How to get Photoshop 6.0 to run after the Windows 10 Build 20H2 Update

This is not one of my usual art blog posts. As some of you know I’ve owned a full licenced version of Adobe Photoshop 6.0 for many years but when I updated Windows with the 20H2 update Photoshop failed completely. I was gutted because I paid a lot of money for that software and I can’t afford the new Creative Cloud version.

Fortunately for me I have a wonderful son who is a talented and tenaciaous software engineering student at Uni. He found a range of solutions I could use. The best of these was to use Windows compatability mode on my original Photoshop software. Windows itself recommends XP service pack 3 via it’s troubleshooter but this didn’t actually work. I got the same fatal error. So I ran it in every compatability mode it has and I found one that works – Windows 98 / Windows Me!!!

So, for anyone else in my position who is struggling with Adobe Photoshop 6.0 after the lastest Windows 10 update, here are the instructions to to get it working. (I can’t guarentee it will work for you, it may depend on how your machine is set up and how you have installed Photoshop, but this fix is completely and easily reversable so if it doesn’t work you’ve lost nothing.)


Find you Photoshp.exe file. (Caution, the spelling of the file is slightly different from the word Photoshop – it’s Photoshp.) In most installs it can be found at:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Photoshop 6.0\Photoshp.exe

Here’s mine…

Right-Click the executable file. Then click Properties at the bottom of the menu as shown below.

In the properties form, click on the Compatability tab.

Now find the Compatability Mode part of this tab. (Don’t bother running the compatability troubleshooter – it gets it wrong.) Click the checkbox so there is a tick in Run this program in compatability mode for: and then select Windows 98 / Windows Me from the drop down box. It should look like this…

Finally Click OK at the bottom of the form

Next you can run Photoshop as you normally would. Windows will ask you if you want to allow Photoshop to make changes to your PC. This is because it’s running in compatability mode and it’s fine so Click OK.

…And, hopefully, Photoshop should run!!!


(PS: I’ve done some basic work with it and had no issues so far. It’s the best solution that I’ve found. I will update this page if anything else comes up. Best of luck!!!)

19 thoughts on “How to get Photoshop 6.0 to run after the Windows 10 Build 20H2 Update

  1. Thanks for the tip. I’m actually learning Affinity Photo behind the scenes at the moment to take over from Adobe. I can’t afford Photoshop’s huge prices and this incident has made it clear to me that I have to find an alternative. I only got it working by the skin of my teeth.

    I will have a look at Krita though. Thanks!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh I’m sorry this doesn’t work for you! Yes they have. I suppose another option might be to get a cheap second hand computer running windows 7 and put PS on that. If it wasn’t connected to the internet then Windows 7 wouldn’t be a security risk and you could keep using PS 6.0?


  3. using Win98 compatibility gets PS6 to run on Win10, but can’t saveas, program crashes. MS has screwed us on this one!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I know exactly what you mean about Affinity! I couldn’t make head nor tail of it at first. Lol

    So I bought a couple of books. I’ve only read the first chapter of one of them and now the interface is making sense. It’s definitiely not intuitive. The whole thing changes depending on context. There are four contexts – they call them personas – and the whole of the rest of the interface is tied to which persona your in. If you ever fancy having another go, the author of the book I’m reading has some brilliant tutorials on YouTube. Here’s the first one which really opened up the application for me:

    Liked by 2 people

  5. It is ridiculous. In business terms it’s so much easier for Adobe to have a subsciber income rather than sell products. The same is happening with Microsoft and their Office tools. You have to subscribe to Microsoft 365 now rather than buy the software. You say ITunes is doing it too and lots of apps I used to use have suddenly become rentals. What all of these companies don’t seem to get is that many customers don’t want that – at all. In the long run all they do is alienate their customer base and give an opportunity for other companies with rival products to take their market share.

    While I have a work around for my older version of Photoshop I have also started learning Affinity Photo which is a superb professional level photo editor and a direct competitor of Adobe. It won loads of awards and has a whole suite of image development tools to go with the Photo editor. It’s reduced to half price at the moment so I bought it for £25. The way they’ve organised the workflow in the Affinity programs is brilliant too. I suspect that I will switch over to Affinity fully once I get up to speed on it. The current version of Photoshop, in my view, is just a rip off.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I had the full version of Photoshop too and when then they changed to a monthly service fee , I refused to pay when I found out they would no longer allow one to buy the program or update it. I had Windows 7 and when they stopped doing the updates to make everyone use Windows 10, I refused that too and bought a Mac. I miss Photoshop but the Photoshop apps are okay in the mean time. Now they’ve done away with ITunes and I refuse to pay a monthly fee for music as well! So I’m stuck with not being able to manage my music between my old IPod and my stupid phone. 🤪🤪🤪😜😝. Glad you found a work around. It’s sooooo ridiculous what is going on!

    Liked by 1 person

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