Deleting Illustrator Settings

4 minute read • Last updated 2020-12-22

If you experience an issue with Adobe Illustrator, including with any Astute Graphics plugin, you may be asked to reset your Adobe Illustrator Settings. This can be done by following the guidelines below.


Note that this process will reset all your panels, workspaces, preferences and more, in Illustrator. These may be re-applied manually afterwards.


Why would I want to delete my Illustrator Settings?

Whereas, it's been common practice to reset Illustrator Preferences if minor issues are encountered, the Preference's containing folder "Adobe Illustrator [version] Settings" also stores settings and cache data which can corrupt. A prime example of this, is when upgrading to Illustrator 2020 (v24.2) which has proven to be problematic retaining historic data created using previous versions of Illustrator, even without any third party plugins being present.


What do I need to do after deleting my Illustrator Settings?

Upon starting Illustrator for the first time after deleting your Illustrator Settings, the usual start-up windows will re-appear including the native application "welcome" window and Astute Graphics' warning that you need to re-enable the Advanced toolbar to see all the tools. There may be options to tick to ensure these do not show again, otherwise they will automatically be marked to not re-appear until you delete your settings or preferences again.

Beyond this, other tasks may include:

  1. Re-open and dock native and plugin panels (found under the Window > ... menu)

  2. Save custom UI workspaces

  3. Redefine any custom keypresses and save these

  4. Readjust any custom Illustrator Preferences (Illustrator > Preferences > …)

  5. For users of Illustrator 2019 and above, panels may not scale correctly first time - please refer to our UI Panel Scaling issue troubleshooting article for full information

Typically, all this will take 5 minutes, depending on how far you've customized Illustrator.


Can I restore previous settings?

Yes, as long as you first make a backup of the Adobe Illustrator [version] Settings folder, you can always return to your previous settings. However, you may find that issues reoccur in Illustrator.


How will resetting Illustrator's Settings affect my plugins?

It will not affect your licensing or trial period. Therefore, resetting will not mean you need to re-apply your software license keys.


How do I delete my settings?

Illustrator version references

Note: Illustrator is publicly known by its "CC" version number, eg. "CC 2018", "CC 2019", "2020", and so on. Internally, the version numbers correspond as follows:

  • CC = v17

  • CC 2014 = v18

  • CC 2015 = V19

  • CC 2015.3 = v20

  • CC 2017 = v21

  • CC 2018 = v22

  • CC 2019 = v23

  • 2020 = v24

These version numbers will correspond to the folder names that follow. For example, if you wish to delete the settings for Illustrator 2020, you will be asked to delete the Adobe Illustrator 24 Settings folder.

Process to delete the settings folder

Windows users

  1. Quit Illustrator

  2. Open Users > [username] > AppData > Roaming > Adobe > ...

  3. Locate the Adobe Illustrator [version] Settings folder and move it to Trash.

  4. Restart Illustrator

macOS users

  1. Quit Illustrator

  2. Open [username] > ⁨Library⁩ > ⁨Preferences⁩ > ...

  3. Locate the Adobe Illustrator [version] Settings folder and move it to Trash.

  4. Restart Illustrator

How do I back up and restore up my Illustrator Settings?

To back up your Adobe Illustrator Settings folder…

  1. Quit Illustrator

  2. Locate the Adobe Illustrator [version] Settings folder

  3. Copy it to somewhere safe

To restore it…

  1. Quit Illustrator

  2. Locate the active Adobe Illustrator [version] Settings folder and move it to trash

  3. Copy the previously backed-up Adobe Illustrator [version] Settings folder back

Restoring this file will revert your panels, window positions, native Illustrator and Astute Graphics plugin preferences.


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