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Fix preferences file issues

  1. Illustrator User Guide
  2. Get to know Illustrator
    1. Introduction to Illustrator
      1. What's new in Illustrator
      2. Common questions
      3. Illustrator system requirements
      4. Illustrator for Apple silicon
    2. Workspace
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      2. Learn faster with the Illustrator Discover panel
      3. Create documents
      4. Toolbar
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      7. Introduction to artboards
      8. Manage artboards
      9. Customize the workspace
      10. Properties panel
      11. Set preferences
      12. Touch Workspace
      13. Microsoft Surface Dial support in Illustrator
      14. Undo edits and manage design history
      15. Rotate view
      16. Rulers, grids, and guides
      17. Accessibility in Illustrator
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      20. Use the Touch Bar with Illustrator
      21. Files and templates
    3. Tools in Illustrator
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      2. Select tools
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    4. Quick actions
      1. Retro text
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  3. Illustrator on the iPad
    1. Introduction to Illustrator on the iPad
      1. Illustrator on the iPad overview
      2. Illustrator on the iPad FAQs
      3. System requirements | Illustrator on the iPad
      4. What you can or cannot do on Illustrator on the iPad
    2. Workspace
      1. Illustrator on the iPad workspace
      2. Touch shortcuts and gestures
      3. Keyboard shortcuts for Illustrator on the iPad
      4. Manage your app settings
    3. Documents
      1. Work with documents in Illustrator on the iPad
      2. Import Photoshop and Fresco documents
    4. Select and arrange objects
      1. Create repeat objects
      2. Blend objects
    5. Drawing
      1. Draw and edit paths
      2. Draw and edit shapes
    6. Type
      1. Work with type and fonts
      2. Create text designs along a path
      3. Add your own fonts
    7. Work with images
      1. Vectorize raster images
    8. Color
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  4. Cloud documents
    1. Basics
      1. Work with Illustrator cloud documents
      2. Share and collaborate on Illustrator cloud documents
      3. Share documents for review
      4. Upgrade cloud storage for Adobe Illustrator
      5. Illustrator cloud documents | Common questions
    2. Troubleshooting
      1. Troubleshoot create or save issues for Illustrator cloud documents
      2. Troubleshoot Illustrator cloud documents issues
  5. Add and edit content
    1. Drawing
      1. Drawing basics
      2. Edit paths
      3. Draw pixel-perfect art
      4. Draw with the Pen, Curvature, or Pencil tool
      5. Draw simple lines and shapes
      6. Image Trace
      7. Simplify a path
      8. Define perspective grids
      9. Symbolism tools and symbol sets
      10. Adjust path segments
      11. Design a flower in 5 easy steps
      12. Perspective drawing
      13. Symbols
      14. Draw pixel-aligned paths for web workflows
    2. 3D objects and materials
      1. About 3D effects in Illustrator
      2. Create 3D graphics
      3. Map artwork over 3D objects
      4. Create 3D Text
    3. Color
      1. About color
      2. Select colors
      3. Use and create swatches
      4. Adjust colors
      5. Use the Adobe Color Themes panel
      6. Color groups (harmonies)
      7. Color Themes panel
      8. Recolor your artwork
    4. Painting
      1. About painting
      2. Paint with fills and strokes
      3. Live Paint groups
      4. Gradients
      5. Brushes
      6. Transparency and blending modes
      7. Apply stroke on an object
      8. Create and edit patterns
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    5. Select and arrange objects
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      7. Blend objects
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      10. Build new shapes with Shaper and Shape Builder tools
      11. Work with Live Corners
      12. Enhanced reshape workflows with touch support
      13. Edit clipping masks
      14. Live shapes
      15. Create shapes using the Shape Builder tool
      16. Global editing
    7. Type
      1. Add text and work with type objects
      2. Create bulleted and numbered lists
      3. Manage text area
      4. Fonts and typography
      5. Format type
      6. Import and export text
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      8. Special characters
      9. Create type on a path
      10. Character and paragraph styles
      11. Tabs
      12. Text and type
      13. Find missing fonts (Typekit workflow)
      14. Update text from Illustrator 10
      15. Arabic and Hebrew type
      16. Fonts | FAQ and troubleshooting tips
      17. Create 3D text effect
      18. Creative typography designs
      19. Scale and rotate type
      20. Line and character spacing
      21. Hyphenation and line breaks
      22. Text enhancements
      23. Spelling and language dictionaries
      24. Format Asian characters
      25. Composers for Asian scripts
      26. Create text designs with blend objects
      27. Create a text poster using Image Trace
    8. Create special effects
      1. Work with effects
      2. Graphic styles
      3. Create a drop shadow
      4. Appearance attributes
      5. Create sketches and mosaics
      6. Drop shadows, glows, and feathering
      7. Summary of effects
    9. Web graphics
      1. Best practices for creating web graphics
      2. Graphs
      3. SVG
      4. Create animations
      5. Slices and image maps
  6. Import, export, and save
    1. Import
      1. Place multiple files
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      3. Links information
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      5. Import artwork from Photoshop
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    2. Creative Cloud Libraries in Illustrator 
      1. Creative Cloud Libraries in Illustrator
    3. Save
      1. Save artwork
    4. Export
      1. Use Illustrator artwork in Photoshop
      2. Export artwork
      3. Collect assets and export in batches
      4. Package files
      5. Create Adobe PDF files
      6. Extract CSS | Illustrator CC
      7. Adobe PDF options
      8. File information and metadata
  7. Printing
    1. Prepare for printing
      1. Set up documents for printing
      2. Change the page size and orientation
      3. Specify crop marks for trimming or aligning
      4. Get started with large canvas
    2. Printing
      1. Overprint
      2. Print with color management
      3. PostScript printing
      4. Print presets
      5. Printer's marks and bleeds
      6. Print and save transparent artwork
      7. Trapping
      8. Print color separations
      9. Print gradients, meshes, and color blends
      10. White Overprint
  8. Automate tasks
    1. Data merge using the Variables panel
    2. Automation with scripts
    3. Automation with actions
  9. Troubleshooting 
    1. Crash issues
    2. Recover files after crash
    3. File issues
    4. Supported file formats
    5. GPU device driver issues
    6. Wacom device issues
    7. DLL file issues
    8. Memory issues
    9. Preferences file issues
    10. Font issues
    11. Printer issues
    12. Share crash report with Adobe
    13. Improve Illustrator performance

