Resolve slow performance and unexpected behaviors in Illustrator

Adobe Employee ,
Nov 02, 2020 Nov 02, 2020

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Illustrator’s performance is affected by several factors such as the operating system, hardware configuration, workflow, and selected options. 

If you’ve noticed Illustrator running slower than usual, try these helpful techniques to improve the performance. 


A quick check: 

  • Please check if your machine meets minimum system requirements for the latest version of Illustrator. 
  • Check if the issue is related to a specific document/ tool/ feature.  
  • Try creating a new document and see if the issue persists. 
    - If not, then the document might have been corrupted. 
    - If yes, try and notice if this happens with a specific tool/ workflow. 
  • If the files are saved on Network Drive/ System HDD/ Shared Folder on System /External HDD, try saving them on the Desktop and see how it works. If you notice an improvement in the performanceprobably the issue is related to the network/ external drive. 
  • If you have started noticing this problem recently, please check if there are any recent changes made to your system? For example, any antivirus, system, or application updates or web extensions installed recently. 


Troubleshooting: Resolving possible causes 

  • Resetting Preferences: Preference settings are saved each time you quit the application. Slowness and unexpected behavior in the application can be caused due to corrupt/ damaged preferences. Please follow the steps here to reset the Preferences. 
    Note: Resetting preferences will remove all the custom settings and Illustrator will launch with default settings. You can also take a backup of the folders in case you want to. The location is mentioned in the above-mentioned article.  


  • Testing in Safe Mode 
    Booting the system in Safe Mode starts your system in a manner that it performs certain checks and prevents third party software/services from automatically loading or opening.  
    If Illustrator launches fine in the Safe mode, then there could be some third-party services or applications like antivirus, plugins or web extensions which are conflicting with the launch of IllustratorYou’ll have to disable them on your user account and then launch the app. 


  • Testing in Hidden Admin account (Windows)/ Root Account (macOS) 
    The Root Account/ Hidden Admin Account has unrestricted read and write privileges to all areas of the file system. Follow the steps shared in these links to log in to the Root account/ Hidden Admin account and launch Illustrator 
    Root Account  – macOS   
    Hidden Admin Account – Windows 
    If Illustrator launches fine in the Root Account/ hidden Admin Account, then the issue could be related to permissions. Follow the steps shared here to repair the permissions in your user account. 


  • Reinstalling the application: 
    If the steps shared above did not help and the application is still not working properly, you’ll need to reinstall the application. 
    Note: It is always suggested to reinstall the application with default preferences (by clearing old preferences). 
    Use the Cleaner tool to completely remove the application. 
    Remove all Illustrator related folders manually from the following locations: 
  • C:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\Adobe 
  • C:\Users\user\AppData\Local\Adobe. 
  • C:\Program Files\Adobe 
  • ~/Library/Application Support/Adobe 
  • ~/Library/Caches 
  • ~/Library/Preferences 
  • Finder > Applications 
  • Reinstall the application from Creative Cloud. 


Here are few tips and tricks you may try to optimize Illustrator performance: 




We hope that this information helps in improving your experience of using the app but if you need further assistance, please post your query in the community and we’ll be happy to help. 








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