Deleting plist files..

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by msw123307, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. msw123307 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2007
    #1
    If I delete a plist file, is everything supposed to go back to default options?

    For example, I just deleted my com.apple.systempreferences.plist to resolve some issues with my screen saver. I thought from what i had read previously, that my screen saver/desktop/energy saver/etc would default back to system settings. However, it appears to have restored to the settings I had created. That's great! I was just wondering if that is common for these .plist files.
     
  2. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #2
    This happens in almost all cases, yes. It's one of the nicest bits about Apple's preference system. When in doubt, rename a plist rather than deleting it, and verify that its loss doesn't have an adverse effect on the application before trashing.
     
  3. msw123307 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Mar 25, 2007
    #3
    So for the most part it does keep previous preferences in tact when creating a new .plist. That's what I was curious about..thanks!
     
  4. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #4
    No, sorry, for the most part it does not do so. If you are seeing settings preserved after deleting the plist, you're probably deleting the wrong plist.

    Applications commonly store their files in two places. General settings such as what you set up in the preferences window are often stored in the plist. Bigger and more specific stuff goes in ~/Library/Application Support. Either one can usually be deleted to reset its corresponding settings to the application defaults. Again, when in doubt, rename rather than deleting.

    For example, Adium stores the basic appearance settings such as active icon and contact list styles in ~/Library/Preferences/com.adiumX.adiumX.plist. The icons, contact list styles, chat logs, and so forth go in ~/Library/Application Support/Adium 2.0/.

    Mac OS X never stores its own settings in Application Support.
     
  5. msw123307 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2007
    #5
    com.apple.systempreferences.plist

    Above is what i was trying to delete to fix my screensaver issues. This was what was suggested when talking to applecare. I've done it tonight, and now noticed that my screensaver works, and my settings were all the same.

    However, when I returned to my computer after an hour of nonuse, it had been sleeping?! I have my computer set to never sleep. But it was clearly sleeping, as the clock jumped forward to the current time and it's still extremely sluggish. What is going on?
     
  6. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #6
    I think you may be deleting the wrong plist. Try trashing ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.preference.desktopscreeneffect.plist, then restarting the computer.
     
  7. msw123307 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2007
    #7
    ok - it's strange, the last time this happened...deleting the first plist worked. but now that i'm having this sleep issue..maybe deleting both of these will work.
     
  8. msw123307 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2007
    #8
    Well I deleted the original plist file I mentioned and then the one you suggested.

    My screensaver is working so far on restart..I'll have to check next time I'm away for an extended amount of time to see if it goes to sleep again.

    It shouldn't sleep at all. And btw, my settings weren't reset back to default. All my choices were still selected after restart.

    Shouldn't everything have gone back to factory settings or no? Sorry still don't quite get it. Seems like in your initial reply you were saying that it does keep factory settings for system preferences, but for most things it does not if you delete the plist.
     
  9. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #9
    No, I was speaking for most applications. Apparently things are different in the case of preference panes.
     
  10. msw123307 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2007
    #10
    Ok - well hopefully this fixes it. I'm guessing the plist you had me delete is specific to wallpaper/screensaver issues?

    Anyway, i'll do some testing and hopefully it won't sleep after an extended amount of time. This seems to be a recurring issue on my iMac for some reason, either the screen saver doesn't kick in, or the screen dims after a minute of use, now it goes to sleep, etc. I'm unsure why this has all happened recently.

    But again, hopefully this fixes it. Thanks for your help!
     
  11. Cap41 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    #11
    How do i find my lists, they dont show up with spot light
     
  12. msw123307 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2007
    #12
    The ones I was trying to isolate were in this folder..
    1.Open Users folder/Library/Preferences in Finder

    some of the other preferences were talked about above..they were in different locations.
     
  13. pocketdoc macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2008
    #13

    How can you tell if you may have a corrupt file if the only problem is short battery life? Is there something about deleting that specific one mentioned above that helps battery life?

    I am running the beta, so I may downgrade and see what happens.

    Firefox may be power hungry. I use that primarily.
     

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