OS X 10.10 Yosemite: Will Adobe software work?

OS X 10.10 desktop, courtesy Apple Inc.

Now that OS X 10.10 Yosemite is available as a free upgrade from the Mac App Store, you’re probably wondering how well your Adobe software and other Mac apps will run on it. Below is a summary of various reports I’ve read on Adobe.com and around the web. I’ll continue to update this article as I find out more. The good news is that upgrading to Yosemite seems to cause fewer compatibility challenges than some earlier OS X upgrades did.

Yosemite and current versions of Adobe software

Adobe FAQs: Adobe has published a tech note, Mac OS X Yosemite (10.10) compatibility FAQs. It contains links to additional information, so be sure to expand each of the FAQ questions there. On that page Adobe says “The latest versions of all Adobe CC products are compatible” and that no updates are required to run Adobe CC products on OS X 10.10 Yosemite.

The Adobe FAQ says “In our testing we have found no other significant issues with running Creative Cloud products with OS X Yosemite,” but with every OS X release things have turned up. I add them to this article as I come across them.

Lightroom 5: The Maps module may load slowly, or fail to load completely. According to an Adobe statement at Photoshop.com (Lightroom: Issue with Map module in OS X 10.10 (Yosemite)), the problem is apparently related to an Apple change in Yosemite that interferes with retrieving map data from Google Maps. [Update: Apple fixed their bug in OS X 10.10.2 which is now available. After you install OS X 10.10.2, the Lightroom Maps module should work properly.]

Lightroom Maps module with missing map sections in Yosemite

InDesign: InDesign generally seems to run fine on Yosemite, but some users have seen a crash in Open/Save/Export dialog boxes. While speculation in that linked forum discussion suspects a Finder plug-in installed by Dropbox, it could be related to the Default Folder utility (see below). [Update: Dropbox has notified customers that OS X 10.10 has a crashing bug that affects Dropbox integration with Open/Save dialog boxes. They say Apple fixed this bug in the OS X 10.10.1 update.]

After Effects: The After Effects team has also published a blog post about Yosemite compatibility, After Effects good to go with Mac OSX v10.10 (Yosemite). In it they say that they tested After Effects CS6 through After Effects CC, and while those versions mostly run fine, a few minor issues are listed at the end of the article including a long first-time startup for Adobe Media Encoder.

Plug-ins: If you rely on any non-Adobe plug-ins, make sure those plug-ins are compatible with Yosemite. A plug-in that is not compatible with Yosemite may prevent its host Adobe app from starting up.

Default Folder: While this very useful utility is not by Adobe it modifies the Open/Save dialog boxes, and the release notes for version 4.6.11 say “Fixed a problem that could cause Carbon applications to crash on some machines running Yosemite. This included Adobe Creative Cloud and Microsoft Office applications, among others.” If you use Default Folder, run the updater from Default Folder preferences or download the latest version from the St. Clair Software web site.

Upgrading to Yosemite with older Adobe software or from earlier versions of OS X

If you’re upgrading from OS X 10.9 Mavericks or OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion you probably won’t run into problems. But if you’re making a bigger jump from an earlier version of OS X, or from Adobe software earlier than CS6, you may find issues that affect your migration. In many cases you can clear up problems by reinstalling the Adobe software.

Note that CS2 applications, including Photoshop, were written for Macs with PowerPC CPUs. OS X 10.10 Yosemite only runs Intel CPU-compatible software, so Yosemite will not allow CS2 to run or install. Adobe CS3–CS5 applications may run but Adobe did not test them extensively on Yosemite.

Photoshop: The Photoshop team has published their own blog post about the OS X upgrade, Photoshop & Mac OSX 10.10 (Yosemite). In it they say that they tested Photoshop CS6 through Photoshop CC and found no issues. However, the comments section of that post contains a lively discussion of issues some users are running into. For example, it has been discovered that the Yosemite installer might corrupt an existing Photoshop CS5 installation; if this happens reinstall Photoshop CS5 and then it should work.

