DNG Compatibility issues with Photoshop and Quick Fix

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This comprehensive article talks about all the possible ways to help any Windows or Mac user resolve the “cannot open DNG files in Photoshop” issue.

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DNG files are a type of RAW format developed by Adobe. The advantage of DNG files is that they are generic, which can be read by other software, unlike other RAW formats, and occupy less storage space.

However, your Adobe tools, such as Photoshop and Photoshop Elements, cannot directly open these RAW files, such as DNG. They need to be processed before using Photoshop.

Processing is done through a plugin called Camera Raw. It is a powerful tool that processes the RAW file using camera info and meta-data. This image can then be used with Photoshop to suit your needs.

Note that Camera RAW (ACR) plugin is automatically installed when you install Photoshop. So, the RAW images should open by default. If, for some reason, you have trouble opening the file or see issues like Photoshop CC won't open DNG or other Raw files, or you encounter error messages such as: 

  • Cannot open DNG files in Photoshop.
  • Could not complete your request because it is not the right kind of document.
  • Cannot complete your request because Photoshop does not recognize this type of file.

It is probably because the plugin is not installed or it is not up to date. First, check the status of your plugins and fix them accordingly. It is a good idea to check the version of the plugin installed.

Note: If you have ever lost or deleted some of your Photoshop files, follow this article to discover all possible ways to recover Photoshop files on Windows and Mac. 

How to Resolve DNG compatibility issues with Photoshop?

The following workarounds will help you troubleshoot the DNG compatibility issues with Photoshop. 

Solution 1: Open DNG Files Using Other Image Editing Software

If the Photoshop application is unable to support and open the dng files. One of the easiest solutions is to open DNG files in other software, such as Adobe Lightroom or Capture One, and see if these tools can open the DNG images.

If other image editing tools cannot open and view the DNG files, you can try converting the unsupported DNG files to any other compatible file format or file type.

Solution 2: Convert DNG Files Using Adobe DNG Converter To Fix The Problem of Incompatible Photoshop Issue

If you might be using an older version of Photoshop application, the chances you might not be able to open and view DNG and other RAW file formats that were captured on newer cameras. Adobe releases newer updates Camera RAW plugin to be compatible with newer versions of DNG files. 

You can resolve this issue by either updating the version of the Photoshop application or you can use an Adobe DNG File Converter to convert your DNG files to an older version of the file that is compatible with the version of Photoshop you are using.   

Steps To Convert DNG Files To Older Version Using Adobe DNG Converter

  1. Download and install the Adobe DNG Converter.
  2. Open the Adobe DNG Converter.
  3. Click on the Add Files button and choose the DNG file(s) that you want to convert.
  4. In the Compatibility section, select the version of Camera Raw that you want to convert to the DNG file.
  5. Click on the Convert button and select a location to save the converted DNG file, and click on the Save button.

Solution 3: Install the latest plug-in compatible with your Photoshop

To fix the compatibility issues with Photoshop, you can try the following solutions, such as checking the plugins installed on your Photoshop. There are two different ways to resolve them. Based on the plugin status, you can choose one.

  • In Windows, go to Help > About Plug-in
  • In Mac, go to Photoshop > About Plug-in

Note: You must install the latest Adobe Plug-in if the plugin is not listed. 

If it does not match, determine whether your Photoshop is compatible with the Camera Raw plug. If it is compatible, then upgrade to the latest version of Photoshop. 

Install the latest version of the ACR plugin that is compatible with your version of Photoshop. (It’s the same as above). The latest versions support many cameras and formats and are more beneficial.

If the plugin is listed and you know the version number of the installed plugin, verify if it’s the right version needed for your camera using Adobe help. If it matches, then try reinstalling the Photoshop application.  

Solution 4: Reinstall Photoshop

Note: Before you reinstall Photoshop, make sure you have an installation CD to reinstall the application later.

In Windows,

  • Back up any personal files in Photoshop and close the application.
  • Go to Start > Control Panel.
  • Select Uninstall a program.
  • Select Photoshop from the list of programs and then click Uninstall.
  • Then go to Program Files\Common Files\Adobe.
  • Here, delete the Plugins folder within Adobe.

In Mac,

  • First, back up any personal files you have in Photoshop and close the application.
  • Double-click on the uninstaller for Photoshop and follow the on-screen instructions to remove Photoshop.
  • In the Finder, go to /Library/Application Support/Adobe.
  • Remove plugins from the Adobe folder.
  • Restart your computer.

Now, reinstall Photoshop and try to open the RAW files. With this, you should be able to open them. Even though there are quite a few issues with DNG files, these are widely used due to their compression and compatibility with most Camera models. Lightroom uses a compression technology called lossy DNG compression that will save you 67% of disk space. With just a few steps and a few added plugins on Photoshop, you can create photos of DSLR quality using these DNG files.

If you were unable to open and view the DNG files even after trying the above-mentioned above. The last option you can try is to repair the damaged DNG files using a specialized tool.

Solution 5: Repair DNG Files Using A Professional DNG Repair Tool

Repairing the damaged DNG files by utilizing any reliable DNG repair tool is one of the best solutions to resolve the DNG compatibility issues with Photoshop.

At times, your DNG photos can get damaged due to any of the following reasons such as incomplete or improper file download or file transfer, failure of the storage device, Photoshop software getting corrupt, virus or malware attack, or physically damaged storage device.

If you think any of the above-mentioned causes might be the reason why your DNG files were unopenable. Then, you can try repairing the damaged DNG files using any free or paid DNG repair tools.

Note: If you are still using an older version of Windows or Mac OS, then follow this article to learn how to upgrade to Windows 11 and how to upgrade to Mac Ventura for free

Note: Refer to this guide to find out how to open RAW files on Windows, Mac, and Android.


Here we end our discussion on how to resolve DNG compatibility issues with the Photoshop application. Many Adobe users complained that they were unable to open and view their DNG photos on Photoshop. The reasons behind the incompatibility issue can be anything such as damaged DNG files, incompatible application plug-ins, using older versions of Adobe Photoshop, or using newer file formats on older versions of the application.

You can try solutions like opening the DNG files using other image editing software, converting the DNG files to other older Adobe-supported DNG file format versions, installing the latest Adobe Camera RAW plug-in, reinstalling the Photoshop software, and repairing the damaged DNG files using any reliable tools.

I am sure you were able to open and view the DNG files after trying the solutions mentioned in this article.  

About the Author: John Harris

With a decade of experience in data recovery, John Harris, Senior Editor at Remo Software, is your go-to specialist. His focus includes partition management, Windows solutions, and data troubleshooting, delivering insightful content that serves both users and search engines. John's expertise shines through in illuminating blog posts, untangling data loss intricacies across diverse storage platforms.…