Issue

When you are logged in to a particular user account on a Macintosh computer or a computer running Windows 7 or later, an Adobe application exhibits unexpected behavior. For example, the application doesn't start, executes commands incorrectly, returns errors, or closes unexpectedly. The issues don't occur when you log in to a new or different user account.

Before you begin

Mac OS

Make a backup copy of your startup disk before you begin doing the tasks in this document.

When you do some of the steps in this document, the Finder displays an Authenticate window. When an Authenticate window appears, enter the username and password for an administrator user account, and then click OK.

There are many possible causes of account-specific unexpected behavior. This document addresses only the most common causes. For further assistance with troubleshooting user accounts, contact Apple Support.

Windows

Make a backup of your system drive before you begin doing the tasks in this document.

These tasks sometimes initiate a User Account Control dialog box that asks for your permission to continue. Read the details in the dialog box to determine if you want to continue. If you choose to cancel the dialog box, then you can't continue with that task.

Some of the tasks in this document mention hidden folders. By default, Windows Explorer does not display hidden folders. To make hidden folders visible, see Show hidden files folders, filename extensions | Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7.

There are many possible causes of account-specific unexpected behavior. This document addresses only the most common causes. For additional assistance with troubleshooting user accounts, contact the manufacturer of your computer or go to the Microsoft Help and Support site at http://support.microsoft.com.

Solutions

Log in to the user account in which the Adobe application is exhibiting the unexpected behavior. Then do the following tasks in order:

Mac OS

1. Grant read-write permissions on appropriate folders.

Ensure that the user account has read-write permissions on the following folders:

  • /Applications/Adobe
  • /Applications/.AdobePatchFiles (hidden, use Go > Go to Folder command)
  • /Applications/Utilities/Adobe
  • /Library/Application Support/Adobe
  • /Library/Preferences/com.adobe
  • /Users/[user]/Library/Application Support/Adobe
  • /Users/[user]/Library/Caches/Adobe
  • /Users/[user]/Library/Caches/com.adobe
  • /Users/[user]/Library/Preferences/Adobe
  • /Users/[user]/Library/Preferences/com.adobe

After granting the permissions, for the changes to apply, either log out of the user account and log in back, or restart the machine.

2. Re-create the Adobe application's account-specific preferences files.

Adobe applications store a user's custom settings in preferences files. Each user account has its own set of preferences files.

When an Adobe application exhibits unexpected behavior only in a particular user account, one of the application's preferences files could be damaged. You can force an Adobe application to create undamaged preferences files by renaming the current preferences files. Some Adobe applications store several preferences files inside a folder; for those applications, you can rename the folder.

Some Adobe applications save preferences in both folders and stand-alone files. For example, Adobe Photoshop CS4 uses both a preferences file named com.adobe.Photoshop.plist and a preferences folder named Adobe Photoshop CS4 Settings. To force Photoshop CS4 to create undamaged preferences files, rename both of these items. For example, rename them as Old com.adobe.Photoshop.plist and Old Adobe Photoshop CS4 Settings, respectively.

Generally, Adobe applications store preferences files and folders in one or more of these locations:

  • /Users/[user name]/Library/Preferences
  • /Users/[user name]/Library/Preferences/Adobe
  • /Users/[user name]/Library/Application Support/Adobe

Important: Apple made the user library folder hidden by default with the release of Mac OS X 10.7. If you need access to files in the hidden library folder to perform Adobe-related troubleshooting, see How to access hidden user library files.

Some Adobe applications store additional preferences files in other locations. For example, Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 stores additional preferences files in folders named Layouts, Settings, and Styles. These files are located inside /Users/[user name]/Documents/Adobe/Premiere Pro/4.0.

To determine the exact names and locations of the preferences files and folders for the Adobe application that you are troubleshooting, go to www.adobe.com/support. Search the Support Knowledgebase for the search term "preferences" plus the name and version of the application. Then look in the "System Errors or Freezes" document or other documents that are listed in the search results.

To re-create the preferences files for an Adobe application, do the following:

  1. Quit the Adobe application.
  2. Rename the Adobe application's preferences files and folders.
  3. Open the Adobe application. The application creates preferences files.

After you have re-created the preferences files and folders, try to reproduce the issue.

If the issue still occurs, then a damaged preferences file is not the cause. To restore the user account's custom settings, delete the new preferences files and folders. Then restore the original names of all the items that you had renamed.

If the issue no longer occurs, then a damaged preferences file was the cause. Custom settings associated with the previous preferences files are lost, however.

