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Adobe InDesign: Rebuilding Preferences and Cache Files

by Barb Binder, Adobe Certified Instructor on InDesign CC

When InDesign suddenly starts behaving erratically, it may be due to corrupt preference or cache files. Closing InDesign, deleting (or renaming) these files and reopening InDesign will force InDesign to recreate a fresh copies.

Rebuilding the preference files

Using a keyboard shortcut:

  1. (Windows) Start InDesign, and then immediately press Shift+Ctrl+Alt. Click Yes when asked if you want to delete preference files. If you don’t see this message, either try again (it’s a timing thing) or move on to manually removing the files.
    Delete InDesign Preference Files
  2. (Mac OS) Start InDesign, and then immediately press Shift+Option+Command+Control. Click Yes when asked if you want to delete preference files. If you don’t see this message, either try again (it’s a timing thing) or move on to manually removing the files.

Manually removing (or renaming) the files:

Delete (or rename) the InDesign SavedData and InDesign Defaults files. Renaming allows you to restore the old files if this doesn’t fix the problem.

Close Adobe InDesign.

  1. Mac OS
    Users/[user]/Library/Caches/Adobe InDesign/Version [version]/InDesign SavedData
    Users/[user]/Library/Preferences/Adobe InDesign/Version [version]/InDesign Defaults
  2. Windows 10
    Users\[username]\AppData\Local\Adobe\InDesign\Version [version]\[language]\Caches\InDesign SavedData
    Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\InDesign\Version [version]\[language]\InDesign Defaults

Restart InDesign.

Rebuilding the cache files

If the problem persists, on to rebuilding the cache folders.  To avoid frustration, please read the notes before you start. 

Windows:

  1. Close InDesign
  2. Rename both InDesign folders:
    1. C:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\InDesign
    2. C:\Users\user\AppData\Local\Adobe\InDesign
  3. Restart InDesign

Note 1: These folders may be hidden in Windows. Use Control Panel > Folder Options (or File Explorer Options) and then click the View tab. Enable Advanced > Show hidden files and folders (or Show hidden files, folders or drive options).
Note 2: Renaming the InDesign folders will remove saved Find/change queries, saved workspaces, etc. Once you establish that the software is working as expected, you can move those folders from the renamed InDesign folder into the new one.

Mac:

  1. Close InDesign
  2. Rename the following file and folder:
    1. ~/Library/Caches/com.adobe.indesign
    2. ~/Library/Preferences/Adobe InDesign
  3. Restart InDesign

Note 1: The Library folder is hidden by default. Open a Finder window. Hold the Opt key and open the Go menu. When the Option key is held down, Library will appear in the menu between Home and Computer. Now you can navigate to Caches and then to Preferences. (New in Mojave: press Cmd+Sh+. to show hidden files and folders.)
Note 2: Renaming the InDesign folder will remove saved Find/change queries, saved workspaces, etc. Once you establish that the software is working as expected, you can move those folders from the renamed InDesign folder into the new one.

 

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