Why Illustrator Can’t Finish Previewing? [5 Reasons]

No one likes to think ahead, but mockups can get you started on the right track and give you a leg up on creating a final product that everyone will love. Illustrator’s preview feature can be a little wonky sometimes, and it can be frustrating to spend hours making a mockup only to have it not work in preview.

When your Illustrator is not rendering your preview, it is possible that Illustrator is not up to date, the artwork’s complexity creates an overload, there is a lack of PC memory, there is damaged or corrupted work, or the version is out of date.

No matter how much experience you have, you’ll probably find at least one thing that you can’t finish previewing. So, here’s a recap of the problems and solutions for you.

Why Illustrator can’t finish previewing

Something that designers and developers frequently face is the task of checking their work in a graphics program like Illustrator before sending it to the printer. They may therefore have to spend a lot of time looking at a website in different ways to make sure that everything looks good.

Unfortunately, digital designers don’t often have the luxury of being able to look at their work in a traditional way. When working with a digital product, you’re typically expected to look at the artwork only. As such, you may not realize how “off” something appears until you try to preview it in a program like Illustrator.

If Illustrator is not letting you preview, it could be down to one of the following:

  1. Application not up to date
  2. Complexity creates an overload
  3. Lack of PC memory
  4. Damaged or corrupted work
  5. Out of date version

1. Application Not Up To Date

This is a common reason for Illustrator not being able to preview. It’s always best to make sure you’re running the latest version of your software before checking your work.

This includes things like software updates, patches, and security fixes. If your software has been updated, you’ll want to make sure to run the new version instead of the old one.

2. Complexity Creates an Overload

When there are too many objects on screen, the computer will sometimes prioritize certain processes over others. This can create an overload, which in turn can cause delays or errors in workflow.

In order to avoid this situation, you can set an appropriate priority for each process. This setting isn’t affected by job titles, so you can use this information to help schedule tasks and avoid overlapping or processing items at the same time. You can also use organizational charts to help prioritize tasks. This information can be valuable when you work with a large number of objects on screen, since it allows you to prioritize similar objects over others.

3. Lack of PC Memory

When working with large files and complex artwork, it’s possible that Illustrator may not have enough internal memory to complete previewing the artwork.

If this occurs, an error message will appear, and you will need to close the Illustrator file and open it again with a different file type. Certain file types such as vector artwork and photographs cannot be processed in this way. If you have trouble previewing your artwork in this way, consider increasing the file size or resizing it to a different file type. If you experience problems previewing your artwork in this way, try decreasing the size of the text and/or images in your file.

4. Damaged or Corrupted Work

This can happen if you apply a file format that has been corrupted by another program such as Photoshop. In some cases, this can even cause your computer to crash as a result. To prevent this from happening, make sure that the file you are trying to open is a .PDF document or .EPS or .JPG image file. You can also try opening the file in a program such as Preview or Microsoft Word to identify any formatting or security issues.

5. Out Of Date Version

This can happen if you’re working with an older version of software that is no longer being supported. It’s best to make sure you are using the latest version of Adobe Illustrator before checking your work. It’s also a good idea to keep track of which versions of Adobe software you are using and make sure you are still getting the latest and greatest functionality. Keeping track of your software version can help you avoid any software updates that are not compatible with your current version and can also give you a better indication of when a software update is required.

Solutions to Previewing issue

If you are experiencing a problem with Previewing your file, there are a few solutions that you can try.

  • Try adjusting your Preview settings
  • Try changing your display color settings
  • Try clearing out any temporary files on your computer
  • Make sure your application is on the latest version

What else can I do?

Sometimes things just don’t work out and you need to get back to it. If you are in a rush, you can always use an alternate program, like Placeit.net, to get the work done. However, if you are in need of a fix and have time, use the following tips to get back on track.

Keep a file open while you are working on it (even if you are not actively working in it) so that you can easily return when you need to. If your software is crashing, try reopening the file or use another tool until you find out what is wrong with your application.

If your computer is freezing up, try restarting it and see if that fixes the problem. If nothing seems to work, be sure to save often so that there is a copy of any changes before they are lost if your software crashes again.

Be sure to save as a copy rather than try and make any changes on top of an original document so that you have a backup copy of your work. If you need to print something, make sure you are printing from the latest version of Adobe Illustrator or whichever program you are using.


Not being able to preview in Illustrator after you have done so much work can be annoying. Sometimes you can fix the problem by restarting Illustrator, but sometimes you have to resort to using a different program to do your work. The best thing to do is just keep on working and try to figure out what is going on.