In Photoshop CS6 in OS X 10.8 through 10.10, if you are having problems with keyboard shortcuts or brushes, including lags when painting, and especially with a Wacom tablet connected, you may need to install the “white window workaround” plug-in and try updating your Wacom driver. Adobe is reportedly working with Apple and Wacom on the problem.

Although Photoshop CS3, CS4, and CS5 were not extensively tested on Yosemite by Adobe, I upgraded a test Mac to Yosemite with those versions of Photoshop already installed and have been able to run them. License activation and deactivation work fine. However, I have not had time to try printing or serious editing with them.

Photoshop CS3 working in OS X Yosemite.

Photoshop CS3 is the oldest version that works in OS X Yosemite.

Update from reports in the comments, also reported at the official Photoshop Feedback site: Photoshop CS5 will crash if you try to create a custom paper size in the Print dialog box. A workaround is to create the custom paper size in any other program in Yosemite, and then go back to Photoshop CS5 and choose the custom paper size.

Photoshop Elements 11 or 12 may slow down or become unresponsive in Yosemite. In the tech note Photoshop Elements stops responding after Mac OS update to Yosemite, Adobe says this is a problem related to the trackpad and can be worked around by using a mouse. Apparently this is not a problem in the current version, Photoshop Elements 13.

Illustrator: There are some reports that the Type menu font previews in Illustrator may not appear in Yosemite. The reported workaround is to go into the Accessibility pane of System Preferences and select Reduce Transparency. It wasn’t clear which versions of Illustrator are affected.

Illustrator CS4 seems to have problems loading the Photoshop format import/export plug-ins in Yosemite.

An application won’t start: Two possible reasons for pre-CC versions to not launch in Yosemite are Java not being available, and having non-Adobe plug-ins that aren’t compatible with Yosemite. See the topics Java requirement below and Plug-ins above.

Java requirement: When launching some older Adobe software for the first time in OS X, OS X may say that a Java runtime needs to be installed. If a button is provided, click it; if not download the Java installer from the Java for OS X 2015-001 page at Apple Support and install that. Note: Sometimes when you visit that link to Java for OS X, you get a blank page. If you see this in the Safari web browser, try opening Safari preferences, click the Advanced tab, and turn off the “Never use font sizes smaller than…” option. If that doesn’t work, try this direct download link: Java for OS X 2015-001 download

Install legacy Java SE 6 runtime

Some users have reported that the Adobe launch issue is not fixed until you reboot a second time after the Java installation. Also, some report that earlier versions such as CS3 are not working with the latest version of Java (currently Java 8), but it does work if they install Java 6, which is provided by Apple in the link above.

It’s understandable that some people avoid installing Java because to its security issues, but OS X won’t let some Adobe applications launch without it. In the case of Photoshop, Adobe says Photoshop doesn’t need Java at all, but OS X puts up the message anyway.

OS X Gatekeeper may prevent older Adobe software from starting: Gatekeeper is an Apple security feature (added in Mountain Lion) that helps protect you from running malicious applications. If you run Adobe software released before Gatekeeper, you should know what to do if Gatekeeper prevents Adobe software from starting. Adobe covers that in this tech note: Error “has not been signed by a recognized distributor” | Launch Adobe applications | Mac OS. The short answer is to bypass the error by right-clicking the application icon, then choose Open from the context menu.

Adobe software released after Gatekeeper was introduced properly conforms to Gatekeeper requirements, so no adjustments are needed for them.

Intel compatibility required: If your Adobe software is earlier than CS5, to run under Yosemite at all it must support Intel processors. After Apple switched to Intel-based Macs, Apple started phasing out support for running software based on the older PowerPC processors. Starting with Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, Mac OS X no longer runs PowerPC-based software. You’ll have to check compatibility for each of the Adobe applications you want to run; for example, Photoshop CS3 was the first version of Photoshop that ran on Intel-based Macs. But even if your software older than CS5 runs on Yosemite, it may still have other issues because OS X has changed a lot since then.

