Welcome Dialog

Welcome to the Community!

We have a brand new look! Take a tour with us and explore the latest updates on Adobe Support Community.


Locked

Troubleshooting 101: Replace, or "trash" your InDesign preferences [2009 Outdated & Locked]

Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 18, 2009 Nov 18, 2009

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

When InDesign starts to behave strangely, the number one suggestion for troubleshooting is to replace (or trash, reset or restore) the application preferences. This will remove corrupt preferences and replace them with a new set of default preferences, and often end bad behavior.

There is a quick and easy method for doing this using the keyboard: close and relaunch InDesign, and IMMEDIATELY hold down Ctrl + Alt + Shift (Windows) or Cmd + Ctrl + Opt + Shift (Mac), and respond in the affirmative to the dialog asking if you really want to replace the preferences. There are two downsides to this method, however. First, you must be extremely fast on the keyboard (if you don’t see the confirmation prompt, you were too slow), and second, anytime you replace the preferences you will lose most program customizations, and using the keyboard method leaves you with no backup to restore them when the problem turns out to be something else.

My preferred method is to CLOSE INDESIGN and do a “manual” prefs replacement, which consists of finding and renaming the two files which make up the preference set: InDesign Defaults and InDesign SavedData. BOTH of these files should be replaced at the same time. You can delete them, but renaming or moving them will give you the opportunity to copy them back in the event that new prefs doesn’t cure your issue. When you restart ID, the program will look for these two files, and when they are not found, a new default set will be written.

[Defunct link removed by Peter Spier on 11/6/15]

These are normally hidden files, so you will need to set your system to show them. They will be found in various places depending on the OS, and the version of InDesign. (Edit: For Mac users running OSX 10.7 or newer, you can learn how to show hidden files here: Access hidden user library files | Mac OS 10.7 Lion)

PLEASE LOOK AT THESE PATHS CAREFULLY. They look similar, but are two different folders for the two files.

InDesign Defaults:

Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\<USER>\Application Data\Adobe\InDesign\<Version #>\<language>\  (Note: Prior to version 6 [CS4] the language folder is not used).

Windows Vista or Windows 7 and newer: C:\Users\<USER>\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\InDesign\<Version #>\<Language>\ (Note: Prior to version 6 [CS4] the language folder is not used).

Macintosh: Hard Drive/Users/<USER>/Library/Preferences/Adobe InDesign/<Version #>/<Language>/(Note: Prior to version 6 [CS4] the language folder is not used).

InDesign SavedData:

Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\<USER>\Local Settings\Application Data\Adobe\InDesign\<Version #>\<Language>\Caches\ (Note: Prior to version 6 [CS4] the language folder is not used).

Windows Vista or Windows 7 and newer: C:\Users\<USER>\AppData\Local\Adobe\InDesign\<Version #>\<Language>\Caches\  (Note: Prior to version 6 [CS4] the language folder is not used).

Macintosh: Hard Drive/Users/<USER>/Library/Caches/Adobe InDesign/<Version #>/<Language>/ (Note: Prior to version 6 [CS4] the language folder is not used).

In some earlier versions of ID, InDesign SavedData may also be found in the first directory.

As mentioned above, when you replace your preferences you will lose customizations beyond those things that are set in the preferences dialogs. These include Document and Print Presets you might have created. If you haven't made backups already, you should go, prior to replacing the preferences, to the "Define" dialogs for printer and document presets and custom stroke styles, and select all of your custom entries, the click the save button and put the file someplace safe. After resetting preferences using the keyboard or by renaming/deleting the old files and restarting InDesign, these customized settings can be re-loaded with a single click once again in the Define dialogs. 
  
PDF presets can be backed up in the same way, but they are stored in a different location and will not be destroyed by a simple preference reset. Other customizations that you should not lose are workspaces, keyboard shortcut sets, and find/change queries.

As a further step I strongly recommend that you make a copy of these two files when you have a working customized set. Store them in a safe place and you can use them to overwrite a corrupt set so no further editing or reloading will be required. Users of InDesign CS4 can use a free script from InTools.com to backup and store multiple sets of preferences: In-Tools Scripts » Preference Manager Script

Edit: Corrected Mac Path per Jongware's post below.

