Illustrator Trace Button Greyed Out [5 Easy Fixes]

Illustrator is a complicated program with many different bugs and glitches; therefore, it can be challenging to find the root cause. While it can be handy, it can also be irritating when your trace button is greyed out. What can you do?

If your trace button is greyed-out, you may want to check your preferences, update your Illustrator, or even consider reinstalling it entirely. Preferences and out-of-date versions can lead to glitches and errors in your Illustrator experience.

What steps should you take when the trace button is greyed out in Illustrator? Let’s go over some of the most common causes and solutions.

What is the Trace Button?

Trace is the tool that will allow you to create vector paths from bitmap images. Bitmap images are made up of pixels, which cannot be resized without losing quality. The trace button is located in the button bar and is available on the Tools panel, so it should not be greyed out.

This tool will be a huge time saver if you’re working on a project that requires vector images. You can use it to create logos or icons, for example. If you have an image of a logo and want to convert it into a vector shape, press the trace button, and it will be traced in seconds.

It is very easy to use. The button has a drop-down menu to trace an image with different settings, such as color or black and white. It can also be used for more detailed drawings if the user chooses less detail in their original picture by selecting “Draft.”

There are preset options like a chalkboard, marker pen, pencil sketching, etc., which makes it convenient because all you have to do is press one key, and Trace will give your bitmap design a natural look. This is also useful for creating patterns or textures.

Greyed-Out Trace Button

Illustrator is a complicated program, which means it has the potential for many different bugs and glitches. With so many options, the root cause of this issue can be challenging to find. However, there are some solutions you can try to fix a greyed-out trace button.

One solution is to close Illustrator and open it again. You may have noticed that the button was working before but then greyed out when you tried to use it again. If this is the case, all you need to do is close and reopen your program.

Another fix for this problem is restarting your computer. This will ensure that any temporary files causing the problem will be deleted from your system and that Illustrator will work properly again.

Thirdly, try opening another document in Illustrator. In most cases, this should fix the issue because it can reset your plugins or help refresh the program’s memory, so it will start functioning properly once again.

If none of these quick fixes do the trick, here are the 5 fixes that should get your trace button back.

1. Check for Updates

When fixing a greyed-out trace button, the first thing to do is to check for updates. If a software update is available, the newest version will be downloaded, installed and you’ll be all set.

Sometimes the trace button may be greyed-out because of a software update. This is one way to fix this problem, although other problems might also exist. The easiest way to check for updates would be through your device’s settings panel and looking for an option about system updates.

2. Update Illustrator

The first step you can take is to update Illustrator. This is the simplest solution and works most of the time. You can find this by going to Help and select Check for Updates, ensuring that the lower right corner box that says “Always Update Adobe Apps” is checked.

This usually does the trick. However, if this doesn’t work for you and you are still experiencing Illustrator problems, then it is worth visiting Adobe’s customer service to see what they might be able to do for your specific situation.

3. Deactivate and Reactivate Plugins

Plugins are one of the most common causes of this issue. When plugins break, they often cause other programs to malfunction. To fix this, try deactivating and reactivating your plugin. To do this, click “Window” in the top menu bar and select “Plugins.” From there, you can click the plugin name to deactivate or activate it.

4. Set Illustrator Preferences to Default

The first thing to try is setting Illustrator preferences to default. We can do this with the following steps:

  • Select “Edit” from the top menu
  • Select “Preferences”
  • Select the “General” tab
  • At the bottom of the General section, next to “New documents show,” type in Illustrator CC 2015 (or whichever version you are using).

5. Reinstall the Program

If the trace button is greyed out and you can’t find a different fix, one solution is to uninstall Illustrator and reinstall it. Sometimes, a glitch in older software versions can cause this issue. Especially if you have not updated Illustrator for years, it is possible that installing a newer version will help.

To do so, first, uninstall any previous versions of the program and then install Adobe Illustrator CC 2018 from their website or through installing Creative Cloud on your computer system.

Final Thoughts

The Illustrator trace button is a fantastic shortcut for creating complex vector shapes from simple paths. But what if the “Trace button” is greyed out? Check for updates, update Illustrator and deactivate and reactivate plugins.

Illustrator has many tools to help you create vector art. One of the most useful is the Illustrator Trace button, which is found under “the Draw” menu and selected from a drop-down list.

If this tool seems greyed out, check for updates by going to Help and select Check For Updates in your Illustrator program first or using Adobe Creative Cloud’s application manager if you have it installed on your computer. Next, un-install any plugins that are not currently active. Finally, reactivate them before trying again.