Photoshop: Panels sometimes won't open (dual monitor setup on macOS)

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  • Updated 3 months ago
  • (Edited)
PS CC 21.1.1, macOS Catalina 10.15.4, dual monitor setup. Time to time, panels would do nothing when clicked. For example, the History Panel: It's not like I'm accidentally clearing out the history, the panel just won't open, although it stays depressed when clicked. Same behavior for all the other panels once this happens. If I drag out the panel to its own floating window, it works.
Once this happens, I've to disconnect the second monitor and plug it back again, or worse, restart PS. Almost as if PS doesn't know which monitor to show the panel on, and does nothing until it is given only one option.

Another user said:
Yes iv'e seen this on a variety of mac photoshop cc versions, especially when the application frame is turned off, regardless of multi or single monitor and on the current macOS i have including El Capitan, Mojave and Catalina. Usually one can undock the panel and open it, but still a very annoying issue.
Original thread in support community: https://community.adobe.com/t5/photoshop/panels-won-t-open/m-p/11026790?page=1
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John Doe

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Posted 3 months ago

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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Thanks. Can you post a screen capture of both your screens to show the layout configuration of all your panels and documents?
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John Doe

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Here's a screenshot from my MBP, it's the same on the external monitor. I simply move with PS window to the monitor when connected to it.
(Edited)
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Ok. So you always have the app frame on and the panels docked in the app frame. Do you also have your documents docked to the frame? (Not floating)

Do you notice it when you disconnect from the second monitor or when you attach it? Or when you move Photoshop from one monitor to the other?

Also, I notice a couple of third party panels. Can I get a list of the 3rd party panels you use? It's possible there's a conflict with those stealing events.
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John Doe

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Do you also have your documents docked to the frame?
Yes.

Do you notice it 
If you mean if I notice the problem when I (dis)connect the 2nd monitor, or move PS, I don't. In fact, the problem appears when a panel is clicked and doesn't open, so it's not going to be noticed when a monitor is connected or PS moved because obviously I'm doing something else than clicking on a panel.


list of the 3rd party panels

The panels you noticed are from Tony Kuyper's TK7. As I noted in the problem description, another user also reported seeing this issue, so unless they are also using the same 3pp, it's unlikely to the problem. Anyway, here's a screenshot.

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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Thanks. I haven't been able to reproduce, yet. You're just clicking on this icon and the panel doesn't open, correct?



Trying to figure out the specific steps to repro. I suspect it has something to do with which monitor Photoshop is launched on, whether both monitors are connected when Photoshop is launched, or some other trigger in the order/workflow.
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John Doe

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You're just clicking on this icon and the panel doesn't open, correct?
Yes.

3rd party panels ... It's possible there's a conflict with those stealing events.
I don't think so because everything works perfectly when I just use my MBP.