Upgrading from Mac OS X 10.6 or earlier: You may also want to read my blog post “Mac OS X 10.7 Lion: Will Adobe apps and other software work?”, so that you can also be up to date on the more dramatic changes that were introduced in Lion, such as the end of OS X support for PowerPC-based software.

General compatibility and other info

To learn about OS X software compatibility of Mac software in general, one resource is the Roaring Apps database. It lists OS X software and its reported compatibility with the last few versions of OS X, and it’s crowdsourced from user reports which are said to vary in reliability. As always, for any software that you cannot afford to be without, you should do two things: Check that company’s support website to verify compatibility, and also set up a test installation of Yosemite on a separate volume (like a spare hard drive or even a large enough USB flash drive) to run tests with your own files, peripherals, and workflows.

Wondering what Yosemite is all about? For the most in-depth Yosemite review you’ll probably find anywhere, read John Siracusa’s review at Ars Technica. As with every major release of OS X, Siracusa not only reviews the visible features that Apple promotes, but goes under the surface to explain changes to some of the underlying technologies in OS X and how they affect your Mac experience.

TRIM support for third-party SSDs: If you replaced your Mac’s original internal drive with a solid state drive (SSD), depending on the brand it may be a good idea to enable a feature called TRIM for better long-term performance. However, due to changes Apple made in Yosemite to increase the security of OS X, you can’t enable TRIM in Yosemite without compromising certain aspects of OS X security. For the details, see Trim Enabler and Yosemite by Cindori Software, creator of the Trim Enabler utility.

10-bit video displays: For many years, Photoshop users and other graphics professionals have wanted proper support for 10-bits-per-channel video displays on Macs. (This isn’t about the file format, but the data path to the video monitor.) While 10-bit-capable displays, graphics cards, cables, and software (such as Photoshop) have been ready for some time, Apple has not provided the necessary APIs to complete the chain. As far as I know, there is nothing in Yosemite or even the new Retina iMac to indicate that this has changed.

48 comments

  1. A minor note: while Gatekeeper was introduced in Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8.0, released in July 2012), it also is included in the last release of Lion (OS X 10.7.5, released in September 2012).

  2. Installed Yosemite Today and Adobe Illustrator CS5 Not Responding, Adobe Photoshop CS5 working fine. Will reinstall AI as first troubleshoot option.

  3. Would have been good if there was some mention before you upgrade that your Adobe software will no longer work if it is older than “x” with the new operating software.

  4. There is no mention of Premiere Pro CS6 here. Is it compatible with Yosemite? Can I install a fresh copy straight to Yosemite?

    1. Hi Chris, I haven’t seen anything specific about Premiere CS6 and haven’t run it myself under Yosemite. (I’m still running Premiere CC on a Mavericks Mac). It might be worth asking around on the Adobe Premiere Pro user forum at Adobe.com or the Adobe Premiere Pro forum at CreativeCow.net. It may be that no news is good news, if no one’s complaining about CS6 on Yosemite.

      But ultimately, if Premiere Pro is critical to what you do, it would be good to set up a Yosemite test volume either on a separate partition or separate drive, copy over a few typical projects, and see how well Premiere CS6 works with them under Yosemite.

      1. I’ve just updated and my CS6 illustror isnt working, i’ve downloaded the java, restarted a few times and still nothing. As usual with Apple updates, wish i hadn’t done it! Still trying to find a resolve

  5. Hi my friend. I have a premiere Adobe premiere CS5 in a Yosemite actualization and the message run legacy of java SE6. Do you know how to solve?
    tks

  6. I’ve had problems with photoshop crashing every time I try to customize a paper size via the print dialogue. On Yosemite, and have CS5 extended (v 12.1) and latest printer driver. SO annoying!! 😦

    1. I have the same issue on multiple computers. I work in a school and have a site license for Photoshop 5. We can no longer customize the paper size with out PS crashing.

