Illustrator tools vanishing or not functioning at all

Community Beginner ,
Mar 15, 2019

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Looking for help with a reoccurring problem in illustrator. It keeps hiding my tools! I will be working in illustrator, switch to photoshop, come back to illustrator and all my tool panels will have vanished. Going to view and choosing (for example) show layers or show stroke does nothing. None of the tools will reappear. If I “reset essentials classic” the tool panels do reappear but NONE of the tools will function. I can click on them to no avail. Nothing works. My only solution is to restart the computer. About 1/2 the time the tools will reappear and illustrator will function again for a short while before hiding the tools again.

illustrator CC 23.0.2

mac 10.13.6

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Advocate ,
Mar 15, 2019

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Are you accidentally hitting the Tab key? It toggles to show/hide palettes.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 15, 2019

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Try the following...

Reset Workspace

Window > Workspace > Reset Essentials (for example)

Switch to a different Workspace

Window > Workspace > Essentials Classic (for example)

Reset Preferences

How to set preferences in Illustrator

"Press and hold Alt+Control+Shift (Windows) or Option+Command+Shift (macOS) as you start Illustrator. You are prompted to delete the current settings. The new preferences files are created the next time you start Illustrator."

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Explorer ,
Mar 28, 2019

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YES YES YES! This is happening to me! My tools just randomly MOVE or get hidden UNDER another tool! It just started...like a month or 2 ago. I've been using Illustrator [mac] since Illustrator #1...every day....this is WEIRD and so friggin' annoying. And god help you if you reset your tools.....DO NOT DO THAT....i did, and it f'ed everything up.

Please illustrator.....fix this bug.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 28, 2019

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I should have updated this. I finally chatted with Creative Suite customer support. They remotely took over my computer and trashed loads of preference files, caches and a number of other files hidden away in my the library file. There's no way I could have ever figured out which ones to throwaway. After that the tool panel is behaving correctly again, although now photoshop has lost its tools.

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Explorer ,
Mar 28, 2019

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thanks. i'll contact them.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 31, 2019

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Update. Problem has returned. Tools disappear. Window> Workspace > reset essentials classic will make the tools reappear but none of them will function. Clicking on layers, color, etc has no result.

Spent 4.5 hours with customer service. No results. It seems to be related in some way to having the application frame toggled on or off (Window > Application Frame).  I really can't stand the application frame so I always turn it off. In my work flow it is helpful to be able to quickly move an art board out of the way and see the desktop.

We tried everything. Uninstalled all CS apps (lost all my preferences, extensions and a handful of OTF fonts... sucks). We erased basically everything adobe off the computer via a adobe cleaner app the customer service person installed. We created two new user profiles on my computer and used clean installs of illustrator. Problem comes back immediately and seems to be more persistent. My tools keep getting locked out. No obvious work around I can find. Downloaded illustrator 2018 and am using that waiting for a fix.

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New Here ,
Apr 05, 2019

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Hello!

I'm having the same problem.

My toolbar disappears, can't change my workspace, it stays in Essential Classic.

I uninstalled illustrator, install it again, used an older version, and the issue still persists

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 30, 2019

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update, 6.30.19. After many claims by adobe customer service that the issue must me within my system I finally bought a brand new $3k computer. With a completely new system and not a single file from my old computer yet imported problem persists and new ones. Adobe's customer support has 6 times now transferred me and 2 times told me that "my shift is ending now I will transfer you to someone who will help". No one helps.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 30, 2019

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I have alerted staff.

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Adobe Employee ,
Jul 01, 2019

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Hi Monty,

We are extremely sorry about this bad experience with support. I have sent you a DM for the case details, please check and reply there.

Regards,

Srishti

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Adobe Employee ,
Jul 01, 2019

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Thanks for replying on DM. As per your initial query, the toolbar and panels disappear after you go to some other application (eg Photoshop) and come back to Illustrator.

Please share a few more details:

  • What is the OS of your new system?
  • Please make sure that you have the latest version of Illustrator (23.0.3 for Windows and 23.0.4 for MAC) installed.
  • Which graphics card is installed on your system?

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 11, 2019

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Latest update... per adobe's advice bought a new computer. Problem persists with latest mac and new install ( did not transfer any info from old computer). With customer support for many more hours more. Several customer support agents "ended their shifts" as soon as I was transferred without me saying anything. No one took up their spot. Promised a manager call 3 separate times. No call ever. Just received email that my case is closed and my account is canceled!!!! Outrageous. Most up to date mac and adobe software possible.

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Adobe Employee ,
Jul 12, 2019

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I am so sorry about this distressing experience. I have sent you DM please check and reply accordingly.

Regards!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 13, 2019

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These problems sound very strange !

I can hardly believe that this is happening to a new Mac with freshly installed Adobe CC software.

Sounds like a one-out-of-million chance of getting this kind of horrific mayhem.

However, there's a mention of a reproducible situation: going back and forth between applications.

I'm curious to see what happens. Could you record a video of it ?

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 11, 2019

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Latest update... per adobe's advice bought a new computer. Problem persists with latest mac and new install ( did not transfer any info from old computer). With customer support for many more hours more. Several customer support agents "ended their shifts" as soon as I was transferred without me saying anything. No one took up their spot. Promised a manager call 3 separate times. No call ever. Just received email that my case is closed and my account is canceled!!!! Outrageous. Most up to date mac and adobe software possible.

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Explorer ,
Sep 20, 2019

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So, Monika alerted staff end of June - is there a solution after 2+ months? I'm having the same issue, started a couple days ago and I need to get it resolved.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 21, 2019

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Just to clarify: I alrerted staff about the support issues. You will need to contact Customer Care so they can login to your system. On weekends you won't have much luck with this. https://helpx.adobe.com/contact.html

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New Here ,
Jan 18, 2020

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This is happening to me too. All tools disapear and I have to restart Illustrator. OS X 10.14.4  Illustrator 24.0.1 although it kept happening with previous versions.  Restarting Illustrator usually brings them back

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New Here ,
Sep 01, 2020

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Me too. I open the toolbar, then everytime I work on the artboard it dissapears again and I have to reopen. Every single time. Highly frustrating. I's unworkable. 

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New Here ,
Oct 30, 2020

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Hi there! I've been having the same issue. I teach a Media course to 7th and 8th grade students, and they're learning Illustrator. Their panels and toolboxes keep disappearing, and it's not a 'hit TAB' issue. 'Reset Essentials' is ghosted out. My only solution is to go to Window--> Toolbars --> Advanced to make the toolbox come back, and Window--> Whatever to make their missing panels come back. It's ridiculous. Any advice, Adobe? I'd rather teach my kids than spend time trying to solve these issues! 

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