What are Orphaned plugins?

3 minute read • Last updated 2022-10-18

Orphaned plugins are plugins for Illustrator versions that we either no longer support, or for which the installed path has changed.

If you have received a notification in the Astute Manager that you have Orphaned plugins installed on your machine, you must decide whether or not you would like to keep them before you can continue using Astute Manager and your subscription plugins.

If you have your plugins installed on an external hard drive please ensure that it is plugged in before completing this cleanup so that plugins aren't removed by mistake.

Why would I want to uninstall/Clean up my Orphaned plugins? And how do I do this?

Orphaned plugins are no longer supported by the Astute manager (or the installed path has changed). Although those plugins may continue to work if you keep them, the Astute Manager will no longer track and manage them for you and support will no longer be available.

To maintain consistency, we strongly recommend that you uninstall these orphaned plugins by clicking on the green "Clean up orphaned plugins" button.

When you click on "Clean up orphaned plugins" these orphaned plugins will be uninstalled and removed from your machine. They cannot be reinstalled as their version of Illustrator is no longer supported.

Why would I want to keep my Orphaned plugins? And how do I do this?

Orphaned plugins will still work if they are not uninstalled, it's just that as mentioned above, they are no longer supported.

If you would like to view the detected orphaned plugins or opt to keep these plugin files on your system, please click "Expand advanced settings".

Opening the "Expand advanced settings" option and opting to "Ignore and keep plugin files" means that these orphaned plugins will remain on your machine and may function, but they will be ignored by Astute Manager and we cannot offer any support to uninstall or manage them in the future.

If you receive the following error message...

"Some of the orphaned plugin files failed to automatically uninstall. You will need to manually delete them." If you see this message, please follow this advice for manually deleting them:


  • Delete plugin files from /Applications > [AiVersion] > Plug-ins


  • Delete plugin files from C:\Program Files > Adobe > [AiVersion] > Plug-ins

  • Or from the "Programs and Features" in the Windows Control Panel (more advice on this as described by Microsoft here.)