When you launch Adobe After Effects,  most menu items are dimmed, and the only open panel is the Render Queue, which is full screen.

Solution: Launch the main After Effects application

You have launched After Effects in the After Effects Render Engine mode by doing one of the following:

To resolve the problem, either launch After Effects using the normal application icon (for example, Adobe After Effects CC 2014), or remove instances of the ae_render_only_node.txt file.

Additional information

The ae_render_only_node.txt file can be in one of the following locations:

  • Mac locations:
    /Users/[user name]/Documents/
  • Windows locations:
    C:\Users\[user name]\Documents

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