6 May

Could not initialize Photoshop because the preferences file was invalid

Problem

When you open Photoshop on your Mac, you may get the following error:

 ”Could not load actions because an unexpected end-of-file was encountered.”

Which is then followed by another error:

“Could not initialize Photoshop because the preferences file was invalid (it has been deleted).”

Cause

This is caused by corrupt preference files.

Solution

Select the tab below with your operating system:

  1. Go to your home folder.
  2. Go to your User Library folder.
    If you are unable to see your User Library folder, please follow this post
  3. Go to the Preferences folder.
  4. Delete the “Adobe Photoshop CS5 Settings” (or similar name) folder.(Folder name may differ depending on what version you have)
  1. Click the Start button (Windows XP users should then click Run).
  2. Type %appdata% and press Enter.
  3. Open the Adobe folder.
  4. Open the Adobe Photoshop CS5 (or similar name) folder.
  5. Delete the “Adobe Photoshop CS5 Settings” (or similar name) folder.

277 Responses to Could not initialize Photoshop because the preferences file was invalid

  1. I just had same problem…. works fine now.

  2. OMG THANK YOU!!!!!!!!

  3. seriously….THANK YOU!!

  4. sorry, I can’t find this folder. What is home folder?

  5. Thank you!

  6. And for pc users? I have the same problem…

  7. very very very Thank u

    Thanx a lot

    :)

  8. THANK YOU!!!

  9. Thank you!!!!

  10. SOOOOOO thankful!

  11. thanks bro

  12. Holy s***! Tanks, dude! =]

  13. Thanks for windows solution :D , It works! (re-installation of photoshop in this case didnt help also )

  14. You need to recreate the preference file. Open Photoshop, hold down Cmd+Alt+Shift, and then click Yes to the prompt “Delete the Adobe Photoshop Settings file? This will delete all of your preference settings and set them to installation presets. (http://forums.techguy.org/digital-photography-imaging/342418-photoshop-preference-files-missing.html)

    • excellent. this method worked better for me.

    • Gold, solid gold! Thanks.

    • Thanx man- you just saved my day..! The first workaround didn´t work for me so I tried your post- and Photoshop works again..!

    • MAKE SURE YOU CLICK THE PHOTSHOP ICON TO OPEN FIRST

      THEN HOLD DOWN CTRL / SHIFT / ALT

      If you hold the keys down BEFORE clicking icon then it won’t work. Just FYI, it was driving me crazy and I finally figured it out… Thanks for the info by the way!!

  15. Great! thank you so much

  16. thanksssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss
    u help me a lotttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt babyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy
    aghain thanks

    ya Ali

  17. THANKS MAN IT WORKS

  18. Works great now. Thanks

  19. uraaaaaaaaaaa thank you!!!!!!!!!!

  20. I did this and still get the same error message, with the additional error message “cant find workspace folder”.

  21. Thanks so much!!

  22. I did as you said, and it was fixed!!
    Thank you very much, friend.

  23. Eternamente agradecido total prooo

  24. Joining the sea of voices with a bunch of solid ‘thank yous’!

  25. Thank you very much! very much appreciated.

  26. Yes thank you!!!

  27. LEGEND!!

  28. thanks bro

  29. f*** yeah. that was hella easy. thanks a lot

  30. thanks it totally worked!

  31. Thank You Carl N.

    That was right on the money!!!! you helped save the day and meet deadlines………!

  32. Thank You………worked great!

  33. Wow I almost freaked out cause re-installling was no used. THANKS

  34. WAY COOL!! Thanks so much. I thought i was going to have to uninstall and reinstall the whole program but this worked.

  35. You are amazing

  36. Thanks so much!

  37. thanks a lot. happy new year

  38. Thank you so much! What a great fix!

  39. Monica Kressman January 9, 2012 at 22:54

    thank you, that fixed it with the command alt shift key had to reload photoshop to get it to work but worked the second time.

  40. Thanks, it worked for me, too.

  41. Thank you so much!!!!

  42. Worked great. Thank you!

  43. To easy! Thanks for the easy fix.

  44. thank you very much!!! )

  45. Thank you so much ………………i participated in design contest and just one day left and my Photoshop creating this prob but fixed now ,thanks alot

  46. thanks , solve problem

  47. Hey! I had the same problem but when i checked on the libraries folder i didn’t find any photoshop files or anything… Help?

  48. Thanks so much you saved my presentation

  49. thx bro:) that was so helpful
    thx bro thx

  50. how about if the photoshop says, “Could not initialise Photoshop because of a program error”. plsss

    • Try reinstalling Photoshop. Also, try it on another user account and without any plugins to help isolate the issue.