UPDATE: I just ran across a situation in which overwriting the InDesign Defaults and InDesign SavedData files failed to restore functionality to the tools on a single user account on a multiple user system (the other account was fine). This is an absolute first and I've been using the technique for years, including replacing these two files on this system which is used by the student newspaper where I was a professor, in order to customize or restore preferences every semester. What did work was to use the keyboard method first, then close InDesign and manually replace the two files to restore the prefs to the proper settings.  -- Peter

Further update: We have had several reports now in the CC versions of InDesign where using the manual method has failed to solve problems that are normally fixed by replacing preferences. to the best of my knowledge, using the keyboard method has solved the problem for each of those users. -- Peter

Message was edited by: Peter Spier

Message was edited by: Peter Spier

Message was edited by: amxyz

Message was edited by: Peter Spier to add path warnings.

Message was edited by: Peter Spier to add update re: failure of one method and success of other in CC.

TOPICS
Performance

Views

1.0M

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
replies 365 Replies 365
Adobe Community Professional ,
May 31, 2012 May 31, 2012

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Control Panel > Default Programs... and click Associate a file type or protocol with a specific program, then scroll down to .indd and see what it says.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Community Beginner ,
May 31, 2012 May 31, 2012

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

It says adobe indesign cs5

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
May 31, 2012 May 31, 2012

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

That's disappointing.

Let's try fooling the system by changing it to something else, rebooting, changing it back and rebooting again.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Community Beginner ,
May 31, 2012 May 31, 2012

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

OK will try that tonight when I'm finished with my computer, thanks.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Participant ,
Apr 03, 2015 Apr 03, 2015

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

This seems to have worked for me! Thanks!

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Community Beginner ,
Aug 24, 2010 Aug 24, 2010

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Thank you fort this vey helpful message. It solved a number of vexing problems that popped up recently.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Contributor ,
Feb 12, 2015 Feb 12, 2015

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Dear P,

The update just came this morning, so probably not many have even installed it yet, especially on older computers.  I'll wait a bit to see if others are having problems before I uninstall.  Thanks -- don't mean to put down your advice.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 12, 2015 Feb 12, 2015

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

That's fine, as long as you don't need to use ID in the meantime. There's quite a bit to be said for NOT installing updates the first week, let alone the first day, just so you don't become the canary in the coal mine.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Participant ,
Sep 01, 2010 Sep 01, 2010

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Thank you, Peter!

After my upgrade to 6.0.5, I was unable to export files to Digital Editions or Dreamweaver. 'Trashing' the InDesign preferences as you described solved the problem. I am most grateful to you.

Marie

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
New Here ,
Sep 08, 2010 Sep 08, 2010

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

I'm not as lucky as Marie (most recent reply below) and have been unable to even reset my preferences on CS4, v 6.0.5 on XP to see if it solves my problem.

- I first tried using the 'free script from inTools.com to backup & store multiple sets of preferences' - but as per my reply several days ago after your response (ref http://forums.adobe.com/message/3108156#3108156) We downloaded & installed the Preference Manager folder in my Scripts as directed, but although it was an option at the end of the Preferences menu it was greyed out so inaccessible. (same as Export to Digital editions from individual doc or book, which is what I am trying to do).  I don't even know how clean the epub file will be if I get there, but the PDFs I convert through external software still have too many errors to correct.

- As there was no reply yet I thought I'd bite the bullet & have a go at your previous suggestion & rename the InDesign Defaults & InDesign Saved data files, but I can only find the first one, now renamed OLD-InDesign Defaults in same place - hope that is OK.

- I do not have a CACHE folder  after my English language folder, nor can I see 'InDesign Saved Data' file in any of the other folders. re Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\<USER>\Local Settings\Application Data\Adobe\InDesign\<Version #>\<Language>\Caches\

I really don't want to lose all my print & doc presets  formats, styles, etc which have evolved over some time now and can't remember how i created most of them)

HELP PLEASE.  WHAT TO TRY NEXT?


Sylvia

PS I'm trying a reply here rather than my original query as this is the bit that won't work now, but may reply there too in case someone else sees it and can help.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 08, 2010 Sep 08, 2010

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

If you found InDesign Defaults where I said it was by default, you should look again for the SavedData file. You can also do a regular file search for InDesign SavedData and include hidden files and it should show up.

