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

Posted on August 25, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 22 Comments

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.

“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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Comments (22)

22 responses to “Adobe Issues a Workaround for Photoshop Elements 15 on Windows 10 S”

  1. dougkinzinger

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

    • jimchamplin

      In reply to dougkinzinger:

      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.

      The hope is that eventually S will cut a lot of the legacy baggage and be much, much leaner.

  2. SvenJ

    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.

    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.'

    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.

  3. John Scott

    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.

  4. leonzandman

    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...

  5. Win74ever

    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.

  6. rtdelan

    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.

    • S100

      In reply to rtdelan:

      What are the key differences between the desktop version of Photoshop Elements and the Windows Store App in terms of features and performance?

      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.

      I use Windows 10 Pro.

      • skane2600

        In reply to S100:

        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.

  7. skane2600

    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.

  8. Darmok N Jalad

    So after you do that and run the, 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.

    • SvenJ

      In reply to Darmok N Jalad: 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.

  9. bbold

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

  10. Waethorn

    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 & Pro are less secure than 10 S?

  11. MattHewitt

    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.

  12. annashetty

    If u need a free photoshop alternative that give you a productive solution, photoshop online will be a great option