Skip navigation

I want to get rid of these unknown pref files

519 Views 19 Replies Latest reply: Dec 3, 2012 9:16 PM by Tim Semic RSS
1 2 Previous Next
Richard Strachan1 Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Dec 1, 2012 1:03 PM

I have these 3 files that I can't find, and maybe they are some kind of virus or malware or something. I want to get rid of them! How do I do that? I don't see them in the library preference folder at all

Screen Shot 2012-12-01 at 12.18.29 PM.png

  • Kurt Lang Level 7 Level 7 (31,510 points)

    Your link is broken. Just paste the file names here.

  • Kurt Lang Level 7 Level 7 (31,510 points)

    Ok, that's odd, I can see it on the board..here they are:

    I'm guessing you dragged and dropped your image into the editor. It's then a link to your hard drive. So you see it, but nobody else does.

     

    Those files are all just program preferences. You can dump them. If you want to see where they came from, open your third party apps and watch for when they reappear. Then you'll know which apps are creating them.

  • Kurt Lang Level 7 Level 7 (31,510 points)

    this is really strange I used that little camera icon to insert the image like the direction said to.

    That is indeed strange. It should have worked. Hmm.

    Anyway, how do I dump them? They're invisible, I can't find them.

    Sorry, I once again forgot that Apple hid the user account Library folder in Lion and ML. You can get there by clicking on the desktop. From there, hold down the Option key and choose Go > Library. The Library location only shows up in that menu when the Option key is held.

     

    Your user account Library folder will now be open and you can go into the Preferences folder and dump those .plist files if you want to.

  • Tim Semic Level 1 Level 1 (120 points)

    Hi Richard,

     

    Please read this entire message before you proceed.

     

    I would first recommend running Disk Utility to ensure the integrity of your file system.  That kind of behavior can be related to file system problems.  Just run Disk Utility and Verify that your disk is in working order.

     

    If Disk Utility runs clean, you can then try using your Terminal.app located inside of your Utilities folder to remove the files.  In my experience I have had success with using the terminal to do file removal when it fails in the Finder.

     

    I doubt that they are the result of a virus though, and are most likely benign.

     

    But we as a people want things perfect!  So read on.

     

    So fire up your terminal application and run the following commands:

     

    Make sure your paths to the files are correct as one mistake and the command will be unable to locate the file(s).  Just put in the correct path to each file after leaving a space following the terminal command I suggest.

     

    I am having you run "ls" just to see if the files are there in the first place, as it looks like the image you uploaded is the result of some utility you ran on your system.

     

    To check if the file actually exists, verify the path and then type the following command and then press the return key to run the command.  Do the following for each file.

     

    ls /Users/rickstrachan2/Library/Preferences/com.marketsize.social.plist

    Verifies that the file is present.

     

    If the file(s) is found, then you can remove it by running the following command.  Check the path and the file at the end of the path to insure you are truly removing what you want to remove.  The computer is going to do exactly what you tell it to do in a completly unforgiving manner.  Don't be afraid of it, just respect it.

     

    rm /Users/rickstrachan2/Library/Preferences/com.marketsize.social.plist

    Removes the file.

     

    If you are concerned as to what I am suggesting, the two commands I am advising you to do are "ls" which means list, or show me some stuff about this file, like is it even there in the first place?  And "rm" which is remove the file.  To learn more about those two commends simply type in, one at a time, the following into the terminal:

     

    man ls  (press return key)

     

    man rm  (press return key)

     

    That will show you the man or manual on how to use those two commands.  When in "man" you can use your arrow keys to travel up and down the text, and press the q key to quit or exit.

     

    If rm does not work, you can try rm -f

     

    rm -f /Users/rickstrachan2/Library/Preferences/com.marketsize.social.plist

     

    The f is to "force" removal.  If that doesn't work either, the file may be in use, where you may want to boot into safe mode and then try running rm again.

     

    If that fails then lets take a better look at the files by executing a long listing:

    ls -l /Users/rickstrachan2/Library/Preferences/com.marketsize.social.plist

     

    That is an L not an i in the command option.  The -l will provide more information, such as to who owns that file.  If the file is not owned by you then you will not be able to remove it.

     

    Lastly if all that doesn't work, you can try those commands from the root account.  root is a very powerful account that has all the power to totally build or destroy.  It is a great tool if used sensibly, but can really ruin your day if you mess up.  For the issue you are having, I would just not bother if the above does not work and just forget about it.  If you hadn't run that utility you would have never even known about those files.

     

    To learn about the root account just google how to use the root account on a Mac.

  • Kurt Lang Level 7 Level 7 (31,510 points)

    There is no reason whatsoever to use the Terminal to remove the files. As I stated, you can show the Library account in your user folder by simply holding down the Option key at the desktop. Typing in just one wrong letter can be disastrous. Especially when using the remove (rm) command.

  • Kurt Lang Level 7 Level 7 (31,510 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 1, 2012 3:28 PM (in response to Kurt Lang)

    Just to add, there's nothing wrong with Tim's post, it's all correct. But it's also the long way around (and potentially hazardous) to do something simple.

