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Restoring And Resetting Maya

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This tutorial covers how to restore or reset parts of or all of Maya to its default settings.

Restoring Individual Tools

Resetting individual tools in Maya is very easy. Just enter the tool that you want to reset. For this tutorial, I'll be using the tumble tool. Go to display>UI elements>tool settings. In the tool settings window, click the "reset tool" button. This goes for all tool settings.

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Restoring Action Options

Resetting actions is just as easy as resetting tools. Find the action in the menu. I will be using extrude. Click on the options box to open the options and, in the options window, go to edit>reset settings. This goes for all actions that have options.

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Resetting Maya Preferences

If you're like me, you've probably been changing preferences since you got Maya. Since it's hard to reset them manually, go to window>settings/preferences>preferences. Go to edit>restore default settings. Make sure you don't have any custom preferences that are important.

Restoring The Interface

If you've accidentally hid any of the UI elements, a quick fix is to go to display>UI elements... and recheck the UI element you hid. If you don't know which one it was, try going to display>UI elements>restore UI elements. This will revert you back to the last saved interface configuration. If that doesn't work, use the show all UI elements option.

Restoring Everything Back To The Original Install

If you've tried everything else, this is the ultimatum. The process below will delete ALL your Maya preferences and will restore Maya to the point when you first installed it. I advise you to backup your computers documents folder before this, to be on the safe side.

Step one - Close Maya. Using your operation system file browser, go to:

C:\Documents and Settings\"user name"\My Documents\maya\"version"\prefs

Step two - Create a new folder and call it "Prefs_backup". This is just in case you later need the preferences.

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Step three - Cut and paste or drag and drop all of the mel script preference files into the folder.

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Step four - Re-open Maya. Maya will regenerate the preference files all set to the defaults. When the Maya interface loads, it will be completely restored.


Here are some tips on how to prevent accidentally changing wrong settings.

- Set Maya so when you close it, it won't save your settings and write them permanently to the hard drive. Do this by going to window>settings/preferences>preferences, save actions category and uncheck "save all preferences and settings when Maya exits". Use this option when you know you're going to be changing settings you're not familiar with. Remember to re-enable it later.

- Read the help documentation before changing settings. You can find the action help documentation in the settings window by going to help>help on smooth options. Or, in the tool settings UI element, beside the reset tool button, there's a tool help button which also opens help documentation.

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- Use forums such as Or ask someone who knows Maya before drastically changing settings, especially if Maya gives you a warning before you change the settings.


Thanks for reading this tutorial. I hope it helps.

Good luck.

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