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XD and PS defaults to open .ai files - AI files should open with Illustrator only

Working in windows 10. After updating XD and Illustrator to 2019, all my existing .ai files have been defaulted to open in XD. I can use the "Open With" option to successfully open .ai files in Illustrator but the default always stays with XD no matter how many times I select Illustrator.

Uninstalled XD. AI files cannot locate Illustrator as primary software for launch.

Edited by Adobe Staff to generalise the issue.

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Ryan K shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

We have this issue fixed, please refer to steps below to solve the issue

XD defaulting to AI on Windows

  • Please update to latest version of XD (13.1.32) to resolve the issue. Thank you XD engineering team for solving this issue.

PS defaulting to AI on MAC

  • Please update to latest version of Illustrator (23.0.1) to solve this issue.


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  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    your solution it doesn't work... XD still opens my .ai files and my smart objects from photoshop !

    You will have to use the option
    Here are the steps to resolve it
    1. Select any existing .ai file
    2. Right click
    3. Open With and scroll to option choose another app
    4. Now select Illustrator CC 2019. If not present browse to the install directory by choosing more apps
    5. Make sure to select the option always use this to open .ai file

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I had the same problem. It was also reading all ai files as PDFs. Had to change them all in info.

  • Tony Novelli commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This is typically what works in Windows, but there is no way I can find to change the preferences globally for a file type. All PSD, AI, and ID files default to XD, and nothing changes in the file properties dialog when applying the changed preference. It is not acceptable to expect to choose a different application for opening any of these CC files. Please fix this. I deal with hundreds of files in a day and this extra step is ridiculous.

  • Rafia commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I installed an upgrade today for Version Illustrator 23 and after that, the file type is showing "Adobe.Illustrator.22" and the icon is empty. When I click the file it asks me to choose which app to open with but does not open.

    When I installed Adobe XD, the AI files started opening with Adobe XD. and the icon also appears that of XD.

  • Carly commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    All files with a .ai filename are opening by default in Photoshop instead of Illustrator.

  • Ryan K commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    RESOLVED: Uninstalled Illustrator 2019 and reinstalled Illustrator 2018.

  • Ryan K commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Tried that too. I wouldn't have posted on here if I hadn't tried all scenarios.

    - XD is the default application for all AI files
    - Once XD is uninstalled, Windows 10 defaults all AI files to the "?" icon
    - Cannot choose Illustrator 2019 as the default application
    - Cannot double click AI files to open in Illustrator without going through the "open with" option

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