In what folder(s) are application-related settings and information stored?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by xfusejc, Jun 16, 2010.

  1. xfusejc macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    #1
    I'm doing a clean install of Snow Leopard (the iMac's been acting out a little too much lately, and it's been lagging, even after I upgraded the RAM), so I want to do a clean install.

    I'm backing up the information using Time Machine, but I don't want to use Time Machine as a way to get my information back. I'm merely doing the back-up so I can go in manually and copy whatever information I want to keep from the backup folder to where they ought to be now.

    I'm asking specifically about application-related settings and information. Things like keys and registration information. Also, as far as my iPhone is concerned, I'd rather not have to go through a whole thing, and since I'll be rebuilding the iTunes library as it was, I would like for the iPhone to not ask to do a clean-install, so if I could copy the back-up information for it as well so that it recognizes the computer that would be swell.

    Thank you in advance!
     
  2. celticpride678

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #2
    All application settings are stored in:

    ~/Library/Preferences and
    /Library/Preferences.
     
  3. xfusejc thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    #3
    Do you know if when copying an app over to thr Application folder the information relevant to it is automatically added to those two folders you mentioned? It makes it easier if it's already there and when I transfer it I get the 'already exists' box.
     
  4. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #4
    It is not. Those files (***.plist) are created the first time an application is opened. If you delete them, they will be re-created to the default "factory" state. Copying applications has no effect on plist files. Only running the application does. System related plist files might be created at the point of OS installation, or the first time the computer is booted. Delete them, and they will be re-created the next time you shut down and then reboot.
     
  5. xfusejc thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    #5
    Allright, so they're not automatically Copied but they are created when you open the application post-transfer?
     
  6. emiljan macrumors 6502

    emiljan

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    Location:
    Michigan
    #6
    Yes when applications are run they will create the .plist files automatically in those folders if they are not there already.

    Also hose are the default .pllist directories, but a further search i found out some of apps store information under hidden directories such as /usr/ folder.

    It appears most of the files stored in the hidden directories seem to be license keys and other important information.
     
  7. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #7
    Didn't I say that in my post? :scratches_head:
     

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