Troubleshoot font issues

Is Illustrator or InDesign crashing due to font issues? Learn how to identify and remove damaged fonts from these apps.

Font issues, especially damaged fonts, can lead to various issues in Illustrator and InDesign. Follow the troubleshooting steps explained in this article to resolve these issues.

Get the latest app

Before you proceed, ensure that you have the latest app version.

Update Your App

4 Ways to remove damaged fonts

third party font

Clear system cache

Validate font

Isolate problematic fonts

Remove third-party font management plug-in

 Remove or update any third-party font plug-ins before testing your fonts.

  1. Open the plug-in folder.
    [Illustrator] Choose Applications > Illustrator > Plugins.
    [InDesign] Choose Applications > InDesign > Plugins.
    [Illustrator] Choose Program Files > Adobe > Adobe Illustrator > Plugins.
    [InDesign] Choose Program Files > Adobe > Adobe InDesign > Plugins.
  2. Copy the font management utility and paste it on the desktop.
     Font management utility is Extensis, Suitcase, Font explorer, Font explorer Pro, RightFont, and NexusFont.
  3. Remove the plug-ins from the plugins folder. 

Clear the system font cache


  1. Quit the application and the Adobe Creative Cloud desktop app (if installed).
  2. Choose Applications > Utilities.
  3. Open Terminal.
     You need to be careful when using Terminal as it affects your operating system at a low level.  To review the Atsuil manual, type man atsutil
    and press Return, or read this article.
  4. Type the following command and press Return.
    sudo atsutil databases –remove


  1. Turn on hidden files and folders.
  2. Close all Adobe applications including the Adobe Creative Cloud desktop app (if installed).
  3. Navigate to  C:\Windows\ServiceProfiles\LocalService\AppData\Local.
  4. Delete the *FNTCACHE*.DAT or *FontCache*.dat files.
    The asterisk (*) indicates various numbers, letters, or words, such as FontCache-S-1-5-21.dat.
Fontcache folder
Font cache folder

Validate all fonts

  1. Choose Applications > Font Book.
  2. In the Collection column, choose All Fonts.
  3. To select all the fonts, select the top-most font in the Font column and press Cmd+A.
  4. Choose File > Validate Font.
  5. Delete the damaged or duplicate font.

If Font Book crashes, restart Font Book, and scroll through the fonts one by one. Determine the font that caused the crash. Use the Down arrow key to select the first font, then hold the key down to scroll through all your fonts.

All Fonts
Step 2: All Fonts

Validate font
Step 4: Validate font


  1. Type Control Panel in Windows Search and press Enter. In the Control Panel, open Fonts folder.
  2. Select all the fonts, and copy and paste them in a folder on desktop.
  3. Trash the fonts from the Fonts folder. 
  4. Copy and paste each batch of fonts from the desktop to Fonts folder and launch the application. If you are unable to launch the application, the damaged font exists in the Fonts folder.
  5. Identify and remove the damaged font, and relaunch the application.
Fonts Folder
Fonts Folder

[macOS] Isolate the problematic font

  • With the macOSX 10.7 release, user library folder is hidden by default. To access files in the hidden library folder, see how to access hidden library files.
  • Make sure that your fonts are located in only one font folder. If your fonts are duplicated, remove them from any one location.

 /Users/[user name]/Library/Fonts

  • Create two folders on the desktop: font test and good fonts.

Perform the font testing for the following folders: 

  • /Users/[user name]/Library/Fonts
  • /Library/Fonts
  • /[network drive]/Library/Fonts

To test the damaged font, keep half your fonts in the Fonts folder. Move the other half to the font test folder, and test the condition that caused the problem:

  • If the problem recurs, the damaged font is in the Fonts folder. Move the fonts from the font test folder to the good fonts folder.
  • If the problem does not recur, the damaged font is in the font test folder. Move the fonts from the Fonts folder into the good font folder. Move half the fonts back into the Fonts folder for the next round of testing.

Perform the below steps to remove the damaged font:

  • Test half the remaining fonts, and continue to move the fonts without damage into the good Fonts folder. 
  • Identify the font that is causing the problem, remove it from the Fonts folder. Move all the fonts from the good fonts folder back to the appropriate Fonts folder that you are testing. Perform these tests for each Fonts folder that contains fonts. 

If the problem recurs after you remove a font, continue to perform these steps until all damaged fonts are removed.

Have a question or an idea?

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


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