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I noticed that with macOS Monterey, my text shortcuts (System PreferencesKeyboardText) can never stay put and are erased every time I add them (not quite sure when, but surely soon after).

Is this known? Are there any workarounds?

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  • Do not know whether to not it's a bug or what, however keep it backed up and you will not have to manually reenter each one of them. Nov 14, 2021 at 0:30
  • Good idea of course, and I do that. But it's certainly new behavior, and I was wondering if it's been encountered by others who've figured out how to fix it...
    – user439661
    Nov 14, 2021 at 0:33
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    I can confirm that at least on a reboot they are wiped out and replaced with the default one. There may be other triggers, however I've just started to investigate. So this is definitely a bug! Nov 14, 2021 at 0:55
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    What's interesting is they are still in the ~/Library/Preferences/.GlobalPreferences.plist file under the NSUserDictionaryReplacementItems key but not in the GUI and of course do not work. In other words, starting with them all there and then rebooting only the default one shows, but in Terminal the output of defaults read -g NSUserDictionaryReplacementItems shows them all. This needs to be reported to Apple! Nov 14, 2021 at 1:32
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    Sorry, but I just do not have the time to report this as I'm now testing how to programmatically and automatically implement a workaround fix, if possible, until Apple fixes it. You should report this as it's your question. Nov 14, 2021 at 1:41

2 Answers 2

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I created an account just to share that I found out how to fix this! It was driving me crazy.

Fix: Make sure you're signed in to your Apple ID. The Monterey update automatically signed me out, and since the System Preferences > Keyboard > Text shortcuts are synced up with your Apple ID/iCloud, it wipes them every time you restart the computer because it syncs back to nothing.

Good luck!

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Experienced the same bug in Monterey 12.2.1, i.e., losing text replacements on every boot. Not using iCloud. Worked around by recreating entries, backing them up, and restoring after reboot:

Backup

  1. System Preferences → Keyboard → Text
  2. Edit → Select All → drag selected replacements to Desktop ("Text Substitutions.plist" will be created)

Restore

  1. System Preferences → Keyboard → Text
  2. Drag "Text Substitutions.plist" from Desktop into the Text pane

Link courtesy of Kevin. Lri shares a Terminal/script approach and additional details in his answer.

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