Learn how to fix preferences file issues in Illustrator.

If Illustrator crashes or stops responding or intermittently slows down, or displays an error message about the Preferences folder being read-only, try resetting or deleting preferences. Before you proceed, create a backup copy of your existing preferences file.

Reset preferences

When you reset preferences, the previous preferences file is saved as Adobe Illustrator Prefs.err.


Do one of the following:

  • In the Illustrator > Preferences > General dialog:
    1. Click Reset Preferences and then click OK.
    2. Restart Illustrator.
  • Press Option+Command+Shift when you start Illustrator. 


Do one of the following:

  • In the Edit > Preferences > General dialog, 
    1. Click Reset Preferences and then click OK.
    2. Restart Illustrator.
  • Press Alt+Ctrl+Shift when you start Illustrator. 

Delete preferences

You may require read and write permission to delete the preferences folder. If the issue persists, change the preferences folder permission to read and write or fix damaged preferences files in Windows.

Delete the preferences file at:


  • /Users/<username>/Library/Preferences/Adobe Illustrator version-number Settings
  • /Users/<username>/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe Illustrator version number
Delete the preferences file at:


  • C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Illustrator <version> Settings

Example/Users/<Username>/Library/Preferences/Adobe Illustrator 25 Settings

Folder names may vary based on the installed language version. A new preferences file is automatically created the next time you launch Illustrator.

Change the Preferences folder permissions to read and write

Follow the instructions given below to provide read and write permissions to Adobe folders.


Perform this procedure, once each for the following folders:

  • /Users/<user>/Library/Preferences/
  • /Users/<user>/Library/Application Support/Adobe/
  1. Open Finder, and navigate to the path given above.
  2. Control-click the folder and choose Get Info.
  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. Launch Illustrator.


Perform this procedure, once each for the following folders:

  • C:\Program Files\Adobe
  • C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe
  • C:\ProgramData\Adobe
  • C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Roaming\Adobe
  • C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Illustrator <version> Settings
  1. Open the File Explorer window. Click the View tab, and select Hidden items check box.
  2. Navigate to the folder using the paths given above.
  3. Right-click the folder and choose Properties.
  4. Click the Security tab, and then click Edit to set permissions.
  5. In the Permissions dialog, select your user name. In the Permissions area, deselect the Deny check box.
  6. Click OK twice.
  7. Launch Adobe Illustrator.

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.

[Windows only] Fix corrupted preferences file

You may need Administrator permissions on your computer to complete the following procedure.

  1. On your Windows-based computer, choose Windows > Run or press Windows+R.

  2. In the Run dialog, type intl.cpl and press Enter.

  3. In the Region dialog, select Administrative tab, click Change system locale.

  4. In the Current system locale drop-down, select English (United States), and press OK twice.

  5. Start Illustrator. The steps performed so far should fix the issue with the Preferences file in Adobe Illustrator. Proceed to the next step if you continue to experience an error with the corrupted Preferences file.

  6. Repeat Steps 1 and 2. In the Region and Language dialog > Formats tab, click Additional settings.

  7. In the Customize Format dialog, ensure that the:

    • Decimal symbol field is set to the decimal point (otherwise referred to as the period symbol). Press OK twice.
    • Digital grouping symbol field is set to comma.
  8. Restart Illustrator.

Tips to avoid preferences-related issues

To avoid preferences-related issues in the future:

  • Be cautious while installing a third-party plug-in as it may auto-update your preferences file.
  • Ensure that Illustrator quits properly. An abnormal exit may result in damaging your preferences file.
  • Do not modify the preferences file manually.

To preempt any performance issues after updating to a new version,

  • Click Update in the Creative Cloud desktop app.
  •  Deselect Advanced Options > Import Previous Settings And Preferences in the confirmation dialog.

Have a question or an idea?

If you have a question to ask or an idea to share, come and participate in Adobe Illustrator Community. We'd love to hear from you.

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