Fix unknown error issues in Illustrator

Facing an issue where Illustrator is displaying An unknown error is detected dialog? Learn about the possible reasons and workarounds.

This issue occurs when you try to save a file in Illustrator in .ai format. Start using the workarounds in the order mentioned below to fix the problem. Try to save the file after you perform each workaround and move to the next if the problem persists. 

Save the file as PDF

Save the file first as PDF and then save the file in .ai format. 

Fix the text/font issues in the file

  • Outline the live text in the document and try to save the file. 
  • Change the font or fix the corrupted fonts in the file.

For more details, see Re-shape text using outlines

Try to save the document again and check if you still face the issue. 

Modify file preferences

Check If there are any existing preferences for file optimization that interrupt the file save.

Try these steps

  1. Open Preferences by pressing Cmd+K or Control+K.
  2. Go to File Handling & Clipboard.
  3. Uncheck Optimize file Open and Save Time on Slow Network (Beta)
  4. Uncheck Save in the background and click OK. 

Try to save the document again and check if you still face the issue. 

Modify PDF settings

Check If there is an issue with either the default PDF Presets or the customized PDF Presets in your system. 

Try these steps

If you use default PDF Presets: 
  1. Go to the user presets folder:
    Windows:appdata\Adobe\Adobe PDF\Settings
    macOS: ~/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe PDF/Settings
  2. Rename the Settings folder to Settings old and create a folder Settings in the same path.
  3. Launch Illustrator and try to save the document.
If you use custom PDF Presets:
  1. Go to Edit > Adobe PDF Presets.
  2. Identify custom presets that use PDF compatibility version 1.3.
  3. Quit Illustrator.
  4. Go to the user presets folder:
    Windows:appdata\Adobe\Adobe PDF\Settings
    macOS: ~/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe PDF/Settings
  5. Remove version 1.3 presets from the presets folder. 
  6. Launch Illustrator and try to save the document.

Try to save the document again and check if you still face the issue. 

Share your files with us

We recommend that you share your presets folder and file with us at ShareWithAI@adobe.com in a zip format and help us investigate the issue. 

Join the conversation

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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