How to Fix If Adobe Illustrator Not Working or Opening on Mac

Are you having issues with Adobe Illustrator? Is the software not working or opening on your Mac? If yes, then Don’t worry! Many Mac users have reported similar issues with the Adobe Illustrator software. Thankfully, there exists a couple of solutions that we’ll be talking about in this article.

Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator is a popular vector graphics editor. Professionals primarily use the software for creating and editing vector graphics. It has an extensive list of tools and features including pen tools, shape tools, gradient and color tools, layers, effects and filters, artboards, and image tracing. Adobe Illustrator is the go-to choice for thousands of graphic designers, artists, and illustrators. However, Adobe Illustrator has its fair share of problems like any other software.

One of the common problems with Adobe Illustrator that users have reported is that the software fails to launch or does not work at all. Well, it can happen due to a lot of reasons. Check out some common reasons below and then we’ll move on to the troubleshooting methods.

Reasons Why Adobe Illustrator Is Not Working or Opening on Your Mac

  • Outdated software: You may have an outdated Adobe Illustrator on your Mac. If the version is too old, it won’t launch unless you update the software.
  • Corrupted font cache: Although font cache is helpful, it can get corrupted sometimes and cause many issues with Adobe Illustrator. You should therefore clear the font cache to check if it can fix the issue.
  • Insufficient memory: Any software requires some amount of RAM (it varies from app to app). So, if your machine does not have enough memory, then Adobe Illustrator might fail to launch or it won’t work smoothly. You need to make sure that there’s enough RAM available before launching the software again.
  • Software glitches: You can’t run Adobe Illustrator on your Mac, probably because the device has software glitches. They can be easily fixed just by restarting the device. If it does not help, you can try updating the software.

So, these are some common reasons why Adobe Illustrator may not launch or work on your Mac. Now that we understand the potential reasons let’s try to troubleshoot them.

Adobe Illustrator Not Working or Opening on Mac; Here’s How to Fix It

Here, we have jotted down the effective methods to fix the Adobe Illustrator not working or opening issue. Try them on your Mac machine and get Adobe Illustrator up and running again.

Fix 1: Make Sure Your Mac Meets Minimum Requirements

If you have installed Adobe Illustrator for the first time on your Mac and it just not opening, then there’s a high possibility that your machine does not meet the minimum requirements to run this software. You would want to check the list of requirements below:

  • Processor: Multicore Intel processor (with 64-bit support) with SSE 4.2 or later
  • Operating System: macOS version 12.0 (Monterey), macOS version 11 (Big Sur), macOS version 10.15 (Catalina)
  • RAM: Minimum 8GB (16GB Recommended)
  • Hard disk: 3 GB of available hard-disk space for installation; additional free space required during installation; SSD recommended
  • Monitor resolution: 1024 x 768 display (1920 x 1080 recommended)
    • Scalable UI Limitations: Minimum resolution required is 1920 x 1080.
  • GPU: For optimum GPU Performance, your Mac should have a minimum of 1024 MB of VRAM (2 GB recommended), and your computer must support Metal.
    Supported machines:

    • iMac 4K
    • iMac 5K
    • MacBook Pro Retina
    • Mac Pro connected to a HiDPI monitor
    • Mac mini connected to a HiDPI monitor
      Limitations in Outline Mode: Requires Retina display.

If Adobe Illustrator was working fine on your Mac, but recently it has started getting into problems, then you can be sure that the device has required hardware. You can move on to the next solution to try and fix the issue.

Fix 2: Restart Your Mac

First things first, you should restart your machine in an attempt to fix the ongoing issues with Adobe Illustrator. Although it may sound pretty basic, it is an effective solution when dealing with issues such as software not loading, launching, or crashing.

When you restart your Mac, the device kills all background processes and clears the temporary cache. So, after that, your device has more free memory and fewer background processes, which would help in a smoother launch of Adobe Illustrator.

You can restart your Mac by selecting the “Restart” option from the Apple menu.

Fix 3: Update Adobe Illustrator

If your Mac is not running the latest Adobe Illustrator version, you will likely face issues. Although an older version should work just fine, you should keep it up-to-date. The latest version generally includes improvements and bug fixes. You should update the software to check if it can fix the Adobe Illustrator not working or opening issue.

Here’s how to update Adobe Illustrator:

  1. Launch “Adobe Creative Cloud” on your Mac.
  2. Go to the “Apps” tab.
  3. Click the “Update” button next to Adobe Illustrator.

