defaults(1) is a Mac OS console application used to manage user preferences stored in property list files.

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35
votes
7answers
51k views

How to always show menubar with fullscreen apps?

Does anyone know if it is possible to keep the menubar in Mac OS Lion visible for fullscreen apps instead of hidden until hovered over with a mouse or trackpad? I imagine there's some Terminal ...
29
votes
1answer
5k views

Set the default search to current folder?

The Finder's search bar is an integral part of my workflow. I am constantly using it to search the contents of files within various folders. However, typing into this bar always searches the entire ...
17
votes
7answers
65k views

Move 'Pictures', 'Documents', 'Movies' etc folders

I would like to move folders like 'Pictures', 'Documents', 'Movies' to a different from the default under the root of user's home location, preferably into a sub-folder under the same user's home ...
14
votes
3answers
8k views

Change default shell from bash to zsh

I've tried to switch my default shell to zsh, using chsh: chsh -s /bin/zsh and: chsh -s `which zsh` Both commands ended with: Changing shell for adamatan. Password for adamatan: chsh: ...
10
votes
2answers
220 views

Zsh using 100% of CPU during iWork install

I've been trying to install Keynote and Numbers, but they hang like so: This is associated with a shell script consuming 100% of a CPU: That process is defaults delete com.apple.helpd ...
10
votes
1answer
958 views

How can I disable the delay + minimum distance when deleting icons from the Dock by dragging in Mountain Lion?

As you all know, Dock icons can be removed by simply clicking them and dragging them out of the Dock. As soon as the “poof” animation appears, you can release the mouse button to remove the icon. ...
9
votes
6answers
5k views

How to list all available .plist keys on a certain domain application by defaults command?

I want to know all keys (property list) which available on certain domain application, as example i could list available key for com.apple.dock by entering this command: $ defaults read ...
9
votes
4answers
977 views

How do I change the location of screen captures on 10.5?

As a developer, I take a lot of screen captures. I often take a lot to share with StackExchange members on chat. The problem is my desktop is so cluttered with screen captures that they're now ...
9
votes
2answers
6k views

Disable screensaver password requirement from command line

I am trying to enable and disable the screensaver password requirement from the command line. defaults read com.apple.screensaver shows a variable askForPassword set to either 0 or 1, depending on ...
9
votes
2answers
5k views

How to change tap to click using “defaults write” from command line?

I want to change the trackpad tap-to-click property from the command line. Graphically, I can do it by clicking System Preferences -> Trackpad -> Tap to Click. How can I do it from the command line? ...
8
votes
4answers
10k views

Can I change the default camera app on my iPhone?

In the latest iOS update (5.1) Apple added the camera to the lock screen, so now I don't need to unlock the phone to take a picture. Is it possible to change which app is used for this? I realise ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

How to prevent Command-I/Command-Shift-I from opening Mac Mail when in browser?

When in a browser (Chrome or Safari), the following keyboard shortcut will always bring up a window that says "Welcome To Mail": Command+Shift+I I would like to use this shortcut for another ...
7
votes
3answers
505 views

How do I change which characters OS X considers ‘a word’, for ⌥-arrow-key skipping?

When I type ⌥→, I'd like my cursor to stop at periods, and perhaps other characters. Does anybody know of a defaults configuration, or System Preferences setting, that changes which characters are ...
7
votes
4answers
9k views

Default settings for pmset -g?

I remember changing some values to disable Deep sleep mode and hibernation a few months ago, and realised that my battery drains faster now. I just want to revert all settings to default. I changed ...
7
votes
2answers
849 views

How can i speed up the animation of hiding the menu bar?

I recently installed OS X El Capitan and figured out I could hide the menu bar. But it would be nice if i could accelerate the animation. For hiding the dock menu I use these defaults. I wondered ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

Change the default application (for a file extension) via script/command line?

Is there a way to define the default application for a file extension via an Apple script, command line command (like defaults write [...]). I know that you can change it manually via the information ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Can I undo changes made via “defaults write”?

