Illustrator CC started running increasingly slower until it just started crashing.
Then the whole computer started freezing in an ugly way and crashing like I’d never seen a Mac do in my 16+ years of using them. After blaming Apple in general and Tim Cook specifically for a perceived decline I decided to take my “late 2013” iMac to the Genius Bar which is always a humiliating experience.
Then I thought, “F**k that,” and started Googling and troubleshooting until I found two things that solved both problems.
Illustrator CC, Specifically
As it turns out, Illustrator freezing was (at least partially) related to another frustrating Illustrator problem–all shortcuts and menu options for “Fit In Window” stopped working! Here’s a more detailed description of the problem and the solution (I love that I supplied my own correct answer):
El Capitan (and Adobe CC), Generally
El Capitan by itself, and especially with Adobe CC, has caused people lots of grief. I’m not entirely sure which of the following (perhaps a combination of them all) cured my system, but it runs perfectly again. Personally, I agree with those who say the Permissions are–despite the Apple party line–the culprit. It’s quite possible Apple’s message that El Capitan verifies and repairs Permissions automatically (including during install) and regularly so we don’t have to is true BUT upgrading a Mac with Adobe CC to El Capitan or maybe even upgrading to Adobe CC (by the way: Don’t, if you can avoid it … buy some used discs … SASS is a crime) in El Capitan cruds up your Permissions. Regardless, it was after I did the Permissions bit below that cured my Mac’s ills.
Many discussions and forums advised users to reinstall Illustrator or the entire suite, which I didn’t want to do and, as it turns out, didn’t have to. These easy steps (maybe not even all of them) were all I needed.
- Access Disk Utility in the Recovery Tools (allows it to do things it can’t while you’re logged in) by restarting and, when you hear the startup chime, holding down the Command and R keys (or just Option … apparently, for some Macs, it’s different). Open Disk Utility and, under the First Aid tab, run Verify Disk and Repair Disk.
- According to one article, repairing Disk Permissions, (not the same as Repair Disk), “can profoundly increase your Mac’s performance or just do nothing.” Restart the Mac as described above (for the same reason). Choose Terminal from the Utilities menu and, after typing the code below, restart using the Apple menu.
sudo /usr/libexec/repair_packages –verify –standard-pkgs /
sudo /usr/libexec/repair_packages –repair –standard-pkgs /
- Reset SMC (Systems Management Controller) by turning off the Mac, unplugging the power cable, wait at least 15 seconds, reconnect power cable and wait at least another 5 seconds, and restart.
- Zapping the PRAM is now resetting the NVRAM. Restart the Mac and, before anything appears, start holding the Command, Option, P and R keys together. Release when you hear the chime (one article says to wait until it chimes twice).