FAQ: How to reset (trash) preferences in After Effects?

Adobe Employee ,
Sep 26, 2019

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It can be really frustrating when After Effects starts misbehaving. One of the most efficient ways to fix this is to reset After Effects preference files. Trashing preferences resets the program to its factory defaults.

 

Resetting preferences will undo most of your customization such as length of your default transitions, brightness of the user interface, labels colors, changes that you've made to your audio hardware settings and more. Some changes won't be affected though, such as changes that you've made to memory allocation for After Effects and other Adobe apps, new workspaces that you've created and some other stuff. It's worth noting that changes that you've made to existing workspaces (changes such as resizing panels and moving them) will be reset to defaults.

 

Preferences that you set for scratch disks, however, are saved with your projects. Whenever you open a project, it automatically defaults to the scratch disks you selected for it when you set up that project.

 

Here is how you can reset the preferences:

Press Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac OS) while launching After Effects. You can release the Alt or Option key when the splash screen appears.

To reset preferences and plug-in cache at the same time, hold down Control-Shift-Alt (Windows) or Command-Shift-Option (Mac OS) while the application is starting. Release the keys when the splash screen appears.

 

If you don't see the list of your recent projects on the Welcome Screen the next time you launch After Effects, the preferences were reset correctly.

 

NOTE: Nothing happens to the project files; it's just that After Effects's recent directories are wiped off too. Navigate to your project location and open it from there.

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FAQ: How to reset (trash) preferences in After Effects?

Adobe Employee ,
Sep 26, 2019

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It can be really frustrating when After Effects starts misbehaving. One of the most efficient ways to fix this is to reset After Effects preference files. Trashing preferences resets the program to its factory defaults.

 

Resetting preferences will undo most of your customization such as length of your default transitions, brightness of the user interface, labels colors, changes that you've made to your audio hardware settings and more. Some changes won't be affected though, such as changes that you've made to memory allocation for After Effects and other Adobe apps, new workspaces that you've created and some other stuff. It's worth noting that changes that you've made to existing workspaces (changes such as resizing panels and moving them) will be reset to defaults.

 

Preferences that you set for scratch disks, however, are saved with your projects. Whenever you open a project, it automatically defaults to the scratch disks you selected for it when you set up that project.

 

Here is how you can reset the preferences:

Press Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac OS) while launching After Effects. You can release the Alt or Option key when the splash screen appears.

To reset preferences and plug-in cache at the same time, hold down Control-Shift-Alt (Windows) or Command-Shift-Option (Mac OS) while the application is starting. Release the keys when the splash screen appears.

 

If you don't see the list of your recent projects on the Welcome Screen the next time you launch After Effects, the preferences were reset correctly.

 

NOTE: Nothing happens to the project files; it's just that After Effects's recent directories are wiped off too. Navigate to your project location and open it from there.

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Sep 26, 2019 4
Participant ,
Sep 28, 2019

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I'd like to point out that while this works and is all well and good... it's not a small deal to AE users to rebuild your preferences and the biggest culprits of corrupt prefs seem to be workspaces and open extentions in your workspaces.  If we're going to have all these options for customizing the interface, they need to be more stable.

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Sep 28, 2019 10
New Here ,
Sep 02, 2020

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will my plugins like magic bullet and twixtor and sapphire still be there?

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Sep 02, 2020 0
New Here ,
Dec 09, 2020

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it doesnt work for me. i pres and hold down Control-Shift-Alt but nothing happens. what should i do?

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Dec 09, 2020 1
Community Beginner ,
Dec 31, 2020

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Garbage.  This is garbage advice from a garbage corporation peddling buggy, cumbersome products.  If you're having trouble opening AE, this is not the solution.  

Optomize your products Adobe!  And give use stable interfaces! It's actually not to much to ask that you programs work as intended.

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Dec 31, 2020 1
Community Beginner ,
Dec 31, 2020

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SOLVED:  First, do not reset your preferences.  That's nonsense.  Second, right-click (on Win) and "run as administrator".


Why is running with Admin rights the work around for this Adobe?? Fix your products. 

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Dec 31, 2020 0
New Here ,
Jan 06, 2021

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but if we have macs???

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Jan 06, 2021 0