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When to Do It:

  • When any changes you have made to preference settings are unexpectedly lost. For example, customized settings in a word processor, such as fonts and margin settings, may be different from the defaults.

  • Whenever you have a problem using a specific feature of an application or control panel, such as a command that does not work or a dialog box that does not appear as expected. Be especially suspicious if that feature worked properly on previous occasions.

  • Whenever an extension does not load or work; especially suspect system software preferences files such as Finder Preferences. Examples of system software known to have preferences file-related problems include the Finder, the Network extension, and PC Exchange.

  • If an application specifically requests that you locate a missing accessory file either via an Open dialog box or via an alert message.

  • If selected features (such as menu commands or dialog box options) of an application are dimmed, missing, or do not work. Rarely, the program may not even launch.


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