3. Troubleshoot account-specific fonts.

On Mac OS, fonts can be installed either for all user accounts or only for a particular user account. Account-specific font files are located in /Users/[user name]/Library/Fonts.

When an Adobe application behaves unexpectedly only in a particular account, the cause can be a damaged font file that is installed only for that account.

Use the Font Book application, which is included with Mac OS X, to temporarily disable all account-specific fonts. After you disable the account-specific fonts, search for and delete Adobe font cache files. Do the following:

  1. Quit all open applications.
  2. If you normally use a third-party font-management utility to enable and disable fonts, then temporarily disable that utility. For instructions, see its documentation.
  3. Open Font Book. (By default, Font Book is located in the Applications folder.)
  4. In the Collection column, select User. Then do one of the following:

    • If the Font column is empty, then no account-specific fonts are installed for this user account. Skip the rest of this task and proceed to Task 3.
    • If at least one font appears in the Font column, then choose Edit > Disable "User."
  5. In the Finder, choose File > Find. Search options appear at the top of the frontmost Finder window.

  6. Search for Adobe font cache files by setting the search options as follows:

    • Mac OS X v.10.4.x: In the top row of search options, select Home. In the second row, choose Name and Begins With from the two pop-up menus. Then type AdobeFnt in the text box to the right of Begins With.
    • Mac OS X v.10.5.x and later: In the top row of search options, select the user account name (which appears inside quotation marks). In the second row, choose Name and Begins With from the two pop-up menus. Then type AdobeFnt in the text box to the right of Begins With.
  7. In the search results, delete all the files whose name begins with AdobeFnt and ends with .lst.

  8. Open the Adobe application and try to reproduce the issue.

If the issue still occurs, then the cause is not an account-specific font. Re-enable the account-specific fonts by opening Font Book, selecting User in the Collection column, and choosing Edit > Enable. Then proceed to Task 3.

If the issue no longer occurs, then the cause is an account-specific font. To identify the exact font file that is causing the issue, do the following:

  1. Open Font Book.

  2. In the Collection column, select User.

  3. In the Font column, select one of the disabled fonts.

  4. Choose Edit > Enable [Font Name].

  5. Open the Adobe application and try to reproduce the issue. Then do one of the following:

    • If the issue still occurs, then quit the Adobe application and then repeat Steps 3 through 5.
    • If the issue no longer occurs, then the font that you most recently re-enabled is the cause. Leave that font disabled; or delete that font and contact the font publisher for a replacement font file.

4. Delete account-specific Adobe cache files.

Some Adobe applications create temporary data files, which are known as cache files. Excessive or damaged cache files in a user account can cause an Adobe application to exhibit unexpected behavior.

Do the following:

  1. Quit all Adobe applications.

  2. In the Finder, navigate to /Users/[user name]/Library/Caches.

  3. In the Caches folder, delete the Adobe folder.

  4. Delete any other folders inside the Caches folder that are named after the Adobe application that you are troubleshooting.

  5. Delete any other folders inside the Caches folder that are named after components of the Adobe application that you are troubleshooting. For example, if you are troubleshooting Photoshop CS4, then also delete the Adobe Camera Raw folder inside the Caches folder.

  6. Open the Adobe application and try to reproduce the issue.

If the issue still occurs, then proceed to the next task.

5. Troubleshoot account-specific login items.

Login items are applications or documents that open automatically when you log in to a user account. (They also open automatically when you start the computer, if you have enabled automatic login.) Some login items are hidden after they open. When an Adobe application behaves unexpectedly in a particular account, one of the account's login items could be malfunctioning, damaged, or incompatible with the Adobe application.

To determine whether any of the user account's login items are causing the issue in the Adobe application, do the following:

  1. Choose Apple Menu > Log Out [User Name].

  2. In the confirmation dialog, click Log Out. After a few moments, the login window will appear.

  3. In the login window, select the name of the user account that you are troubleshooting.

  4. Type the user account's password in the Password text box; but do not press Return, and do not click Log In yet.

  5. Hold down the Shift key and click Log In. Release the Shift key when the Dock appears. Login items are disabled until you log out (or restart the computer).

  6. Open the Adobe application and try to reproduce the issue.

If the issue still occurs, then a login item is not the cause. Re-enable the login items by logging out (via Apple Menu > Log Out [User Name]). Then log back in to the same account without holding down the Shift key. Then proceed to Task 5.

