Backup Locations To Keep Settings & Such

Doing a backup of my Mojave drive before I flip to Catalina later. I’ve verified all my app compatibility, so I don’t need to be able to restore from this - but I want a copy of everything just in case there are any weird settings files, custom scripts I forgot about, etc.

Per the system design, none of my user settings should be outside the /Users folder…correct? Like an app shouldn’t be storing its preferences or data in /Applications or the system Library folder, right?

Correct. Most of your settings should be in ~/Library/ (where ~ is your home directory).

However, there are some apps which will store their registration info in /Users/Shared. As long as you have all your software license codes in something like 1Password you should be fine.

Mostly, but with lots of potential gotcha’s.

License code info can be inside plist files, they can be invisible .domain.plist and .random.plist files or files and folders containing files with random names. Also specific ‘License’-files exist, which can be located in the strangest places. On top of that, some apps use unused/invisible parts of partitions to store registrations. And many apps, especially a lot of music-creation apps, are based on limited installs and in order to not use up an install the user is required to deactivate a registration before doing a new or clean install.

Absolutely. I would never assume that you would be able to extract license information from a backup. It might work, it might not.

I now maintain a list of apps to “de-authorize” before I wipe a Mac.

Used to just be iTunes.

I have to admit, this is one of the places where the Mac App Store is great (if the app can live within its extreme limitations). Not having to manage activations and license codes is nice.

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I’m not stressed about license codes and such, and I’ve been through the de-authorization hoop before. It’s frustrating when you’re basically just installing a second partition on the same computer, but not too onerous.

Thanks for the info!

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I’d love to see that list, perhaps in another thread? I’ve gotten caught a few times and making a list sure would have been smarter. :wink:

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