SOLVED! Deleted all my .plist files and need to restore them!!

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by orangeborange, May 31, 2010.

  1. orangeborange macrumors newbie

    May 31, 2010

    Super noob here. Last night in a desperate attempt to get some GBs back, I went crazy on Spring Cleaning and accidentally deleted all my .plist files... and considering I have tons of media editing software that I had arranged the preferences to ultimate perfection, I'm kinda upset.

    How can i get them back?? I just redragged them from the trash to the Library/Preferences folder but they don't seem to be doing much there.

    Pleas help! I want my preferences back :(
  2. calderone macrumors 68040


    Aug 28, 2009
    Library/Preferences doesn't mean anything to me. Do you mean ~/Library/Preferences or /Library/Preferences?

    You would need to drag them back to wherever you deleted them from. I am going to assume you deleted your User preferences, ~/Library/Preferences.

    So you have to move them there. Also, preferences are loaded when the Application is loaded. So if the application is running you will need to quit it and open it again to see the changes. To have OS preferences take on the values of the plists that you just put back, logout and log back in, or restart.
  3. Heilage macrumors 68030


    May 1, 2009
    Data Rescue 3 can restore deleted data if it the area on the drive hasn't been overwritten.

    Or you could use a backup, if you have one.
  4. orangeborange thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 31, 2010

    Thanks for the replies.

    I put the files back but they are not doing much there :(
  5. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    May 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    What does that mean? What would you like them to do?
  6. orangeborange thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 31, 2010
    I just want to restore the preferences on my applications. I put them back in the Preferences folder (dragged them from the trash), restarted my computer, but all my applications are still on the default settings...
  7. demonfox13x macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2009
    Applications/Utilities/Disk Utility

    repair permissions on disk
  8. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    I suspect you have dragged your old preferences back to the wrong locations. You just need to figure out where the old ones go.

    After opening an application that is using the new wrong .plist try to figure out which of the .plists that you dragged back belongs to that application - the name is usually the clue. Then do a search for that .plist name, and hopefully you will find it in two places. One will be the old one that you dragged back, and the other one will be the .plist that the application has recreated in the correct location.

    Now, just drag your old .plist to this location, and make sure you overwrite the new one instead of letting the system rename the old .plist. Hopefully all the .plists will go into same location, but they may not. Some may go into the system preferences folder, and some may end up in your user preferences folder. Theoretically they should all go into the same spot.... but in practice you may find there are some variations.

    Good Luck
  9. quantum003 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 27, 2009
    Make sure you put them in your user Library and not System's Library folder
  10. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    May 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    If all else fails, you can adjust your preferences again. Don't delete them this time!

    For future reference: Sometimes a plist file can be corrupt. Replacing it may clear up problems. I always drag the suspect to the Desktop and confirm that the new one fixes the problem before Trashing the old one. Of course, when that happens, the preferences have to be set again.
  11. orangeborange thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 31, 2010
    Sorting it out as I write

    Dear snberk103, quantum003, Gregg2 and everyone,

    It turns out I DID put them in the system's Library (because it was the first folder I found with the name Prefences on it, major FAIL). So now I'm redragging them and hopefully I'll have my precious software working they way I need them to.

    Thanks SO MUCH for all the help!! :)
  12. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    I think you are being too hard on yourself! It's not as if Apple named the folders to make it obvious where these .plists go, eh?
    You are very welcome. It is nice to see someone's issues solved so easily. :D:D:D

    I suspect this is a bit of learning experience. I wish Apple had a preference pane that, by default, put the file system into dummy mode. It would hide all system files and folders that might cause problems should they be altered incorrectly. Before a user could shift out of dummy mode they would have to authenticate themselves, and answer a few questions.

    a) Are you sure about this?
    b) Are you sober?
    c) Are you really sure about this?
    d) You do know that it's 4:11 am?
    e) Do you need to make a pot of coffee first?
    f) Do you remember the last time you succumbed to a fit of spring cleaning?
    g) Do you remember the vow you made to your room-mate, who you called at the crack of dawn because they were the only one who could talk you through hacking into your own system because you "realized" that any password that included a '1' or an 'a' was vulnerable since those characters would be included near the beginning of a dictionary attack. And then you wrote down the wrong new password.
    h) Are you really really sure? I've got a bad feeling about this, Dave.
    i) Wouldn't you rather watch game 3 of the Stanley Cup? Please?

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