If the issue no longer occurs, then a login item is the cause. To identify the exact login item that is causing the issue, do the following:

If the issue still occurs, then the cause is not an account-specific font. Re-enable the account-specific fonts by opening Font Book, selecting User in the Collection column, and choosing Edit > Enable. Then proceed to Task 3.

If the issue no longer occurs, then the cause is an account-specific font. To identify the exact font file that is causing the issue, do the following:

  1. Choose Apple Menu > Log Out [User Name].

  2. Log back in to the same account. Do not hold down the Shift key.

  3. Choose Apple Menu > System Preferences.

  4. In the System Preferences window, click Accounts.

  5. If the padlock icon at the bottom of the window appears locked, then click the icon and authenticate.

  6. Select the user account that you are troubleshooting.

  7. Click the Login Items tab.

  8. Make a list of the current login items.

  9. Select a login item and press Delete.

  10. Open the Adobe application and try to reproduce the issue. Then do one of the following:

    • If the issue still occurs, then quit the Adobe application and repeat Steps 9 and 10.
    • If the issue no longer occurs, then the login item that you most recently deleted was the cause. Contact the publisher of that login item for information about the availability of updated version. Restore the other login items by dragging their icons into the Login Items area in System Preferences. Or, reinstall the application associated with a login item.

6. Reset the access settings on the user account's Library folder.

Complete this task only if the account that you are troubleshooting is an administrator account and the account has a password.

Every file and folder on a Mac OS X volume has Unix-style ownership and permission settings. These settings determine which user accounts have access to the file or folder and which accounts do not have access.

An Adobe application can behave unexpectedly in a particular account if its access settings for its Library folder (or a subfolder) are damaged or incorrectly limited. You can use the Unix commands chmod and chown to correct these settings. Do the following:

  1. In the Finder, choose Go > Home. The frontmost Finder window goes to the user account's Home folder. Make note of the name in the title of that Finder window. This name is the "short user name" for the user account. (This short user name is necessary to complete Step 3.)

  2. Open the Terminal application, which is located by default in /Applications/Utilities.

  3. Using one of the commands below as a template, type an actual command in the Terminal window, and then press Return. (After you press Return at the end of the command, you see will a Password prompt. Type the password for the user account and press Return again. As you type each character of the password, you don't any feedback, such as asterisks. This behavior is normal.)

    Important: Each of the commands below is a template, not the actual command that you type. In the actual command that you type, replace username with the short user name that you identified in Step 1. Type the short user name in all lowercase letters. (On Mac OS X v10.4.x, type the short user name twice, separated by a colon. On Mac OS X v.10.5.x, type the short user name followed by a colon and the word staff.)

    Template command for Mac OS X v.10.4.x:


    sudo chown -R username:username ~/Library

    Template command for Mac OS X v.10.5.x:

    sudo chown -R username:staff ~/Library

  4. Type the command below exactly as it appears, and then press Return.

    sudo chmod -R 700 ~/Library

  5. Quit Terminal.

  6. Open the Adobe application and try to reproduce the issue.

If the issue still occurs, then proceed to the next task.

7. Repair the startup disk.

Disk damage that affects only a particular user account can cause an Adobe application to exhibit unexpected behavior in that account.

Do the steps below if you have the Mac OS X installation disc that came with your computer. If you do not have that disc, then you can repair the startup disk by using the fsck command in the Terminal. Or, you can use a a third-party disk-repair utility. For instructions on using the fsck command, see Article TS1417 on the Apple Support website. For instructions on using a third-party disk-repair utility, see the utility's documentation.

  1. Insert the Mac OS X installation disc into the computer's optical drive.
  2. Choose Apple Menu > Restart.
  3. When you hear the startup chime, start holding down the C key on the keyboard.
  4. When you see the startup window with the progress bar, release the C key.
  5. If the Mac OS X installer prompts you to select a language, then select your preferred language.
  6. When the Installer menu becomes available (in the upper-left part of the screen), choose Installer > Disk Utility.
  7. In Disk Utility, select the startup disk in the left side.
  8. Click First Aid in the right side.

  9. Click Repair Disk.

  10. If the repair process finishes with an indication that it corrected disk errors, then repeat Step 9. When the repair process finishes without reporting any found errors, open the Adobe application and try to reproduce the issue.

If the issue still occurs, then proceed to the next task.

8. Use a new user account.

If the application still behaves unexpectedly in a particular account, then Adobe recommends that you copy (or move) all personal files into a new user account. Then use the new account as your regular account.