  51. Nice thanks!!

  52. Thank you so much, it worked!

  53. Thanks a lot!!!!!

  54. Worked fine for me!

    When PS doesn’t find the folder there, it just creates a new one. I think I’ve lost my preferences but that’s no big deal.

    Thanks!

  55. It works!!!!!!! Thank youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu :)

  56. THANK YOU!

  57. Thanks, I fixed my daughter’s Photoshop app!

  58. THANKS! LIFE SAVER TIP

  59. Funny! I haven’t had this problem in so long, 12 years, I had completely forgotten about this bug.

  60. Thanks. I really appreciate it.

  61. saved me a re install of photoshop, thank you

  62. OMG Thank you so much it works! I’ve been so annoyed but this saved my life THANK YOU!

  63. thank you!!!!

  64. Dear help desk – Sorry I resent as checked to notify by email – thanks

    I did what you recommended but no improvement- perhaps this works for most others applications. I am using a fairly new Toshiba laptop that is foolproof for most anything for two years now and I do above and beyond in Photoshop as a professional photographer. I just encountered this tonight when trying to open my Photoshop CS5 64 Bit. It will not open- Even after deleting the preference files as you say- I had two of them. There was no improvement- I also find it funny that others say “go open photoshop and add “named such” new prefrences…? huh? How can you go to Photoshop and open it to add new preferences when you cannot open it to begin with? Like when you are out of gas, Go start your car and drive to the gas station to get more gas?

    Please suggest exactly how to reset these preferences files. I am stuck without being able to open my Phoptoshop CS5 on my Vista Windows now.

    Thanks
    Mark

    • The instructions on how to reset the preferences are outlined above. Was it the “Adobe Photoshop CS5 Settings” folder that you deleted?

  65. Yes! Thanks…

  66. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

  67. THX DUDE U R AWESOME !!

  68. Thank you!!!!!

  69. appreciative gal ! May 2, 2012 at 03:04

    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  70. There are no Adobe or Photoshop files in my preferences folder to delete? What now????

  71. Thank you man ;)

  72. Thanks, U make my day, woks fine now !!!

  73. Thank you so much !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    You Help me a Lot! Great job!!!!!God Bless You!
    Thank you !!!!!

  74. Thank you so much!

  75. YOU’RE A *!
    Thanks SO much!!!

  76. Thank you so much.. it was driving me insane!!!

  77. Thank you. Google… your page… easy fix. Job done.

  78. Jeffery Dahmer June 21, 2012 at 15:08

    I love you

  79. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!

  80. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH OMG THANK YOU

  81. THX i love it when I find the solution quickly and when the info is clear!

  82. This is DA BEST.

  83. I am in awe of how simple that was to fix…Thank you!

  84. Liberté, égalité, fraternité ,thanks bro!

  85. Really Helpful.. I got mine working..!! Thanks Chap

  86. Thanks for sharing :D fixed the issue

  87. Thank you so much! Works perfectly now!

  88. Muchas Gracias!!!

  89. Thanks.It works <3

  90. Thank You Somuch

  91. Thanks a million

  92. Thank you

  93. Thank you so much !! It’s been one week I’ve been looking for it.

  94. I don’t know you but I love you.

  95. THANKS! You’re the best!!

  96. You saved alot.. Thanks for the good job.

  97. Thanks a LOT bro! WELL DONE!

  98. gopal kheradiya November 7, 2012 at 06:25

    thx

  99. ooooooooooooooooo Thank you so many much.

  100. thank you sooo much!!!!!!

  101. Great fix it , thanks

  102. Tenna Merchent December 7, 2012 at 12:21

    Thank you so much for sharing this, I was afraid to do it, but what did I have to lose as PS6 wasn’t working anyway. Very helpful!

  103. A Big Thank You. Had an emergency

  104. I am getting the message ” ”Could not load actions because an unexpected end-of-file was encountered.” in Adobe photoshop 7.0 . My problem was not solved by deleting ” Adobe Photoshop settings ” . I am getting message arm.dll file was corrupt. Sir , Please help me .

    My mail id : pushparaj_ece@yahoo.com

  105. thank you very much, you saved the day

  106. Thank you so much..

  107. THANKS A LOT FOR THE HELP, FIXED and WORKING
    you saved a lot of people

  108. IT WORK FOR ME!!

  109. Awesome thanks

  110. Thank you so much! I would never of considered deleting MORE Photoshop folders in order to solve the problem! Thanks!!!

  111. sushma chakilela January 4, 2013 at 17:23

    thank you so much…!

