Files not opening immediately in Illustrator 2022

Community Beginner ,
Jul 01, 2022 Jul 01, 2022

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In the past week I've started experiencing strange behaviour in Illustrator 2022 with files not opening immediately.

I don't mean that they open slowly or take time to load, rather they don't open at all until I carry out a second action. Here's what I see:

I start Illustrator, then attempt to open a file from the recent list. 

The workspace/toolbars appear, but I still see the screen with the recent list behind these, with no sign of the file I've tried to open. 

Then if I try to open a second, different file from the recent list, this will open as expected and the first file I tried to open will now show up in its tab. 
(The same behaviour happens if I try to open files from Finder by double-clicking on them or dragging them to the Ai icon in my Dock. The first one never opens until I've opened a second.) 
Once I've opened these first two files, subsequent files open fine. And it isn't file specific – it doesn't matter what Ai files I'm trying to open. (NB. All my files are saved locally, not in the cloud.)

I have already tried: 
• checking for app updates 
• relaunching Finder
• restarting my Mac (OS Big Sur)
 I haven't yet tried completely uninstalling Illustrator (I hate the idea of losing all my preference settings). Thought I'd check first if anyone else has experienced this.

 

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Community Expert , Jul 01, 2022 Jul 01, 2022

When either resetting preferences or even uninstalling and reinstalling the program you don't have to lose your preferences at all. After establishing your "pristine" preferences quit the program and find the folder containing your preference files and make a copy of it. That way you will always have a replacement for the default preferences all ready to go when needed.

Instructions for finding your preference folder on a Mac: The User Library folder in which Illustrator's preferences are stored

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Community Beginner , Jul 05, 2022 Jul 05, 2022

To conclude: the problem I described in my original post (which, I should add, also affected attempts to create new files: the new file woudn't appear until I'd created a second new file) was solved by reinstalling Illustrator with clean Preferences. My most recent Preferences file was corrupted in some way.

I was able to restore most of my old Preferences by retrieving a backup of the folder from before the problem began. 

So in a purely practical sense the problem is solved. I won't say the issu

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Community Expert ,
Jul 01, 2022 Jul 01, 2022

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Thank you for all the detail. I have not had this issue myself, and I recently updated to 26.3.1 from the last version. I'm on Mac OS Monterey. I hate losing preferences too, but it's the best next step to take before you go through uninstalling and reinstalling. This page has tips on resetting preferences, the video shows how to back them up so you can restore them later if it doesn't solve the issue. https://community.adobe.com/t5/illustrator-discussions/resolve-slow-performance-and-unexpected-behav...

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Community Expert ,
Jul 01, 2022 Jul 01, 2022

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When either resetting preferences or even uninstalling and reinstalling the program you don't have to lose your preferences at all. After establishing your "pristine" preferences quit the program and find the folder containing your preference files and make a copy of it. That way you will always have a replacement for the default preferences all ready to go when needed.

Instructions for finding your preference folder on a Mac: The User Library folder in which Illustrator's preferences are stored is hidden by default on most Macintoshes. To access it make sure that Illustrator is closed and click on the desktop to launch a Finder Window (Command-N). With this window in column view follow the path User>Home folder (it’s the folder with an icon that looks like a house—it may have the user’s name rather than “Home”) and click on the Home folder. With the Option Key pressed choose Library from the Finder Go Menu. “Library” will now appear within the Home folder. Within the Library folder find the folder called Preferences and within it find and make a copy of the folder called "Adobe Illustrator (version number) Settings". 

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Community Expert ,
Jul 05, 2022 Jul 05, 2022

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Hi Bill, this is a great tip, to save your Preferences folder when everything is working smoothly (before problems happen), Then, you can always restore them after troubleshooting steps like deleting prefs and reinstalling Illustrator. Thank you!

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 05, 2022 Jul 05, 2022

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Thanks everyone! Following the advice of @Bill Silbert I saved a copy of my Preferences before uninstalling and reinstalling Illustrator, removing Preferences as part of the uninstallation process. That solved the problem.


However… when I put the old Preferences folder back in my User Library, the problem returned. So evidently the flaw/bug/corrupted behaviour was lurking in the Preferences. So my next step is to go back into Time Machine to retrieve an old copy of my Preferences folder from before this started happening, otherwise it's a clean start for me. 

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 05, 2022 Jul 05, 2022

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To conclude: the problem I described in my original post (which, I should add, also affected attempts to create new files: the new file woudn't appear until I'd created a second new file) was solved by reinstalling Illustrator with clean Preferences. My most recent Preferences file was corrupted in some way.

I was able to restore most of my old Preferences by retrieving a backup of the folder from before the problem began. 

So in a purely practical sense the problem is solved. I won't say the issue is answered, though, because it's not clear what happened, how it happened or how I might have avoided it. 

The moral of the story is to make a note of where Preferences live and to make sure whatever backup system you have in place includes that location. In my case Time Machine did the trick; Bill's tip above saved me having to google for the location.

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