PrefEdit 4.31

Inspect and edit preference system files.
4.31 (See all)
Detect the files that describe the application preferences in your system. Select the detected items and open them for previewing the content. Access a set of editing options to modify the recognition of presference4s for different tools and components.

PrefEdit is intended to help you manage preference manifest files, which are commonly used to specify the behavior of applications. The tool works by detecting this type of files (PLIST) so that you can inspect the preferences related to the applications installed on your system. It supports opening and modifying both XML-based and binary property list files as well as converting data between these two formats. Additionally, the tool can read OpenStep files. Fortunately, it can even find property files protected by an application sandbox.

PrefEdit’s main window shows list of preference domains. Moreover, it is also allowed to search by entering values or internal names as well as dragging and dropping the icon of the desired app. Two main operations are supported from this window. One is deleting the PLIST file which would automatically erase any preferences set after the selected app’s installation. The other operation is opening the preference manifest file and edit any of the included settings. In this respect, you can change property names, entry types and values. It is great that it allows managing nested entries without limitations.

While you are editing its preferences, it is possible to launch the selected application to check the results of your intervention. Luckily, you do not need to worry about making the wrong changes because the tool supports undoing any modifications. Even in the case you have already saved the file, you can still restore an old version, thanks to the system’s support of file version control.

All in all, PrefEdit is an excellent choice for developers as well as advanced users who like to be in control of the preferences of the applications. Although the tool is quite easy to use, its interface could still be made more explicit in terms of you can do with it. I have to confess that the first time I almost missed the possibility of editing preference files due to the lack of appropriate clues, which may require the user to guess what to do next.

Pedro Castro
Editor rating:

Review summary


  • Supports multiple types of preference manifest files types
  • Detects files protected by an application sandbox
  • Supports undoing changes
  • Identifies an app’s domain if you drag and drop its icon onto the PrefEdit’s window


  • Its interface should be more explicit
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