I can't open my network preferences anymore. It says that Network Preferences don't work on a PowerPC-based Mac, whereas it's actually an Intel. (2.0 ghz core 2 duo, 10.6.7) I've tried the following:

  • repair disk permissions
  • reset PRAM
  • Trash network .plists
  • copied Network.prefpane from other Mac and replaced it

And nothing of these changed a thing. Ethernet still works. I can't find anything online either about it. Anyone has an idea?

EDIT: now I can open hardly any of the preference panes. Only Bluetooth, MobileMe, Parental Control and Universal Access still work.

  • If you're really running 10.6.8, you're not going to find many folks here with any knowledge of it. This is probably best fed back to Apple.
    – JRobert
    May 17, 2011 at 12:16
  • @JRobert oops, wrote it without checking, thought .8 was the newest version. Editing now.
    – JCBK
    May 17, 2011 at 12:20

4 Answers 4


System Preferences may be running in Rosetta (the PowerPC-on-Intel emulation environment). Do a Get Info on the System Preferences app (in the Applications folder) and check two things.

  1. The "Kind" should say Application (Universal).
  2. There may be a checkbox saying something like "Open using Rosetta". Make sure this is unchecked.

So, a bit of a late reply, but the problem has been figured out at the Genius Bar. It turned out that the app CleanMyMac had decided to delete binaries, and picked the Intel ones instead of the PowerPC ones. I've had a good experiences with the app before, but I won't be using it again.

The solution was reinstalling all the affected installations.


You might try removing the following cache files (make sure System Preferences isn't running first):

/Users/<username>/Library/Caches/com.apple.preferencepanes.cache /Users/<username>/Library/Caches/com.apple.preferencepanes.searchindexcache

Then relaunch System Preferences and see if it works okay.

If not, can you open up the Console.app application (in the /Applications/Utilities/ folder) and see if anything is printed out to it while you try to launch System Preferences. If so, please post it here.


Since your preferences pane is not working - you are limited what you can do. My guess is some old preference pane plug in is calling PPC code or your files are corrupt and look like PPC code to the system.

Can you get into the accounts pane and make a new admin account for testing by booting in safe mode (shift key held down)? If not, boot in single user mode and delete the one file and run the setup assistant to make a new admin account.

/sbin/mount -uw /
rm /private/var/db/.AppleSetupDone

From there you can see if the system is bad (if the new user is broken similarly) or if it's a user file issue.

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