Issue

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

Before you begin

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 user name 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.

Solutions

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

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: 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.

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