From the Premiere Elements Information FAQ http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1042180
•You MUST use an account with Administrator Privileges to run Premiere Elements
•(Doing Run as Administrator http://forums.adobe.com/thread/969395 [says Encore and also for "All" versions of Premiere] will sometimes fix "odd" errors)
•What version of Premiere Elements? Include the minor version number (e.g., Premiere Elements 12 with the 12.0.1 update).
•What operating system? This should include specific minor version numbers, like "Mac OSX v10.9.4"---not just "Mac"
•Has this ever worked before? If so, do you recall any changes you made to Premiere Elements, such as adding Plug-ins, brushes, etc.? Did you make any changes to your system, such as updating hardware, printers or drivers; or installing/uninstalling any programs?
•Have you installed any recent program or OS updates? (If not, you should. They fix a lot of problems.)
•What kind(s) of image file(s)? When talking about camera raw files, include the model of camera.
•If you are getting error message(s), what is the full text of the error message(s)?
•What were you doing when the problem occurred?
•What other software are you running?
•Tell us about your computer hardware. How much RAM is installed? How much free space is on your system (C:) drive?
•How many and what speed are your hard drive(s)... ie 5400rpm or 7200rpm or?
And some other questions...
•What are you editing, and does your video have a red line over it BEFORE you do any work?
•Which version of Quicktime do you have installed?
•What is your exact brand/model graphics adapter (ATI or nVidia or ???)
•What is your exact graphics adapter driver version?
•Have you gone to the vendor web site to check for a newer driver?
•For Windows, do NOT rely on Windows Update to have current driver information
•-you need to go direct to the vendor web site and check updates for yourself
•ATI Driver Autodetect http://support.amd.com/en-us/download/auto-detect-tool
•nVidia Driver Downloads http://www.nvidia.com/Download/index.aspx?lang=en-us
Photo Scaling for Video http://forums.adobe.com/thread/450798 may help
-HiRes Pictures to DVD http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1187937?tstart=0
-PrEl Crash http://forums.adobe.com/thread/973935
Exactly what is INSIDE the video you are editing?
Codec & Format information, with 2 links inside for you to read http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1270588
Report back with the codec details of your file, use the programs below... A screen shot works well to SHOW people what you are doing
http://forums.adobe.com/thread/592070?tstart=30 for screen shot instructions
Free programs to get file information for PC/Mac http://mediaarea.net/en/MediaInfo/Download
Does your video use a VARIABLE Frame Rate or a Constant Frame Rate?
Please confirm your information so that we have a strong beginning on the troubleshooting. We can be more productive in the troubleshooting strategy if we can replace the "I think" with a definite "it is".
The important questions that need to be answered....
a. Is your computer optimized and pile ups of preview files, conformed audio, and conformed video gotten rid of? You might consider a run through with the free ccleaner (regular cleaner and registry cleaner parts).
b. What is your project preset (See Edit Menu/Project Settings/General.)
c. What are the properties of your source files (1080p, 1080i, and whatever else you can tell us about them....such as brand, model, settings for the camera that recorded the video. What are the pixel dimensions of the photos with which you are working and how many of them are there?)
Let us start here and build on the information to get at the core of your issue...lots of factors to rule in or out.
Looking forward to your follow up.
Thanks for your reply.
A) I downloaded the ccleaner and ran it. Premiere elements is still running slowly.
b) I looked in project settings but I don't know how to tell what the project preset is. It doesn't say that anywhere. The 'display format' says '25fps timecode' if that helps.
c) the files I'm adding are jpeg files. Each file is between 20.5KB - 150.0KB between 20-50 photos in the video so far, the video was recorded on a high quality canon (not sure which model)
I hope that info helps
Thanks for the reply with additional information.
1. Let us focus on those 20 to 50 photos. Can you find out the pixel dimensions of those photos, that would be the width and height in pixels - maybe 720 x 480 pixels or 3264 x 2448 pixels or greater? The file size (20.5 to 150.0 KB) suggests that they may not be oversized for the project, but let us try to make sure.
Photo oversized for the project are frequent causes of project failures. But with Premiere Elements 11 on Windows 8 64 bit, you should not be having resource issue with just 20 to 50 photos even if they were a bit oversized.
2. To find what the project preset has been set at, in the version 11's Expert workspace, go to Edit Menu/Project Settings/General, and tell us what you
see for the readings for Editing Mode, Timebase, Frame Size, and Pixel Aspect Ratio even if any look grayed out.
3. When you are adding photos to the project, how many photos do you have to add to the Timeline to get the slow performance?
Please consider and then we will decide what next.
Thank you for the follow ups.