Adobe Issues a Workaround for Photoshop Elements 15 on Windows 10 S

Adobe Issues a Workaround for Photoshop Elements 15 on Windows 10 S

Last month, I noted that the Windows Store version of Adobe Photoshop Elements 15 would not run on Windows 10 S. This problem still isn’t fixed, but Adobe has issued a workaround.

I first wrote about this issue in Living with Windows 10 S: The Basics, one of the early articles in my Living with Windows 10 S series, in which I tried to use this incomplete OS every day for over two weeks.

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“Adobe Photoshop Elements 15—the one Store app I give a damn about–will not run; it simply crashes on the first-run experience,” I wrote. “I tweeted about this on Friday, tried every app and Windows troubleshooting technique you can imagine, including completely reinstalling Windows 10 S, and it just would not work. And then Adobe reached out to me and told me they were aware of this issue and were working to fix it. Something specific to Windows 10 S, apparently. (Oddly, I installed and used this back in June, so it must be tied to a more recent update on either end.)”

Since then, I’ve checked back from time to time to see if the issue was resolved, but I always had the same problem: The app crashes on first run. I did note, however, that Microsoft at some point changed the Store description of the app to note it had issues.

“IMPORTANT: This app works with Windows 10 Pro and Home, but DOES NOT WORK WITH WINDOWS 10S,” the Windows Store description notes. “Microsoft and Adobe are working to fix this issue.”

Well, it’s still not fixed. But you can still make it work by using a workaround that Adobe has posted to its support website.

Here’s what you do:

  • Open C:\ProgramData in File Explorer; it’s a hidden folder, so just paste that path into the address bar.
  • Create a new folder and name it Adobe.
  • Create a new folder inside Adobe and name it Elements Organizer.
  • Create a new folder inside Elements Organizer and name it 15.0

When you’re done, the folder path will be C:\ProgramData\Adobe\Elements Organizer\15.0. Now, just run Adobe Photoshop Elements 15. It will launch normally and will work.



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Conversation 22 comments

  • dougkinzinger

    25 August, 2017 - 1:02 pm

    <p>Just seems right along with what you've been saying, Paul, that Windows 10 S' store-only apps design is an artificial limitation.</p>

    • jimchamplin

      Premium Member
      25 August, 2017 - 2:51 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#168641"><em>In reply to dougkinzinger:</em></a></blockquote><p>Artificial as in, it's applied by system policy? Yes. There's nothing in Windows 10 S that makes it inherently more modern than regular Windows 10, aside from the fact that it blocks arbitrary Win32 binaries from being loaded.</p><p><br></p><p>The hope is that eventually S will cut a lot of the legacy baggage and be much, much leaner.</p>

  • MattHewitt

    Premium Member
    25 August, 2017 - 1:13 pm

    <p>Man it seems if that is all it takes to fix the issue that would be pretty easy to patch and release a new version of the app in the store.</p>

    • Waethorn

      25 August, 2017 - 1:20 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#168642"><em>In reply to MattHewitt:</em></a></blockquote><p>I suspect that the Centennial sandbox has a security hole.</p>

  • Waethorn

    25 August, 2017 - 1:19 pm

    <p>So, if there's a failure with the sandboxing not supporting the full Win32 API's on Windows 10 S, isn't there a good possibility that this is also a security issue – at least on Windows 10 Home/Pro? I mean, if a Centennial app can do what it wants on Home or Pro, but not S, doesn't that mean that there is something broken with the app sequencer that allows them access to file handling that they shouldn't have access to within the Centennial sandbox? Doesn't this just prove that Home &amp; Pro are less secure than 10 S?</p>

    • timothyhuber

      25 August, 2017 - 2:02 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#168649"><em>In reply to Waethorn:</em></a></blockquote><p>Or that Photoshop Elements attempts to create the folder directly and not thru an API, so 10S' sandboxing is working….&nbsp; As much as I like Adobe products I have regularly had challenges with the somewhat bizarre way they seem to install and update (mostly related to Creative Cloud installations.)</p>

      • skane2600

        26 August, 2017 - 5:22 pm

        <blockquote><a href="#168667"><em>In reply to timothyhuber:</em></a></blockquote><p>Perhaps you are thinking of a particular API not being used. I doubt there's a way to create a folder without using some API. </p>

    • skane2600

      25 August, 2017 - 6:36 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#168649"><em>In reply to Waethorn:</em></a></blockquote><p>The absence of a Windows 10S limitation doesn't necessarily imply a security vulnerability. </p>

