If you use Photoshop for personal or professional purposes, you know how important it is to have good performance and high image quality at all times. Many people choose to use a graphics processor in their program for this very reason. However, some Photoshop users report an issue where their “Use Graphics Processor” is greyed out and cannot be selected.
Below, we’ll discuss a few causes of this problem and how you can fix it. Keep reading to learn more!
Using your graphics processor with Photoshop will increase the program’s performance and image quality. However, some people have noticed that the “Use Graphics Processor” option is greyed out when they try to activate it.
If “Use Graphics Processor” is greyed out in Photoshop, there are five fixes you may want to try:
- Make sure your graphics card is compatible with Photoshop
- Update to the latest version of Photoshop
- Update your graphics driver
- Change Photoshop’s Cache Levels
- Choose the high-performance graphics card on your computer
Below, we’ll highlight how to employ each of these fixes and hopefully solve the problem.
1. Make Sure Your Graphics Card is Compatible
If you’ve recently purchased a new graphics card or are running Photoshop for the first time, the “Use Graphics Processor” option may be greyed out because your graphics card is not compatible with Photoshop. As long as you’re using Photoshop version 23.0 or later, you can find out by running a compatibility check.
Choose the “Help” menu, then click “GPU Compatibility.” A report dialog will open telling you whether or not your current graphics card is compatible with Photoshop. If everything looks good, you’ll need to move on to other fixes. If your card is not compatible, you will have to purchase a new graphics card before you can use Photoshop with a graphics processor.
One important thing to note is that Intel graphics cards in particular are known to cause problems with Photoshop. They typically do not send the correct information to the program, so Photoshop may disable the “Use Graphics Processor” option even if the card is technically able to do so.
2. Update to the Latest Version of Photoshop
Some older versions of Photoshop have known bugs that cause problems with using a graphics processor. If you know that your graphics card is compatible with Photoshop, try checking the Adobe website to see if any newer versions are available for download.
Install the newest version of the problem, then launch it. See if the “Use Graphics Processor” option is still greyed out. If so, the problem likely lies within your user preferences or the graphics card itself.
3. Update Your Graphics Driver
If you’re using a Mac computer or laptop, your graphics driver will automatically update each time you update your iOS version. However, Windows updates often do not automatically update these drivers, so you may need to visit your graphics card manufacturer’s website directly.
Outdated graphics drivers can cause a lot of issues with Photoshop, including crashes, poorly rendered images, and other performance-related problems. Find out the exact name of your graphics card, then visit the manufacturer’s website to check for updates. If one is available, install it onto your computer and relaunch Photoshop to see if “Use Graphics Processor” is still greyed out.
4. Change Your Cache Levels
Although they may seem trivial, the preferences you choose within Photoshop can have a huge impact on how the program works on your computer. One area to look at is your Cache Levels.
If you’ve changed your Cache Levels from the default setting of 4, you may experience issues with your graphics processor. This is especially true when the Cache Levels have been changed to 1.
If you’re running Photoshop on Windows, open the “Edit” menu, then navigate to “Preferences.” Choose “Performance,” and set your Cache Levels to 4. If you’re using a Mac computer, open the “Photoshop” menu, then choose “Preferences,” Performance,” and do the same. Quit and relaunch Photoshop, then check if the option is now available.
5. Choose the Correct Graphics Card
High-end computers and laptops often use dual graphics cards. One offers higher performance, while the other offers better battery power or memory-saving features. As far as Photoshop goes, you should always use your high-performance graphics card instead of the integrated or power-saving graphics card.
The process of choosing the correct graphics card will vary based on the type of computer and graphics card you are using. These include:
- Mac computers
- Windows computers with AMD graphics cards
- Windows computers with NVIDIA graphics cards
Below, we’ll highlight how to select your preferred graphics card for each type.
Macbooks in particular may switch between graphics cards frequently. They tend to use one card when connected to an outlet, and another power-saving card when they’re running on battery power.
To ensure you’re using your high-performance graphics card when Photoshop is running, open your computer’s System Preferences from the dock and choose “Energy Saver.” In this window, you should see an option for “Automatic Graphics Switching.” Disable this option.
If you’re using a Windows desktop or laptop with an AMD graphics card, you should always enable your high-performance graphics card over the power-saving graphics card if you’ll be running Photoshop. Right-click on your desktop, then choose either “AMD Catalyst Control Center” or “Configure Switchable Graphics,” whichever option you see.
When the window opens, click “Browse.” Make sure your high-performance card is highlighted instead of the power-saving card.
If your Windows computer uses an NVIDIA graphics card instead of an AMD graphics card, the process is a bit more complicated. Here’s how to do it:
- Right-click on your desktop and choose “NVIDIA Control Panel.”
- Click “Manage 3D Settings,” then “Program Settings.”
- Under both Photoshop.exe and Sniffer.exe, set the preferred graphics processor to your high-performance graphics card.
Once you’ve switched your graphics card, open Photoshop and see if your “Use Graphics Processor” option is still greyed out.
If your option to “Use Graphics Processor” in Photoshop cannot be selected, the problem may lie within your software, graphics card, or computer settings. Try the five fixes above to see if you can troubleshoot the program on your own. If all else fails, contacting Adobe customer support may be the best way to go.