For assistance with copying personal files to a new account, contact Apple Support.

Windows

1. Grant read-write permissions on appropriate folders.

Ensure that the user account has read-write permissions on the following folders:

  • C:\Program Files\Adobe
  • C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe
  • C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe
  • C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Adobe
  • C:\ProgramData\Adobe
  • C:\Users\\AppData\Roaming\Adobe
  • C:\Users\\AppData\Roaming\com.adobe.
  • C:\Users\\AppData\Local\Adobe
  • C:\Users\\AppData\LocalLow\Adobe
  • C:\Users\\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe

2. Re-create the Adobe application's account-specific preferences files.

Adobe applications store a user's custom settings in preferences files. Each user account has its own set of preferences files.

When an Adobe application exhibits unexpected behavior only in a particular user account, the cause could be that one of the application's preferences files is damaged. You can force an Adobe application to create undamaged preferences files by renaming the folder that contains the preferences files.

For example, Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 saves preferences files in a folder named 4.0, which is located in C:\Users\[user name]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Premiere Pro. To force Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 to re-create the preferences files, rename the 4.0 folder (for example, rename it to Old 4.0).

Generally, Adobe applications store preferences files and folders in one or both of these locations:

  • C:\Users\[user name]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe
  • C:\Users\[user name]\AppData\Local\Adobe

Some Adobe applications store additional preferences files in other locations. For example, Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 stores additional preferences files in folders named Styles and Layouts, which are located in C:\Users\[user name]\Documents\Adobe\Premiere Pro\4.0.

To determine the exact names and locations of the preferences folders for the Adobe application that you are troubleshooting, go to www.adobe.com/support. Search the Support Knowledgebase for the search term "preferences" plus the name and version of the application. Then, look in the "System Errors or Freezes" document or other documents that are listed in the search results.

To re-create the preferences files for an Adobe application, do the following:

  1. Close the Adobe application.

  2. Rename the Adobe application's preferences folders.

  3. Start the Adobe application. The application creates undamaged preferences files.

After you have re-created the preferences files, try to reproduce the issue.

If the issue still occurs, then a damaged preferences file is not the cause. To restore the user account's custom settings for the Adobe application, delete the new preferences folders. Then restore the original names of the folders that you had renamed.

If the issue no longer occurs, then a damaged preferences file was the cause. (The user account doesn't have custom settings associated with the previous preferences files.)

3. Delete account-specific temporary files.

Some Adobe applications store data in temporary files. An Adobe application can exhibit unexpected behavior if the account-specific temporary files are excessive, outdated, or damaged.

To delete temporary files, use the Disk Cleanup utility. See Delete temporary files using the Disk Cleanup utility (Windows 7 and Vista).

By default, the Disk Cleanup utility does not delete files in the account-specific Temp folder that have been accessed within the last seven days. You can perform a more thorough removal of temporary files by manually deleting the contents of the Temp folder.

Disclaimer: Applications from publishers other than Adobe can be adversely affected if you manually delete the contents of the Temp folder. Use caution if you choose to do this additional task. Adobe doesn't provide support for problems that arise from manually deleting files in the Temp folder.

To manually delete the contents of the account's Temp folder, do the following:

  1. Close all applications.

  2. Choose Start > All Programs > Accessories. Right-click Command Prompt and choose Run As Administrator.

  3. In the Command Prompt window, type the following command exactly as it appears below, and then press Enter:

    del %temp%\*.* /s /q

    Note: del is the command to delete files. %temp%\*.* is a combination of the "environment variable" for the location of the account's Temp folder plus wildcard characters that indicate all files. /s extends the command to include all files within any subfolders. /q prevents Windows from prompting for confirmation of each file to delete.

  4. A list of deleted files appears in the Command Prompt window. (The list can include files that could not be deleted. It's likely that you also see the message, "Access is denied" or "The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process." This behavior is normal.)

  5. Close the Command Prompt window.

After you have deleted temporary files, open the Adobe application and try to reproduce the issue.

If the issue still occurs, then proceed to the next task.

4. Troubleshoot account-specific startup items.

Startup items are applications or documents that open automatically when you log in to a user account. When an Adobe application behaves unexpectedly in one account, it's possible that one of the account's startup items is malfunctioning, damaged, or incompatible with the application.

