If Premiere Pro crashes hard on Windows and you can’t open it again…

…check if the process called Adobe Premiere Pro.exe is still running and kill it.

Granted, crashes of Premiere have mostly been the thing of the past. Since upgrading to CS5 I don’t remember the time when I actually lost anything in Premiere’s crash. But then, some people still have problems from time to time. So here’s a tip.

Sometimes Premiere Pro crashes, and no matter how hard you try, you can’t reopen it by double clicking on the shortcut icon, or even directly attempting to open the Adobe Premiere Pro executable file. If you restart your machine, everything works fine. But let’s be honest – you don’t want to waste precious minutes on shutdowns and reloading Windows, especially if there is a looming deadline ahead (and we all know that weird things happen when projects get close to completion…). If you log out, and log back again, you could save a little bit of time, and things should work fine again.

But there’s much quicker way to do it. Run Windows Task Manager by right clicking on the start bar, and selecting “Start Task Manager”. Then click the “Processes” tab, and take a close look to find a usual suspect. Or perhaps click once on the “Image name” column, if the list is not already sorted this way, and then locate the “Adobe Premiere Pro.exe” process. Select that guy, and hit “End process” button. This will remove the remaining traces of crashed Premiere from the memory, and if you click your Premiere icon now – surprise, surprise, the application will load without any problems.

Windows Task Manager interface, and our culprit. I hope the foreign language does not make you wince too much :)

The reason for that is very simple – on startup, Premiere looks if its main process is running. If it is, it terminates what it considers to be a recently run duplicate copy of itself, and asserts that the former is running fine. It doesn’t matter that it isn’t, Premiere is too lazy or too inept to realize that it had just crashed on you, and left remains in your system’s memory.

I hope this tip saves you a moment or two in the unlikely event of such a crash. And if you are more tech-savy, you might consider downloading a free task manager replacement called Process Explorer, which gives you much more and much more detailed info about processes running on your system.

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16 Responses to If Premiere Pro crashes hard on Windows and you can’t open it again…

  1. Peter Tours says:

    To relive a Premiere crash, just try finishing a project on Pr on Mac.

    • BartW says:

      Hmmm… CS5 was pretty stable on Mac as well, the only thing I was missing was CUDA acceleration (working on Mac Pro 1.1 it was not possible). As far as CS6, I only use it for plugin development, so I can’t really comment on its stability with longer projects.

      However, I used CS3 on Mac extensively, and I can feel your pain. Hope you’ll figure out what’s causing the crashes (Matrox hardware perhaps? I had problems with them before…) and will enjoy editing using Premiere.

  2. cmbrougham says:

    What I suggest doing is, instead of using “End Process,” use “End Process Tree.” What this will do is kill off all connected processes that Pr uses for various functions, like QT import or Dynamic Link. Sometimes, it’s actually one of these applications/processes that is the issue, so this way, you get kind of a clean sweep. It won’t affect any other system processes, so there’s no fear of making things any more unstable than they might have been at the time of the crash :)

    • BartW says:

      This is a good suggestion. This option has to be selected from the right-click menu. Sometimes even this might not work, especially if you open After Effects before you open Premiere. In this case other processes to terminate are: “dynamiclinkmanager.exe” and any instance of “Adobe QT Server 32.exe”. Make sure to close other Adobe apps first, though, especially After Effects.

  3. idaaaaa says:

    thanks so much! you saved me from restarting my comp again man 😉 appreciate it much 😀

  4. John says:

    thanks so much, I just tried this and it worked on windows 8.1. saved me from reinstalling premiere cs6

  5. Johny says:

    you are a savior

  6. I am having to end these processes manually about every 10 minutes. Premiere pro is the only adobe program I am running. I open a project and can work for about 10 minutes (or less, time varies) & then my program window stops updating, & eventually all of premiere freezes up, I force quit the application, & end the premiere process & the QT Server process & then try again. It seems to be the QT server process that is really causing the trouble, but I don’t know why. All I know if It is taking up way too much of my editing time. Help!

    • BartW says:

      If you open Task Manager, and monitor memory usage, do you see it steadily growing, or does it remain at the same level? What are the specs of your machine? Are you using any Dynamic Link compositions in your project? If you create a new project is it also happening?

    • Jeff Schaap says:

      Same deal for me… arggh!

  7. Rohit says:

    while i was working with premiere pro CC in mac. unexpectedly power shut down so my premiere pro also got shut down.i dont hav UPS. so after power came i start the system and went to that workfile folder to reopen the file and edit but there is no file. and then i open the premiere pro software and searched in recent file item (file > recent open file) but also no file is there.. please help me. it was happened so many times for me.

    • BartW says:

      Look for the Adobe Premiere Auto-Save folder and some files with your work should be there. I would also advise to think about purchasing an UPS if you are having frequent power issues. In the end it might end pretty bad for your computer if you don’t.

  8. Ishban says:

    I tried restarting the computer and it’s still down, for PC

  9. Lynn Camp says:

    I rebooted 3 times and Premier Pro CS6 in Win 10 and it still wouldn’t open. Took your advice to end task and now starts perfectly. Thanks so much — you saved me a boatload of time and a lot of stress. I am donating!!!!!

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