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[all] General-purpose troubleshooting method: Delete (rebuild) the preference file

I believe that many people who frequently use specific software have had the following kind of experiences.

  • Functions that were working fine until recently suddenly stopped working.

  • The software began to crash frequently when using certain tools.

  • The shape of the dialog box is strange. Or some or all icons of it may not appear.

One of the solutions for these problems is to delete (rebuild) the preference file.

The preference file is a file that exists in common in many software programs, not just music notation software. Although they may have different names between products, they generally have the following properties.

  • Records information about user-customized preferences. (Example: shortcuts, specific functions’ ON/OFF, numerical settings, etc.)

  • It is saved in the user folder, not in the folder directly under the HDD. (True for Windows and Mac)

  • If you delete it and restart the software, the same file will be automatically rebuilt in the same location on the HDD.

If you delete this, the information customized by the user will of course be lost, but since you can reset all the user settings in the program including the possible problem, this can be an effective countermeasure when a problem of unknown cause occurs.

In addition to music notation software, I often use the video editing software called Adobe Premiere Pro. Recently I encountered the following two problems at different times and with different files.

  • The playback button has disappeared on the user interface.

  • The .MOV files taken with iPhone cannot be imported.

At first, I thought it was a problem with my settings, so I looked for the solution on the Internet, and struggled for about an hour with each, but I couldn't find any improvement. Then an idea hit my head that it might be a problem with the preference file, the problem was quickly resolved just after deleting it.

▼Troubleshooting (Mac OS version of Premiere Pro) B. Re-creating the preferences folder

The lesson I have learned from this is that as soon as you feel something is wrong, first of all try deleting (rebuilding) the initial configuration files instead of wasting time and effort searching for a solution that might not exist.

Unless you have made particularly important user settings, there is no problem in deleting the preference file, so I think you can feel free to use this method.

(In the Premiere Pro example above, there was a time when I had frequent problems importing .MOV files, I sometimes did it three times a day. Each time, I had to reconfigure the shortcuts I had set.)


For your reference, these are examples of FAQ pages for several products that provide guidance on deleting (rebuilding) the preference file.

▼Finale: Deleting preference files (rebuilding)

▼ [Dorico] How to "reset the preference file" in a Windows environment?

▼Resetting Studio One (initializing settings)

▼If Logic Pro for Mac isn't working

▼Premiere Pro: Troubleshooting (Mac OS version of Premiere Pro)

B. Re-create the preferences folder

In addition, instead of deleting the preference file, you might want to create a folder in an easy-to-see location such as the desktop and save it there temporarily. If the problem is not resolved by deleting (rebuilding) the preference file, you can also restore the state before deleting it if necessary.

Among these FAQs, there are some that say to simply delete them, but if you want to keep some of your own customizations, use the method above to temporarily remove it. You can delete it after you confirm the problem is resolved by deleting the old preference file.



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