To determine whether any of the user account's startup items are causing the issue in the Adobe application, do the following:

  1. In Windows Explorer, navigate to C:\Users\[user name]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • If the Startup folder is empty, or if there is no Startup folder, then this account does not have any account-specific startup items. Skip the rest of these steps and proceed to Task 4.
    • If there is at least one item in the Startup folder, then create a folder on the Desktop. Name that new folder Holding Folder.
  3. Move all items from the Startup folder into the Holding Folder that you created.

  4. Choose Start > Log Off.

  5. Log on to the same account.

  6. Open the Adobe application and try to reproduce the issue.

If the issue still occurs, then an account-specific startup item is not the cause. You can move all of the items that are in the Holding Folder back into C:\Users\[user name]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup. Proceed to Task 4.

If the issue no longer occurs, then an account-specific startup item is the cause. To identify the exact startup item that is causing the issue, do the following:

  1. Close the Adobe application.

  2. Move one item from the Holding Folder back into C:\Users\[user name]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup.

  3. Choose Start > Log Off.

  4. Log on to the same account.

  5. Open the Adobe application and try to reproduce the issue. Then do one of the following:

    • If the issue still occurs, then repeat Steps 1 through 5.
    • If the issue no longer occurs, then the startup item that you most recently reenabled is the cause. Remove it from the Startup folder, and contact the publisher of that startup item for information about the availability of updated version. Move all the remaining items from the Holding Folder back into C:\Users\[user name]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup.

5. Reset the access settings on the account-specific application data folders.

Complete this task only if the account that you are troubleshooting is an administrator account and is not on a network domain.

Account-specific errors can occur if the account doesn't have full read/write access to the folders with the Adobe application preferences files and account-specific data files. You can use the icacls command to reset the access settings. Do the following:

  1. Close all applications.

  2. Choose Start > All Programs > Accessories. Right-click Command Prompt and choose Run As Administrator. A command-line window opens.

  3. In the command-line window, type each of the following commands exactly as they appear below. Press Enter after each command. 

    Important: Type a space before and after each of the switches -- /T, /C, and /grant -- in every command.

    icacls "%userprofile%\AppData\Local" /T /C /grant "%username%":F

    icacls "%userprofile%\AppData\Roaming" /T /C /grant "%username%":F

    icacls "%userprofile%\AppData\Local" /T /C /grant system:F

    icacls "%userprofile%\AppData\Roaming" /T /C /grant system:F

  4. Close the command-line window.

  5. Open the Adobe application and try to reproduce the issue.

If the issue still occurs, then proceed to the next task.

6. Re-create the account-specific Adobe key in the Windows registry.

Disclaimer: This task requires you to modify the Windows registry. The registry contains system-related information that is critical to your computer and applications. Before you modify the registry, make a backup copy of it. Adobe doesn't provide support for problems that arise from improperly modifying the registry. For more information about the Windows registry or the Registry Editor, see the Microsoft Help and Support site at http://support.microsoft.com.

  1. Close all applications.

  2. Click Start. Type regedit in the Start Search box and then press Enter. The Registry Editor opens.

  3. In the left pane of the Registry Editor, locate and select the following registry key:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Adobe.

  4. Choose File > Export.

  5. In the Export Registry File dialog box, select Selected Branch under Export Range. Enter a name and location for the backup registry key, and then click Save.

  6. Right-click the Adobe key and choose Delete.

  7. In the Confirm Key Delete dialog, click OK.

  8. Close the Registry Editor.

  9. Open the Adobe application and try to reproduce the issue.

If the issue still occurs, then a damaged registry entry is not the cause. You can restore the backup copy of the Adobe key by doing the following:

  1. Close all applications.

  2. Click Start. Type regedit in the Start Search box and then press Enter. The Registry Editor opens.

  3. In the Registry Editor, choose File > Import.

  4. In the Import Registry File dialog, navigate to the location of the backup key that you saved in the previous steps. Select the file and click Open.

7. Repair the system hard drive.

Disk damage that affects only a particular user account can cause an Adobe application to malfunction in that account.

To repair the system hard drive, see Repair and defragment hard disks (Windows 7 and Vista).

After you have repaired the drive, open the Adobe application and try to reproduce the issue. If the issue still occurs, then proceed to the next task.

8. Use a new user account.

If the application still behaves unexpectedly in a particular account, then copy (or move) all personal files into an account in which the behavior doesn't occur. Use the new account as your regular account.

For assistance with copying personal files to a new user account, contact the manufacturer of your computer. Or, go to the Microsoft Help and Support site at http://support.microsoft.com.

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