Every time I open an Illustrator project file on my Macbook I use the space button as a quick preview to see the contents of my project before opening. For some reason, when I try to preview my files now I get these random black fill project previews instead of the normal black and white outline designs. I have attached some screenshots for reference and linked a screen recording reference as well.

[Image Reference 1 [Reference Image 2 Reference Screen Recording

-> UPDATE <-

I did some tests with one of the projects. You can download the project file here. This project file is setup with groups of shapes on two different layers. As you can see from the screenshots, if I keep layer 1 visible but hide layer 2 then I am able to preview the project fine.

Normal Preview Mode

But if I have layer 2 visible and hide layer 1 then this happens to the preview. All of your help is greatly appreciated.

Glitch Preview Mode

  • You could be using some feature in your ai files that Preview doesn't know how to display. Maybe this changed after you updated Illustrator? It often happens with print PDFs as well. Uncoated CMYK looks very faded and spot colors might turn all black or white. In my opinion Preview is just an unreliable program. I wouldn't waste time trying to find some logic behind it.
    – Wolff
    May 21, 2021 at 16:08
  • @Wolff it’s weird this is happening because all of those projects are using recycled elements. They are all setup basically the same. Just simple shape paths with a stroke and fill. And for me I rely on the space bar quick preview to sift through project files. Ive been using this MacBook for years, never had an issue with Preview until now. May 28, 2021 at 2:13
  • Did you recently update Mac OS or Adobe CC? Are all the files truly set up in the same way? Are you sure some of them aren't CMYK/RGB/Spot color etc.? How about transparency? Does some of them use blend modes?
    – Wolff
    May 28, 2021 at 18:06
  • Hi @Wolff I just updated AI to the most recent version and the problem is still persisting. I have edited my post with an update and a download link to the project file. Thanks for your help Jun 3, 2021 at 0:10
  • 1
    You've been lucky so far. Quick look is a bug that occasionally shows previews of images... It has always been all kinds of buggy.
    – Joonas
    Jun 3, 2021 at 12:19


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