Problem: An message is displayed about the Preferences folder being read-only

Preferences folder read-only error
Preferences folder read-only error

The Preferences folder is not writeable. Illustrator cannot start with the Preferences folder in a read-only state.

Solution: Manually set the Preferences folder attributes to read-write


In folder paths or names listed in the procedures, replace the parts between angular brackets '<>' with the details required.

  • Replace <user> with your account name.
  • Replace <version> with the version of Illustrator you are using.

Illustrator CC release Version number
CC 2017 21
CC 2015 20
CC 2014 19


  1. Open Finder, and navigate to the path: /Users/<user>/Library/Preferences
  2. Control-click and choose Get Info from the context menu.
  3. If the item is locked, click the lock icon () to enter an administrator’s name and password.
  4. In the Sharing & Permissions section, from the Name column, select your name (or a user profile).
  5. From the Privilege column, choose Read & Write.
  6. In any subsequent prompt, choose to apply the permission to all subfolders as well.
  7. Click the lock icon () to save your preferences.
  8. Perform steps 2 through 6 for the folder: /Users/<user>/Library/Application Support
  9. Start Illustrator.


  1. Press Windows + R, to open the Run prompt.
  2. Type %appdata% and click OK.
  3. In the Explorer window that opens, navigate to the folder Adobe.
  4. Right-click the folder Adobe Illustrator <version> Settings, select Properties > Security, and click Edit.
  5. In the Permissions dialog, select your user name. In the Permissions area, de-select the Deny checkbox.
  6. Click OK twice.
  7. Start Illustrator.