    2. I was able to see this on my Mac. Choosing “Manage Custom Sizes” seems to crash Photoshop CS5 in Yosemite regardless of the selected printer, but the problem doesn’t happen to CS4, CS3, or CC.

      Someone else has reported this problem to the official Photoshop Feedback site where it is being discussed with an Adobe engineer. If you want to add to your comments to that topic, go here:
      http://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/cannot-choose-custom-paper-size-with-yosemite-10-10-and-ps-cs5

      I’m not sure how realistic it is to expect a Photoshop CS5 update for this problem. However, there is a workaround: Open another program in Yosemite, open any document and then open the Print dialog box, and set up your custom paper size there. You can then cancel out of the Print dialog box and quit that other program. Once the custom paper size is created, it should show up in all other programs when you go to print. You’ll be able to choose the custom paper size in Photoshop CS5 without crashing after it’s been created in a different program first.

  7. I’m running Photoshop CS3 on Yosemite and have a problem with “File info”. I can enter my notes, but cannot close the window. I can click on the photo window to “save” and close the photo window, but the info window remains open. I have to quit Photoshop to get rid of the window. When I reopen the photo file, the information that I entered into the “File info” window is available. Unfortunately, if I look at it, I have to quit Photoshop to close the window.

    1. Hi Jim, I tried File Info in my Photoshop CS3 on Yosemite and I was able to reproduce what you saw. I don’t know what the cause is, or how to fix it. What I do know is that Photoshop CS3 is old enough that Adobe is unlikely to release any Yosemite compatibility updates for it. A possible workaround might be to enter the info in Adobe Bridge instead; I haven’t tried that yet. Another thing to try is to update Flash because File Info may have been Flash-based in CS3. (All Flash-based components were recently removed from Photoshop and most were replaced with non-Flash code.)

  8. I have Photoshop CS2 and i no longer works after i DL Yosemite. Is there an update i can get so it can work, or do i just re-download the old OS?

    1. Hi Ben, as I wrote in the article above, Photoshop CS2 was coded for Macs running PowerPC processors and the last version of OS X to run PowerPC code was OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. No version of Photoshop CS2 runs on Intel processors. The Photoshop update coded for Intel CPUs was Photoshop CS3 (2007), which was a paid upgrade and is no longer available for sale new. To run Photoshop on OS X 10.10 Yosemite, your options are:
      A) Find a used copy of Photoshop CS3 or later.
      B) Buy a new download of Photoshop CS6 from Adobe.
      C) Subscribe to one of the Adobe Creative Cloud plans that includes Photoshop CC, including the Photography program ($9.99 a month on annual plan, includes Lightroom).
      D) Stay with Photoshop CS2, which requires rolling back your Mac to OS X 10.6 or earlier.

      D would be the least cost, C would run best on Yosemite and with the latest Photoshop features.

      1. Photoshop CS2 wasn’t designed for Intel Macs, but I have an original Intel Core Duo iMac from 2005 and PS CS2 works just fine on it.

      2. Anthony, which version of OS X is your iMac running? If it’s running OS X 10.6 or earlier, it contains the Rosetta translation layer that can run PowerPC apps, and that might be how Photoshop CS2 is able to run. That isn’t possible in OS X 10.7 or later.

  9. Hi, I just got a new computer with yosemite and I tried to open a premiere 5.5 document and I can’t get any of the media to load. It’s like it doesn’t recognize the format. Has anyone had premiere 5.5 work in yosemite? The browser doesn’t seem to work correctly. I’m trying to stay away from CC as long as I can. Thanks.

  10. Ever since I upgraded to Yosemite Adobe Bridge has been really slow and gets locked up. It also needs me to purge the cash 3 or 4 times daily. I have not increased the number of photos or my use, so this is pretty fishy, (and really annoying). I’m pretty close to taking Yosemite off of my machine and downgrading.

