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Set preferences

Learn how to get the most out of Adobe Media Encoder by configuring preference settings for several things from appearance to media, hardware, and more.


Due to changing needs of video professionals and content creators, we are discontinuing Adobe Prelude. Effective September 8, 2021, Prelude will no longer be available on For more information, and instructions for downloading Prelude during the support period, please see our FAQ.

You can customize the look and behavior of Adobe Media Encoder, from starting the queue automatically to setting the brightness of the user interface. Most of these preferences remain in effect until you change them. 

To open the Preferences dialog box, choose Edit > Preferences (Windows) or Adobe Media Encoder > Preferences (mac OS).

To restore default preference settings, hold down the Shift key while the application is starting (for both Windows and mac OS).

The user Preferences file and the Presets folder are located in the following paths in your computer: 

  • For Windows: \Users\<username>\Documents\Adobe\Adobe Media Encoder\14.0\ 
  • For mac OS: <drive>/Users/<username>/Documents/Adobe/Adobe Media Encoder/14.0/

General preferences

General preferences
General preferences

Start Queue Automatically When Idle For

The encoding process begins automatically within the specified time after an item has been added to the queue. The countdown timer is reset when you interact with the application. To disable this automatic starting, deselect this option. This preference is switched off by default.


Show Queue Elapsed Encoding Time

Shows the amount of time that has elapsed since the encoding was started.

Preview While Encoding

Video frames are shown as they are being encoded in the Encoding Panel.

Play Chime When Finished Encoding

A chime is played when encoding is done.

Remove Completed Files From Queue On Exit

Removes any encoded items from the encoding queue when you quit the application.

Enable parallel encoding

Parallel encoding speeds up processing times by encoding all outputs of a source at the same time. If the output format doesn't support parallel encoding, each output is rendered separately (aka serial encoding)

Stop current item if decode errors are detected

For some MXF sources, when decoding errors are detected, duplicated frames will be inserted. Use this option to stop encoding when decoding errors are detected instead of inserting duplicated frames. This option is enabled by default.

Import image sequences from watch folders

When enabled, sequentially named image files in watch folders will be imported as a single source.  Set the timer to adjust how long AME should wait before importing all the sequential files.

Import Premiere Pro sequences natively

Allows Premiere sequences to be imported on systems where Premiere Pro is not installed.

Don’t encode outputs when missing items are detected

Media Encoder displays a warning on certain sources & outputs when missing items are detected (offline media, missing fonts, etc.).  Enable this setting if you don’t want outputs with missing items to be encoded.

Append preset name to file name

Automatically adds the encoding preset name to the output file name.

Increment Output File Name If File With Same Name Exists

By default, if you create an output file with the same name as an existing file in the same location, Adobe Media Encoder increments the name of the new file. For example, You encode a video clip and create the output file video.avi. Then re-encode the same file without first deleting video.avi, Adobe Media Encoder names the next file video_1.avi.

If Increment output file name check box is disabled, name your files in such a way so that they don't inadvertently overwrite one another.

Specify Output File Destination

By default, Adobe Media Encoder places exported files in the same folder as the source video clip. To choose a different destination folder in which to place encoded media clips, navigate to the desired folder on your system.

Enable Display Color Management

Color manager manages display frames as per the monitor settings. By default, Enable Display Color Management is disabled. This parameter affects how thumbnails are displayed in the Media Browser and Encoding panels. Exported media is unaffected by this setting.

Color management
Color management


Appearance settings
Appearance settings


Adjust the brightness of the interface.


Specify the language used in the application.

Highlight color

Controls the brightness and saturation of the blue highlight color, interactive controls, and focus indicators.


Media settings
Media settings

Media Cache Files - Save Media Cache files next to originals when possible

A default location is provided. Click Browse to navigate to the desired location.

Media Cache Database

A default location for the database is provided. Click Browse... to navigate to the desired location. Click Clean to clean the database.

Indeterminate Media Timebase

Set the frame rate for sources without an inherent time base, such as image sequences.

Include Captions on Import

Check this box to include captions when you import files into Adobe Media Encoder.

H264/HEVC hardware accelerated decoding (requires restart)

This preference allows you to enable and disable hardware decoding from AMD, NVIDIA, or Intel.

Based on the card availability on your system, AME displays the AMD, NVIDIA, and Intel options.

By default, this option is enabled.

This option is only available on Windows. 


For more information, see Managing the media cache database article.


Metadata settings
Metadata settings

Write XMP ID To Files On Import

Writes unique identifier to imported files that don’t already contain one.

For information about other settings in the Metadata category, see Export and thin XMP metadata.


Memory settings
Memory settings

RAM Reserved For Other Applications

Adobe Media Encoder shares a memory pool with Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects, Prelude, and Photoshop. The RAM reserved for other applications value indicates how much memory is in this memory pool. You can affect this value by giving more or less RAM to other applications (and the operating system). Give more RAM to the applications that share the memory pool by decreasing the RAM Reserved For Other Applications value.

Note: Don’t set the RAM Reserved For Other Applications preference too low. Depriving the operating system and other applications of memory can cause poor performance.

Sync Settings

Sync settings
Sync settings

Keep your settings synchronized across multiple machines with the Sync Settings preferences. You can upload preferences related to your workspace layouts, keyboard shortcuts, and presets to your Creative Cloud account. You can then download the settings and apply them to other machines.

For more information, see the Sync Settings article.


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