How to clear font caches

What are font caches

Font caches are small files created on-the-fly by your computer in order to speed up listing and loading of font files. Trouble happens when these cache files are not refreshed and therefore do not reflect the fonts available on your system. You may need to clear your font caches to troubleshoot:

  • Fonts not showing up in your font menu;
  • Fonts incorrectly displaying in your app, browser, or glyph palette;
  • Missing fonts or font styles;
note

These operations require administrator privileges on the computer

MacOS instructions

  1. Close all applications
  2. Start the application “Terminal” (located in the Utilities folder)
  3. Type the following command in a Terminal window:
sudo atsutil databases -remove

and press Return.

  1. Type your password at the prompt (no characters will echo back to the screen).
  2. When the process is complete, type exit to end your command line session, choose File > Quit to exit Terminal, then restart your computer.

Windows instructions

  1. Close all applications.
  2. Move the contents of the following folder to the Trash:
  • C:\Windows\ServiceProfiles\LocalService\AppData\Local\FontCache
  1. Move the following files to the Trash:
  • C:\Windows\System32\FNTCACHE.DAT
  1. Empty the trash and restart your system.

Adobe apps instructions

If your font display problems are limited to Adobe applications, it may be due to a corrupt Adobe-specific font cache. To remove Adobe font caches:

  1. Quit all Adobe applications.
  2. Open a new Finder window.
  3. Press Command-F.
  4. Click This Mac in the Search bar.
  5. Choose System files from the first pop-up menu, then choose Are included from the second pop-up menu.
  6. Click the + button at the end of the “System files are included” criterion.
  7. Choose Name from the first pop-up menu, then choose contains from the second pop-up menu, then type fnt into the field.
  8. Click the + button at the end of the “Name contains fnt” criterion.
  9. Choose Name from the first pop-up menu, then choose ends with from the second pop-up menu, then type .lst into the field. Tip: Click Save in the Search bar to quickly perform this search again.
  10. When the search is complete, select the files in the list whose name start with Acro, Adobe, and Illustrator and move them to the Trash, then empty the Trash.

The next time you open the a selected Adobe application, it will automatically create new clean copies of the font cache files.

tip

On step 9, click Save in the Search bar to quickly perform this search again.

Microsoft Office Mac instructions

If Microsoft Office applications crash or freeze, display font corruption warnings, run slowly, or if you have font menu problems, then you may need to manually clear the Office font cache.

  1. Close all Microsoft Office applications.
  2. Depending upon your version of Office, remove the following files:
  • ~/Library/Preferences/Microsoft/Office Font Cache (11)
  • ~/Library/Preferences/Microsoft/Office 2008/Office Font Cache (12)
  • ~/Library/Preferences/Microsoft/Office 2011/Office Font Cache

Apple iWork instructions

If one of the applications in Apple’s iWork suite is crashing after picking a template or clicking in an editable field, clearing the iWork font cache can help.

  1. Close all iWork applications.
  2. Move the following file to the Trash:
  • ~/Library/Caches/com.apple.iwork.fonts

Chrome browser instructions

  1. Delete the content of this folder:
  • ~/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/Default/Application Cache/
tip

In a browser window, force-refresh a web page with Ctrl-Shift-R (Command-Shift-R on a Mac)

These instructions are partly forked from jaredhowland/clear-font-cache.md