  • bbold

    25 August, 2017 - 1:37 pm

    <p>Yay! I always enjoy a good workaround, especially since now this means I can use Elements 15 on my Surface Laptop running 10 S.</p>

  • Darmok N Jalad

    25 August, 2017 - 1:49 pm

    <p>So after you do that and run the progra…er, app, does it use that folder in any way? Does it ask for your password to create a folder in Program Files? Seems like that space should be off limits on 10S, but it sounds like Centennial bridge was still letting apps have that access. </p>

    • SvenJ

      Premium Member
      25 August, 2017 - 6:19 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#168665"><em>In reply to Darmok N Jalad:</em></a> Not Program Files, Program Data. Other Store apps use that space to store app related settings and stuff, including MS. It does use that folder on a Pro/Home machine. It looks like it is just storing animated feature presentations though. Things that are shown from within the app to show what it can do. </blockquote><p><br></p>

      • Darmok N Jalad

        25 August, 2017 - 6:33 pm

        <blockquote><a href="#168876"><em>In reply to SvenJ:</em></a></blockquote><p>Ah yes, sorry, Program Data. How old habits die hard!</p>

  • SvenJ

    Premium Member
    25 August, 2017 - 1:52 pm

    <p>Hmm, seems something in the Adobe code needs that folder to exist, to store stuff as it builds a catalog. That isn't the only folder in the Adobe Elements Program Data folder, when it is installed on Home or Pro. Odd that the other folders aren't 'required'. I haven't installed elements on my one S device to see what is created, if anything. </p><p>Seems like maybe the 'lets just package a Win32 app with Centennial and call it good' option, might not be the best way to support Win 10.' </p><p>EDIT: Thought I'd load it up to see if any of the directories were created. No go. My S device is a little Dell Venue 8, 32bit OS and 2G RAM, like many 8" tablets. Elements requires 64bit and 4G. Oh well.</p>

    • matsan

      Premium Member
      25 August, 2017 - 3:46 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#168666"><em>In reply to SvenJ:</em></a></blockquote><p>…especially since you need full win32 support…</p>

  • skane2600

    25 August, 2017 - 6:41 pm

    <p>Imagine the problems Adobe would have converting full Photoshop as apposed to a "watered-down" version. Of course, the workaround for Elements violates the whole "simplicity" idea of 10S, since it requires a more complicated setup process than on standard Windows.</p>

  • rtdelan

    26 August, 2017 - 6:47 am

    <p>Although I use an older version of Photoshop, I find that Photoshop Elements 15 from the Windows Store works for everything that I need to do with my photos. I use it on a Surface Pro 4 with Windows Pro and on an HP Desktop with Windows Home and it works fine. Glad to hear those running under Windows 10 S have received some relief.</p>

    • S100

      Premium Member
      26 August, 2017 - 11:12 am

      <blockquote><a href="#168899"><em>In reply to rtdelan:</em></a></blockquote><p>What are the key differences between the desktop version of Photoshop Elements and the Windows Store App in terms of features and performance?</p><p>I ask because the feedback in the Windows Store about Photoshop Elements 15 is very negative, which is putting me off buying the Windows Store version.</p><p>I use Windows 10 Pro.</p>

      • skane2600

        26 August, 2017 - 5:18 pm

        <blockquote><a href="#168919"><em>In reply to S100:</em></a></blockquote><p>Wouldn't it be safer to just get the desktop version? I think it's a given that the Store version will at best equal the desktop version and won't be superior in any way.</p>

  • Win74ever

    26 August, 2017 - 2:28 pm

    <p>But I'm told Windows 10 S is an easy OS for the non tech savvy. They won't be able to fix this. Windows 10 S proving to be a joke once again.</p>

  • leonzandman

    27 August, 2017 - 4:01 pm

    <p>If only you could run SysInternals Process Monitor on Windows 10 S. That would enable some better tracking of what Adobe (or the Centennial Bridge) is trying to do…</p>

  • John Scott

    29 August, 2017 - 9:27 am

    <p>Nice their is a workaround. But here we are talking about such a workaround for a public release Windows 10S which has problems with a Microsoft app store application? Should anyone have to deal with such things on a official release? I cannot imagine many who buy a Surface with 10S would spend a lot of time fixing 10S and would probably just move directly to 10Pro ASAP. </p>

  • annashetty

    29 November, 2017 - 11:37 pm

    <p>If u need a free photoshop alternative that give you a productive solution, <a href="; target="_blank" style="background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">photoshop online</a> will be a great option</p>

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