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Photoshop 2023 will not associate with image files in Windows 11

Participant ,
Dec 03, 2022 Dec 03, 2022

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I thought I was having a problem with some kind of settings, but after a thorough purge of all Adobe related programs and files (as explained in this earlier post), followed by a re-installation, I now believe this is some kind of bug.

 

With a completely fresh install of Photoshop 2023, Photoshop does not appear as an option when I right click on a .JPG file and select "open with..."

open_with.png

 

So, I select "Choose an app on your PC" and select to open with Photoshop by finding the program on disk:

program_select.png

However, when I press the "Open" button, I get an error message that says "Cannot associate file type with this program":

error_message.png

 

This is true for any image file, such as PNG or GIF or anything else. The only file format that will open in Photoshop from File Explorer is PSD.


How do I get Photoshop to appear in the "Open with" dialog, and open image files?

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Participant , Dec 12, 2022 Dec 12, 2022

I found a solution to this problem, on this web page. The web page refers to Windows 10, but I did this in Windows 11 and it all worked out.

Basically, I used the Registry Editor, in administrator mode, and navigated to:

 

Computer\HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Applications\Photoshop.exe

 

I noticed that my registry was a little different than what was described on the web page. There were two entries. One was:

Shell > Open > Command

And the other was:

Shell > Edit > Command

 

Although the values in both referred to

...

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LEGEND ,
Dec 04, 2022 Dec 04, 2022

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Most liekly nothing to do with PS, but rather "context overflow syndrome", i.e. too many programs creating file associations. You can comb through the Registry manually or use respective tools to clean things up.

 

Mylenium

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Participant ,
Dec 04, 2022 Dec 04, 2022

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No other program is exhibiting this kind of behavior. The problem is therefor most likely the single program that is having the problem.

Also, I have already tried various methods of cleaning the registry.

Lastly, Photoshop has been exhibiting other bugs, as described in my other post. All evidence indicates to me that Photoshop is where the problem lies.

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Participant ,
Dec 04, 2022 Dec 04, 2022

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@Mylenium, also, a Google search for "context overflow syndrome" returns no results related to Windows or registries or programs. Not even when I add terms like "Windows" or "registry." Is this a term you made up?

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Community Expert ,
Dec 04, 2022 Dec 04, 2022

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Your file associations are broken, most likely by uninstalling a previous version with the new one in place. The outgoing version can take file associations with it, leaving them orphaned.

 

Usually this can be restored in Windows Settings > Apps > Default apps by file type. In a very few cases, the registry keys get stuck and this is not possible. Then you may need to use the CC cleaner tool.

 

In the future, always follow strict version order. When uninstalling, start with the newest and work backwards. Then reinstall the one you want to keep.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 04, 2022 Dec 04, 2022

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@D Fosse the OP already tried the cleaner tool

https://community.adobe.com/t5/photoshop-ecosystem-discussions/how-do-i-do-a-full-purge-of-photoshop...

@Dave_Draws "I deleted all Adobe related files, and also attempted a clean of Adobe references from my registry using a 3rd party software" might be time for an OS reinstall

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Community Expert ,
Dec 04, 2022 Dec 04, 2022

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Oh, OK. In that case I might start to suspect a corrupt Windows user account. I'd try to make a new account and see if it works there (to be safe, sign out first and back in with the new account).

 

Oh, wait, I see you added to your post. So that's not the Adobe CC cleaner tool, but a third party registry "fixer"?

 

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Community Expert ,
Dec 04, 2022 Dec 04, 2022

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"third party registry "fixer"?" more like a Windows breaker 😉

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Participant ,
Dec 04, 2022 Dec 04, 2022

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@D FosseI first uninstalled Photoshop from the Adobe Creative Cloud interface. Then I used the Adobe CC Cleaner Tool to further remove Adobe presence from my computer. I had to run it 3 times before it returned no errors. Then I manually deleted any Adobe file folders remaining on my system (which contained 3.5 Gigs of data). I then used a registry editor to simply remove any orphaned references to uninstalled software.

Note I only acted on the registry AFTER the problem with Photoshop first occured, so it wasn't any registry editing that was a cause.

I remain skeptical that there is a problem with my Windows installation or that a reinstall is merited. Only Photoshop is having problems. There is quite literally no other application or system problem on my computer.

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Participant ,
Dec 04, 2022 Dec 04, 2022

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@D Fosse  Editing the registry should absolutely be done with care, so I understand your view that they are likely to break systems.

However, please note that the problems with Photoshop and file associations happened before I made any actions on the rwgistry, so editing the registry can not have been a cause of the problem.

