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.
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.
will my plugins like magic bullet and twixtor and sapphire still be there?
it doesnt work for me. i pres and hold down Control-Shift-Alt but nothing happens. what should i do?
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.
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.
but if we have macs???
I agree whole heartedly with the above statement!
I'm a Graphic Design student and was excited about getting a chance to see what the adobe suite software could do but I have been let down by constant issues with interfaces and am left wondering why this software is considered indusrty grade? It's clunky, full of bugs and behind the times. Why would anybody pay for this!?
I'm having second thoughts about subscribing to any of your packages in the future as you seem like a company that doesn't care about fixing these issues or making your glitcy interface user friendly.
Im afraid that the stock answer from adobe support is to delete preferences and start again. This is not the solution for the majority of issues, and the bugs in AE are getting worse with each "upgrade". Support from Adobe is unfortunately severly lacking, so maybe the 'developers' should concentrate on fixing current builds before hastily releasing another clumsy upgrade to appease the ego. Has Adobe overstretched?