I'm afraid there is no way to replace your prefs WITHOUT losing document and printer presets. They are stored inthe InDesign Defaults file and will need to be reloaded, hence the advice to back them up first.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
New Here ,
Sep 08, 2010 Sep 08, 2010

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Sorry - just found an extra level in the path -' Local Setting's before Application settings.  I was looking in the same place as for InDesign defaults - it looked so similar!.  With help from my husband it all seems clearer now & we have Backed up (SAVED) the printer & document presets, so hopefully able to load them back after changing name of 2 files & reloading just those files.

Could you please confirm that format styles, colours etc will not be affected?

Thanks

Sylvia

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 08, 2010 Sep 08, 2010

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

If you've edited the default [Basic Paragraph] or added any other default styles or swatches (these would appear in the panels with no documents open and all ne docs) you may need to reload them from an exisiting file, but that's not a big deal.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
New Here ,
Sep 08, 2010 Sep 08, 2010

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

I think I edited a few defaults, but WE HAVE LIFT OFF!

We went ahead and did all that was suggested, reloaded print & document presents and I now have Export for Digital Editions working from single files and from books.  Thanks so much. 🙂

My text styles, colours used and other object, swatch styles, etc seem OK within my documents, so I guess I have not edited defaults  (too much).

The resulting e-pub file does have images in wrong places and a few formatting errors but has stripped headers and footers, coped with Greek lettes and is better than from a PDF converter I found. I have read and printed off details about anchoring my images, creating TOCs, etc which is my next task. 

I did find an epub editor called Sigil which may make editing from the resulting file easier for me.

Thanks again Peter

Sylvia

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 08, 2010 Sep 08, 2010

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Styles and swatches are stored in the document, so they won't be affected by a prefs reset for anything exisiting.

Glad you finally got straightened away.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Community Beginner ,
Nov 18, 2010 Nov 18, 2010

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

P Spier wrote:

Styles and swatches are stored in the document, so they won't be affected by a prefs reset for anything exisiting.

Except for the defaults that you set up with no document open, to be used with new docs

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 18, 2010 Nov 18, 2010

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Thats what "anything exisiting" means -- an exisiting file. Defaults will be reset.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
New Here ,
Sep 09, 2010 Sep 09, 2010

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Thank you very much, that did the trick.  I didn't do the keyboard trick though.

Do you have any idea what would trigger such changes?

Melinda

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 09, 2010 Sep 09, 2010

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Sorry, no, though it's usually related to something else running on your system, I think. I run a lean, uncluttered and all work system and almost never need to replace prefs. Other users report doing so as often as evry few weeks or more (whcih would cause me to think I needed a major system overhaul).

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
New Here ,
Sep 21, 2010 Sep 21, 2010

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

thanks so much, i did the easy trash for the prefs, now the char styles has returned.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
New Here ,
Oct 20, 2010 Oct 20, 2010

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

thank you. i will try this method. i did not see it until i was searching for a way to stop getting all thoseforum messages from the original forum. can you help me to do that? thanks, will let you know what happens.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 20, 2010 Oct 20, 2010

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

to stop receiving email from the forums you must return to each topic or forum to which you are subscribed and unsubscribe using the widget on the web page.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
New Here ,
Oct 22, 2010 Oct 22, 2010

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Thank you. Suggestion #1 fixed the disappearing swatches problem.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
New Here ,
Nov 14, 2010 Nov 14, 2010

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Hi Peter, thanks for the paths for replacing the ID-Files. I am working on Win7 64Bit with complete German CS5 installed. My InDesign crashs on Launching while the last message is "Starting up Service Registry" as also posted in this thread:

      http://forums.adobe.com/message/3273769#3273769

I've tried every possible solution I could find on the net... but no success so far.

Trying to delete the files you said... somehow I don't the Indesign Defaults File. There is only an empty Folder CompositeFonts (please see screenshots).

Indesign-Folder.gif

The other file InDesign SavedData is where you said and I can store it in another location.

It also gets recreated on new launch.... but doesn't solve the problem.

Any other idea what I can try here? Thank you very much.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 14, 2010 Nov 14, 2010

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

The file won't exist until after a succesful launch. Has it ever loaded correctly?

Are you patched to 7.0.3?

Starting Up Service Registry usually means a probelm with SING, I believe. In addition to renaming the SING folder, try removing the sing.apln plugin from <program directory [probably Program files x 86]>...\Adobe InDesign CS5\Plug-Ins\Text

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines