How to Fix Premiere Pro Playback Resolution Greyed Out

Get rid of the significant setback of playback resolution, so you can get back to editing in no time!

Adobe Premier Pro empowers creators with powerful tools to craft impressive visuals and adjust audio precisely. However, it becomes problematic when the platform that helps you grade your video to the perfect colors and resolution starts to fade out. Premiere Pro users usually run into a common issue: the greyed out 1/8 playback resolution. In today’s article, let’s understand why this happens and how can you fix this.

How to Fix Premiere Pro Playback Resolution Greyed Out

Fix Premiere Pro Playback Resolution 1/8 and 1/16 Greyed Out

Premier Pro offers four options for reducing playback resolution: 1/2; 1/4; 1/8; and 1/16. When the playback option is set at 1/2, the quality of the sequence is reduced by half, when set to 1/4 is reduced to a quarter, and so on.  You can change the playback resolution to enable a smoother video editing process without lags. 

However, greyed-out options prevent you from adjusting the resolution of the previews displayed on the program monitor. This may affect the editing process, and ultimately the quality of playback.

One of the major reasons why the 1/8 playback resolution is greyed out in Premiere Pro is when the resolution of the timeline, i.e., the width of the video sequence isn’t enough to support these options.

  • If the resolution of the timeline is 480p or less, all playback options will be greyed out.
  • When the width is above 480p but less than 1080p, you can set the playback resolution to 1/2.
  • Usually, to get the 1/8 playback resolution option, it is advised that the resolution of the timeline should be above 2160p, i.e., 4k. However, in some cases, you might find the 1/8 playback for 2k videos (1440p) as well.

Quick Answer

To fix the error, change the file location:

1. On completing your project, click on File at the top and select Save As.

2. Set the file’s location to Desktop or someplace else and click on Save.

3. Open Export Settings, select the Output tab and click on Export.

Even though Mercury Playback Engine improves the playback and performance, based on the PC configurations it can cause stability issues.

What Causes Greyed Out Playback Resolution in Premiere Pro?

If there are no issues with the size of the footage, these are a few other factors that could cause the grey out issue:

  • Temporary glitches
  • Unsupported effects
  • Outdated app
  • Lost location of the file
  • Outdated graphics

Method 1: Restart Adobe Premiere Pro

Restarting Adobe Premiere Pro resets its settings and refreshes the interface to resolve any temporary glitches. Follow our guide on How to End Task in Windows 10

Note: Make sure to save the edited file before closing it to avoid losing the changes made.

right click on it and choose End Task to end it. | Premiere Pro playback resolution greyed out

Method 2: Remove Effects

In case a lot of effects are used in the video or special features like GPU rendering or smart rendering are added, they are likely to cause the discussed issue. So, remove special features and excessive effects to ensure you get your required playback resolution. Follow the steps below:

1. Navigate to the Quick View Timeline or Expert View Timeline.

2. Select the clip which contains the effects.

3. Finally, in the Applied Effects panel select the effect and then click on the Trash Bin.

Finally, in the Applied Effects panel select the effect and then click on the Trash Bin.

Also Read: 25 Best Adobe Premiere Pro Free Alternatives

Method 3: Change the Location of Project File

Occasionally it is possible that the location of the project file has been corrupt. When you change the location of the project file, it removes any potential conflicts between the old project and the new one. This usually resolves the issue.

1. Once your project is ready, select the File option from the upper left corner and click on Save As.

select the File option from the upper left corner and click on Save As. | Premiere Pro playback resolution greyed out

2. Then, set the file’s location to the Desktop and click on Save.

3. Now, open Export Settings, select the Output tab and click on Export.

Also Read: Adobe Premiere Pro Free Download for Windows 11

Method 4: Update Premiere Pro

If the playback resolution greyed out issue is caused due to bugs or because of incompatibility issues of Premiere Pro, updating it might help. It would ensure that the software is compatible with the OS & hardware configurations and bug fixes will improve its stability.

