How To Fix Broken Preferences Files On Mac

As a Mac user you probably are aware of System Preferences, but did you know that there are system preference files that store parameters or rules that tell the applications on your Mac about how they should work? Over a period of time, these preferences files can get broken or corrupted because of many reasons discussed in this post.

Here, not only will we talk about why these files get broken but we’ll discuss efficient ways in which you fix broken preferences on Mac.

Why Do System Preferences Files Get Broken? Why’s There a Need To Remove Them

Broken System Preferences Files is quite a legit issue but often overlooked. Over a period of time preference files may get broken or corrupted because of several reasons some of which are mentioned below –

    • An app crash.
    • Hard drive corruption.
    • An app that wasn’t installed correctly left behind broken or corrupt system preference files.
  • Sudden power outage or blackout.
  • Although not a very common reason but if your Mac is under a malware attack, it can too lead to corrupt or broken preference files. In such an event, using a malware removal tool is a wise option.

It is important to remove them promptly as they can cause various issues such as applications not performing properly or worse a system shutdown.

Solution No. 1 – Use A Dedicated Mac Cleaner

Unsure of which broken preference files are creating issues?

It is highly advisable that you use a specialist tool to deal with such items. Cleanup My System, for instance, is one of the best Mac cleaners and optimizers that can help you in such an event. Let’s see how –

Step 1: Download and install Cleanup My System.

Step 2: From the left-hand pane, click on Junk Cleaner.

Junk Cleaner

Step 3: From the right-hand side, click on the Start Scan button from the bottom right-hand side of the interface.

Start Scan button

Step 4: In the next screen, click on Broken Preferences, select the items, and then click on Clean Now from the right-hand side.

Broken Preferences

Solution No. 2 – Delete Broken Preference Files

If you know exactly what preference files are creating issues, you can locate those files and delete them manually.

It is important to note that you should perform this step when you are absolutely sure of the corrupt or broken system preference files. That’s because deleting important non-corrupt preference files may cause various degrees of malfunction such as applications not working or not being able to update apps on Mac.

One way to ensure that you are deleting the right broken preferences is to delete preference files related to an app that you have recently installed and after which you are facing issues.

Once you have caught hold of such files, follow the steps mentioned below to delete broken  preferences –

Step 1: Open Finder.

Step 2: Press Cmd + Shift + G and type /Library/Preferences in the Search bar.

Search bar

Step 3: You can further zero down on the corrupt system preference file by searching for the file/ folder in this format – com.<software manufacturer>.<application name>.plist

For example –

In case, you have deleted a wrong System Preferences file, you can use a data recovery tool and try to recover it.

Want to know more nifty tricks related to System Preferences? Check out this post.

Get Rid Of Corrupted Preferences Immediately

Even though we have mentioned two ways to fix broken or corrupted Mac System Preference files, we recommend using the first method, i.e. employing a specialist tool like Cleanup My System as it helps find the exact broken system preference files and reduces your chances of making errors. For more such content app/ software listicles, reviews, and all other things tech, keep reading WeTheGeek. You can also reach out to us on YouTubeFacebookInstagramPinterest, and Twitter.

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