Photoshop & Mini Bridge empty panel bug

Fix for empty Mini Bridge

Does your Photoshop display empty Mini Bridge panel? Here’s a simple solution to fix the bug. Below the instructions, you may find my comment on this issue.

Here’s the solution applicable to problems with MiniBridge, Kuler, GuideGuide and many other plugins for Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and others.


(click here for the MacOS solution)
— open registry editor (press Win+R, type in regedit and press OK)
— navigate in the tree structure, to entry depending on your CS version (see screenshot for CS6)

VersionRegistry path
CS6HKEY_CURRENT_USER / Software / Adobe / CSXS.3
CS5.5HKEY_CURRENT_USER / Software / Adobe / CSXS2.5Preferences*
CS5HKEY_CURRENT_USER / Software / Adobe / CSXS2Preferences
CS4HKEY_CURRENT_USER / Software / Adobe / CSXS1Preferences*

— right-click on the right pane and insert a String value
— name it PlayerDebugMode and set its value to 1
— restart Photoshop/any application with Mini Bridge

* if you are using a version other than CS6 or CS5 and you cannot find proper registry entries, please comment, we will figure it out


— run terminal (press Command+Space, type terminal, press enter)
— copy the line below changing the # according to your CS version
(use 3 for CS6, 2.5 for CS5.5 or 2 for CS5)
defaults write com.adobe.CSXS.# PlayerDebugMode 1
— press Return on your keyboard

For example, if you are using CS6, it should look like this:
defaults write com.adobe.CSXS.3 PlayerDebugMode 1

Since 31.10 all the Photoshop CS6 instances I have been working with – at my home and at my workplace – have sadly stopped properly opening the content panel for Mini Bridge. I have tried most of the suggestions posted over the internet but none seemed to work. But finally, a good fellow, Ten A, posted the solution (link) on the Adobe forums. Also, as Joschi has observed, this fix works for other plug-ins or addons for Adobe applications. Thanks to Mark H., the post has been updated with proper registry paths for CS5 version, my regards!

It is only temporary as it enables debugging option for extensions – which is not recommended for a regular user, but let us hope that Adobe will patch the issue.


314 thoughts on “Photoshop & Mini Bridge empty panel bug”

  1. Wish you all could see the smile on my face right now. IT WORKING. thanks all I have to do this time was to not copy and past the words PlayerDebugMode but to type it and it went well

    1. Hi. Does your Mini Bridge still not display anything, i.e. it is an empty panel, not even “Waiting for bridge” popup? What OS, Photoshop and Windows do you use?

  2. Thank you so much, this worked and even I understood how to do. I had searched for hours to figure out why this happened and how to get it back. I just wish I could browse thumbnails in file explorer as it would be so much easier sometimes.

    1. Hello there, glad it has helped you. Do you mean you would like to see PSD/AI etc. files’ thumbnails in regular Windows Explorer? There are several ways to do it and I could write a simple tutorial on how to achieve it, if you wish.

  3. I am running iMac OS Sierra, and have used CS6 with Bridge and Mini Bridge for 4 years. Something happened recently that caused Mini Bridge not to work. I’m thinking it could be the Adobe Creative Cloud free account with sync? It frightens me to run this solution link on my iMac. It did not work on my MacBook Pro, now it says “waiting for Bridge cs6. I also deleted the Switchboard Folder and it has not created new files yet. Very frustrated, hoping to contact Adobe, any suggestions? I am hobbyist, not comfortable with messing with the Terminal.

    1. Summing up, you have two workstations with CS6 of both Bridge and Photoshop? In one of them, your MiniBridge does not show anything and in the other one there’s Waiting for Bridge… notification after using the terminal command? Have you tried fixes from this page? If you have and you simply wish to revert the changes done by the terminal command, I guess it’s enough to use
      defaults write com.adobe.CSXS.(your#) PlayerDebugMode 0
      to reset the parameter to normal.
      Could you go to this directory
      And check if you have any plist file named com.adobe.CSXS.3.plist or with some other number instead of 3?

  4. Thank you for your speedy reply. Yes, on iMac, the directory shows plist file named com.adobe.CSXS.7.plist and plist file com.adobe.CSXS.3.plist. On MacBook, the directory shows only com.adobe.CSXS.3.plist. Yes I have deleted the SwitchBoard on both Mac’s.

    1. So let’s first try fixing MacBook. Before running the command, your MiniBridge showed nothing, right? Or has it already shown Waiting for Bridge…?

  5. Could it have anything to do with installing Adobe Photoshop CC 2017. I installed it and then uninstalled it, still prefer the stand alone programs. I use Photoshop CS6, Bridge, Lightroom 5 and Elements 14. Should I delete all files and folders that show Adobe Photoshop CC 2017?

