FIX: Kernel security check failure in Photoshop

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Windows & Software Expert
Milan has been enthusiastic about PCs ever since his childhood days, and this led him to take interest in all PC-related technologies. Before joining WindowsReport, he worked as a front-end web developer. Read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Adobe Photoshop is one of the world's most well-known raster-based image editors.
  • To fix the Kernel security check failure in Adobe Photoshop, you should get the latest version of the program.
  • You can start Photoshop in Safe mode and find out more details about this amazing product in the following article.
  • Also, you should try to disable your graphic card and update the driver, among other solutions, so keep reading!
How to fix the Kernel security check failure in Photoshop
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Photoshop is without a doubt one of the best photo editing software, but it seems that Windows 10 users are having problems with Photoshop.

According to users, they are getting Kernel security check failure error screen in Photoshop, so let’s see how to fix this problem.

Kernel security check failure error can prevent you from running Photoshop, and speaking of this error, here are some similar issues that users reported.

  • Photoshop CC Kernel security check failure
    • According to users, this problem can affect Photoshop CC, but you might be able to fix it by finding and moving sniffer.exe file.
  • Kernel security check failure when opening Photoshop
    • Several users reported that they are unable to open Photoshop due to this error.
    • However, rolling back your drivers might fix the problem.
  • Kernel security check failure Photoshop Windows 10, BSOD
    • This error is usually followed by a blue screen, and if you encounter it, be sure to uninstall your graphic card driver and check if that helps.
  • Kernel security check failure Windows 8.1 Photoshop
    • This issue can appear on any version of Windows, but if you encounter this error on Windows 8.1, you should be able to fix it with some of our solutions.
  • Kernel security check failure Photoshop AMD driver, Nvidia
    • Sometimes your graphics card drivers can be the problem, and to fix the issue, simply update them and check if that solves the problem.

How do I fix the Kernel security check failure in Photoshop?

1. Get the latest version of Adobe Photoshop

Before going ahead with any troubleshooting steps, make sure that the problem isn’t just the fact that your current Photoshop installation is old.

Thus, before proceeding with the steps below, simply get the latest version of Adobe Photoshop and see if that doesn’t solve your problem all by itself.

You should be aware that if you wish to benefit from the latest security patches, bug-fixes, and the latest features, you have to update Photoshop regularly.

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop

If you use the latest version of Photoshop, you will definitely get rid of the Kernel security errors, so try it out now!

Free trialVisit website

2. Start Photoshop in Safe Mode

  1. Press the Windows Key + I to open the Settings app.
  2. When Settings app opens, navigate to the Update & Security section.
  3. Go to the Recovery tab, and click the Restart now button.
  4. Choose Troubleshoot, go to Advanced options, select Startup Settings, and click the Restart button.
  5. After your computer restarts, you’ll see a list of options.
    • Press the appropriate key to choose Safe Mode.
    • You can use any version of Safe Mode for this process.
  6. After you enter Safe Mode, try running Photoshop.

Safe Mode is designed to run with only default services and drivers enabled, so you might to try starting Photoshop in Safe Mode.

If the error doesn’t appear in Safe Mode, it means that is caused by your drivers or some other third-party software.

3. Rollback your Nvidia drivers

  1. Press the Windows Key + X to open Power User Menu.
  2. Select Device Manager.
    Photoshop CC Kernel security check failure
  3. When Device Manager opens locate your display adapter and double click it to see its properties.
  4. Go to the Driver tab and click the Roll Back Driver button.
    Kernel security check failure Photoshop Windows 10
  5. After the rollback procedure is completed, restart your PC and check if the problem is resolved.

Photoshop utilizes your graphic card for processing, and it seems that there’s an issue with the latest Nvidia drivers and Photoshop.

According to users, you can fix this problem by rolling back to the previous version of Nvidia drivers. So far, only Nvidia users reported this issue, and AMD users shouldn’t be affected by this problem.

If you have AMD graphic card, and you’re having this problem, you might want to try this solution. You can also try to uninstall your Nvidia drivers completely and install the older version of the drivers.

After removing the driver, simply download the older version and install it, and Photoshop should start working without any problems.

4. Update your graphic card driver

Kernel security check failure Photoshop AMD driver

Although many users reported that installing the older version of Nvidia drivers fixed the problem for them, few are claiming that installing the latest drivers fixes the problem on their PC.

To update your drivers simply visit Nvidia’s website and download the latest drivers for your graphic card. After installing the latest drivers, check if the problem was resolved.

Updating drivers manually is very annoying, so we recommend you to use a third-party tool (100% safe and tested by us) to do it automatically.

