How to reset Adobe InDesign preferences

When you notice that your Adobe InDesign software is starting to behave a bit erratically, deleting the InDesign preferences (also referred to as resetting the preferences) often solves the problem. This article explains how to reset your InDesign Preferences.

How do I know if my Adobe InDesign preferences need a reset?

In general, you will notice the software to behave erratically, which is about the best way to describe it. The table below lists just a few of the specific behaviors we have noticed when the InDesign preferences become corrupt.

Indications for InDesign Preference Reset
Random crashes of Adobe InDesign, in general, or during VDP output
Document windows not displaying immediately up opening, or displaying only after selecting a menu item
DesignMerge software does not remember the previously-selected data file location, and continually prompts you to select a data file every time you start a merge
The software in general appears to be running slower than normal
It has been more than 60 days since your last preference reset

Note that these issues can occur in normal, everyday use of Adobe InDesign, and are not specifically related to the use of DesignMerge software. So in general, it's probably a good idea for you to reset the InDesign preferences from time to time.

To reset the InDesign Preferences, please follow these instructions:

  1. Quit Adobe InDesign.
  2. Hold down the following four keys:
    Macintosh Systems: Hold down the (Cmd + Ctrl + Option + Shift) keys
    Windows Systems: Hold down the (Ctrl + Alt + Shift) keys​
  3. Keep these four keys held down while you start up Adobe InDesign.
  4. You should get a prompt asking to confirm deletion of the preferences.
  5. Confirm that the preferences should be deleted.

Adobe InDesign will now launch with a brand new set of default preference settings.

If you do not see a prompt asking you to delete the preferences, then quit InDesign and try again. This can occur if InDesign did not detect that the key sequence was being held down, or perhaps the wrong keys were pressed.

Will this mess up my InDesign Preferences?

This reset procedure simply restores the standard Adobe InDesign application preferences to their default values. It does not affect workspaces, keyboard shortcuts, style sheets, or any of the other important settings you may have previously established. Don't be afraid! For more details about Adobe InDesign preferences, please see Restore all preferences and default settings on the Adobe web site.