Message: The default template was not found.

Reference Number: KB-01866
Last Modified: March 30, 2017

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors

Home Designer Professional or Home Designer Architectural or Home Designer Suite or Home Designer Interiors or Home Designer Essentials


When I try to open a new plan to start a new project, this message displays:

"The default template plan "X" was not found. A new plan will be created without using a template."

Warning dialog for a missing plan template.

What does this mean and what should I do about it?


Whenever a new plan file or layout file is opened, all of its default settings are drawn from a template file. This message will display if you try to open a new plan or layout, but the program cannot find the file that you've specified as your template.

In most cases, this is because of an issue writing the template files to the software's Data folder.

When your template file cannot be found, a new, blank file will be created using basic system defaults that almost certainly will not meet your needs, so you will want to address the problem and then discard the file created using the system defaults.

In most cases, renaming the Templates folder will resolve this warning when you start a new plan.

To repopulate the Templates folder

  1. Save your work and select File> Exit to close out of the program.

  2. Navigate to your Documents directory, locate and open the software's Data folder.

    Example: Chief Architect Premier X9 Data

  3. Rename the Templates folder by adding the word OLD to the end of the folder name, so it says Templates Old.

  4. Relaunch your Chief Architect software program again.

    You may briefly see a progress indicator as the program copies files to create a new Templates folder.

  5. In Home Designer programs, when you select File> New Plan, you should now see the templates listed in the Create New Plan dialog and be able to start a new file using one of these styles.

    In Chief Architect programs, if you select File> New Plan and continue to receive the same warning, follow the steps below to specify a plan or layout template.

To specify a plan or layout template in Chief Architect

  1. Select Edit> Preferences Preferences from the menu if you're on a Windows computer or Chief Architect> Preferences Preferences if you're on a Mac.

  2. On the New Plans panel of the Preferences dialog, click the radio button beside the measurement system that you typically use: Imperial Units or Metric Units.

    Preferences dialog opened to the New Plans panel.

  3. A Plan Template can be specified underneath your selected measurement system. Click the Browse button to the right of the Plan Template field, then select the plan file that you would like to use as your template.

    • The Select a Plan Template File dialog will open to your Chief Architect Templates folder. Choose a template plan located here, or browse to a different location where you have a custom template saved.

    • Only choose a template file with M.plan at the end of the name if you are using Metric units.

      Never specify a .layout file as your plan template.

    • To avoid the possibility of the program not finding your specified template, make sure it is saved on the local hard drive.

    • To learn more about creating templates, see the Related Articles section at the end of this article.

  4. A Layout Template can also be specified in the same way.

    • Only choose a template file with M.layout at the end of the name if you are using Metric units.

      Never specify a .plan file as your layout template.