What to do When Raw Files Will Not Open in ACR

This is probably in the top five up most frequently asked questions – “Why can’t I open my raw files in PSE or Photoshop?”

The answer is very simple but not one that is natural to figure out on your own. I experienced the same problem when I bought my Nikon D90 and I couldn’t open the raw files in PSE. Solution – UPDATE THE ACR PLUGIN.

Every time a new camera model comes out, Adobe has to update the ACR plug-in to work with the new technology the camera brands are using to collect their raw data in camera.

If you purchase Photoshop or Photoshop Elements and you cannot open your raw files, go to Adobe.com/downloads/updates and click on the drop down menu to find your program AND your computer operating system (Mac or PC).

With both Photoshop CS and PSE, you can check for updates within the programs themselves by going to Help in the main menu, then down to product updates.

If you have a camera that is brand-spanking-new technology, like you were one of the first to get the Nikon D800 and your raw files won’t open, and there is no update from Adobe yet, you can convert the raw files to digital negatives (DNG) and then you will be able to open in ACR.

Not sure what a DNG is or how to convert it? Check out the post I wrote about those files at Rock the Shot.



About Amanda

I am passionate about helping others learn how to use their DSLR cameras and editing programs. More information about me can be found at my About page, or by visiting my personal blog.


  1. Thanks so much for this info. Now I know 🙂

  2. Thanks,James

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