Fix: Could not Complete your request because it is not a valid Photoshop Document

Several users report getting the “Could not complete your request because it is not a valid Photoshop document” error when trying to open PSD and PDF files with Photoshop. The issue is reported to occur on both Windows and Mac computers.

Could not complete your request because it is not a valid Photoshop document
Could not complete your request because it is not a valid Photoshop document

What is causing the “Could not complete your request because it is not a valid Photoshop document” error?

We investigated this particular issue by looking at various user reports and the repair strategies that they ended up using successfully. Based on what we gathered, there are a couple of common scenarios that will lead to the apparition of this particular error message. You can also check out our guide on photoshop program error here.

Here’s a shortlist with potential culprits that might be triggering the issue:

  • The file is saved with a different extension – The most common reason why this error occurs is when the file is saved with the .PSD extension even if it’s, in fact, a different file type (TIFF, JPG, GIF, PNG). This ends up confusing Photoshop, which will trigger the issue.
  • The .PSD file is corrupted – Corruption is another potential cause that is known to trigger this particular issue. Some affected users have been able to circumvent the issue by opening the file with a different editor.

If you’re struggling to resolve this particular issue, this article will provide you with a list of verified troubleshooting steps. Below you have a collection of methods that other users in a similar situation have used to get the issue resolved.

For the best results, follow the methods below in order until you encounter a fix that is effective in resolving the issue in your particular scenario.

Method 1: Changing the file to a different extension

One of the most common scenarios for this error on both Mac and Windows is when the file’s extension is incorrect. This can happen quite easily if you use other complementary Adobe products such as Lightroom to edit them directly into Photoshop.

There’s a high chance that the PSD file is not actually corrupted, but it’s actually another file type. If you used the Save as feature, the default extension might get saved to PSD, even if the file is of a different file type. This ends up producing the “Could not complete your request because it is not a valid Photoshop document” error.

Luckily, you can rectify this issue quite easily by changing the extension to the correct one.

How to find the correct extension type

You can pinpoint the correct extension type by opening the file in a Hex editor. Keep in mind that type of graphics file will always begin with the same set of characters when you open them in a Hex editor. You can use Hex Fiend for Mac and HXD for Windows.

Once you open the file in the Hex editor, compare it with the list below and see if you get a match among the most common file types:

JPEG: ff d8 ff e0 00 10 4a 46
TIF,TIFF: TIFF: 49 49 2a
PNG: 89 50 4e 47
BMP: 42 4d 38
GIF: 47 49 46 38 39 61
PSD: 38 42 50 53
PDF: 25 50 44 46 2d 31 2e 36 0d 25 e2 e3 cf d3
Verifying the firs characters with the Hex Editor
Verifying the first characters with the Hex Editor

Once you discovered the correct extension, it’s time to make the required modifications. But keep in mind that the steps of changing the file to the correct extension will be different according to your operating system, so please follow the appropriate guide, according to your OS.

Changing the Extension type on Windows

  1. Open the file with File Explorer and go to View (using the ribbon) at the top. Then, make sure that the box associated with File name extensions is checked.
    Enabling File Name Extensions from File Explorer
    Enabling File Name Extensions from File Explorer
  2. Next, right-click on the PSD file that is showing the error and choose Rename. Then, change the extension to the correct one.
    Renaming to the correct extension
    Renaming to the correct extension

    Note: If you haven’t used a Hex editor to determine the correct extension type, change the extension to each of the following extensions until you get a match: jpeg, tif, tiff, png, bmp, gif, pdf.

  3. When prompted that the file might become unusable, click Yes to confirm the changing of the extension.
    Confirm the change of the extension type
    Confirm the change of the extension type
  4. You should eventually stumble upon an extension that will allow you to open the file in Photoshop without encountering the “Could not complete your request because it is not a valid Photoshop document” error.

Changing the extension type on Mac

  1. Navigate to the location of the file and select it. With the file selected, press Command + I to open up the Information window of the file.
  2. In the Info window, simply change the extension to the correct one (under Name & Extension).
    Changing the extension on Mac
    Changing the extension on Mac

    Note: If you haven’t used a Hex editor to determine the correct extension type, change the extension to each of the following extensions until you get a match: jpeg, tif, tiff, png, bmp, gif, pdf.

  3. You will then be asked for confirmation via a dialog box. Press Use *extension type * to change the extension.
    Changing the extension type on Mac
    Changing the extension type on Mac
  4. Open the file with Photoshop again and see if the issue has been resolved.

Method 2: Re-saving the PSD file with GIMP

GIMP is an open source image manipulation program that some affected users have used to open PSD files that were displaying the “Could not complete your request because it is not a valid Photoshop document” error due to corruption.

GIMP is commonly used to save PSD files that are not fully compatible with Photoshop. But some affected users have also used it to open and re-save PSD files that Photoshop was unable to handle.

Note: If the file is badly corrupted, you might notice some missing pixels and an overall quality loss.

Here’s a quick guide on installing and using GIMP to resolve the “Could not complete your request because it is not a valid Photoshop document” error:

  1. Visit this link (here) and download the GIMP installation executable according to your preferred download method.
    Downloading the GIMP installation executable
    Downloading the GIMP installation executable

    Note: Keep in mind that GIMP is also available for OS X and Linux, in case you’re encountering the issue on a different platform.

  2. Once the download is complete, open the installation executable and follow the on-screen prompts to install GIMP on your computer.
    Installing GIMP
  3. Once the installation is complete, right-click on the PSD file that is showing the error and choose Edit with GIMP.
    Right-click on PSD file and choose Edit with GIMP
    Right-click on PSD file and choose Edit with GIMP
  4. Once the PSD file is opened with the GIMP editor, go to File > Export As.
    Go to File > Export As
    Go to File > Export As
  5. Select the location in which you want to resave the file, then click the plus icon associated with Select File Type (By Extension). Next, scroll down through the list of file types and select Photoshop image and click Export.
    Re-saving the file with GIMP
    Re-saving the file with GIMP
  6. Once the file has been re-saved, open it with Photoshop again and see if the “Could not complete your request because it is not a valid Photoshop document” error has been resolved.

Expert Tip

Fix: Could not Complete your request because it is not a valid Photoshop Document

If the issue is with your Computer or a Laptop you should try using Reimage Plus which can scan the repositories and replace corrupt and missing files. This works in most cases, where the issue is originated due to a system corruption. You can download Reimage by clicking the Download button below.

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