Its been a long time since I’ve used After Effects so imagine the fun when I started to dig in that it wasn’t functioning properly. After a bit of sleuthing on the Adobe forums, a user discover that the problem can be traced to the preferences which isn’t entirely necessary but set me on the right track. 

The short of it, really old versions of After Effects may have left some residue that’s mucking up your new install. 

First, go to  Users/yourusername/Library/Preferences/Adobe (note you may need to enable your Library folder

Remove any folders by the name of “Adobe QT32 Server”, “Color”, “dynamiclinkmanger” and “dynamiclinkmediaserver”.

Relaunch After Effects.

If you’re experiencing “Cannot create XXXXX.xml”, you may need to right click your Adobe folder in preferences in /yourusername/Library/Preferences/ and change the user permissions (Apply all to closing) to allow Read/Write to the Administrators group and your user name.