I tried modifying a preference pane plist (with defaults write), but the change doesn’t take effect. Is there a way to make that happen?

  • You may need to kill the defaults server.
    – fd0
    Sep 14, 2015 at 14:04
  • @fd0: How is that done?
    – Toothrot
    Sep 14, 2015 at 14:07

1 Answer 1


Assuming a newer version of OS X (10.9+ ?).

You have to kill two processes: the process that manages the preference you are modifying (e.g. killall Finder if it is com.apple.finder that you are modifying) and "cfprefsd".

"cfprefsd" is a newer preference caching service of OS X.

In Terminal.app: killall cfprefsd && killall Finder.

You could also restart your computer.


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