  11. Hi, I have noticed that when using Microsoft outlook on Yosemite and trying to open a file straight in to illustrator or photoshop wont work with the ‘open with link’. Is there any way of getting this to work? I used to use this all the time at work, but now I have to save the files before opening in the various programmes.

    1. I don’t use Outlook, but I assume Outlook should simply be using the same Open With code that is provided by OS X. One experiment to try is to go to the Finder, find an Illustrator or Photoshop file, and choose File > Open With. Are Illustrator or Photoshop in that menu?

      If they are in the Open With menu in the Finder, it may be a problem with Outlook; see if Outlook has preferences that control what applications appear in its own Open With menu.

      If they are not in the Open With menu in the Finder, that means the problem is not with Outlook, it is system wide. You might see if uninstalling and reinstalling Illustrator or Photoshop re-establishes the link to them in the Open With menu. I don’t know why they would have disappeared from the menu unless maybe you migrated to a Yosemite Mac from a non-Yosemite Mac with Migration Assistant and the link got lost during the migration; it’s just an idea.

      1. Hi,

        The illustrator and photoshop symbols are still there. These are the steps I normally take: click the ‘preview’ tab next to the email attachments > the preview of the file then opens, I then used to right click the ‘open with preview’ which then brings up the various programmes. The adobe programmes are all still there, however nothing happens when they are clicked….very frustrating.

  12. Since putting Yosemite on my computer, when I open up Illustrator I get this error message “error loading plug-ins” “photoshopimport.aip. I am using CS4. I also am not able to import tif files into Illustrator. Anyone have any ideas?

  13. Hello, firstly sorry for my little English,I hope I can tell…
    Af ew days ago I was upgrade my OS 10.10 to 10.10.2 Yosemite but Adobe Illustrator doesn’t work correctly…when I selecet “Place” command and select file from “Finder” Adobe Illustrator is freezing…any idea my friends?
    Thank you.

    1. This is a guess, but as noted in the article, there are some crashing bugs with the Open/Save dialog box in OS X 10.10 that may be triggered by using utilities that integrate with the Open/Save dialog box. If you use a utility that has Finder integration such as Dropbox or Default Folder, make sure it’s updated to the latest version.

      1. I don’t use the Default Folder. I was uptaded Dropbox but still same problem…Adobe Illustrator CS6 can’t open (import) file from Finder.
        I am using now Adobe Illustrator CC 2014 and it’s work perfectly with MacOS Yosemite 10.10.2
        This is not a solution but what else can I do?
        Thanks for your helps.

  14. After updating to Yosemite and installing Java 6, InDesign and Photoshop (CS6) open and work just fine, but Illustrator (CS6) won’t open at all and gives me the message “To open “Adobe Illustrator CS6″ you need to install the legacy Java SE 6 runtime.” I rebooted multiple times and finally tried installing Java 8. It still won’t open, even after several reboots. Anyone else having this problem?

    1. my prefer;
      upgrade Adobe Illustrator CS6 to Adobe Illustrator CC 2014…I find it as a solution.
      I have a problem with AI CS6 about file importing…

  15. I had just upgraded to a macbook with Yosemite and when I used a cracked version of CC from a friend if kept crashing so I ending up uninstalling it and using my CS3, it is still doing it. Crashing everyday. My friend who set up my mac has told me it won’t work even after downloading Java.

  16. Hi, I was able to install and launch CS4 Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, InDesign but Acrobat Pro 9 doesn’t launch. Anyone have a workaround for that?

    And thanks for the all the information here!

  17. If you have an older version of adobe creative suite i believe cs5 or older and you upgrade your operating system to yosemite (or even maverick) you will not be able to open any of the programs or files. The operating system is not compatible with the older version of the adobe product.

    1. Most of that is not true. For the programs the main cutoff is CS2 or earlier; they won’t run on an Intel Mac. But CS3 and later might work, as I have demonstrated in the blog post.