1. Launch the Creative Cloud and click on the three horizontal lines at the top left corner.

2. Select Help followed by Check for Updates.

Select Check for Updates

3. If an update is available, click on Update next to Premiere Pro.

Note 1: If the software is up-to-date, it will display Up to date next to Premiere Pro.

Note 2: Alternatively you can directly update the app by navigating to Help followed by the Updates… option in Adobe Premiere Pro.

got to help and click updates | Premiere Pro playback resolution greyed out

Method 5: Create New Project

If there are issues with the current project you’re working on, we suggest you create a new project to fix the greyed out 1/8 and 1/16 playback resolution issue in Premiere Pro. As the new one has all the default settings available, you can import the old one to it.

1. Open Adobe Premiere Pro, go to the File tab, and select New then Project… option.

Open Adobe Premiere Pro and go to File and select New then Project… option.

2. In the Name field, enter a name for the project and click on OK.

Name the project and click on OK. | Premiere Pro playback resolution greyed out

3. Once the new project is created, import the previous project to the new one with the drag-and-drop feature.

Also Read: Fix Premiere Pro Timeline Not Working

Method 6: Change Encoding Preferences

Changing the encoding preferences in Premiere Pro can resolve the issue by allowing you to adjust the resolution and frame rate of the video. Follow the steps:

1. In the Export settings wizard, scroll down to the Video section.

2. Choose Software Encoding under Performance: in the Encoding Settings section.

3. Then, click on Export.

click on Export

Method 7: Change Video Renderer

Video Renderer determines how the video will be processed and displayed within the software. Changing it can increase the speed and accuracy of the playback resolution, which may fix its greyed out issue in Premier Pro.

1. Open the problematic video in Premiere Pro and click on File at the top left corner.

2. Choose Project Settings and click on General.

click on project settings and select general option | Premiere Pro playback resolution greyed out

3. In the Video Rendering and Playback section and click on Renderer.

4. Select Mercury Playback Engine Software Only and click on OK.

select rederer to software only mode and click ok.

5. Re-render the video and check if the issue has been resolved.

Also Read: How to Render Preview in Premiere Pro

Method 8: Update Graphics Driver

Updating the graphics driver helps to ensure that the hardware is compatible with the current version of Premiere Pro. Refer to our guide on 4 Ways to Update Graphics Drivers in Windows 10.

Update Graphics Driver | Premiere Pro playback resolution greyed out

Method 9: Set Power Management Mode to Maximum

If you are a user who uses NVIDIA Control Panel or AMD Radeon Software, then setting power management mode to the maximum in GPU can be extremely helpful in fixing the issue. NVIDIA users can follow the steps given below:

1. Right-click on your Desktop and click on NVIDIA Control Panel.

2. Select the Manage 3D settings option from the left-side panel.

3. Locate the Power management mode under Settings and expand its menu.

Locate Power management mode

4. Now, select Prefer maximum performance from the drop-down menu.

Select Prefer maximum performance | Premiere Pro playback resolution greyed out

Method 10: Reinstall Adobe Premiere Pro

Reinstalling Adobe Premiere Pro can resolve conflicts in the program affecting the playback resolution settings by resetting it, which ultimately resolves the greyed out issue.

1. Launch the Control Panel and under Programs, click on Uninstall a program.

2. Now, locate Adobe Premiere Pro and right-click on it and select Uninstall.

locate the Adobe Premiere Pro and right click on it and select Uninstall.

3. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process and reboot the PC.

4. Visit the Adobe Premiere Pro website to download and install it.

visit the Adobe Premiere Pro website, download, and install your product. | Premiere Pro playback resolution greyed out

Recommended: DaVinci Resolve vs Premiere Pro

We hope this guide was useful and you have learned how to fix the Premiere Pro playback resolution greyed out issue on your PC. Please let us know what you want to explore next. For any suggestions or queries, mention them in the comments section.

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