Preference files can become corrupt and cause an application or operating system component to become unstable. Alternatively, if an application has a large array of preferences you might find it simpler to delete the files than to locate a setting which has enabled an undesired behaviour. PreferenceCleaner is a utility which aims to simplify the task of deleting preference files.

An additional tool called the PreferencePackager helps you to migrate preferences to other systems. PreferenceCleaner 2 also includes an update manager to help make sure you don't miss bug-fixes or new releases.

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Requires macOS 10.15.x (Catalina). For older operating systems, various versions from the 1.x strand are still available for download.
Installation is as simple as dragging the the application from the disk image to your hard drive.

Download PreferenceCleaner 2.0    File size: 8 MB

Download PreferenceCleaner 1.8    File size: 2.5 MB

Download PreferenceCleaner 1.7.2    File size: 2.5 MB

Download PreferenceCleaner 1.6.2    File size: 2.5 MB

Download PreferenceCleaner 1.5.2    File size: 548 KB

Download PreferenceCleaner 1.4.2    File size: 465 KB


Current version: 2.0
New in this version:
New in 1.8
New in this version:
New in 1.7.2
New in this version:
New in 1.7.1
New in this version:
New in 1.7
New in this version:
New in 1.6.2
New in this version:
New in 1.6.1:
New in 1.6:

New in 1.5.2:
  • Improved support for Final Cut Pro X.
  • Support for RedCine-X Pro and Red Player.
  • Other minor improvements.

New in 1.5.1:
  • Improved support for Avid Media Composer (and Symphony).
  • Other minor improvements.

New in 1.5:
  • This version only support OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) and later.
  • Support for more system preferences in Lion and Mountain Lion.
  • PreferenceCleaner can now locate preferences for sand-boxed applications in Lion and Mountain Lion.
  • This version is code-signed to work with the new "Gate Keeper" feature in OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.

New in version 1.4.2:
  • This update improves parsing of plutil results on Mac OS X 10.4.x (Tiger).

New in version 1.4.1:
  • This is a maintenance release to fix a bug which could cause the application to crash on Mac OS X 10.5.x (Leopard).

New in version 1.4:
  • This version adds a new "Syntax Checker" tab, which provides a GUI for using Apple's plutil to check for corrupt preferences.
  • Support for more system preferences.
  • Shiny new icon!

New in version 1.3:
  • PreferenceCleaner now requests authorisation if it requires elevated priveleges to delete a file. Previously it would fail.
  • It also now has a tab for deleting certain the preferences for certain operating system components.
  • The "Simple" tab has been removed, as it no longer served any real purpose. Accordingly, the "Advanced" tab has been renamed.

New in version 1.2:
  • PreferenceCleaner now uses specific knowledge about a number of applications to locate a larger number of files.
  • Added "Rescan" function.
  • Minor interface improvements.

New in version 1.1.1:
  • Fixed a bug which could prevent the application form launching on some systems.
  • Added the ability to drag a folder of applications into the batch list.

New in version 1.1:
  • The "Add File" dialogue in advanced mode now has a "Show hiden files" checkbox.
  • Icons for applications and files are now displayed in the table in advanced mode.
  • Now displays application icons in simple mode. Applications can be dragged into the icon display from the Finder.
  • Minor interface improvements.

New in version 1.0.4:
  • Fixed a bug where batch lists could not be opened by double-clicking in the Finder.

New in version 1.0.3:
  • Improved feedback in advanced mode to give the number of files actually deleted.
  • Fixed bug which prevented the window from being reopened if it was closed.

New in version: 1.0.2:
  • Now supports drag and drop of applications straight into the batch list.

New in version 1.0.1:
  • Improved search algorithm now finds a more complete set of files and folders.
  • Fixed a minor Leopard compatibility issue encoutered when adding applications without a CFBundleIdentifier.
  • Fixed a minor interface bug.

New in version 1.0:
  • Initial release.
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