How To Troubleshoot InDesign Missing Plug-Ins Issue

By | September 25, 2017


Encountering missing plug-in error in your InDesign application but don’t having any idea on how to fix this? Many users like you facing the same issue in their InDesign application. If you too looking for the fixes to troubleshoot this missing plug-in issue, then leave all your worries and check out the solutions mentioned below in this tutorial.

Circumstances in which InDesign plug-in issue generates:

Following are the circumstances in which this InDesign plug-in issue comes:

  • Errors come after installing the third-party plug-in for Adobe InDesign.
  • While using certain plug-included with InDesign.
  • Errors referring to plug-in that are associated with particular documents.
  • Sometime error shows that certain “plug-in are missing”.
  • Error also comes when particular plug-in is referenced in a crash log-file.

Practical scenario

Last night I was working on a rather large InDesign document, that today will not open. I have earlier versions, but the amount of edits I made yesterday were unarguably extensive and time consuming. I’m on the same computer, using CS6, and I keep getting this message:

“Adobe InDesign may not support the file format, a plug-in that supports the file format may be missing, or the file may be open in another application.”

I’ve read through research that this could mean that the file for some reason did not save properly, but could also mean a whole bag of other things that unfortunately I do not know how to fix.

Any advice would be profoundly appreciated.


What’s is Indesign plug‑ins?

InDesign plug-in modules are software program that is developed by Adobe Systems, and by other software developers working along with the Adobe, just to add features to adobe software. Numbers of exporting, importing, automation, and special effects plug-ins comes with your program and is automatically gets installed in the plug-in folder. Actually, numerous features you see in InDesign are provided by plug-in.

After installation, these plug-in modules appear as option on menus, in dialog boxes or in panels.

  • If an installer is allotted, then use it to install the plug-in module. Otherwise, drag one copy of the module into the plug-in folder inside the InDesign application folder.
  • Follow the installation instruction that comes with plug-in.

Issues Comes Due To Adobe InDesign missing plugins

Configure InDesign Installed Plug-In:

Use Extension Manager to configure plug‑ins

Make use of the extension manager application to inspect and customize the set of installed plug-ins. Such as, you can get complete info about the installed plug-in, create custom plug-in sets for many other tasks or workgroup and remove or disable plug-in when troubleshooting problems. To disable plug-in, perform these tasks:

Choose Help > Manage Extensions (Windows) or InDesign > Manage Extensions (Mac OS).

For any other guidance in using extension manager, click Help in the Extension Manager application.

Integration with Creative Cloud Add-ons via the Browse Add-ons menu 

You can search and install plug-in, extension and more for Adobe InDesign and other products from the Adobe Add-ons website.

To add-on InDesign with the plug-ins select Windows>Browse Add-Ons. Theses add-ons come free or chargeable. Entire installed/acquired plug-ins from the creative cloud app for InDesign gets synced to InDesign from this workflow. It takes you to the browse add-ons webpage.

These add-ons appears later on Window > Extensions, downloads or location mentioned in the where find description of the add-on.


In order to view the downloaded add-ons, go to the browse add-ons webpage and in the left side pane of the webpage there is no option of View my add-ons. It lists for which products and respective versions these add-ons are supported on.

When file -syncing is ON, browser add-ons sync in the creative cloud account.

Troubleshoot InDesign third-party plug-ins 

If you too facing InDesign plug-in issue in mentioned circumstances after installing a third party plug-in or if 3rd plug-in suddenly causes error in InDesign. So let’s get started with the troubleshooting fixes to resolve this Adobe InDesign missing plug-in issue in any of your InDesign version i.e  CS3/ CS4/ CS5/ CS6 or CC.

 But before that to narrow down the source of problem, ask yourself few questions:

 Is the plug-in ever worked properly? If so then what has changed on the system?

Does other plug-in and the In Design application working properly?

After answering these questions, you are convinced the problem is specifically with the plug-in and not the result of broader, system-level issues, so to resolve this just follow down the steps mentioned below:

1.     Re-create the InDesign preferences file. 

Steps mentioned below are specifically for InDesign CS5,version 7.x, and for CS4 , version 6.x


  1. Quit InDesign 
  2. Drag the “Version 7.0” folder from C:\Documents and Settings\[user name]\Application Data\Adobe\InDesign\ to the desktop. 
  3. Drag the “Caches” folder from C:\Documents and Settings\[user name]\Local Settings\Application Data\Adobe\InDesign\Version 7.0 to the desktop. 
  4. Restart InDesign.

