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How do I regenerate my MATLAB preferences?

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I have made changes to my MATLAB preferences which I do not wish to keep, or perhaps my preference files have become corrupt.

Accepted Answer

MathWorks Support Team
MathWorks Support Team on 7 Nov 2019
Edited: MathWorks Support Team on 7 Nov 2019
To regenerate your MATLAB preferences, do the following:
1. Locate the MATLAB preferences directory for your user account.
In MATLAB 8.6 (R2015b), the default location of the preferences directory is at the following location:
C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Roaming\MathWorks\MATLAB\R2015b (on Windows)
/home/$USER/.matlab/R2015b (on Linux)
/Users/$USER/.matlab/R2015b (on Mac)
In MATLAB 8.8 (R2016b) and later, the default location of the preferences directory on Macs has changed:
You can also run the following command in the MATLAB command prompt in order to locate your preferences directory:
>> prefdir
This is where your "matlab.prf" file is located. Your path may be different depending on how your system is setup. The preference directory may be hidden in some operating systems.
2. Make sure that MATLAB is closed and rename the preferences directory of your current MATLAB version, for instance rename R2015b to R2015b_old. Then create an empty folder with the original name, in this case R2015b. Creating this empty folder will prevent MATLAB from importing a preference directory from a previous release.
3. Restart MATLAB. MATLAB will recreate preferences files in the empty preferences directory that was created in step 2.
If this does not address the issue that you hoped it would, it is possible to restore your preferences by deleting the newly created directory (R2015b) and renaming the R2015b_old directory back to its original name: R2015b.


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Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 19 Jan 2016
Jorik commented on M J Schwartz's Comment,
This comment does not seem to be related to this question/answer. (The next comment is actually an answer to this question/statement) Can we remove these or move them to a separate question?
Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 19 Jan 2016
Jorik: only Mathworks MATLAB Central staff have the tools to move anything, and they rarely use those tools. The community editors (the people with reputation 3000 or higher) have been asking for years for access to a feature such as that.
Eric Anderson
Eric Anderson on 6 Nov 2016
On my installation of 2016b on my mac, there is a space between Application and Support in the directory name 'Application Support' that is not reflected in the line shown in the answer.

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More Answers (2)

Jeff Vandegrift
Jeff Vandegrift on 30 Jan 2016
This breaks my ML. All I want to do is remove any vestige of my earlier attempt to launch emacs when I click on a line number error.
What I get with these instructions is about ten pages of ML errors when it starts up. I attempted to send those to support but the submit button in that dialog doesn't work so I'm doing it in this forum instead.

  1 Comment

Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 31 Jan 2016
Jeff, are the errors about duplicate routine names?

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Juan on 14 Jan 2020
I have tried this approach several times and it does not work permanently. Sometmes it works once or twice bu then it gets frozen. See picture
what can I do?
Your Case Number is 03962308.

  1 Comment

Colin Fraser
Colin Fraser on 15 Jan 2020
I would continue working with that case number. There may be some further troubleshooting we need to do.
-Colin Fraser

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