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Every time I restart my computer it runs setup assistant and forgets certain settings. This has been happening for years (through a migration from a 2011 Mac Mini to a 2015 Macbook Pro) but now I'm afraid its causing other problems. I've tried everything in this thread to no avail.

How to stop Setup Assistant from showing up on every restart on Mac Mini with OS X Mavericks?

Here's what happens:

  • Computer restarts and I login to admin
  • Setup options run (data privacy, asks for iCloud password BUT remembers my iCloud username, anlytics, screentime Siri prompts etc.
  • Goes to my desktop (desktop background has reset)
  • Keyboard setup assistant runs
  • Optimize your Mac notification pops up
  • and recently it gives me a Relocated Items folder

What IS working:

  • Startup programs all run
  • Dock settings are saved
  • reopens windows from previous login if it was set to

Photoshop Preferences Issue: When I start Photoshop after computer restart it has reset preferences. Even more strange: the first time I open photoshop it runs a "dark mode" more recent looking layout, but if I reopen AGAIN (and any following reopens) it runs a lighter layout, older looking layout that fails to save or export projects.

Not sure if those issues are related but any advice is appreciated. For context this computer has migrated from a 2009 Macbook to a 2011 Mac Mini to now a 2015 refurb Macbook Pro running Catalina 10.15.3 and the issue first started on the mini.

Thank you!

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  • Specifically how was it migrated? Literally by running the Migration assistant on a fresh install at first run… or…? – Tetsujin Mar 3 '20 at 19:28
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Does this happen on another user's account on this Mac? If you don't have other user accounts, go ahead and create one to test the problem - you can always delete it later - to see if the problem occurs on this new account. If it doesn't occur, then this sounds like the permissions on your user account are all munged up and you need to try the first method below. If the problem occurs with other and/or new accounts, or recurs after trying the first step with your user account, then try the second method.

The first method is to attempt to fix the permissions on your own user folder:

  • From the Finder menu bar, choose Go > Home. Your home folder opens.
  • Choose File > Get Info. An Info window for your home folder opens.
  • If the Sharing & Permissions section at the bottom of the window isn't open, click the triangle in that section to open it.
  • If the lock icon at the bottom of the window is 'locked', click the lock and enter an administrator name and password.
  • Click the action menu (Gear with downward arrow) then choose “Apply to enclosed items.” Click OK to confirm the action.

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The 'Apply to all items' process may take quite a while, especially if your user account has many thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of files. Once it is finished, restart the Mac or logout from your account then login again.


If the first method does not fix your user folder permissions, then you need get more drastic, you need to reinstall macOS from macOS Recovery. Details about how to do that at the Apple Support page.

Lastly, if the macOS Recovery method does not work, you need to have a backup of your Mac, then erase the startup disk, reinstall macOS or restore from backup.


Methods derived from this Apple Support page.

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  • Why the downvote? – IconDaemon Mar 4 '20 at 14:05
  • Thanks for the response. Not sure who downvoted but that was helpful. So I tried all that and ended up doing the backup and reinstall. Now I have a fresh admin user created during the setup and my old user pulled from the backup restore. The problem PERSISTS with the old user but the new one is fine. So I'm wondering what is the easiest way to move all my files into the new accnt while not having to relocate each file in the programs I use (eg: Missing video file in Adobe Premier since location would presumably change) – lcoll Mar 9 '20 at 23:43

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