The problems with Photoshop are also exactly the same after having done all uninstalling, reinstalling, and any registry editing, so at this point there is no evidence that any registry edits have had any effect whatsoever on the issue I'm having with Photoshop.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 04, 2022 Dec 04, 2022

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The point was that you need to use the official Adobe CC Cleaner Tool, available here:

https://helpx.adobe.com/creative-cloud/kb/cc-cleaner-tool-installation-problems.html 

It should specifically target the relevant registry keys (as well as any leftover files and folders). A third party registry cleaner won't help here. Registry cleaners were all the rage a few years back, but they don't serve any useful purpose and are generally not recommended.

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Participant ,
Dec 05, 2022 Dec 05, 2022

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@D Fosse  You seem to not read my messages accurately. I did accidentally reference you in one of my messages when I meant to reference @Ged_Traynor , so sorry if that caused any confusion.

 

In any case, as mentioned in the message directed to you, I did use the OFFICIAL Adobe CC Cleaner Tool.

 

In fact I ran it multiple times. 3, to be exact.

 

However, it did not clear out all Adobe references in the registry, so that is why I also tried a different registry cleaner for further.

Also, the OFFICIAL Adobe Cleaner tool, after I ran it 3 times, left 3.5 GB worth of Adobe files and folders on my system. It seems what Adobe thinks of as a full "puge" and what I think of as a full "purge" are different.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 05, 2022 Dec 05, 2022

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OK, fair enough. I don't always have time to read all the back references.

 

But that means you have a very special case here. I know that this can happen, I'm not questioning that, and I also have a strong suspicion of why it happens (uninstalling old versions with a newer version in place).

 

But I've never heard of a case where even the CC cleaner tool gets nowhere. That's usually the nuclear option. And I must confess I'm at a loss as to why the CC cleaner still leaves files and folders behind. It's been a while since I usued it, but are you sure you have set the appropriate option/level when you ran it?

 

The next option is a complete OS reinstall. Yeah, I'd hate that. You can try a new user account as I suggested above.

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Participant ,
Dec 11, 2022 Dec 11, 2022

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@D Fosse  you may be right that the problem originates with uninsalling old versions with a newer version in place, but I'm not sure how that would have happened. I generally let Adobe Create Cloud handle all update and don't manually add or remove Adobe programs. So far as I can tell, this problem started somewhere around the latest version upgrade, which was accomplished by clicking "update all" in Creative Cloud.

I ran the Adobe Cleaner Tool as Administrator. Isn't that essentially the highest level of permission access on a Windows computer?

If an OS reinstall is the only way to repair this problem, then I guess I'll have to look at other workarounds, because I'm not going to take that level of action on behalf of a single software product. Also, it has to be said, it's ridiculous that Adobe products could even be capable of getting to such a state that the only solution would impact a computer's entire OS. Most logical programs stay within limited and known directories, and have traceable registry entries.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 11, 2022 Dec 11, 2022

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quote

I ran the Adobe Cleaner Tool as Administrator. Isn't that essentially the highest level of permission access on a Windows computer?


By @Dave_Draws

 

As I said, I haven't done this in a long time, but if I recall this correctly, there are options for exactly what it will remove, what versions, what applications.

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Participant ,
Dec 12, 2022 Dec 12, 2022

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@D Fosse  Yes, it gives you a list of applications you can remove. One of the options in the list is to remove "All." That is the one I selected. The first time I ran it, it said some error message saying not all programs were removed, though I don't remember the exact wording. I ran it two more times, and on the third time, there were no more errors, so I assumed that meant it had done all it could.

However, as mentioned, it seemed that a lot of data was left over.

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Participant ,
Dec 12, 2022 Dec 12, 2022

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I found a solution to this problem, on this web page. The web page refers to Windows 10, but I did this in Windows 11 and it all worked out.

Basically, I used the Registry Editor, in administrator mode, and navigated to:

 

Computer\HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Applications\Photoshop.exe

 

I noticed that my registry was a little different than what was described on the web page. There were two entries. One was:

Shell > Open > Command

And the other was:

Shell > Edit > Command

 

Although the values in both referred to the correct location of Photoshop.exe, I compared the registry entries for Illustrator.exe, and saw that Illustrator had no entry for "Edit." So I suspected there might be something problematic about that.

In any case, I deleted everything inside the Photoshop.exe entry, both "Edit" and "Open."

 

After that, I was able to right click on a JPG file, select to find Photoshop.exe on my computer, and open the file. The second time I right clicked on a JPG file, Photoshop was offered as one of the options, and had the correct icon.

Hope that information is helpful for future people with a similar problem.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 12, 2022 Dec 12, 2022

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Thanks for reporting back and glad you found a way out of this!

 

Yes, this is a registry issue and the registry is where it can be fixed. Just a general caution to anyone else reading: always be careful when doing registry edits and double/triple/quadruple check that you have the correct information.

 

If you make mistakes, you risk bricking the whole system and if that happens, you have no choice but to reinstall the operating system. Have your license numbers ready just in case...

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