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Quick Fixes for Adobe Premiere Pro

Updated on May 19, 2011

The Dreaded 'pproheadless.exe' Error

After spending hours and hours of video capturing, editing titles and designing background and lower thirds animation in Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 or CS5, you are ready to render your finished movie to display on the web or place it on a DVD. You start the process, runs a good while, and then an ugly message appears on your screen; "pproheadless.exe process has ended". You try to render again and again with different settings, check over your work and then try again. The dreaded error appears. Mystified you do a frantic search on Google to find out how to fix this issue. Recently this was my dilemma.

Instead of searching through endless forums and links, I have gathered all the settings, ideas and suggestions here for this particular problem. One of the suggested solutions may work for your particular situation while others may not. It may be trial and error before you have a solution or workaround that will allow you to continue to finally finish your video masterpiece. For additional information you can go to forums and forums.

These settings can apply to Premiere Pro CS4 and CS5.

1. Make sure you have the recommended operating system, processor and video card. You can check the recommendations at Recommend having at least 8 gigs of memory.

2. Of course, the obvious is to get the latest updates and patches for all your CS4/CS5 products. Sometimes simply updating to the latest patches will fix the problem.

3. Minimize background processes or other programs not necessary in editing video. Personally I would recommend to use your video editing machine mostly for editing video. Other uses such as email, or other applications be done at a minimum or on another machine. Every application you have running in the background uses memory. Premiere Pro, After Effects, Adobe Media Encoder uses a lot of memory so you want the maximum available for creating and rendering video.

4. Sometimes running anti-virus software can interfere with the process of editing video. Stuttering video, unusually long rendering times or the application simply crashes may indicate interference from anti-virus running in the background. You can turn off the anti-virus temporally while you are editing.

5. Optimize Premiere Pro by going to Edit-Preference-General. Click on Memory. Set 'Optimize rendering for', Memory.

6. Click on 'Audio Hardware'-ASIO Settings. Click on 'Output' tab. Check 'Device 32-bit Playback' to on. Set the buffer size to 4096.

7. When rendering with Adobe Media Encoder (AME), have the Windows Task Manager running. Choose the format you want your final video to be rendered. When AME loads, go to the Windows Task Manager, click on 'Processes' tab, and right-click pproheadless.exe and click on 'Set Affinity...'. Depending on how many processors are running on your machine, you will see a check list of processors starting with CPU 0. Uncheck CPU 0 and 1. Run a rendering job in AME and see if the error appears. This will set the rendering job to only use CPU 0 and CPU 1.

8. If it still appears, then try CPU 2 and 3. This seemed to work for us. Every case is different. For some, step 2 is all you needed to fix the problem. Others may have to step through each setting to get it to work. So, in a nutshell the fix for the dreaded 'pproheadless.exe' error, for us anyway, was to set the affinity in the Windows Task Manager to CPU 2 and 3. You can also try using only one CPU if it still doesn't work for you. Your renderings will take longer as you decrease the number of CPU's.

Hope this helps in solving the 'pproheadless.exe' error. I would like to thank those in many of the forums in coming up with some ideas and solutions to this issue. I merely tried each idea and from my experience shown that the last step (#8) worked for us.


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    • profile image

      emil 4 years ago

      did anyone used magic bullet looks in his project when the exportin proces stops?

    • drewmeister profile image

      drewmeister 5 years ago

      Thanks, that one drove me nuts too!

    • profile image

      anon 5 years ago

      desintall adobe media player and AIR

    • eHealer profile image

      Deborah 5 years ago from Las Vegas

      Thanks drew, I just followed your steps in CS5 and it killed the error! Thank you so very much, it was driving me crazy. Thanks! You saved days of trying to figure this one out.

    • thehemu profile image

      thehemu 6 years ago from New Delhi, India

      that is very helpful. thanks drew