I've been messing with Bluetooth audio settings to try to keep my Bluetooth speakers from popping by changing settings via defaults write, but I'm afraid I've made the problem worse. I'd like to ...
5
votes
2answers
8k views

How to set default input source in Mac OS X Lion

I use two keyboard layouts (input sources) in my everyday work - the standard US and Russian-PC. In System Preferences/Language & Text/Input Sources I have activated the "Allow different input ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

How to specify that cover art for a video in iTunes should be a frame from a specific time in the video?

When I add a movie or other video to iTunes, it appears that iTunes selects a video frame from somewhere near the beginning of the video file as the default cover art — and most of the time this ...
5
votes
0answers
843 views

How to see all options configurable by “defaults write …” [duplicate]

Many Mac apps have "hidden" configurable options that can be modified in Terminal by using the defaults write ... command. This is straightforward to do if you know the name of the option that you ...
4
votes
2answers
8k views

How to set default finder window size?

How do I set the default size of my finder window to a size of my choice? Currently each time I open a finder window, it opens up in a very small size and I have to adjust it before I can start ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

How to I set the scroll direction to be “non” natural for any new users created on a Lion machine?

When a new user account is created on a Lion machine, a "helpful" dialog appears to describe "Natural" scrolling. I want to set the scrolling to be "unnatural" for any new users created - is there a ...
4
votes
2answers
946 views

How does the defaults domain ‘Network’ work? (/Network/Library/Preferences/)

How does the Network preference/defaults domain work on Mac OS? I see it referenced in a lot of Apple documentation, but I don’t understand this particular preference domain. I get the user defaults ...
4
votes
1answer
4k views

What are the default permissions on the Applications folder in OS X supposed to be?

I was trying to run VirtualBox on OS X when I got the error: Failed to open a session for the virtual machine tinyXP. Failed to load VMMR0.r0 (VERR_SUPLIB_WORLD_WRITABLE). Unknown error creating VM ...
4
votes
2answers
653 views

Change the default action to open executable files in the editor instead of Terminal

When double clicking an executable file (without a file extension) in Finder, it opens in Terminal by default. I can change that to any other application for this single file, but I cannot change the ...
4
votes
2answers
930 views

How to always show window controls in Yosemite full screen apps?

The default behavior in Yosemite for apps with combined window title/toolbar in full screen mode is, that the window controls (signal lights) slide in from the left when the mouse the mouse pointer ...
3
votes
3answers
285 views

Concise, compact list of all 'defaults' currently configured and their values?

Hello Ask Different community, I'm not an OSX expert, though I've used it for some time now. I'm trying to understand more about how to automate and push config changes for netboot/imaging , etc. I ...
3
votes
1answer
59 views

Change default applications

I have somehow managed to replace the default movie player, with my FTP client. I'm not sure how that happened, but now every time I double click a movie file in Finder, my FTP client launches. Can ...
3
votes
1answer
87 views

Default Browser .plist location

I have a custom built browser, lets say its similar to a firefox port such as Ice Weasel. I am wondering where I register this so that it will appear in the System Preferences > General > Default ...
3
votes
1answer
299 views

Screencapture with zooming

In Snow Leopard when I used a screencapture program (⇧⌃⌘4) on the screen area that was zoomed in (by using ⌃ + mouse wheel) the resulting screen shot has the same zoom factor. Super useful when I ...
3
votes
1answer
384 views

New users can't see Apple applications from Utilities folder in Launchpad

I felt like giving my mess of Launchpad icons a fresh start. So I did defaults write com.apple.dock ResetLaunchPad -bool true && killall Dock On checking Launchpad, it had appeared to have ...
3
votes
1answer
594 views

Mavericks: How to ADD Input Source via plists/defaults?

I'm trying to automate my OS X setup but I'm stuck trying to programmatically add a new Input Source or keyboard layout. I usually use two layouts: regular US and US International, so what I'm trying ...
3
votes
1answer
189 views

Is there a hidden preference to get Mission Control to show application icons when grouping is turned off?

