An Easy Fix for Nik Collection’s Recent Crash Issues

An Easy Fix for Nik Collection’s Recent Crash Issues

If you are a user of one of the popular Nik Collection photo editing plugins, you have probably experienced errors in using the software recently. After Photoshop’s latest update, several users have reported that using the plugins will now force Photoshop to close when the plugin attempts to save its changes. This not only limits your use of Nik’s software, but it also will also cause you to lose all unsaved changes to your image prior to using the plugin. Luckily, there is a very simple workaround.

It has been an up and down year for Nik Collection. After Google announced that they had no further plans for the software, they were later acquired by DxO. This was a relief for several photographers who have integrated Nik’s plugins, such as Color Efex Pro, into their post-processing workflow. However, DxO has no known plans to make any changes to the current version of the software until their release of the newest edition sometime next year. This leaves users with the problem of the plugins not being compatible with the updated version of Photoshop, with no hope for a fix to resolve the issue. A simple setting adjustment though will allow you to work around the problem.

The Fix

First, you will want to open a photo in Photoshop, and from there open the photo using your Nik software of choice. When the photo opens in Nik, you will see a settings box in the bottom left corner of the screen. Open the settings option and navigate to the tab labeled “After Clicking OK.” In this tab, you will want to change the setting from “Apply the filtered effect to a separate layer” to “Apply the filtered effect to the current layer.” Save the changes and it should apply to all further uses of the Nik software.

This setting is the root of the error. Photoshop will often crash when Nik Collection tries to create a new layer in the software. This workaround allows you to save the changes to the layer you were currently working on, rather than create a new layer. The only addition I will add is that you should create a copy of the layer in Photoshop before you open in Nik, in case any further adjustments such as masking are required after the effects are applied. 

Nik Collection is an excellent software despite its recent issues. Hopefully, with DxO’s recent acquisition, further versions of the software will be developed that allow its users to continue to use their plugins without needing to find workarounds such as this.

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michael buehrle's picture

this also works if you just updated to high sierra on a mac and it was crashing in photoshop. or at least it fixed it on mine. oh and nik also works in affinity photo if you add it as a plug in.

Nice! Thanks for the help!

Ryan Mense's picture

Thanks again for help with this! For real I thought it was game over with Nik until you showed me this trick.

Ricardo Gayan's picture

Many thanks for the help; but in my version of Nik, in setting I have not this option. I only see TIFF compression and the class of saved TIFF files ( stripes or mosaic). Is a mistake in the spanish version?

Levi Keplar's picture

Ricardo, that's odd. The only thing I can think of is to first, make sure you are opening the photo in photoshop first, and then open the photo in Nik from Photoshop. If that doesn't allow the setting to show up, perhaps try updating the Nik software first to the current version. Hope that helps!

Ricardo Gayan's picture

Ok. That is right with your instructions. Many thanks. It's a relief to be able to continue using Nik until its new version. Good weekend

Sergio Tello's picture

You're a legend! This issue had been frustrating me to no end over the last month or so. Thank you!

I have High Sierra and even switching to “Apply the filtered effect to the current layer.” I am still having crashing issues. Can't wait for DXO to provide some sort of fix for this issue. I tried to get my computer back to Sierra 4 times already..... NIK doesnt crash every time I use it thank God.... but it is sporadic.. if I click through the filters too fast it will crash on me every time, and sometimes it crashes as it feels like it. My workaround is saving whatever I have done before I use NIK in case it crashes I can just try to use it again with my saved file. Thank you for the article. though it was great... Can't wait to get a legit fix.

I found a workaround for High Sierra and Nik. Don't access Nik from the Photoshop Filters menu. Instead, access Nik from the Nik Selective Tool box that opens with Photoshop.

HI Donna,
That is how I access NIK. So does your NIK never crash on you with High Sierra? I did go back to PS 2017 and it seems like it crashes less. Which PS are you using?

Ah that may be the difference. I am using PS CS6

Oh ok... Yes, that very well may be. The last PS works better than the newest one for me so maybe the older PS you use with High Sierra the less likely NIK will crash? Thank you for the info.

Ryan Gallagher's picture

Can you successfully go back in and update the settings for a Nik smart filter? For me the crash happens when I try to update the existing filters, not add new ones.

Jaran Gaarder Heggen's picture

Try to turn of the GPU in NIK, there might be problem with never openGL versions...

You my hero, thanks a lot!!

Franck Nederstigt's picture

Life saver! Thank you so much!!

This works! Over the years I bought the Nik Collection twice (before and after Google gobbled it). I was disappointed when Google made it a free, not because I had paid for it (twice), but because I knew it meant the end of support and future development. I thought Nik was toast. Thank you Mr. Keplar.

Ryan Gallagher's picture

Unfortunately this doesn't resolve my issues when working with Nik Color Efex Pro on a Smart Object. I do this in order to apply the effect in a non destructive way, and to allow masking the effect only into specific areas of the image. If I turn the effect off with the eye icon (at the left of the item nested beneath the Smart Object layer) then turn it back on it crashes Photoshop every time also discarding all other changes since I last saved. Hopefully some resolution comes when DXO puts out the new release this year although that doesn't help right now.

Omigawwwd! Can I say I love you!! Thank you so much! I stopped using Nik because of the problems I really missed using efex Pro and Nik Silver!! Thanks again!!