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Photoshop and Illustrator crash my iMac 2020, Monterey, when external display is connected

New Here ,
Dec 13, 2021 Dec 13, 2021

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For months now I have had the same problem.  Very soon after opening Photoshop and beginning to work my computer shuts down and automatically restarts.  Upon restart I am presented with a 'your computer shut down because of a problem' screen which I then always prompt to submit a report to Apple and take a screenshot of the problem details.  I attach the latest screenshot.

 

My computer is a 2020 iMac Retina 5K, 3.6GHz 10-Core Intel Core i9 with 64GB Ram and AMD Radeon Pro 5500 XT 8 GB.  I am running OS Monterey 12.0.1.  I am running Photoshop v 23.0.2 by subscription to Creative Cloud.

 

Screenshot 2021-12-08 at 11.44.31.pngScreenshot 2021-12-08 at 15.27.27.png

 

I have had extensive communications with both Apple support and with the tech team at the reseller where I purchased the computer.  The computer has been in to the tech team there where they performed a full factory reset and reinstall of the OS but the problem persisted.  The computer also went into the Apple Store where they performed diagnostic tests that showed no hardware issues whatsoever.

 

By process of elimination I arrive at the sole cause of the problem being the Adobe software.  The problem does not occur with any of the other programs I use.  I am a creative professional using 3d modelling and drawing software daily and am reliant upon the external display as an essential part of my set-up.  Photoshop is an important part of my workflow and as such presents me with great frustration that I can't use it without it crashing my computer.  It is important to note that the problem DOES NOT occur without the external display connected but this is not a good way for me to work to have to connect and disconnect the external display all the time.  

 

This never used to happen with my old Macbook Pro running Catalina but that was with older editions of Photoshop too.  I am at my wits end!

 

Please help!

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Adobe Employee ,
Dec 13, 2021 Dec 13, 2021

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A system crash usually means a low level failure such as a driver (bad video card driver, etc), failing hardware (hard disk, video card, etc.). Do you have an external GPU? When Apple ran their hardware test, did they have an external monitor hooked up?


Senior Product Manager - Customer Advocacy - Digital Imaging

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New Here ,
Jan 17, 2022 Jan 17, 2022

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We have the same problem. We have two 2020 iMac models and over 20 2017 Models. The two 2020 models crashing with external Monitor with InDesign 2020. The other 20 Models with Model 2017 not.

We have tried to reinstall OS, Monterey, Big Sur and now with Catalina. Nothing works. Mac will crashing with external monitor when we open and use InDesign 2020 for a while.

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Community Expert ,
Jan 17, 2022 Jan 17, 2022

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Is your display Thunderbolt, DisplayPort, DVI, or HDMI? Can you switch to a different connection type? Also, do you have a Thunderbolt or USB-C dock connected?

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New Here ,
Nov 19, 2022 Nov 19, 2022

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I have the same problem too. Apple keep saying it's not a hardware issue and won't try to fix it after I took it to the Apple Store and they also did a hardware analysis. The thing is, we bought 3 of the same iMac 27 mid 2020, and mine is the only one with the issue with Photoshop and Adobe. So clearly, only some iMac has this issue but not others. It must be a something that's defective with the computer, and it's not Photoshop. Someone please help find a solution or my computer is useless because I'm dependent on Photoshop for my work.

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New Here ,
Dec 08, 2022 Dec 08, 2022

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Same issue on work computer. If using Illustrator and or Photoshop, the crashes usually occur when having Adobe Illustrator and/or Photoshop open, and then if pausing for a moment it crashes and reboots with a fan swishing noise.

Did the usual steps recommended, but still happens. Reset adobe preferences, reinstall OSX, gpu performance, ram check...

Have been using macs in the design field for years, this combination has crashed more than all of the other macs combined.

iMac Retina 5k, 27-inc, 2020
macOS Montery
3.8 GHz 8-Core Intel Core i7
32 GB 2667 MHZ DDR4
AMD Radeon Pro 5500 XT 8 GB

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Community Expert ,
Dec 08, 2022 Dec 08, 2022

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Since this is not a widespread problem, you must be seeing something specific to your computer and/or software installation. Have you been sending crash reports to Adobe?

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New Here ,
Dec 08, 2022 Dec 08, 2022

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Yes, many of them.

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New Here ,
Dec 08, 2022 Dec 08, 2022

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As someone mentioned earlier, it probably has to do with using an external monitor along with Adobe Softwares. This combination will cause iMac 27 in 2020 to crash,  probably everyone of them. If I take off the external monitor, then using Photoshop or Illustrator seems fine and there's no crash. Since I am using an adapter to connect the USB-C port on the iMac 27 in 2020 to the HDMI cable to the external monitor, I'm not sure if that's the reason for the crash, or if it is because of the difference in resolution between the iMac Desktop and the external monitor. Let me know if someone figures out this problem.

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New Here ,
Dec 08, 2022 Dec 08, 2022

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Thanks, yes, also using an external monitor, attached with the usb-c adaptor to a hdmi cable.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 08, 2022 Dec 08, 2022

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I haven't used a 2020 iMac but I had a 2015 iMac with external display until recently, 2015 15" MBP with external display, and an M1 mini with dual displays. None crashed in Photoshop or Illustrator.

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New Here ,
Dec 08, 2022 Dec 08, 2022

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This problem seems to be specific to the iMac 2020 model. I had a 2017 iMac 27 inch also connected to an external monitor and never had an issue. The thing that perplexed me is that the stupid 2020 iMac crashes mostly only with Adobe Creative Cloud applications. So is it an Adobe problem or an Apple problem?

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Community Expert ,
Dec 08, 2022 Dec 08, 2022

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LATEST
quote

So is it an Adobe problem or an Apple problem?


By @Tou Yia27218930ek9f

 

Lots of people in this thread, but some mention that the whole system reboots.

 

An application cannot cause that in modern operating systems. There are insulating layers to prevent that. An application can crash or freeze, but not bring down the whole machine. That's either a driver (usually GPU), or failing hardware.

 

Even if it's only Photoshop crashing, the most common cause is still a GPU problem. Photoshop makes a lot of calls to advanced GPU functions that other applications may not.

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