Re-installing 10.6 while preserving user data?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Bunker, Feb 27, 2010.

  1. Bunker macrumors member

    Oct 28, 2007
    I wanted to reinstall Snow Leopard and clean out of any programs I'd installed, but I would like to preserve my data, rather than moving it back from somewhere. This can be messy.

    Example: mail files are stored at places now usually visible, firefox / thunderbird files are the same.

    Anyway I can do such simple re-installation?
  2. Mal macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    Simple is correct. Just pop the disk in and run the installer. The default installation will leave all user files intact, but will reinstall the system files (although it will also reapply any system updates, so if you have a problem that started because of an update, it may not be fixed by doing this).

  3. Bunker thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 28, 2007
    Will it remove all user installed applications? Actually, that's what I wanted to do while preserving user data.
  4. celticpride678

    Feb 15, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPod; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_1_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7E18 Safari/528.16)

    No, it will keep your apps. Why can't you just remove them before the install or just remove them?why reinstall?
  5. Bunker thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 28, 2007
    I think some software is messing up my iMac.

    When I plug in memory card from my camera, the Canon software will pop up in a jiffy.

    Nowadays, it took like > 1 min to pop up.


    Also, my Logitech Harmony 525 remote control refused to be updated via the iMac, but it works well with my MacBook.

    Coming to a point that I gave up wanted to troubleshoot it, thought of just giving it a clean install.

    What I afraid of is those data kept somewhere by applications like Mail will be missed from my manual backup / restore.
  6. TonyK macrumors 6502a


    May 24, 2009
    If you don't want to maintain the user installed apps, you are going to have to format your drive. Prior to that, save your user directory, but exclude the library folder. You will also need to find any hidden files and folders and exclude them as well.

    You might get a program like iBackup to do the job for you, but you are going to have to back things up. The URL for iBackup is and the website says it is freeware.

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