Specifically I would like to edit com.apple.applicationaccess.new.plist. (Which is in /Library/Managed Preferences/[username]/), but when I restart the computer my edited preferences are replaced with the old version.

How do I go about editing them for good? I only have command line access via SSH.

  • Please clarify if you have admin access to the machine - you might be tied without an admin account and someone else is trying to prevent you from changing these restrictions (say in a lab setting).
    – bmike
    Jul 7, 2011 at 21:29
  • Yes, I do have admin access. Jul 7, 2011 at 21:32
  • Excellent - Lingon is now $5 on the app store - but do look for dscl commands loading from launchd to rule that out as the cause of your managed preference files - that folder is normally empty on non managed macs.
    – bmike
    Jul 7, 2011 at 21:40

2 Answers 2


Turns out that the master copy of com.apple.applicationaccess is kept in /private/var/db/dslocal/nodes/Default/[user].plist. Editing that solved the problem for me. Thanks to Lyken for helping me find this on this question.


Managed preferences are set up by the administrator of the Open Directory / Active Directory, so short of unbinding your mac from all of these servers, you will have to live with the changes imposed on that mac or keep changing them when you log in.

Do you really need to stay connected to the servers if they are making changes you can't get them to reverse?

Launchd would be a good tool for you to add a script that makes those changes for you when you log in, but that's just automating a workaround and not resolving the issue. Similarly, launchd can be used to implement Managed Preferences on boot as described in this short video seminar. You might have to check into launchd on the mac to see if someone implemented a similar restriction using Workgroup Manager.

  • The machine in question is bound to any servers. Jul 7, 2011 at 21:12
  • I'll edit the answer to cover both a local restriction or server restriction. I may not understand your question entirely - so please feel free to edit it for more specific information on what you are trying to accomplish. I may have made some bad assumptions.
    – bmike
    Jul 7, 2011 at 21:25
  • I'd very much like to know generically what mechanism performs the automatic deletion from /Library/Managed Preferences, and whether there is a way to deactivate it. The launchd workaround is inconvenient. Like Daniel, my machine is not joined to any servers, yet the deletion happens (on 10.8.2). In my case I'm merely looking to locally specify a policy for Chrome - in lieu of having to launch Chrome with specific startup parameters -, which just so happens to require a managed-client *.plist file.
    – mklement0
    Nov 4, 2012 at 22:23

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