  112. I cannot figure out step 3 on Mac. I also typed out what the folder could have been and looked at each one and couldn’t figure out step 4 as well. Thanks for all the help in advanced.

    Cheers

    • Sounds like you are just having some trouble getting to the User Library.

      Another way to access it is, from Finder, click Go (on the top menu), hold Alt and then click on Library.

  113. Thanx_iT Works

  114. thank u ….it worked

  115. Wunderfull, thank you. It works.

  116. Woow! IT WORKS!
    THX A LOT, you are my hero!!!

  117. it really worked for my cs6

  118. thanks!!! it worked!

  119. i deleted my preference folder but my actions are gone all of them :/ am I going to have to re load them??

    • Hi Laura.

      You will have to reload them yes. Due to the deletion of the preference folder this will have removed all preferences of the program. This will include any plug-ins and actions that were priorly available.

      Deleting the preferences has essentially reset the program. Only updates and major modifications should remain unchanged.

  120. Thanks alott buddy… cheers :)

  121. Hey!
    I can’t find the User Library folder, when I go to my personal folder i can’t find anything with this name. I have also tried to find the photoshop setting document but i can’t find it! i’M DESESPERATE!!! ARGHHHHH

    • Apple removed the link by default in Lion and later. If you select the finder, click “go” in the top menu and hold the alt/option key to reveal the library link, details in this post. Alternatively follow this post.

      We will make the links more explicit in the article in the future to avoid confusion.

  122. thanks a lot!! I finally found the Library folder!
    it worked!

  123. THANK YOUU

  124. Thank you dude… awsum..sexy.
    God bless you..

  125. Up and running again…

  126. THANK YOU!

  127. oh….. thanks a lot….

  128. Thank you so much friend…………….

  129. Thanks!!! worked for cs6 aswell!

  130. wow…nice 1.. thank you soo much.. works great!

  131. saravana netadmin olympuspremedia March 21, 2013 at 10:45

    thank u so much..really it is more helpful

  132. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have been messing with this for a couple of days, even tried uninstalling and reinstalling – LIFESAVER

  133. Thanks a ton dude :)

  134. YESSS!!!!
    thank you so much.

  135. Thanks … it worked…… in fact… it sped up my photoshop App, didn’t realize how bloated I made it over time… thanks dude

  136. Thanks so MUCH!!!

  137. Thank You Very Much!!!! ive been finding the solution for about 2 months and no one seems to know!!!! until i get to this forum!!!! thank you very much :’>

  138. Hendry Willy April 5, 2013 at 18:46

    Thank you, God bless u!

  139. I have CS4 and it didn’t work for me

  140. Thank you so MUCH!!

  141. OMG! Thanks!!! Thanks!!! Thanks!!!

  142. It worked like magic, was already thinking of how to how to get a setup for another installation. What can without people and the internet. Thanks a lot.

  143. rodney Mcknight April 25, 2013 at 00:40

    Thanks!!!!!!!!

  144. WOW! Thank you big time!

  145. Thanks & Thanks :)

  146. Thank you so much! You are a life saver!!

  147. Thank you so very much!!!

  148. thank dude u save my life phewwwww

  149. Gr8 Thank you :)

  150. OMG!!! THANKU, I had to force quit a file InDesign and my Photoshop started to display this message.

  151. Yes, many thanks. You saved my bacon!

  152. omfg THANKSSS

  153. thanksssssssssssssssssss

  154. IT REALLY WORKS… YAHOOOO… Thanks.

  155. Itz really wonderful MAN……….Ton of THANKZZZZZZZZZ…………

  156. Thank you very much!

  157. Thank you!

  158. worked for me! Thank you very much..

  159. Thank you !!! it worked!!!!!!! thank you!!!!

  160. ziad el abbasy June 9, 2013 at 18:38

    omg , i just save my life , thanks buddy :)

  161. it really work…im using cs5.1 extended!!!yahoo…

  162. Just wanted to say thank you very much for the advice. It works fine now. You are AWESOME!

  163. thanxxxxxxx A lot

  164. it really work..thank you very much bro….

  165. Thanks a lot!!..=)))

  166. OMGosh! Thank you SO much! I uninstalled and then reinstalled the entire suite, thinking somehow I had accidently deleted something…only to find out from you that it was a corrupted file. THANKS, my sanity has officially been restored. Life can continue as normal.

  167. Thank you!!!!!!

  168. thank you mister!

