it and have yet to hear anything back.

  75. at this moment, my adobe is still performing slow…i already check my printer, deleted the offline, i even uninstall and install it, but still slow whenever i open new files/images

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