Choose System Preferences from the Apple menu.
Follow the steps in this article to troubleshoot symptoms of Mac OS system errors, such as blank or flickering dialog box, a frozen cursor or screen, an unexpected restart, or a Mac OS error message.
Receive a specific error when you use your Adobe application? Search Adobe Community Help for the error, or visit the Adobe Forums to get help from community experts.
If your system does not meet the minimum requirements for your Adobe product, the product may not run correctly. Visit the Adobe System Requirements web page to make sure that your system meets the minimum requirements.
To check basic system information, such as processor speed and available RAM, choose About This Mac from the Apple menu. For more information about your system, click More Info.
Back up all personal files (for example, Photoshop or InDesign files you created) to prevent potential data loss.
The latest version of the Adobe software can be more compatible with the operating system and drivers. Before you install an update, make sure that your system meets the requirements.
Visit the Adobe Product Updates page to see updates available for your product.
Re-create the Adobe application preferences file to eliminate problems that a damaged preferences file can cause.
The main preferences file is called "Adobe [Product Name] [Product Version] Prefs.psp."
The preference file's location is
/Users/[user name]/Library/Preferences/Adobe [Product Name] [Product Version] Settings/Adobe [Product Name] [Product Version] Prefs.psp
Important: The user library folder is hidden by default in Mac OS X 10.7 and later. See Access hidden user library files.
If you need a quick way to reset your preferences, you can do that in many Adobe applications by using a keyboard shortcut while launching the product. Hold Cmd-Shift-Option immediately after you double-click the application icon.
See this video for a walkthrough on resetting Photoshop's preferences: How to Reset Photoshop Preferences File
For additional instructions, search your product's Help system for “restore preferences.”
Some Adobe applications are designed to run only on an OS that has the language configured to match the language of the Adobe product. To change the language on your Mac OS X system, do the following:
Choose System Preferences from the Apple menu.
Click Language & Text.
Click the Language tab.
In the Languages pane, drag your preferred language to the top of the list.
Restart your computer or log out and log back in to apply the new language preference.
Updates to the Mac OS X operating system can improve its performance and compatibility with Adobe applications.
Choose Software Update from the Apple menu, or visit the Apple downloads page. For assistance installing updates, contact Apple technical support.
Important: Before you install a system update, make sure that your Adobe application's system requirements meet the system update version.
To maximize available RAM and reduce the chance that another application or extension conflicts with the Adobe application, try all the following:
Quit open applications: Quit open applications (including virus-protection utilities). Then restart the Adobe application.
Note: If applications don't quit as expected, force quit them by choosing Force Quit from the Apple menu. Do not force quit the Finder.
Disable nonessential extensions: Hold down Shift while you restart the computer to disable nonessential extensions located in the user accounts Login Items folder. Then restart the Adobe application.
Quit processes that use large amounts of system resources: Quit processes that use more than 30% of system resources, and then restart the Adobe application.
1. Choose Go > Utilities > Activity Monitor.
2. Select each process that uses more than 30% of the CPU, and click Quit Process.
If you lack administrator access privileges, the Adobe application may be unable to access necessary files. To determine if limited privileges cause the problem, log in as a user with access privileges, and try to re-create the problem.
If the problem doesn't recur, the account you were previously using lacks access privileges. Contact your system administrator to grant you access privileges.
To log in as an administrator, do the following:
From the Apple menu, choose Log Out.
Click Log Out when the system returns the message, "Are you sure you want to quit all applications and log out now?"
If your computer automatically logs you in, but you want to log in as another user, hold Shift when the Mac OS X Startup Screen appears. Release the Shift key when the login screen appears.
When the login screen appears, select a user with access privileges, type the appropriate password, and then press Return.
If you don't have access to an account with administrator privileges, contact your system administrator.
Some system components, such as device drivers and virus protection utilities, can conflict with the Adobe application installer and result in an incomplete or failed installation. To prevent these conflicts, install the application from the desktop.
Double-click the Setup file, and follow the onscreen instructions.
If you previously installed an update to the Adobe application, reinstall the update after you reinstall the application.
Occasionally, a user account can become corrupted and prevent the installer from accessing or creating the necessary files and folders.
Create a user account, log in to the new account, and then try to install or run the Adobe application. For information on creating a user account, see Install or run Adobe applications in new user account | Mac OS X.
If reinstalling the Adobe application doesn't solve the problem, try installing and running the application on a different hard drive in the same computer. Or, try the same hard drive installed in a different computer.
If the problem doesn't recur, the hard drive or the motherboard you were using previously could be the cause. For assistance, contact the manufacturer.
