How to Delete a Preferences File
The preferences file is what a program uses to remember your preferences. Perhaps you don’t want to use automatic bullets or numbering, for instance, or you want to use a specific font by default. If you have a Preferences file for an application that has been uninstalled, you don’t need its Preferences file anymore. If the application has begun to act weird, you can often delete this file to resolve the problem. Preferences files are located in your personal Library folder, in a folder called Preferences.
Preferences files end in .plist. To delete these files, follow these steps:
1. Open the Finder and select your user name.
2. Open the Library folder and then the Preferences folder.
3. Work through the list, deleting files associated with programs you have previously deleted or for an application that is acting odd.
4. To delete the file, Control+click it and choose Delete.
Caution! Don’t delete preferences files if you don’t know what program they’re associated with!
There are two more Preferences folders. Besides the one in your Home folder, there’s another in the hard drive window whose files can only be deleted by an administrator. There’s probably not enough in there to warrant risking deleting them, but you can open and browse around in there if you want. Just don’t delete anything if you don’t know what it does! The third Preferences folder is inside the System>Library folder and can’t be trashed by anyone.
Tip: If you have a System 9 System Folder on your Macintosh HD, open it and look at the Preferences folder there too. Remember to only delete preferences files for programs you recognize and have previously deleted.