Cannot Delete Plist files.

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by MattPSD, Sep 12, 2012.

  1. MattPSD macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2012
    Location:
    San Diaaaago.
    #1
    Hi, everyone. I'm new here. I have an early 2011 MBP. I am trying to completely uninstall an application and cannot seem to get rid of the plist file(s) it has left behind. I cannot right click, drag to trash or otherwise edit the file. If I double click it asks me if I would like to repair the alias. I ended up finding some info online that stated that if that happened you would need to reinstall the application and repair the alias then delete. Well, I did that and now I have 2 of the same plist files that I cannot delete.

    Any help is greatly appreciated!

    PS. I have tried repairing disk permissions which found and fixed a few errors but not the files in question.
     
  2. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #2
    Option-click and drag?
    Left click, select Delete from toolbar?
    Left click, hit Delete key on keyboard?
     
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #3
  4. MattPSD thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2012
    Location:
    San Diaaaago.
    #4
    Thank you both for your replies.

    I have tried as many options as I can find for 'repairing' the trash. I am still not able to drag this file to the trash. Actually, there are two files. It appears they are duplicates. It must have happened when I re-installed the software to try to 'fix' the alias.

    GGJstudios - I was actually following the proper procedure for deleting an application exactly as the link you provided states when I figured out I couldn't delete the plist files.

    Any other ideas?
     
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #5
    What specific plist file are you deleting, and what is the path to its location?
    Locate it in Finder, take a screen shot and post it.

    Also:
    1. Launch Activity Monitor
    2. Change "My Processes" at the top to "All Processes"
    3. Click on the CPU column heading once or twice, so the arrow points downward (highest values on top).
    4. Click on the System Memory tab at the bottom.
    5. Take a screen shot of the entire Activity Monitor window, then scroll down to see the rest of the list, take another screen shot
    6. Post your screenshots.
     
  6. MattPSD thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 12, 2012
    Location:
    San Diaaaago.
    #6
    Here is a screen shot. As you can see it doesn't display a path at the bottom of the finder window so I don't know exactly where it is located. I hope this helps.
     

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  7. MattPSD thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 12, 2012
    Location:
    San Diaaaago.
    #7
    Here are the screen shots of the activity monitor window. Sorry about the separate posts.
     

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  8. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #8
    In Finder, click View > Show Status Bar to see the file path of any file you select. Also, it's a good idea to use List View in Finder, rather than Icon View, as some items may not appear in the window with Icon View.

    Delete any occurrences of the app you're trying to remove from the following locations:
    • System Preferences > Accounts > yourusername > Login Items
      (Lion and ML users: System Preferences > Users & Groups > yourusername > Login Items)

    • /Library/LaunchAgents/
      (Lion and ML users: In Finder, click Go > Go to Folder > then enter the path above)

    • ~/Library/LaunchAgents/
      (Lion and ML users: In Finder, click Go > Go to Folder > then enter the path above)

    • /Library/StartupItems/
      (Lion and ML users: In Finder, click Go > Go to Folder > then enter the path above)
    After you do that, restart your Mac and try deleting the files again.
     
  9. MattPSD thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2012
    Location:
    San Diaaaago.
    #9
    Ok. I looked for any occurrences of the files in all the places you listed and didn't find any. I also changed the view to 'list' and the viewing preferences to include the status bar. When the items are highlighted there is still no path displayed. I rebooted anyway and am still unable to move/ delete or otherwise edit these files.

    Thank you very much for your ongoing efforts to help, GGJstudios. Much appreciated. I hope we can get to the bottom of the issue.
     
  10. chown33 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    #10
    The window screenshot you posted is of a Search result. That means it used the Spotlight search index, which may not have been updated correctly after a file was deleted.

    I suspect that the files which appear in the Search result window no longer exist, and have actually been deleted. This would explain why you can't move them to trash, find their path, or look at their Permissions (bottom of your posted Get Info window). They don't exist, so Finder can't do anything with them.

    To rebuild the Spotlight index see this:
    http://support.apple.com/kb/ht2409

    or google search terms rebuild Spotlight index.


    There is a slim possibility that the files are actually still present, but the permissions on at least one folder leading to them prevents you from accessing them. This seems less likely to me, but that's just an opinion based on experience, not something I can support with evidence.

    Anyway, if a Spotlight re-index solves the problem, then that's an end to it. If not, post again and we'll take it from there.
     
  11. MattPSD thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 12, 2012
    Location:
    San Diaaaago.
    #11
    Well, blow me down with a feather.

    You were totally right, chown33. Thank you all for your help. I hope this thread will help others having similar problems.
     
  12. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #12
    Good call, chown33!
    So the manual deletion worked successfully. Just the Spotlight index hadn't caught up to that fact. I'm glad you got it sorted out!
     
  13. jodelli, Sep 13, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 13, 2012

    jodelli macrumors 65816

    jodelli

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    Location:
    Windsor, ON, Canada
    #13
    For any one else dropping by late as I did.

    Notice MattPSD's first screen shot:

    [​IMG]

    On the lower left is Permissions, which shows nothing is there.
    When Chown33 said "you can't move them to trash, find their path, or look at their Permissions." this was where that poster looked.

    This was the first thing I noticed too before realizing the problem was already solved.

    If you see this, the files no longer exist. End of story.
     

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