Photoshop: adobe_licutil Not Responding

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  • Updated 2 years ago
  • (Edited)
Over the last week or so I have been having a problem with adobe_licutil not responding. This problem seems to have appeared out of nowhere as there have been no Adobe or Apple system updates during this time period. The crash happens multiple times per day, sometimes as many as one every half hour and seem to happen only when either Photoshop or Lightroom are open. I've only been checking Activity Monitor when notified of a crash so it's entirely possible that the problem may be occurring in the background while not using Adobe products. As you can see, Activity Monitor shows multiple instances of the non responding process. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Photo of Lawrence


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  • kinda neutral as everything else is working just fine

Posted 2 years ago

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Photo of Chris Parker

Chris Parker

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I would recommend that you NEVER use CleanMyMac as there have been way too many reports on Mac forums related to issues that this application causes.  It removes files that should not be removed, despite claims by the creators of this software that it is safe, hence the issues that you are encountering.  Personally I would not use it.

You might be faced with doing a clean installation on your Mac so that the software that has been messed up by CleanMyMac is re-installed.

First thing is that I would recommend that you do a full back up your Mac.  

If you have a Clone of your Mac's internal drive, such as that created by, for example, Carbon Copy Cloner, then you could do a Clean Installation of the OS on your internal drive and then Migrate from the Clone.  Yes its a time consuming process.

I'm not sure what others would recommend.

Here are some links to tales of woe and despair by those who have used CleanMyMac and other 3rd party utilities.
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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I suspect Chris is correct in diagnosis and recommendation. System cleaners can delete required files which can cause unexpected errors or behaviors.

I would suggest uninstalling/reinstalling the Creative Cloud application:
Photo of Paul


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This issue occurs for me too, on a relatively new macOS system that's never been touched by the likes of CleanMyMac. I usually diagnose it by e.g. noticing that mid-import, Lightroom has stopped adding new files. A check of activity monitor confirms non-responsive adobe_licutil processes.

macOS 10.12.5. Lightroom 6.10.

Update: here's a sample from Activity Monitor:

Call graph:
    2909 Thread_4318796   DispatchQueue_1:  (serial)
    + 2909 start  (in adobe_licutil) + 53  [0x2245]
    +   2909 main  (in adobe_licutil) + 625  [0x24bf]
    +     2909 -[AppController PerformWorkflow:]  (in adobe_licutil) + 59  [0x26ea]
    +       2909 LicenseUtilityWorkflowManager::PerformWorkflow()  (in adobe_licutil) + 94  [0x37d60]
    +         2909 __sem_wait  (in libsystem_kernel.dylib) + 10  [0x5f4e72]
    2909 Thread_4339552
      2909 start_wqthread  (in libsystem_pthread.dylib) + 34  [0x71a826]
        2909 _pthread_wqthread  (in libsystem_pthread.dylib) + 841  [0x71ab95]
          2909 __workq_kernreturn  (in libsystem_kernel.dylib) + 10  [0x5f3cba]
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Have any of the licensing files been modified? I would recommend contacting support here if you have an active membership:
Photo of Paul


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I haven't modified them myself and it's a relatively fresh install so there shouldn't be weird crud.

Is there any way to get a log from adobe_licutil? Are the processes even necessary to run lightroom? I.e. could I just run an hourly cron that killall's the processes? If they're not necessary, could an update to Lightroom just remove them?