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"The default image may not be modified. Use the -i/image flag instead"

Message 1 of 5
10218 Views, 4 Replies

"The default image may not be modified. Use the -i/image flag instead"

// Error: line 1688: The default image may not be modified. Use the -i/image flag instead.


Hi Does anyone know how i can fix this and what it is?


Cheers for any help 

Message 2 of 5
in reply to: Anonymous

I have seen this once before where there was a corruption in the preferences.


As a test are you able to rename your preference to revert to default to see if that fixes the issue?


Close Maya

Navigate to:

Windows: \Users\<username>\Documents\maya\<version>\en_US\prefs

MAC: /Users/<username>/Library/Preferences/Autodesk/maya/<version>/prefs

Linux: ~<username>/maya/<version>-x64/prefs


Rename the prefs folder to 'prefsOld'

Launch Maya to create default preferences


Test and see if the error still appears or not.


Best Regards,



Karen Snow
Message 3 of 5
in reply to: Karen.Snow

Hi Karen,


I fixed the problem in the end. Looks like a part of one of my .ma files was corrupting my userprefs.mel as you say, deleting the userprefs.mel worked until I opened the file again then on closeing the scene it corrupted the user prefs again. This then caused all new files made with thses prefs to have the same error.


I fixed this by first making a clean userprefs.mel and then locating what i figured was the broken bit in my .ma file and replacinging it with good data from an unbroken .ma file, this stopped the cycle of the file braking the prefs then the prefs braking all subsequent files.


I replaced this

\n\t\t\t\t-defaultImage \"vacantCell.xP:/\"\n\t\t\t\t-image


with this something like this

\n\t\t\t\t-defaultImage \"\"\n\t\t\t\t-image


The problem is fixed now 🙂





Message 4 of 5
in reply to: Anonymous

same problem here in Maya 2020.2. good tip!

Message 5 of 5
in reply to: g2m.agent

Renaming the pref folder didn't work for me. I am using Maya 2019 and I have a file that won't open. Usually when I have these problems, I upgrade Maya, but now my educational license doesn't work. So I have to get this file to work on the install that I have. 

My application crashes about every 30 minutes. 

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