  • Tim Semic Level 1 Level 1 (120 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 1, 2012 3:33 PM (in response to Kurt Lang)

    Hello Kurt,

    Unfortunately, when I read the post I didn't realize that the issue Richard was having was with the invisible library folder.  I interrupted the problem as him being unable to delete a couple of files.

     

    I'm sure Kurt that you have run into times where you have had that stubborn file that just would not delete.  In those cases I have had success with using the terminal to perform the file removal.  I was just trying to help and I am sorry if I have offended you Kurt.  Very much it was not by intention.

     

    Further I believe I covered the safe guards of using rm, and if you noticed I didn't mention the recursive option which is where one could get into trouble.  I do like to give users some credit that in being a computer user they are intelligent people.

     

    Sometimes when you introduce someone to the command line they find a new magical world and go on to do some great things.

     

    I always give people the credit of intelligence, and try to help educate them, instead of treating them like a baby with a loaded weapon.  Which seems to be the case every time I provide a command line solution, some other poster panics.  I have never in all of my years had someone come back to me with a command line disaster story.  Never.

     

    Anyway, I was just trying to help.  I have lots of other things to keep me busy and it looks as though you have things pretty much under control here, so I'll leave it to you amigo.  Keep em running.  Adios.

  • Kurt Lang Level 7 Level 7 (31,510 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 2, 2012 7:40 AM (in response to Tim Semic)

    I'm sure Kurt that you have run into times where you have had that stubborn file that just would not delete.

    Yes, there have been a few that seemed to be superglued to the drive.

    I was just trying to help and I am sorry if I have offended you Kurt.  Very much it was not by intention.

    Absolutely not offended! I've seen some of your other posts, and it is great to have someone here with your extensive background helping others. Much, much appreciated not only by those who need the help, but anyone also willing to learn new tricks or procedures.

    Further I believe I covered the safe guards of using rm, and if you noticed I didn't mention the recursive option which is where one could get into trouble.  I do like to give users some credit that in being a computer user they are intelligent people.

    Agreed. I also toss out Terminal commands when it's really the only good/quick way to do something. Most users are indeed intelligent enough to be careful when using a command line interface, even those who have never used one before, but I always make sure to let them know to be extra careful when using the rm command.

     

    I've had a few folks flat out tell me they don't want to use the Terminal. They're uncomfortable with something that seems so arcane. A few have plainly said they're afraid to use it.

    Anyway, I was just trying to help.  I have lots of other things to keep me busy and it looks as though you have things pretty much under control here, so I'll leave it to you amigo.

    Yes, and that's always a good thing. I realized after my first response to your post that it sounded like the world might come to an end. That wasn't my intention. I just wanted Richard to know to be careful when using the rm command. The second response was an attempt to soften that response. But reading it again now, it still sounds like impending disaster could strike at any moment.

     

    Please do keep responding to Richard as you see fit. I do apologize if I made you feel unwanted. As a person, I'm not like that at all. More than happy to see new faces in the forums. So welcome!

  • Tim Semic Level 1 Level 1 (120 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 2, 2012 8:40 AM (in response to Kurt Lang)

    Hey, thanks for reaching out Kurt. I hadn't read your second post before I sent my reply, which would affected my reply.  I do appreciate your response.  All good, I know it was both our goal to help.  Thank you for your kind words.  I am not a regular, just since you helped me out, I wanted to keep the balance by helping another.

     

    I'm sure i'll run into you again the next time I need assistance, you will have forgotten all about this, being in the 100k zone by then, when you provide the solution to my next question.

     

    Take care and keep up the good work.

     

    Best,

    Tim

  • Tim Semic Level 1 Level 1 (120 points)

    Hello Richard,

    You have a couple mistakes in your command syntax.  You used an i instead of an l (L), for ls, and you always need to separate your command (ls) from the argument (/Users/...)

     

    I'm using the correct terminology but I believe you understand, read on.  You should be able to copy and paste my first ls example I gave you above: 

     

    ls   /Users/rickstrachan2/Library/Preferences/com.marketsize.social.plist

     

    In fact you can put in extra spaces between the command and the argument as the extra spaces will be ignored.  You just need to separate the two.  As well as if you add an option like  -l  you need to separate that too:

     

    ls  -l  /Users/blah...

     

    Note: the ls option  -l  is also an L, for long listing.

     

    In upper case   LS  -L  /Users/blah

    Just don't actually type it in upper or it will throw an error.

     

    Hope this helps.  And sorry for the internal strife above.  We techs have a certain amount of ego.  :-)

1 2 Previous Next

Actions

More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (0)

Legend

  • This solved my question - 10 points
  • This helped me - 5 points
This site contains user submitted content, comments and opinions and is for informational purposes only. Apple disclaims any and all liability for the acts, omissions and conduct of any third parties in connection with or related to your use of the site. All postings and use of the content on this site are subject to the Apple Support Communities Terms of Use.