Or: hold down the Ctrl+Alt+Shift Keys just after launching InDesign again.

Mac OS

  1. Close InDesign. 
  2. Drag the “Version 7.0” folder from Users/[user name]/Library/Preferences/Adobe InDesign/ to the desktop.
  3. Drag the “Version 7.0” folder from Users/[user name]/Library/Caches/Adobe InDesign/ to the desktop.
  4. Now restart the InDesign application again..

Or else:

Hold down Command + Option + Control + Shift just after launching the InDesign again.

InDesign creates new preference file after launching the application.

The folders that you have shifted to the desktop include InDesign’s OLD preference files i.e “InDesign SavedData” file and “InDesign Defaults.”  These can be saved back, if the issue is not resolved by creating new preferences files.

2. Check whether your system meets minimum requirements for InDesign and the plug-in. 

In some cases, plug-in or suites of plug-ins designed for complex tasks may need more memory space than InDesign requires.

System requirement of 3rd party plug-in included in the plug-in documentation, so check that out too. If you are using third party plug-in to create an earlier version of document then check the manufacturer to make sure that they are installed correctly for and compatible with the version of InDesign you are opting to convert the document.

3. Install the latest version of your plug-in

Well the latest version of InDesign plug-in is much more compatible with the operating system and drivers. Before you install an update or upgrade, make sure that the system meets the requirements.

To check out the info about the installed 3-rd party plug-ins:

  • Open the “Configure Plug-ins” dialog box from the InDesign (Mac OS) or Help (Windows) menu.
  • Here choose “All Plug-ins” from the Set list and choose all but the “Adobe” option in the Display field.
  • Highlight the third-party plug-in and click on Show Info.

4. Disable or remove third-party plug-ins 

Sometime disabling or removing up the InDesign plug-in helps in resolving InDesign plug-in issue. if the problem doesn’t occur after you disable or remove third party plug-ins then reinstall the plug-in to ensure they are correctly get installed. Or else contact the plug-ins manufacturer to inquire about the updates.

Identify which third party plug-in is installed for InDesign

For this just follow down theses steps:

  • Open the Configure Plug-ins dialog from the Help (Windows) or InDesign (Mac OS) menu. 
  • Select the entire Plug-ins from the Set list, and select all but the “Adobe” option in the Display field. 

Note: if you tap to the show info, then you can also see the path where they get installed.

To disable the third-party plug-ins: 

  1. Create new set by following the steps to verify your third party plug-ins and then tap to the check mark present at the left of the third-party plug-ins’ names. 
  2. Click ‘yes’ option, when InDesign displays any warning message like: Cannot modify the “all Plug-ins” set.  Create a new set based on the “All Plug-ins” set.
  1. Assign name for the set and then click OK
  2. After then Restart your InDesign application. 

To remove the third-party plug-ins: 

  1. Quit InDesign. 
  2. Delete any identified third-party plug-ins from Program Files\Adobe\Adobe InDesign [version number]\Plug-Ins (Windows), or Application/Adobe InDesign [version number]/Plug-Ins (Mac OS) folder to a backup folder. 
  3. Remove the InDesign preference files for this just follow the 1st troubleshooting step.
  4. Now restart InDesign.


5.Reinstall missing or damaged plug-ins.

If you are getting error message like plug-in is no longer available or is damaged then it simply means you need to reinstall the plug-in from the original source.  Chances are also that you have removed the plug-in on which another plug-in depends, so in that case also you need to reinstall the plug-in.

Make sure that the plug-in get installed in the proper location and the files required for this plug-in have the correct file size and date if your plug-in lists an incorrect file size or date then it simply indicates that it is damaged one. To fix this you need to contact the vendor for appropriate size and date of the plug-in.

Hopefully, all the above mentioned fixes will help you in easy troubleshooting of adobe InDesign missing plug-in issue. Try it and do share your opinion whether this blog seems helpful to your or not.