Acrobat | Adobe Reader | Adobe Premiere Pro | Adobe Premiere Elements | After Effects | Adobe Bridge | Fireworks | Illustrator | InDesign | Photoshop | Photoshop Elements | Photoshop Lightroom
Adobe Bridge | Contribute | Dreamweaver | Fireworks | Flash | Illustrator | InDesign | Photoshop
Acrobat | Adobe Premiere Pro | After Effects | Encore | Adobe OnLocation | Photoshop | Photoshop Elements | Illustrator | Soundbooth
Acrobat | Adobe Premiere Pro | AfterEffects | Encore | Fireworks | FrameMaker | Illustrator | InDesign | Photoshop | Photoshop Elements
Remove third-party plug-ins from the application's plug-ins folder (Applications > [Adobe application] > Plug-Ins).
The plug-ins folder for Adobe After Effects
Restart the application:
Move one third-party plug-in back to the application's plug-ins folder.
Restart the application, and try to re-create the problem.
Do one of the following:
Extensions enhance the functionality of the Adobe applications listed above. For more information about extensions, see Adobe Extension Manager Help.
Disable extensions to eliminate problems that a damaged or incompatible extension can cause.
Disable or turn off all extensions.
If the problem ceases, reenable one extension at a time and try working with the Adobe application that's experiencing a problem. If you identify a problematic extension, remove it.
To remove an extension:
In the Extension Manager, select the extension.
Choose File > Remove Extension.
When insufficient RAM is available for image editing, these applications use a scratch disk file. A scratch disk file is temporary disk space used for storing data and performing computations.
Maximizing scratch disk performance can resolve system errors and freezes. Search for “scratch disk” in your Adobe application's Help system for more information.
A system error can occur if an Adobe application accesses a damaged font. For instructions on troubleshooting damaged fonts, see Troubleshoot fonts | Mac OS X.
Many video card manufacturers frequently update their software drivers. If you haven't recently updated the video card driver, contact the video card manufacturer for an updated driver, or download one from the manufacturer's website.
If the problem occurs when printing, verify that you are using the latest driver and PPD (PostScript Printer Description) file for the printer. Download and install the latest driver and PPD file from the printer manufacturer's website. See the printer's documentation for instructions on installing the printer driver.
Disclaimer: Adobe doesn't support hardware and provides these tasks as a courtesy only. For further assistance, contact the hardware manufacturer or an authorized reseller. If you troubleshoot hardware problems yourself, you could void the computer's warranty.
Use current antivirus software (for example, Symantec Norton AntiVirus or McAfee Virus Scan) to check the system for viruses. Virus infections can damage software and cause system errors. For more information, see the documentation for the antivirus software.
If you log in to an account with administrator privileges, but you can't install or run the Adobe application, then your disk permissions could be damaged.
To repair your permissions by using the Disk Utility:
Choose Go > Applications, open the Utilities folder, and then double-click Disk Utility.
Select the volume on which you want to install the Adobe application, and then click Repair Disk Permissions.
Note: If you have trouble repairing disk permissions from Disk Utility, try booting from the OS install disc and running Disk Utility from that disc. Choose to repair permissions on the drive that contains your Adobe software.
To check for a damaged hard disk, which can cause installation errors, use Apple Disk Utility.
Note: Before you remove or rearrange hardware, turn off and disconnect the power to the computer and any peripheral devices.
Disconnect peripheral (external) devices one at a time. Peripheral devices include devices connected via FireWire, USB, Serial ATA, IDE, or SCSI.
If an error doesn't occur when a peripheral device is disconnected, there could be a problem with the device, the cable, or the connection. Contact the manufacturer of the device for troubleshooting steps for the device.
Important: Reformatting a disk erases all files it contains, so be sure to back up all personal files first. Also make sure that you have all application and system disks.
Reformat the hard disk using HFS+ formatting, and then install only Mac OS and your Adobe product from the original installation media.
Note: Don't install additional software or hardware until you're sure that the problem is resolved. Don't back up the hard disk and restore Mac OS and the application instead of reinstalling them. If an application or Mac OS causes the problem, and either one is restored instead of reinstalled, the problem could recur.
Try to re-create the problem:
ICC profiles help manage color spaces on your system. A system error can occur if your Adobe application accesses a damaged ICC profile. Troubleshoot ICC profiles to determine if they cause the problem:
Move all profiles from the following folders to the desktop:
Restart the Adobe application and try to re-create the problem.
Damaged or incompatible PCI or PCI-X expansion cards can cause system errors. To check PCI or PCX cards, turn off your computer. Remove any processor accelerator cards, video cards, or other installed expansion cards, and then restart the computer.
Make sure that RAM modules are installed properly and are not the cause by doing one or both of the following:
Install the system software on a different hard disk (not a different partition on the same disk) and then specify that disk as the startup disk. Then, install the application to the new hard disk.
To specify the startup disk:
Choose System Preferences from the Apple menu.
Select Startup Disk from the System selections.