November 5, 2015


At Pixelmator Team, we take a great deal of pride in developing a high-quality, powerful and reliable app. Our goal is to make it the best in the world. In order to achieve that, we have no problem putting off new features to work on improving performance. Over the years, this has proved to be the right approach. However, we’d like to discuss one issue in a little more detail.

Just over a month ago, after the release of the final few beta versions of OS X El Capitan, we ran into a serious crashing issue on certain Macs. On these computers, the app would crash for no apparent reason, even when working with very basic images.

We immediately put everything else on hold to get to the bottom of this. We started looking for where we could have gone wrong, and we came up empty. It was tough to say the least. It was also tough seeing the App Store ratings we had worked so hard to earn take a hit because of this issue.

So, we went back, pored over the crash reports you sent us and, eventually, the cause became clear: Intel HD 3000* graphics card drivers. Even though the problem isn’t with Pixelmator, we haven’t given up on finding a workaround. We did find a way to reduce the crashing but that meant having to make the app run very slowly on those Macs. Unfortunately, nothing else seems to have worked yet.

Realizing that this isn’t something we can solve on our own, we reached out to Apple for help, and they’ve been great so far. If you haven’t done so already, please e-mail us at, and we’ll contact you the instant we hear about a fix.

As always, we are 100% committed to making your favorite app even better. To cheer you (and ourselves) up a little bit, we’re currently preparing an update that will include a Retouch Extension, bringing Pixelmator’s incredible Repair Tool to your Photos app.

* The following models with Intel HD Graphics 3000 graphics cards are affected: MacBook Pro (13-inch, Early 2011), MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2011), MacBook Air (11-inch, Mid 2011), Mac mini (Mid 2011).


  • Michal

    Hope it will be fixed very soon.

  • Jef Wesb

    Thank you all at the Pixelmator Team for powering through such devastating bugs, I have no doubts you will be able to find a fix. I have been a long time user of Pixelmator, and even though I have had Photoshop available at several times, I always come back to this great application. Keep the great work up! 🙂

  • Ben

    Thanks for the followup. Really. Too often for many companies followup does not happen. Sorry that you took a hit on the App Store, but I think it is better than not we (consumers) have an ability to quickly give timely feedback for apps/releases. Hopefully, you find the ultimate fix soon and the reviews trend up again. A piece of complex software has bugs, but your willingness to be transparent and iterate quickly are two key things setting you apart from much of the industry.

  • Andrius (Pixelmator Team)

    The last month really hasn’t been the easiest, but we now have a custom version that improves performance quite a bit on these Macs. Please email so we can send you a copy and get in touch if we have any more updates. We’d also like to say thanks for the words of encouragement and your patience with this, you guys have been great.

  • Aaron

    The problem is not with just 2011 MacBooks. I have a brand new 2015 Macbook Pro and Pixelmator keeps crashing. It’s my only app that does so.
    With deadlines and projects I can not trust pixelmator. Other apps can handle Mac OS updates – Pixelmator needs to be able as well to be trustworthy.

    Thank you.

  • David

    I am not getting the crashing problem, but my Pixelmator is running painfully slow. I am not able to edit the most basic photo at the moment. This is very frustrating.

  • Sean

    I currently have a brand new MacBook Pro and it is routinely crashing every time I try to use a brush. Having a hard time completing projects since the update. Please update if there are any fixes.

  • Andrius (Pixelmator Team)

    Sean, could you send us an email at with your full Mac specs? To find out what they are, you can click the Apple menu (?) > About This Mac. We’ll do our best to help you out.

    David and Aaron, I think we already have emails from you and have just replied to them. If that wasn’t you, it would be great if you could also send us an email at the address above and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

  • Hi

    A couple of years ago Pixelmator experienced the similar situation. At that time exactly the same thing happeden – Pixelmator Team told us that drivers are to blame. It seems that every time Pixelmator faces a major issues with crashes and performance drivers are responsible and not Pixelmator 🙂

    Here is that post:

    Read that stuff. It sounds exactly the same to me. And now we have the same situation again.

  • Josh

    Few years ago pixelmator was better than now. No big improvements, each update quality problems.. lower standards.. what happened guys?!

  • Donna Jones

    Hey guys, Hope all is getting better. I read that you’ve reached out to apple for help with the crashes, slow performance, etc… But if the problems are with this video unit, then it seems like an Intel problem since they designed and built this GPU. Seems like this needs to be a 3-way, not 2-way conversation.

    I’m in the middle of creating my final project–my portfolio–for school so I can graduate this December, so I’ve not yet upgraded to El Capitan, but I intend to after school ends and would love to be able to take advantage of the new extensions feature in Photos. I’m anxiously awaiting your fix and wish you well as you power through these travails. In spite of these difficulties, many of us still love the product and are keeping faith and standing with you for the possibilities of a great fix to this issue. You guys and Pixelmator are awesome!

