Freakout Fixed! Restore Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator CC Environment, Panels After Upgrade
Panic grips millions of Creative Cloud subscribers who, after updating Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and other CC applications, discover all their panels and tools have disappeared. The radical reconfiguration of the trusted tools’ user interfaces is eliciting widespread confusion and dismay, and causing a stampede to downgrade to previous versions. Fortunately, there is a simple fix without the need to downgrade.
After updating to the latest version of Adobe Creative Cloud applications Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, and others, the user interface, including all panels and tools, disappear. They’re replaced with a minimalist screen listing recent documents and advertisements for Adobe’s stock photo service and short features videos (see Figure 1). The disappearance of panels, toolbars, and all the visual elements they’ve known in these Adobe applications for decades has caused many to assume their applications have become corrupted during the upgrade process. Many more users have downgraded to prior versions, often citing the need to work now and figure out what’s wrong with the new versions later.
There actually isn’t anything broken about the new versions of our mission-critical design tools. The mysterious new user interface is by design; Adobe did it on purpose.
These applications formerly launched to initially display the Welcome screen—a feature many found helpful and an equal number disliked (see Figure 2). The Welcome screen included tools for creating new content, a listing of recent documents, links to tutorial videos and knowledge base articles on new features, and advertisements for additional Adobe products and services. Whereas all of these helpful (or annoying) controls were contained within the floating dialog box Welcome screen, the newest CC editions place them fullscreen, hiding everything users expect to see when opening Adobe applications. The new look is a workspace called Start; it replaced the Welcome screen.
Like its forebear, Start is easily bypassed so that work can begin. The question is: do you want to remove Start forever (or, at least, until the next update forces it back into your face) or hide it temporarily, allowing it to return next time you launch InDesign, Photoshop, or Illustrator?
Getting Beyond Start Temporarily
Moving past Start is so incredibly easy that there isn’t even a step-by-step needed. It’s just one step:
- From the Workspace menu in the top-right corner of InDesign, or from Window > Workspaces, choose a different workspace (see Figure 3). You can pick a default workspace like Essentials or one you previously created. Instantly the Start workspace disappears, and you’re ready to get back to work.
Hiding Start Permanently
Hiding Start permanently is actually easier than forever dismissing the Welcome screen was. Follow these simple steps to never see Start again… this version.
- On the Mac, choose Preferences > General from the application menu (e.g. the InDesign CC menu). Windows users Preferences > General from the Bottom of the Edit menu.
- Uncheck the box beside the Show “Start” Workspace When No Documents Are Open option (see Figures 4, 5, and 6). The location of this control on the General pane varies by application, but is always on the General pane in the application Preferences dialog.
- Click OK to close Preferences.
- Quit the application and restart to ensure the preference change is written to disk.
Inexplicably, you won’t find the Start workspace in the Workspace menu on every application should you want to access it again. It’s there in Illustrator and InDesign, but not within Photoshop. Once disabled in the preferences, Start will never again appear. To restore it, you’ll have to reenable its option in the preferences.