      The files are a separate issue from the programs. Regardless of whether or not the programs run on Yosemite, the files will probably open. For example, Photoshop CC and Illustrator CC should have no problem opening files from 15- or 20-year-old versions of Photoshop or Illustrator.

  18. I want to upgrade to Yosemite but need to know if the following will work:
    Adobe Acrobat XI Pro, Office 365 (Microsoft program) Quickbooks 2015? Any experience here?
    Thank you.

  19. Just trying to load CS4 onto 10.10.4. I get the message to insert disk 2 but it will not let me click the ok button so I cannot continue. Any ideas?

    1. I don’t know about that specific problem because I installed CS4 from disk image files, not from real discs. I did a quick Google search (adobe cs4 insert “disk 2” mac) and what I found suggested that a possible solution is to copy the disks onto your computer; although some of those discussions are about Windows it might be something to try. Here are a couple of links I found; although they do not talk specifically about Disk 2 they are in the ballpark and might give you some ideas:

      Error, “Please insert Adobe Creative Suite 4 Master Collection Disk 1” when installing Adobe Creative Suite 4 or Point Products (Mac OS X with File Vault enabled)

      Install Adobe Creative Suite 4 or point products from the desktop (Mac OS X)

      Good luck!

      1. Thanks. I have found a download off Adobe for the complete cs4 and as I have the necessary numbers it should work. Just waiting for the download to work on slow internet. 😦

  20. Thank you so much for the whitewindow plugin link. My wacom+yosemite+photoshop were not getting along and I was so upset until I found this!

  21. I have a problem with CS5 extended and 10.10. Overtime I use the eyedropper tool off a photoshop window it crashes. Seems when my files get larger it either slows considerably (using 14 gigs of ram) or it freezes up. Very disappointing. I’m now trying to uninstall and reinstall photoshop from scratch. I work mostly in PS so I don’t know about the other software issues. Anyone else have a similar prob?

  22. I have been using Photoshop Elements 10, purchased from the App Store, fine until upgrading to Yosemite.

    Now it says “Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 Editor.app” is damaged and can’t be opened. Delete “Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 Editor.app” and download it again from the App Store.

    I have deleted, it emptied trash and re-installed from the App Store.

    But the same message re-appears.

    Does anyone know how to fix this?

    1. Hi Chris, I don’t have an exact answer to this but I’m wondering if maybe something went wrong with other files that Elements maintains, like its files in
      [account name]/Library/Application Support/Adobe

      or
      [account name]/Library/Application Support/Preferences/com.Adobe.Elements

      If you find files there, try trashing them.

      I had a different Mac App Store application give me the same message last night so I trashed it and redownloaded, and that one worked fine afterwards, so I’m not sure why Elements isn’t working.

      I did see a thread on the Photoshop Elements user forum where people are having the same problem you are; you might want to follow or join that discussion:
      https://forums.adobe.com/thread/2004550

      That’s all I know since I don’t use Photoshop Elements myself, I use Photoshop CC.

      Good luck!

    2. Hi Chris, this is an update. If you purchased Photoshop Elements 10 from the Mac App Store, there is a chance it and other Mac App Store programs were affected by a failure of Apple to renew a security certificate, which deauthorized many apps. Explanation and fixes are here:
      http://osxdaily.com/2015/11/12/fix-app-is-damaged-cant-be-opened-error-messages-in-mac-os-x/

      I have a Mac App Store app I use that started saying it was “unregistered” at about the same time everybody started having problems with their Mac App Store apps. I ran the Terminal command in that post, and it fixed it.

      If something in that article fixes your problem, then what you ran into was a Mac App Store problem caused by Apple, not an Adobe Photoshop Elements problem.

  23. Just wanted to thank you for this post, it was very helpful. I just upgraded from Mac OS X Mountain Lion (10.7.5) to El Capitan (10.11.1) and my Dreamweaver CS4 has been working fine.

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