I edit my photos in camera raw, and after clicking "done", I save my photos in another folder on my computer. This has never been a problem until recently. When I go to that folder to open the photo, the photo is somewhat blurry, grainy, and the color is not at all what it looked like when I saved it from camera raw. I have been trying all day to figure out where I went wrong. I have tried saving as pjeg, tif, psd from raw - opening to PS and saving different ways from there - exporting instead of "saving". ---- because this is something that just started yesterday I am wondering if there is something I clicked by accident in camera raw to make this happen. PLEASE help!!! thanks so much!!
If you're editing jpeg and tiff files in ACR, then when you click "Done" the edits are saved as text data inside the jpeg or tiff file, the actual image is not modified. If you then open the image in any other program besides ACR/Photoshop/Lightroom the edits will not be recognized, just the original image will be displayed. If you open the image in Photoshop the edits will be recognized and ACR will open for the image.
The small pixilated preview image sounds like a thumbnail embedded by the camera and the full-res preview is not getting updated and it used to be.
How are you saving your photos after you click Done and how are you viewing those photos after they are saved? Are you creating copies of your raw files as JPGs and looking at those, or are you expecting the embedded previews in the raw files to change after clicking Done in ACR?
Do you save ACR edits to XMP sidecar files or to a central camera-raw database. This is in the ACR preferences, somewhere.