I walked through the procedure of changing my MacOS user short name. Somehow screwed it up - such that on reboot, MacOS went through the "new user initialization". I fixed it ... and got everything back ... except ...

All of my multiple desktops settings (number of desktop workspaces), mouse settings (eg scroll direction), keyboard shortcuts, etc. are gone. I assume that the "New User Initialization" wiped these out.

Fine. I have Time Machine backups. But - I haven't been able to figure out how to selective restore just the settings preferences related to my keyboard shortcuts, mouse preferences, workspaces (mission control?), etc. I've spent several hours searching but my search phrases seem to be far too generic and sending me down many rat holes.

I did find that there is ~/Library/Preferences directory - but that was preserved in my new account - so unless it's a subset of selective files in there that are related - which got reset with the "New User Initialization" baloney?

Any hints would be greatly appreciated. I simple can not abide by "natural" scroll direction ... :)

1 Answer 1


I would suggest you open a finder window of your ~/Library/Preferences, click on "Date Modified", open System Preferences, make any change in relevant settings (mouse, workspace ...), watch and note down, which files get to the top of your file list.

These should be the ones that you should replace with the ones from a Time Machine backup, I'd presume ...

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