    1. I have contacted you via email, we will try to solve it outta there. Latter, I will update the article on what we have found out to be the culprit.

  6. Terrific, I ran the Terminal again on the iMac and this time hit RETURN key, it worked like a charm!! I know this is crazy, but I did not hit the Return key on the first try.
    The MacBook shows Waiting for Bridge. I deleted the SwitchBoard folder, and then ran the Terminal same as on the iMac, but it still shows Waiting for Bridge.

  7. Giant thanks and appreciation to you for posting this fix! I am enjoying having the Mini Bridge back and running in Photoshop on my iMac. I had to get tech support for the error of “waiting on Bridge” on the MacBook Pro. They had to reinstall the CS6 program, and now it also has Mini Bridge back in the panel. It’s crazy what happened to Bridge in both of my programs two weeks ago!

  8. I just noticed that a lot of some free other PS6 panels doesn’t work too! With this fix all the other extension like GuideGuide, ScriptBay, LayersGuide and other stuff with empty panels will work again. Hooooray! 🙂

    1. Good to hear it helped. Also, thanks for the heads up, I (and most probably many more!) appreciate that. I will do a small update to the post right away.

  9. I have CS5, but I do not see the folder csx5. The closest I see is CSXS2Preferences, CSXSPreferences, or Bridge CS5. Is there someplace else I am suppose to create this file?

    1. Currently, I’m trying to solve it 🙂 I’ll let you know via here and/or email address when I do it and later will update the article.

    2. Hi there again. You may apply the fix according to the post with the only difference that you need to use the CSXS2Preferences entry. I have updated the manual, in case you wanted to do it all again.

  10. This is not working for me sadly. I have Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended. What value should I use? I tried 2 and it did not work 🙁 Thank you

  11. I switched the value from 2 to 1 and it worked!! For anyone using Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended, set the value to 1 (not 2). I added the registry to the 3 folders: CSXSPreferences, CSXS2Preferences and Bridge CS5. Thanks a lot!

  12. Hello, thanks for the info. I have tried all of these and still not working. Any help is greatly appreciated. Not a huge Mac user, hubby has the Mac. Ps 5 extended, Mac osx. No error trying to open mini bridge, just doesn’t even seem to look for it. Cannot find any folders for mini bridge either. It’s there in the panel on Photoshop, but no thumbnails, and File , browse in mini bridge does nothing. Happy New Year. Will check for info in the new year.

    1. Sounds like my situation with PS 6 Extended, Mac OSX. I finally contacted Adobe tech support, they backed up Settings (named to OLD, Plug-ins, and Presets to desktop. Then uninstalled the program and reinstalled it. Adobe keeps your registered products and serial numbers, if you can’t find your program download. Their tech help was wonderful.

      1. I should have stated I have done 2 complete, full uninstalls, and reinstalls. Updated Raw plugins as well as those files stopped being recognized. I have done almost every adobe fix to fix the issue, no resolve. Was hoping that this terminal command would have fixed it.

        1. Sounds like your program may have issues. Have you contacted Adobe tech support, I think they can fix it. I let them view and control my screen. They instructed me to download a new program. Started with a chat, Garima Khanna was the tech.

  13. My friend, you are a genius ! I have tried various ways to fix this issue, and your method did it in ten seconds. Thanks a million, now I can work again !

  14. You are amazing! I haven’t needed to use CS6 for a few months, so never knew there was a worldwide problem! I googled the issue, found you, and within 30 seconds, your steps got it working! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!

  15. This was the only one of several solutions suggested on the internet that worked in my case. CS5 Extended Windows 7 64 bit. Many thanks.

  16. Thank-you, have been so frustrated with mini bridge and its disappearance, followed your instructions and its now back, up and running.

  17. stephaniedorrphotography

    I can’ figure out how to hold command shirt and type terminal in without siri popping up and messing it up. I have macOS Sierra 10.12.6
    My mini bridge does show in Photoshop but can’t load or add anything. Any help would be amazing!

  18. could you please send me a screenshot, how to do for PS 6 extended, as I´m not firm in
    in computer matters and I don´t want to disturb anything or to crash Photoshop

  19. I used this fixed and it works like a charm. Are there any downsides to doing this. You would think Adobe would do a fix on this and tell everyone. As with everyone else really appreciate it.

  20. Thank you for your excellent fix! I am not the most computer savvy and with your screen shot I was totally able to complete this and fix my Mini Bridge for my online class! Thanks so much!

  21. shenzelle-rey silver

    does this still works?, i don’t think mine have been worked :'(. please help. it did not display anything like my kuler, i try to do it again/ restart and nothing happen.

  22. You are BRILLIANT – Thank YOU sooooo much for making this available!!! Have to admit I was scared as hell to tinker in my regedit, but damn – well worth it and it was easy. Thanks again!!!

