Fix: Unspecified Drawing Error on Adobe After Effects

Do you see an ‘unspecified drawing error’ on Adobe After Effects?

Recently, Adobe After Effects users reported an ‘unspecified drawing error’ right before the software crashed on their computers. Other fortunate users encounter the error as a warning and are able to continue using After Effects after closing the prompt. 

As it turns out, there are a few reasons for this error message on Adobe After Effects. 

Most of the time, the ‘unspecified drawing error’ on After Effects occur if the software doesn’t have proper permissions to access your system resources. On the other hand, it can also be due to corrupted installation packages or temporary bugs. 

In some cases, this issue on After Effects is caused by a conflicting audio panel. This means that the error only occurs when users bring up the audio panel. 

If you’re currently experiencing this problem on After Effects, we’ve got you covered. 

Today, we will show you what to do if you encounter the ‘unspecified drawing error’ on Adobe After Effects. 

Let’s dive right in!

1. Restart Your Computer. 

Similar to our other guides, we recommend restarting your device first if you encounter issues with the applications you’re using. This way, you can ensure that the error message is not caused by a temporary bug or glitch in your system. 

For Windows users, check out the steps below to restart your PC: 

  1. On your keyboard, hit the Windows key to open the Start Menu
  2. After that, access the Power Options tab. 
  3. Finally, choose Restart
unspecified drawing error on After Effects

If you’re on a Mac, see the guide below to restart it: 

  1. Access the Apple Menu on your Mac computer. 
  2. Next, select the Restart option. 
  3. Lastly, click Restart again in the dialog box to confirm your action. 
Restart Mac

Once done, go back to Adobe After Effects to check if the problem is solved. 

2. Run After Effects As Admin (Windows). 

As mentioned above, the lack of system privileges is the most common reason for the ‘unspecified drawing error’ on After Effects. To resolve this, you just simply need to run the program as an administrator on your computer. 

Here’s what you need to do: 

  1. On your computer, go to the desktop and locate After Effects
  2. After that, right-click on the program and choose Properties
  3. Go to the Compatibility tab afterward and enable the ‘Run this Program as an Administrator’ option. 
  4. Finally, hit OK to save the changes. 
unspecified drawing error on After Effects

Re-run After Effects on your computer afterward to check if the problem is solved. 

3. Rename the After Effects Folder. 

Some of your files inside the After Effects folder may have gotten corrupted, causing the program to run into issues if you access certain features. To fix this, rename the existing After Effects folder to force your system to create a new one. 

Simply go to File Explorer or Finder and go to the path where you save your After Effects projects. Add a “.old” line in the name of the After Effects folder and close the folder. 

Go back to After Effects and check if you’ll still encounter the ‘unspecified drawing error’ prompt.

4. Reset Your Workspace. 

Many users confirmed that they were able to fix the ‘unspecified drawing error’ on After Effects after reverting back to the standard or default workspace. As it turns out, this error message can occur if you’re using a custom workspace on After Effects. 

While it might take you a while to get used to the default layout, it’s a temporary fix that you can do if you need to work on your project. 

Here’s what you need to do: 

  1. On After Effects, click on the Windows tab in the upper left corner of your display. 
  2. After that, hover your cursor over the Workspace tab. 
  3. Finally, click on Reset “Default” to Saved Layout
unspecified drawing error on After Effects

Restart After Effects and observe if you’ll still encounter the error message. 

5. Avoid Using the Audio Panel.

Like what we have mentioned above, this error on After Effects can also be due to a problematic audio panel. While waiting for Adobe to roll out an update, we suggest that you avoid using the feature in the meantime until After Effects receives a patch. 

While this isn’t ideal since you won’t be able to tweak your audio, you will be able to work on other aspects of your project. 

That ends our guide on how to fix the ‘unspecified drawing error’ on After Effects. If you have questions or other concerns, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below, and we’ll do our best to answer them. 

If this guide helped you, please share it. 🙂


  • John Sixto

    John is a staff writer at Saint and comes from a SAP ABAP development background. He has a Bachelors in IT and has been writing since 2018, with over 500 posts published. He loves to build PCs and has a deep curiosity in understanding how different components and configurations work. John spends hundreds of hours at a time, researching and testing the software and apps, before he proceeds to write about it. LinkedIn X (Twitter) Website

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