You suspect that you have a damaged preference file and would like to rebuild it.
Rebuilding the Act! Preferences can resolve a number of issues. Please be sure that you have a current backup or copy of your database before following the procedure below. There are two methods to rebuild your preferences file – using the Act! Diagnostics utility and manually rebuilding them. Please try the Act! Diagnostics method first. Before trying either method, ensure you have first followed the steps below to preserve your email settings and toolbar customizations and to backup your data:


  • If you are using Internet Mail, Outlook® Express, Eudora® or Local Act! Folders for E-mail, rebuilding the Preferences file may result in your e-mail messages no longer being accessible in Act!. If you are using Outlook for E-mail or are just beginning your use of Act! E-mail, you will not experience this issue.Before rebuilding the Preferences file, you will need to create a backup of your Act! E-mail database. You can then restore this backup after renaming the preferences file and opening the Act! E-mail view. Refer to the following Knowledge Base Answer for detailed information on backing up and restoring your Act! E-mail database:
    Title: How to Back Up and Restore Your Act! E-mail Database
    Answer ID: 19212
    Before following the steps below, it is also recommended that you have a current backup of your Act! database(s). For information on creating a backup of your Act! database, refer to the following Knowledge Base Answer:
    Title: How to Back Up and Restore an Act! Database
    Answer ID: 19211
    If you are using ACT! by Sage 2010 (or later) and have custom Web Info tab links, rebuilding your Act! Preferences will remove any custom links created. You can retain these links by using the Web Info Saver tool, which will copy the links from the preferences file before deleting it, and paste them back once the preferences file has been recreated. For more information on retaining your Web Info custom links when deleting Act! preferences, please refer to the following Knowledgebase Answer:

How to Retain Custom Web Info Tab Links When Deleting Act! by Sage Preferences
Answer ID: 25479

  • If you have customized menus and/or toolbars in Act!, rebuilding your Act! Preferences will remove the customizations. You can preserve menu and/or toolbar customizations by making a copy of the file in which these are stored. Refer to the Preserving Custom Menus/Toolbars section below for information. If you have NOT customized your Act! menu(s) and/or toolbar(s), please skip this section.Click to Expand/Collapse the section below.
    Click to Expand/Collapse this section Preserving Custom Menus/Toolbars

After following the above steps to ensure that your email and customization settings can be recovered, follow the steps below to rebuild your Act! Preferences:

  1. Close Act!.
  2. Click the Windows Start button, and then click Run. The Run dialog box appears.
  3. Type in one of the following commands depending on your version of Act!:
    • ACT! by Sage 2007 and later: actdiag
    • ACT! 2006: act8diag
    • ACT! 2005: act7diag
  4. Click on Databases > Database List on the left side. The Databases view appears.
  5. Click the Tools menu, and then click Delete Preferences. The following Act! dialog box appears:
  6. Click Yes to continue, and then close the Act! Diagnostics utility.
  7. Launch Act!. The following Act! dialog box appears:
  8. Click No. The Act! Getting Started Wizard (or the Act! Setup Assistant if using ACT! by Sage 2009) appears.
  9. Click Cancel, and then click the button near the upper-left corner. An Open dialog box appears.
  10. Navigate to (if necessary) and Open your database.
  11. Click the Tools option, and then click Preferences to ensure that your Word Processor, Fax and E-mail preferences are configured correctly.

Alternate Method: Manually Rebuilding Preferences
If deleting your Preferences through the Act! Diagnostics utility fails to resolve this issue, you may need to manually rebuild the preferences. Before proceeding with this process, please ensure you have followed the steps near the top of this article to preserve your emails and customization.

  1. Close Act! and all running MS Office applications (Word, Outlook, Excel)
  2. Open your Windows Task Manager (Ctrl+Alt+Del)
  3. Under the Processes tab in the Task Manager, locate the following processes (if running), select them, and click End Process:
    • ActSage.exe
    • Act.Outlook.Service.exe
    • Act.Scheduler.exe
    • Sage.ACT.Integration.exe
  4. Close the Task Manager
  5. Follow Steps 1 – 6 of the procedure described above to delete your Preferences through the Act! Diagnostics utility.
  6. Click on your Windows Start button. For Windows 2000 and Windows XP, click Run on the start menu and type in the following command: %appdata%. For Windows Vista and Windows 7, type this command in the Search box in the lower left of the start menu.
  7. This will open the Application Data folder. In this folder open the ACT folder.
  8. In this folder you should see one or more folders with the following names:
    • ACT! by Sage 2010 and earlier: Act for Windows (version#), where “version#” is the current (or previous) version of Act! installed on this machine.
    • Sage ACT! 2011: ACT Data.
  9. Right-click on these folders, select Rename, and add the word “OLD” to the end of the filename. Ex: “Act for Windows 12OLD”
  10. Close Windows Explorer.
  11. Reboot your computer to ensure that the services you stopped in Step 3 properly restart.
  12. After you have logged back into your computer, open Act! and test.

Please note that this process will remove all custom preference settings in Act!. When you re-open the program, you will be taken through the setup wizard again. In addition, you will need to re-do any custom settings under the Tools/Preferences option. If you saved your Act! Email messages, custom web links, and custom toolbar settings, you will need to restore them.

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