When I turn on grouping in Mission Control to I get the application icon overlaid on the windows that belong to the application. Is there a hidden option to show icons on ungrouped windows?
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Choosing the default application does not stay as default after reboot

When I'm opening .avi files, I want to open them with VLC Media player, when right clicking the item, I see this: As you can see QuickTime is the default player, I want to change it to VLC, so I ...
2
votes
5answers
15k views

Force URL link to open with a specific browser

I've created a URL link in my dock, however, the link only opens with the default browser. I have safari, Firefox, and chrome (latest being the default) installed in my machine. I'm wondering if ...
2
votes
1answer
49 views

Can I enable file removal in the open window on OS X?

Can I enable file removal in the open window on OS X? The open or save dialogs do not allow you do do many opeations, like removing a file or renaming it. Is there any hidden defaults preference ...
2
votes
1answer
256 views

What is the default (blue) value for AppleHighlightColor?

Lots of popular dotfiles repos (stemming from this one) include this: # Set highlight color to green defaults write NSGlobalDomain AppleHighlightColor -string "0.764700 0.976500 0.568600" It looks ...
2
votes
1answer
39 views

Changin IRC default client on Mavericks

I installed Colloquy and then LimeChat IRC clients. I realized Colloquy opens automatically when clicking on a link like irc://irc.freenode.net/kolab How can I changed these links to open in LimeChat? ...
2
votes
2answers
452 views

How can I set the default width, height, and position of my Mac terminal app?

How can I set the default width and height of my Mac terminal window so that it always opens the way I'd like it to. Currently, every time I launch the terminal app, I need to resize it.
2
votes
1answer
6k views

Is it possible to somehow default the OSX preview window size on open for PDF files?

I have had this bug-bare for a while where preview always opens documents too small, I'm visually impaired and want them to default to open with two options Default width to nearly 100% of screen, ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Command Line method to backup using two Time Machine disks

Does anyone know of a command line method to select the active Time Machine disk? I would like to alternate between two backup disks for redundancy. I would like this to be automated, presumably via ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

How to reverse the defaults write com.apple.Safari CustomUserAgent “\”My user agent string\“” command

Using the defaults write com.apple.Safari CustomUserAgent "\"My user agent string\"" command, you can set the default User Agent for Safari. This means that the CustomUserAgent key gets written in ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Toggle Natural scrolling from command line with reload

I'm looking to make a script that quickly toggles the Natural scrolling settings, so I need a way to do it from the command line. I think I found the correct defaults command, but I'm not sure how to ...
2
votes
2answers
202 views

Spaces and Expose Overview using the 2nd Monitor

I have two monitors, and 9 (3x3) virtual desktops. When I invoke the Spaces overview mode of expose, everything gets pulled onto the primary display. It creates one overview with 3x3 desktops, ...
2
votes
1answer
70 views

Update Preferences Panel after using default write

I am using default write to set/unset Block all incoming connections option of OSX firewall. sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.alf globalstate -int 2 sudo defaults write ...
2
votes
1answer
33 views

Adding to “Open with” list

[OSX 10.9.2] My Mac doesn't think Audacity can open mp4 files, so when I want to do so using "Open with", I have to switch from "Recommended Applications" to "All Applications" so as to select ...
2
votes
2answers
835 views

Default list of Quicklook Plugins for a fresh LION install? What QL plugins “should be” in /System/Library/Quicklook/?

This is an easy one for you all. I simply need people to list what Quicklook plugins they have installed in /System/Library/QuickLook. I ask because I have a QL plugin named: Icon.qlgenerator in my ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

How to map the bottom right Trackpad corner to right-click programmatically?

I’m looking for a command (defaults write …) to enable right-click by tapping the bottom right Trackpad corner. This can be enabled as follows: System Preferences → Trackpad → Point & Click → ...
2
votes
0answers
44 views

FaceTime dims all other audio during video calls – how to stop that happening?

Is there a hidden preference or something I can get at through defaults write? I'm running El Capitan 10.11.2 Beta (15C31f)
2
votes
1answer
238 views

How do I succeed setting sublime text 3 as a default text editor on Yosemite? [duplicate]

It's a matter of principle for me as I'm struggling with it for a long time. I had this issue back on Mavericks and now on Yosemite 10.10.5. What I'm trying to do is to set Sublime text 3 as a ...