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This tutorial teaches you what to do if the RAM Preview function in After Effects won’t stop playing and is freezing your computer.

RAM Preview in AE Won’t Stop Playing

This After Effects RAM Preview won’t stop playing bug was allegedly fixed in version 17.1.2 (July 2020 release). However I’m on version 17.6 (January 2021 release) and it’s still not working for me. Currently, to my knowledge, there isn’t a legit “fix” but you can turn off the looping option for RAM Preview which seems to solve this problem for me and other people.

By default looping is turned on and is very useful. What looping does is it will continue to play your composition after it plays it once until you stop it by hitting one of the RAM Preview keyboard shortcuts or clicking the Play/Stop button in the Preview Panel. As a temporary workaround looping should be turned off if After Effects’ RAM Preview won’t stop playing and/or is glitching out your computer. Here’s how:

After Effects Preview Panel with arrowing pointing to looping icon

Do you know After Effect’s awesome replace layer shortcut? Learn it in this quick tutorial.

First navigate to the Preview panel. If you don’t see it, go under the Window menu and select Preview from it.

There’s a line that says “Include:” with a handful of icons. The loop option is the last icon. When the icon has the little box connecting into the triangle then it’s looping. Click it and the icon will change. Looping will now be turned off when it looks like this (see image below):

After Effects Preview Panel with looping turned off to stop playing at end of composition

Hopefully this bug will be squashed sometime soon. Here is a link to Adobe’s forums talking about this issue if you want further details on it.


I sincerely hope that this tutorial helped you. If it did, please consider subscribing to my email newsletter. Do you have thoughts or questions about fixing the RAM Preview won’t stop playing in After Effects? Leave them below in the comments!

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