Photoshop error Not a PNG file [TECHNICIAN FIX]

Tashreef Shareef
by Tashreef Shareef
Windows & Software Expert
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  • Adobe Photoshop is an industry-leading image editing and manipulation software used by all professionals.
  • If you are having trouble opening a specific image, try to re-save it as a PNG and make sure Photoshop is updated to the latest version.
  • To bring your image editing skills to the next level, check out our comprehensive Adobe Photoshop Page.
  • Other apps causing problems? Don't worry because our Troubleshooting Hub is here to help.
Fix - Photoshop error not a png file
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Adobe Photoshop is an industry standard when it comes with image editing and manipulation software for the Windows platform. Photoshop supports all the image formats from jpg to png.

However, some users have reported that they are not unable to work with any images due to a Not a PNG file error. If the user clicks on OK, the image doesn’t load into the Work area.

This is a common error and we have compiled a list of possible fixes to resolve it on a Windows computer.

Why Photoshop won’t open PNG files?

1. Update Photoshop

adobe photoshop

Photoshop constantly gets updated with new features and better compatibility, so you will need to update it to the latest version in order to take advantage of these new features.

Adobe Photoshop is the most recognised image editor in the world, and to maintain its spot at the top, Adobe is constantly adding new features to it. Here are some examples of the latest features to look forward to if you update Adobe Photoshop to the latest version:

  • Support for mobile devices
  • Enhanced Content-Aware Fill
  • Improved Lens blur with the new GPU-based algorithm
  • Faster image processing

=> Get the latest version of Adobe Photoshop

2. Check and Change the File Extension

  1. Navigate to the folder where the problematic image is saved.
  2. Right-click on the image and select open with Notepad.
    Notepad Jpg PNG
  3. Check what the first character says. If it says ÿØÿá it means it is a jpg image. If it says ‰PNG it means it is a PNG image.
  4. Now if it says ÿØÿá it means you need to change the image extension to jpg.
  5. Open, File Explorer. Make sure the File Name Extensions box is checked.
  6. Right-click on the image and select Rename. Now change the file extension from png to jpg.
  7. Now try to open the file in the Photoshop to see if the error is resolved.

We’ve written extensively on Photoshop issues on Windows 10. Check out these guides for more information.

3. Resave the image as PNG

  1. Navigate to the folder where the PNG image is saved.
  2. Right-click on the image and open with Paint.
  3. In the Paint app, click on File > Save As.
    Save Paint Png file
  4. Save the image as a png file.
  5. Now try to open the image in Photoshop and check for any improvements.

4. Disable Use of Graphic Processor

adobe photoshop disable graphics processor

  1. Launch Photoshop.
  2. Go to Edit >Preferences >Performance
  3. In the  Performance tab, uncheck Use Graphics Processor
  4. Quit and relaunch Photoshop
  5. Drag and drop the problematic image onto the Workarea and check if the PNG file error is resolved

You may need to use Graphic Processor for other 3D related tasks. So, make sure you enable the option after editing the image.

5.  Reset Photoshop Preferences

adobe photoshop reset preferences

  1. Launch Photoshop
  2. Click on Edit > Preferences
  3. In the General tab, click on Reset Preferences on Quit
  4. Quit Photoshop and reboot the computer.
  5. Launch Photoshop and try to access the image that was giving the error to see if resetting the preferences resolve the error.

FAQ: PNG files in Photoshop

  • How do I fix a non PNG file?

To easily fix this issue, convert the image to a PNG as shown in this guide. Now you should be able to import the PNG file to Photoshop. If this fails, check the other fixes featured on our list.

  • Can Photoshop open PNG files?

Yes. Adobe Photoshop can open most image files with no problem. Additionally, you can open vector files and convert them to PNG using Adobe Photoshop.

  • Why can’t I save as PNG in Photoshop?

Depending on the image you have, it might not be compatible with the PNG format. Check if your document is an 8-bit RGB and go to File > Export > Quick Export or Export As. Here you can select PNG and your settings and the image will be converted to the format desired.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in June 2019 and has been since revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in June 2019 and was revamped and updated in August 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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