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Troubleshooting Premiere Pro

The following is a section from my eBook 'Bulletproof Premiere Pro'. I wrote it in 2019 and updated it in 2020. Even though it's not entirely up-to-date, the advice on troubleshooting PremierePro that you're about to read still applies. I sincerely hope that it's gonna save your project and your sanity. Enjoy!

First, let me stress the fact that backing up your assets and your work is your

responsibility. You may have heard about a guy who sued Adobe because deleting Cache files removed his original footage as well.

For me, it’s ridiculous. As far as I know, there was a bug in Premiere that allowed this to happen, which is obviously very bad. But even worse is the way the guy managed his Cache files (right next to the original media - bad practice!) and the lack of backup on a serious project seems to me like pure ignorance. So please - back up your assets!

Now, let's have a look at what you can do if Premiere crashes or is not working properly. The order of that list is not random. I recommend you take these steps as listed, one at a time.

1. Clear Cache files and reset Preferences

Do as follows:

  • Close Premiere

  • Click on the Premiere Pro icon to open the program

  • A moment after clicking on the icon hold Alt + Shift (Option + Shift). It should clear Cache (previous projects should not be visible)

  • If you run Premiere Pro 13.0 (CC 2019) or later, it’ll ask you if you want to perform this operation

  • If it didn’t help, it’s time to manually clear the Cache folder. If you’ve set up your custom Cache location (recommended), then you know where to go in order to do it. But if that's not the case, you should go to the following directory:

Windows: \Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Common\Media

Cache Files MacOS: /Users/<username>/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Common/

Media Cache Files

Here's a video I made about deleting Cache Files.

  • To reset preferences alone (once you removed Cache files manually), hold Alt

(Option) after a launch.

2. Make sure your GPU drivers are up to date

3. Recreate the project

Follow the steps:

  • Save the project and close it,

  • Create a new project,

  • Import the sequence(s) you need through the Media Browser panel.

4. Problems with unsupported codecs

For problems with a codec not supported by Premiere, use HandBrake to transcode

these files to a different, supported codec.

5. If you’re working in a shared network environment, try to run all assets locally.

6. Switch a system account - log in as a different admin user

7. If you have installation issues, use Adobe CC Cleaner Tool

As you can read in the following link, it allows you to precisely remove installation

records for Creative Cloud or Creative Suite apps that may have become corrupted or may be causing problems with the new installation. It can be beneficial if you have installed prerelease software on your system and now want to remove it.

8. Try to import the Premiere Pro project in After Effects and then export it as a Premiere Pro project.

You may lose some data in that process. This is why it’s just a potential solution to be used when other methods fail and you still cannot open/work on your

project file.

9. Delete Preview files in case they are corrupted (only if you rendered any).

10. Restart the Creative Cloud app

Open the Creative Cloud app and hit Ctrl + Alt + Shift + R (Cmd + Opt + Shift + R) to force the restart of the app. This helps quite often.

11. Payback issues

If you have no playback, please check your audio hardware preferences. What device is being used for the audio output?

Maybe something got disconnected?

12. Measure of last resort

If nothing seems to be helping, you should reinstall Premiere. You can even try to

downgrade it. If you downgrade, you need to take care of the project files created in the newer version. For that purpose, use one of the following:

And lastly, a reminder - the best way to troubleshoot is to make sure you do everything you can to avoid situations where you need to troubleshoot. But even if you follow the best practices, you might occasionally find yourself in a situation where you need to figure out a way to make it work again.

I hope this article is helpful.

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