Pro Tools Preferences - Taking Out the Trash


Pro Tools Preferences

For those still using Pro Tools, the practice of "trashing preferences" has worked for years in fixing unwanted pops and crashes. Each DAW has a different way of being optimized for better performance but the first step is optimizing the OS. Both Mac and PC users can improve responsiveness via our tweaks pages seen to the left of the site. Nobody wants the "Blue Screen of Death" on their PC or the "Rainbow Wheel of Death" on a Mac. Nor do we want cryptic errors randomly popping up mid session (and crashing it), but it happens. The following methods help to fix slowdowns, glitches, hangs, pops and crashes.

Trashing PT Prefs

The Easy Route

There is a free program called PT Prefs for Macs that does everything shown here and more. Windows users can install Trasher for their trashing needs. Both programs are a convenient way to clean up a Pro Tools installation. Otherwise, you'll be hunting down all of the folders and files. The process of finding and manually trashing your DAE, prefs and databases helps one learn where everything is located. Keep your Pro Tools DAW running its best with these time tested tips. Remember to backup sessions as well as templates.

Mac PT Prefs

Macs on PT 11 / 12

NOTE: The Library folder may be hidden on your Mac. To activate and see it, try this:

Open Finder and hold down Alt (Option) while clicking Go from the dropdown menu bar at the top of the screen. You'll see the ~/Library folder listed below the Home folder

Macs on PT 10 & Earlier

Macintosh HD > Library > Application Support > Avid

delete the Databases folder

Open your User folder and select Library

Go to the Preferences folder and delete the following items:

com.digidesign.ProTools.plist DAE Prefs DigiSetup.OSX Pro Tools Prefs

Empty the trash and restart.

Windows Pro Tools


Windows 8 / 10 on Pro Tools 11 / 12

For Pro Tools folks running a windows-based PC, trashing certain files can help your Windows-based PT system. Manually finding your user folders is always helpful.

Go to C:Users / Your User Name / AppData / Roaming / Avid

delete the Pro Tools folder


Note: If you cannot find the AppData folder, click on the View tab, above Show/hide check Hidden Items

Windows 7 on Pro Tools 9 / 10

C:\Program Files (x86)\Avid\Pro Tools\Databases\Unicode

delete the Volumes folder

C:\Program Files (x86)\Avid\Pro Tools\DAE\

delete DAE Prefs

C:\Users\*user name*\AppData\Roaming\Avid

delete the Pro Tools folder

Not seeing the AppData folder? click on Organize and choose Folder and Search Options. Click on the View tab, then select Show Hidden Files and Folder. Click Apply, then OK. AppData should now be visible.

Empty trash and restart

Windows XP and Vista

Open the C: drive

delete Digidesign Databases (Pro Tools 8.0.2 and earlier)

C:\Program Files\Digidesign\Pro Tools

delete the Databases folder

C:\Program Files\Common Files\Digidesign\DAE

delete DAE Prefs

C:\Documents and Settings\*user name*\Application Data

delete the Digidesign folder

Empty trash and restart