  169. REALLY AWSME DEAR … THNX TO U… THNZ A LOT

  170. Thank you!!! You saved my work :*

  171. Thank you!!
    it works for me in window 7

  172. Thanks lot!! buddy… it’s works

  173. Thanx a lot!!!!
    Saved my day! XD

  174. Thank you man, woks like a charm now.

  175. thanks guy

  176. Thank you!

  177. thanks. its working

  178. Thank you so much, you just saved my life!!!

  179. OMG thankyou so much after a month of back and forth with ADOBE and no fix… i should have just googled it…. YOUR AMAZEBALLS… thankyou so much for this post!!!

  180. Andres Cabrera August 28, 2013 at 13:23

    Man! you save my life. THANK U SO VERY MUCH!!!!!!

  181. BOOOO YAAAAAA! Thanks!

  182. I hope that you see this because I just want to say… I love you. Thank you is not enough.

  183. Thank you soooooooooo much!

  184. Thanks! Damn Windows updates…

  185. I am not seeing the preferences file at all in the library and I still get the “preferences file invalid and has been deleted” message every time I try and open you photoshop 6 on my main account. However when I login to the guest account it works fine. But all of my work is on the main account

  186. Thank you so much!!

  187. Extremely thanks for your advice ;)

  188. thanks a ton!

  189. Thank you!!! Waiting for a mac tech to come fix photoshop and I just fixed myself :)

  190. Thanks a ton buddy! I was feeling helpless when I could not initialize cs..I was not getting any error message…it was just giving NOT RESPONDING ….on the top….Also, I found AWSCommonUI.dll as a new folder that was created since the time when Photoshop could not initialize. I deleted that and later followed your instructions and……abra…ca…dabra……IT WORKED MAN…..thanks a lot

  191. Thank you very much.
    For PC

    C:\Users\xxxxxxxxxxxxx\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CS5

  192. Hi, it seems I don’t have a ” Adobe Photoshop CS5 Settings ” file in my preferences folder.. what do I do now ?

  193. AM so greatful, is working now, am rocking it…..!

  194. Thank You So Much!! Simple and clear advice which fixed my problem yay!

  195. YES! This worked for me! Thank you!!!

  196. your AWESOME! This saved me from the screams of my boss! Phew

  197. THANK YOU!

  198. THANK YOU!!! You’re Awesome! :”)

  199. OMG! Thanks so much!

  200. thanku so much..

  201. YAYAY all better now. thanks

  202. COOL~~~ thanks… :D

  203. Thanks so much!! On a tight schedule for a client :) ppffeeeww!!

  204. Thank you guys! Almost started to freak out, but this solution worked like a charm.

  205. This post is still saving peoples lives:) Thanks!!

  206. Such a easy Fix. THANK YOU!!! I was panicking.

  207. you’re my HERO. Thanks!!

  208. Thank you! Saved my evening…and my sanity! xoxo

  209. Omg!!!! You made my day! I was devastated the whole day because of this problem. Thank you so much! x

  210. Made my day!!!! THANX

  211. thanks!!! you are a lifesaver to us all!

  212. DANKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! after 2 hours of trial & error, I found your suggestion and it worked!

  213. AdrianDeHollow January 13, 2014 at 21:14

    Thanx! saved my a**

  214. YAY! Omg thank you so much! It worked like a charm!!

  215. thanks so much worked very well ..

  216. Thank You! Works great!

  217. Yippeekayee! Thanx a million!!!

  218. This tip absolutely WORKS!!! Thanks for posting! This saves me from re install. Tip if you close your Photoshop don’t use a force quit to close it quickly, be patient and just wait. You sir just save my A$$ from a sure painful re-install and re-configure.

  219. si funciona con solo eso, en mi macbook y pensar que quería volver a instalarlo. Gracias por la solución.

    [if it works with just that, in my macbook and think you wanted to install it. Thanks for the solution.]

  220. Worked a treat

  221. Thank you so much … U saved me … I was thinking of contacting someone for this problem :D

  222. WOOOW! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! SAVED MY DAY!!

  223. Works fine, thanks a lot.

  224. You saved me in a BIG WAY! Thank you so much.

  225. VeravalOnline Incl February 18, 2014 at 10:03

    Its great,, man thanksssssssssssssssssss
    so much thanks,, scared,,,when this thing happen

  226. thnx buddy ….workinggggggggggggggggggggggggggg

  227. Very Thanks

  228. yes, i found it, it’s worked properly …………………………thanks

  229. Your a genius :D

  230. MANY THANKS :) )

  231. Ashutosh Soni April 7, 2014 at 07:31

    bro you are a computer genius guy imean this method work fine with me

  232. Thanks KU

  233. OMG thanks so much !!!!!!

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