Final Cut Pro 4: How to delete the preference files

Learn how to resolve issues caused by unusable preference files in Final Cut Pro 4.

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When troubleshooting Final Cut Pro, one step you can take is to delete the Final Cut Pro preference files. Doing this restores Final Cut Pro to the default settings and behavior. These files contains user preferences for scratch disk settings, capture settings, window layouts, and so forth.

To delete the Final Cut Pro 4 preferences files, do the following:

  1. Quit Final Cut Pro 4.
  2. Click the Finder icon in the Dock.
  3. From the Go menu, choose Go to Folder.
  4. Type: ~/Library/Preferences/ Note: The tilde "~" refers to your home directory. For more information see "Mac OS X: Using Your Home Directory".
  5. Click Go.
  6. Drag the file named "" to the Trash (Figure 1).
  7. Double-click the folder named "Final Cut Pro User Data".
  8. Drag the file named "Final Cut Pro 4.0 Preferences" to the Trash (see Figure 2).
  9. Drag the file named "Final Cut Pro POA Cache" to the Trash (Figure 2).
  10. Open Final Cut Pro.

Important: Do not delete any of the other files in the Final Cut Pro User Data folder.

Figure 1 The Final Cut Pro plist file

Figure 2 Final Cut Pro 4.0 Preferences and Final Cut Pro POA Cache files

Once this process is completed Final Cut Pro reverts to its installed defaults. Reset all of your desired application preferences to match what they were before--in particular your Scratch Disk Preferences, keyboard mappings, and the selected Sequence Settings.

Back up configured preference files

To avoid recreating all your custom settings in the event you have to delete the preference files again, follow these steps to save a clean copy of the file:

  1. Make a backup copy of the "Final Cut Pro Preferences" and the "" files immediately after it is configured for the first time.
  2. Put the backup copy of the files in a safe place.

If you have to delete the preference files again, you can simply replace them with the backup copy of the saved, clean files. This preserves your desired preference settings, while eliminating any unwanted behaviors that may have been caused by a faulty Final Cut Pro Preferences file.

Note: It is not necessary to back up the Final Cut Pro POA Cache file.

Related document
93832: "Final Cut Pro HD 4.5: How to Delete the Preference Files"

Published Date: Feb 19, 2012