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My kids completely changed everything in their user account, what is the easiest way to reset everything to default (without reinstalling everything) including:

  • Name of hard drive
  • Menu items in Finder
  • Dock size and items
  • Size/appearance of things
  • Even some applications have been moved from their original location
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2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted
  • Name of hard drive
    Click enter, rename it

  • Menu items in Finder
    What do you mean by that?

  • Dock size and items
    Trashing ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.dock.plist will do the trick

  • Size/appearance of things
    Trashing the .plist file under ~/Library/Preferences

  • Even some applications have been moved from their original location
    You'll have to move them back to /Applications manually.

In order for that not to be reproduced, you could try Parental Controls under System Preferences > Account and limit what they can do on their account.

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In addition to Loïc’s excellent answer

Menu items in Finder

What do you mean by that?

I believe he means the Finder’s Sidebar and such. In order to reset those, thrash the following file and logoff (or restart):

~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.sidebarlists.plist

Even some applications have been moved from their original location

You'll have to move them back to /Applications manually.

Yes, unless he has a Time Machine backup… which I believe he doesn’t. :)

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Yep, you were right I meant the Finder's Sidebar. I do have a Time Machine + Time Capsule for the kid's iMac but I thought it may be easier just to reset things than dig through backups. –  Abdullah Jibaly Nov 6 '10 at 7:10
    
@Abdullah for the Apps it might be easier to restore them with TimeMachine, just go to Time Machine while in the /Applications folder and scroll back “in time” -> restore, overwrite, keep old :) Some app might need an update but at least you’ll have them back. –  Martín Marconcini Nov 6 '10 at 17:31
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