  • Richard

    Dear Pixelmatr team,

    many thanks for your efforts so far. Keep up the good work as usual.

    My iMac 27” 2015 model is also crashing for no apparent reason.
    NVIDIS GeForce GT 755M 1024 MB videocard.

    I had no Problems before, but I’m sure you will solve this problem.
    I look forward to see the new update with the retouch extension.

    best regards,


  • Justin

    I have the software, love the the software, and love the support I have received over the last four years. I am not one of those customers undergoing the problem, but I have experienced problems in the past and the support was great.

  • Abdullah

    I like to work om your great app on my iPad Air2. However, I have an issue that the app will not start at all. It has not been mentioned that the iPad app is affected by this problem you have with Mac versions of the app. I tried to solve the problem by restarting the iPad and could not get the app started. Could you please suggest a way to start the app again? Note that the app is up-to-date.

  • Briggs Mushrush

    Really hope this is resolved soon! I have the workaround version of Pixelmator, but I want it to be 100% fixed on the apple side ASAP.

  • Nick Berendsen

    I really appreciated the fast feedback when I sent a mail to

    Great support, you guys care!

  • .


  • Serge Pierrache

    I have a crash on my MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Late 2013) with OS 10.11.3
    Just bought and tried to open. Nothing works.

    Hope to get reimbursed or get a working app.

  • Guy

    Model: MacBook Pro 15″ (2008)

    Pixelmator routinely crashes while editing images of various sizes; at least once a day.

  • Luca

    good morning
    MY Pixelmator crash when I use it from apple foto, I modify a photo with apple foto, and I click extension -> Pixelmator Distorci or Pixelmator Ritocca.

    Pixelmator start but when I use an objet appears a windows with wrote” Impossibile apportare modifiche con Pixelmator Distorci – Si è verificato un errore inatteso.” and it closed


  • Patrick

    Hello there, since the latest update (mid October 2017) Pixelmator crashes when importing a photo from apple photos… . Can’t use any of the functions . Using iOS 11 on iPad Pro.

  • Mike

    This is the most bug ridden software I Have used since my PC days some 12 years ago. It freezes or crashes constantly, for example, I open a file do nothing and then duplicate it and the program freezes and doesn’t duplicate, this can be nothing to do with the graphics card. I realise the program tries to auto save ( presumably to counter the fact the program crashes all the time) but this is even more annoying as it doesn’t work properly – please remove this feature.

    As it is cheap I suppose we cannot expect much.

    Mac (27-inch, Mid 2011) – 3.4 GHz Intel Core i7 – 16 GB 1333 MHz DDR3 – AMD Radeon HD 6970M 1 GB

  • Mike

    Update – In the time it took to write the last comment and make a cup of coffee (about 20 minutes) – the program did do the duplication – I am now trying to save this new file (about 4 minutes and still going). Activity monitor thinks the program is not responding – the CPU load is 15 % – memory used is 12 GB (presumably because there are now two copies of the file in memory, it was about 6GB before the duplication)

    I would suggest that most problems are down to to memory handling, not the graphics card as problems get worse the more memory being used.

  • Michelle

    Pixelmator was working fine with me. Having this problem since yesterday when I cannot save any files. Even if I am editing the file, the app just freezes and refuses to work.

  • Scarlett Smits

    Hi there,
    Since the update to High Sierra, my pixelmator seems to crash every time I try to use the colour pallette. Any news on this anyone?

    • Brady

      I have the same problem. It works for a bit, then it starts rapidly switching back and forth between two hex values and freezes. Have to force quit to get it working again.

    • Rich

      Same here. Also get a kernel panic whenever I zoom in past 100% and try to scroll around the project. 100% reproducible. Really infuriating.

  • Mark

    Hi there. I just downloaded Pixelmator Pro on my iMac (High Sierra, 10.13.1). After the download it won’t open. I’ve tried several times. Any ideas?

  • Simon

    Just bought PMPro and it will not open in High Sierra Can I have a refund?

    All “open does is open a “Finder” window showing an empty folder called Pixelmator Pro under iCloud, What is going on?

    Should I of got a download because there is nothing in Downloads?

  • MF

    I’m having a problem with crashing after using the eraser tool. Seems to happen consistently, every time.

  • Jesse

    Pixelmator keeps crashing when I open a new file at start-up or when I’m working on an already open file and decide to open a second file. It crashes very consistently but there are stretches of time when I can work in Pixelmator without issue for a couple of hours (at most, before it crashes). I’ve sent apple my crash reports. I’m using a top-of-the-line 2017 15″ macbook pro. All of my OS and Pixelmator software is up to date. Do you know what’s going on? This is becoming very frustrating. I can’t work. Thank you.