Deleting the System Preference or other .plist file

Last modified: Mar 26, 2013 10:23 AM
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15 6 likes 123,047 views Last modified Mar 26, 2013 10:23 AM

Hello and welcome to my User Tip



Sometimes you have a problem with System Preferences or something related to it, like it remembering your screensaver or desktop selection, or perhaps it won't launch or launches funky.


This procedure is for deleting the "preferences" file(s) that is located in your (hidden) User/Library folder that can resolve issues like this.


When the computer is rebooted and the associated program launched again, it recreates this file, but blank of preferences, thus since it's rebuilt it's free of problems.


This procedure also works for other programs like iPhoto or iTunes, or whatever that stores a preference file (.plist) in the (hidden) User/Library folder, the procedure is the same, just sub out the program your having problems with .plist file instead of the System Preference .plist file below.



Known preference files issues:


com.apple.systempreferences.plist (corrupted/not launching System Preferences)


com.apple.desktop.plist (corrupted/not working desktop picture changes)


com.apple.safari.plist (safari issues)



See the Steps #12 and #13 for OnyX and it's preference file checker to find other corrupted preference (.plist) files that might be causing your issues.


Step by Step to fix your Mac





So we are going to delete a preference file in a hidden folder, this will only affect the preference file, not your personal files or programs.



1: Go to the Finder and select Go menu and Go To Folder


User uploaded file


2: Now paste or type


~/Library/Preferences


User uploaded file



3: Press GO! and a folder will appear


4: Scroll down and find


com.apple.systempreferences.plist com.apple.desktop.plist (or whatever program your having problems with)


5: There may be two of the same named file, drag the one you can to the Trash can


User uploaded file



6: Restart the computer and open System Preferences (or problem program) and reset all your preferences again