Mac Tip: One Option For Unstable Applications In Mac OS X Lion

Mac Tip: One Option For Unstable Applications In Mac OS X Lion

This Mac tip is provided by Mark Greentree and was originally posted on Mark’s blog – Everyday Mac Support. For more of Mark’s tips visit his site, follow him on Twitter, or browse his archive of posts here.


How To: One Option For Unstable Applications In Mac OS X Lion

Many times for unknown reasons you may find that applications you are using simply crash or start to perform strangely. If this is the case then one possible fix is to delete the application .plist (preferences) file.

Deleting this file will not cause your system or the application any damage. Depending on the application you may notice some things like where toolbars are located for instance may be returned to their default position. After deleting the file a brand new .plist file will be written for the application.

In order to locate and then delete the .plist file proceed to the Finder and then navigate to Go from the menu bar. Hold down the Option key and Library will be presented as shown below:

When the Library folder opens locate the Preferences folder and open. Within this folder is the preferences for each application.

If for instance you are having problems with the Photobooth application you will need to look for the file titled: com.apple.PhotoBooth.plist

Simply drag this file to the trash and relaunch the application. A new .plist file will be created when you relaunch the application and in many cases this will fix any problems you may be experiencing.

For more helpful tips, check out our full collection of tutorials by visiting our How-To category!

  1. Wow, I expected to find a publication date from ten years ago. Seriously, this is the oldest trick in the book. Anyone who does a Google search for any problem on a Mac will probably find a hundred articles and message boards that tell you to trash the preferences file.

    I guess it still works, it’s just been published a million times before.

    1. You do realise there are new Mac users everyday who can benefit from these old techniques who may not know about them?

      Yes Google searches will find hundreds if not thousands of articles relating to this very topic. This site does not have this topic previously published. Hence readers of MacTrast without prior knowledge may find this interesting and informative.

      Not to mention with the Library now hidden in OS X Lion those old ten year old articles you are referencing are useless to users of the Lion operating system. 

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