Once you have updated the software, restart your Mac. Now, you should be able to use Adobe Illustrator without any issues. However, if the problem persists, you may need to try other solutions as well.

Fix 4: Disable GPU Performance

If Adobe Illustrator is still not working or opening, try disabling the GPU performance. The software uses GPU for graphics rendering. So, if there is any issue with the graphics drivers, it’s likely to affect all software using GPU including Adobe Illustrator.

To check if it’s causing the problem, disable GPU performance and check if you can use the software.

Here’s how to disable GPU performance on Mac:

  • Open the “Preferences” panel by pressing “Ctrl + K” or navigating to “Edit -> Preferences”.
  • Uncheck “GPU performance” from the “Performance” tab to disable it.

Fix 5: Clear Font Cache

Occasionally, Adobe Illustrator may encounter problems due to a corrupted font cache. You can fix it easily just by clearing the font cache on your Mac.

Here’s how to get it done:

  1. Close all Adobe applications, including Illustrator (if they are running).
  2. Open “Finder”.
  3. Tap on “Go” in the menu bar and select “Go to Folder”.
  4. Enter “/Library/Caches/Adobe/TypeSupport” and click “Go”.
  5. Delete all the files and folders inside the “TypeSupport” folder.
  6. Restart your Mac.

Launch Adobe Illustrator to check if the problem is fixed.

Fix 6: Uninstall and install Adobe Illustrator

If you still can’t open Adobe Illustrator or the software is not working, try uninstalling and installing it again as the last resort. There might be some issues with installation or some app files are missing or corrupted. Reinstalling the software should fix all of them.

Here’s how to do it (using Adobe Creative Cloud):

  1. Launch Adobe Creative Cloud on your Mac.
  2. Go to the “Apps” tab.
  3. Tap on “INSTALLED APPS”.
  4. Click the downward arrow next to “Illustrator CC” and select “Uninstall”.

Adobe recommends installing and removing their applications using Creative Cloud. If, for some reason, you can’t uninstall Adobe Illustrator using Creative Cloud, follow these steps to manually remove it:

  1. Close Adobe Illustrator and all other Adobe software running on your Mac.
  2. Go to the “Applications” folder.
  3. Select “Adobe Illustrator CC”, choose the “Adobe Illustrator” file, and right-click on it.
  4. Select “Move to Trash”.
  5. Go to the “Applications” folder again.
  6. Select the “Adobe Illustrator CC” folder, right-click on it, and select “Move to Trash”.
  7. Apart from the executable file you just deleted, there are additional files related to Adobe Illustrator CC stored on your disk that also need to be removed. These are usually located in the main and user’s library folders.
    Launch Finder and remove the remaining files from the following subfolders of the main Library folder:
    Macintosh/Library/Application Support/Adobe/CEP
  8. We have to delete additional files from the user’s Library folder. By default, this folder is hidden. To access it, click Go in the Folder’s menu bar and select “Go to Folder”. Type “~/Library” in the new Window and click “Go”. From within the user’s Library folder, delete all the files from the following subfolders:
    ~/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe Illustrator
    ~/Library/Preferences/Adobe Illustrator
  9. Empty the Trash bin.

Fix 7: Try this Workaround

Many users could fix Adobe Illustrator not opening issue by applying this workaround. An Adobe Support staff suggested this. According to him, you have to the Cleaner tool to wipe the Adobe Illustrator installation from the drive. Next, download and run the direct installer using this link.

Don’t know how to uninstall Illustrator using Cleaner? No worries. Just follow these easy steps:

  1. Launch “App Cleaner & Uninstaller” on your Mac.
  2. Select “Adobe Illustrator CC”. All of its services will be listed on the right side of the window.
  3. Make sure all Adobe Illustrator services are checked and then tap on the “Remove” button.
  4. Click “Remove” again to confirm.
  5. Empty the Trash bin to complete the removal of Adobe Illustrator.

Wrapping It Up

Adobe Illustrator is a powerful vector graphics editing tool. If you use this software for work purposes, you’d definitely not want it to run into any problems. Otherwise, it might negatively affect your productivity. However, many users (probably you too) went through the same pain, and that’s why we created this guide to list down all effective ways to quickly fix the issues. We hope this guide was helpful to you in fixing Adobe Illustrator not working or opening on Mac issues.

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