PrefEdit 3.9.1 – Inspect and edit all preference settings for OS X apps.

PrefEdit 3.9.1

PrefEdit is an application to manage nearly all aspects of the preference system contained in every macOS installation. The program consists of three components which are tightly integrated with each other:

– An entry point to the preferences database of macOS, with access to all settings which are effective for your user account,

– a browser and editor for macOS property list files (plists),

– a browser for preference manifest files.

Property list files are the technical means used by macOS to store user preference settings in the background. This file type is also utilized by macOS for many other purposes, not only for building the preference database. You can use PrefEdit to display and edit all files compliant with Apple’s plist standard.

Preference manifest files contain descriptions for so-called Managed Preferences. If modifying a user preference setting is not only of interest for the application owning this setting, but access to the setting should be possible for “foreign” applications, too, the vendor of the application can publish technical details about these preferences formally. Such a description specifies which setting with what name has which meaning for an application. In addition, the possible value range, as well as the meaning of each single value can be defined. Apple’s Workgroup Manager application uses manifest files to present such remotely manageable settings.

PrefEdit is directed both to software developers and to end users who like to have full access to each and every aspect of preference settings for the system and applications. The program is capable of visualizing the complete search path and priority of user default settings, exactly imitating the view each macOS application has on the preferences database.

PrefEdit was the first preference editor ever published for Mac OS X. With its long experience and maturity, it has become one of the most advanced preference management applications for macOS available today.

The software is distributed electronically. You can download the product and test it before you decide to purchase a license for unrestricted usage.

What’s New

Version 3.9.1:

  • Added new feature to open substitute copies of files in property list style that use invalid value types not compliant with the property list standards. Values of proprietary types are replaced by description strings. This can help to understand the contents of unknown plist-like files.
  • Added new feature to implement all standard find functions in the sheet that visualizes the preference search path of applications.
  • Added new feature to transfer an effective preference setting in the search path to the currently selected preference scope. This can help to override a default setting by specifying a different value at a position later in the search path.
  • Added new feature to indicate the source of each effective preference setting in the search path.
  • Added new feature to open a file-based source of an effective preference setting shown in the search path.
  • The application got a modernized icon.
  • When running with a German user interface, the application now automatically matches the politeness language style of the running operating system.


OS X 10.7.3 or later, 64-bit processor


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