How To Open Newer Project In Older Version Of Adobe After Effects

Adobe After Effects is a highly popular software used for creating and editing videos and animations. A common problem that many users encounter is the inability to open a project made in a newer version of After Effects in an older version of the program. This can be quite frustrating, but rest assured – there is a solution to this issue. In this blog post, I will provide you with step-by-step instructions to solve this problem.

Understanding the Issue

First, it’s important to understand why this issue occurs. After Effects is continually updated and improved, with new features and functionalities added in each version. Older versions of the software may not support these new features, leading to compatibility issues when trying to open newer projects.

A Simple Solution: Saving as a CS6 Project

Fortunately, Adobe has devised a solution to this problem, allowing users to save projects in a format that’s compatible with older versions of After Effects. Specifically, you can save your project as a CS6 project, which can be opened in any version of After Effects that’s CS6 or later.

Here’s how:

  1. Open your project in the newer version of After Effects.
  2. Go to the File menu and select Save As > Save a Copy As CS6…
  3. Name your project, choose its location, and click ‘Save’.

Now, you should be able to open your project in an older version of After Effects without any issues!

Using a Script

If, for some reason, the above method doesn’t work for you, there’s another method you can try: using a script. Specifically, you can use the Open Sesame script, which can convert projects to a format that’s readable in any text editor and can be opened in older versions of After Effects. Be warned, though: this method can be a bit more complex.

Here’s how to use Open Sesame:

  1. Open your project in the newer version of After Effects.
  2. Go to the File menu and select Scripts > Open Sesame.
  3. Click ‘Export’, choose your save location, and click ‘Save’.
  4. Open the exported project file in a text editor (like Notepad or TextEdit).
  5. Change the version number to the version of After Effects you want to open the project in.
  6. Save the text file and open it in your desired version of After Effects.

Please note that the Open Sesame script is a paid tool and may not be ideal for everyone. However, when dealing with large projects or complex compatibility issues, it can be a very useful tool to have at your disposal.


While it can be frustrating to encounter compatibility issues when trying to open newer projects in older versions of After Effects, there are solutions available. Whether you’re using the built-in CS6 saving method or a script like Open Sesame, you can ensure that your projects are accessible no matter which version of After Effects you’re using.