  23. Sorry tried this and my mini bridge is just blank, it has never worked since the day I bought CS5 or even when I upgraded to CS6.

  24. Hi, I recently purchased PS CS6 extended on Ebay. It’s working fine except Mini Bridge is empty. I’m running win 7 Professional, 64bit. In the registry I have CSXS.3 and CSXS.7. I added the string to both, but no change. Can you still help?

    1. Sure! If you could, contact me at hello(a) – I at quite busy right now, but we will try to solve it out soon. I cannot promise I will be able to look into it today or tomorrow, but we will solve the problem till the end of the week 🙂 Regards, Janet!

  25. Yeeej! Big software company piece of software. Many people with the same problem. Answers on Adobe website start with please tell me everything about your superparticular situation so I can provide an answer that doesn’t work.
    Steps in : Grzeniu !
    Answers in simple words, with few short sentences, as clear as a bell.
    Problem fixed. Big 🙂


    1. Hey there. Thanks for the kind words. Well, companies are supposed to care about money, and not people. People care about people and not money. That”s how it works for me 😉 Glad it has helped, have a fine Christmas!

    1. You have to add new entry, so that it looks like that:
      Screenshot showing registry window

      You add new entries by right-clicking on empty space on the right panel, somewhere under the Default and Loglevel

  26. I have win10 64 bit and cs3 master coll and cs6 premium prod. I’ve tried to put that in a few places and kuler doesn’t work. I didn’t have a problem with br, but only with kuler. And it’s still not connetcting to internet.

          1. Original CS6 Production Premium. Kuler didn’t work for a longer time but did,t use it till now. I’ve upgraded it like adobe shows but even after that, there is no connection to web: No Internet connection detected. – it shows this sentence.

          2. Did you try this fix? Kuler extension does not work

            There’ve been some posts about this issue around Adobe forums, and to be honest – since there are no recent Adobe staff replies, they may have abandoned supporting its issues, since now – if I recall correctly – there’s the Adobe Color. I have tried running it but I keep on getting the same error message. Maybe I will try to investigate it further, by tracing where Kuler is trying to connect to. Maybe it will help, maybe Adobe has simple closed the Kuler servers… I don’t really know if it works for other people, since I do not recall anyone using it among my friends.

            If I find some solution, I will surely contact you 🙂

  27. Hello
    I have windows 7 professional, Adobe photoshop cc 2017,the guideguide 5 panel is empty
    I try your procedure, I found I have csx.6 & csx.7 BOTH PlayerDebugMode values set to 1
    BUT empty panel
    Can you help me plz, with thanks in advance
    Dr. Ayad

    1. Hello,
      To be honest, I can’t say if it’s the same problem for GuideGuide as well. Also, are you sure you’re using version CC 2017? Didn’t you upgrade to the newest release? As far as the problem is concerned, you may want to contact GuideGuide’s developers as well – it’s a commercial addon and so support should also be available for it.

  28. Thank Youuuuuuuuuuuuuu :-))))))))) You make my day 🙂 I wish you all the best , Im very happy – it wooorks !!!!

  29. A big thanks as it’s solved the problem and working again in April 2019 on Photoshop v5.5 running on MacOS 10.11.6 aka El Capitan

  30. I cannot get mini bridge to work on CS6 Ext, Win 10. The MB panel is empty, despite adding the PlayerDebugMode as advised. Any suggestions, please?

  31. Yes, I tried it again! I misspelled PlayerDebugMode and I typed it in again. Kuler works! Thank you very much, and please ignoge my previous comment 🙂

  32. buenas noches, en mi estructura del arbol me aparece HKEY_CURRENT_USER / Software / Adobe /BC9674A4936A O CommonFiles o AIC
    Nose cual elegir porque no me aparece lo que dice en le explicacion

  33. Mini Bridge appeared after using this fix but opening file from it disables the Workspace Switcher in the option bar. Windows>workspace>… and opening file from the Bridge works fine (doesn’t grayed out the Switcher). I’m using Photoshop cs6 and Windows 10.

    1. I can’t really say how it should work. I am currently using Photoshop CC, unfortunately and so I can’t use Mini Bridge anymore. It seems that the Workspace switcher is somehow related to the same issue that stopped Minibridge. Maybe someone elase using CS6 can check if they have their workspace switcher working?

  34. Hi thanks for all you do. I don’t see an entry for PS CS5.1. I have an entry for CSXS.2. Can the entry for
    CS5.5 HKEY_CURRENT_USER / Software / Adobe / CSXS2.5Preferences* be used? Just making sure since the version is different.

    1. Yes, exactly! The structure of the registry path does not differ that much, only the numerals are kinda other. If you successfully do it, let me know, I’ll include the data to the tutorial.

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