To make sure that everything goes smoothly and avoid any kind of GPU driver errors, be sure to use a complete driver update assistant that will solve your problems with just a couple of clicks, and we strongly recommend DriverFix. Follow these easy steps to safely update your drivers:

  1. Download and install DriverFix.
  2. Launch the software.
  3. Wait for DriverFix to detect all your faulty drivers.
  4. The application will now show you all the drivers that have issues, and you just need to select the ones you’d liked fixed.
  5. Wait for the app to download and install the newest drivers.
  6. Restart your PC for the changes to take effect.


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Disclaimer: this program needs to be upgraded from the free version in order to perform some specific actions.

5. Move or delete sniffer.exe

  1. Go to Photoshop installation directory.
    1. This directory is usually C:Program > Files> Adobe> Adobe Photoshop CC
    2. It can be different depending on the version of Photoshop that you’re using.
  2. In the Photoshop directory locate sniffer.exe or sniffer_gpu.exe and move it to your Desktop or any other folder.
    • You can also delete this application, but we suggest that you keep it in case you need it.

Sniffer.exe is a small application in Photoshop folder that is designed to use your graphic card.

Apparently, there’s a problem with this application that is causing Kernel security check failure error to appear, and the only solution is to move or delete this application.

After moving the sniffer.exe file, Photoshop should start working without any problems.

Keep in mind that moving this file will disable GPU processing in Photoshop, so if you use this feature heavily you might want to try something else.

6. Use your dedicated Nvidia card with Photoshop

  1. Start Nvidia Control Panel and go to Manage 3D settings.
  2. Select the Program Settings tab and choose Photoshop from the list of applications.
  3. Set High-performance Nvidia processor as the preferred graphics processor for this program.
  4. Click Apply to save changes, and check if the issue is resolved.

If you have both integrated and dedicated graphics card, you need to use your dedicated Nvidia card with Photoshop in order to avoid this error.

Some users are also recommending enabling Triple Buffering feature for Photoshop in Nvidia Control Panel, so be sure to try that as well. After doing that, try to start Photoshop again.

7. Disable your graphic card

  1. Open the Device Manager.
  2. When Device Manager opens, locate your dedicated graphics card, right-click it and choose Disable from the menu.
    Kernel security check failure Windows 8.1 Photoshop

This solution applies if you have both a dedicated and integrated graphic card. According to users, after disabling the dedicated graphic card the issue with Photoshop was fixed.

After disabling the dedicated graphic card there shouldn’t be any more issues with Photoshop. Keep in mind that you’ll have to repeat these steps every time you want to start Photoshop.

Another way to disable your graphics card is to use the graphics card driver software. Sometimes these applications allow you to pick which graphics card you want to use as your graphics processor.

Alternatively, you can enter BIOS and disable your dedicated graphics from there.

8. Upgrade your graphics card

If Kernel security check failure error keeps appearing whenever you try to run Photoshop, the issue might be your graphics card. Several users claim that their graphics card wasn’t detected by Photoshop at all.

If you still have this problem, even after trying all of our solutions, it’s possible that your graphics card just isn’t compatible with Photoshop, so you might have to replace it.

This usually happens with older or low-end graphics cards, but if you’re using mid-range or high-end graphics, the issue is probably something else.

9. Switch to 32-bit version

According to users, Kernel security check failure error affects only 64-bit versions of Photoshop, while 32-bit versions remain unaffected.

If you’re having this problem, perhaps you should temporarily switch to 32-bit version until the issue is resolved.

Bear in mind that you might experience reduced performance with the 32-bit version, but if you can deal with slightly reduced performance, be sure to try this workaround.

Before you install the 32-bit version, perhaps it would be best to remove the 64-bit version from your PC. There are several ways to do that, but the best is to use uninstaller software such as IOBit Uninstaller.

By using an uninstaller software, you’ll completely remove the desired application, including its files and registry entries. After the 64-bit version is removed, install the 32-bit version and use it instead.

Get IOBit Uninstaller

Kernel security check failure error screen can be a big problem, but you can fix this problem in Photoshop by downgrading your drivers or by moving the sniffer.exe file to a different location.

We hope these solutions were helpful for you to fix this issue. For more suggestions, please access the comments section below.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Yes, you can opt to try Adobe Photoshop for free for a 7-day period. You can also get the vector-based equivalent, Adobe Illustrator, under the same conditions.

  • Unfortunately, no. The latest versions of Photoshop are subscription-based only, but you can take advantage of the 7 days of free trial to enjoy the amazing features that the Adobe Suite can offer you.

  • Because of the subscription, Adobe Photoshop is only worth buying if you use it constantly, and in a way that generates revenue for you.

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