.PLIST File Recovery

Have files been deleted due to a user’s error or software error? Have you formatted a disk by accident and need to know how to recover the files? Read our .PLIST file recovery guide for Windows, MacOS, Android and IOS in 2024.

PLIST File Recovery

What is a .PLIST file?

A PLIST file is a settings file, also known as a "properties file," used by macOS applications. It contains properties and configuration settings for various programs. PLIST files are formatted in XML and based on Apple's Core Foundation DTD.

What Are Common Causes of ".PLIST" Files Lost or Failure?

There are several common causes of .plist files lost or failure:

  1. Accidental deletion: Users may accidentally delete .plist files while cleaning up their system or removing unnecessary files.
  2. Software updates: During software updates, the existing .plist files may be replaced or overwritten, leading to their loss or failure.
  3. System crashes: System crashes or power failures can cause .plist files to become corrupted or lost.
  4. Malware or virus infections: Malicious software or viruses can infect and damage .plist files, making them inaccessible or causing failure.
  5. Disk errors: Disk errors or bad sectors on the storage device can result in the corruption or loss of .plist files.
  6. Improper shutdown: Forcefully shutting down the system without properly closing applications or saving data can lead to .plist file loss or failure.
  7. Hardware failures: Hardware failures, such as a faulty hard drive or memory issues, can cause .plist files to become inaccessible or get lost.
  8. User error: Mistakes made by users, such as modifying or deleting .plist files without proper knowledge or backup, can result in their loss or failure.
  9. Incompatible software: Installing incompatible software or applications can cause conflicts with existing .plist files, leading to their loss or failure.
  10. Operating system issues: Problems with the operating system, such as corruption or errors, can lead to .plist file loss or failure.

How to recover lost ".PLIST" files?

Sometimes while working with a computer, laptop or other stationary or mobile devices, you may encounter various bugs, freezes, hardware or software failures, even in spite of regular updates and junk cleaning. As a result, an important ".PLIST" file may be deleted.

Go to view
🧺 How to Recover Files and Folders After Sending Them to the Recycle Bin and Deleting? (Windows 11)

🧺 How to Recover Files and Folders After Sending Them to the Recycle Bin and Deleting? (Windows 11)

By no means should you think that the only way to recover a ".PLIST" file is always to create it once more.

Use programs for recovering ".PLIST" files if a file was lost after accidental or deliberate deleting, formatting the memory card or the internal storage, cleaning the storage device, after a virus attack or a system failure.

Programs to recover ".PLIST" files

Looking for a way to get files back? In cases when files were deleted and they cannot be restored by using standard operating system tools, use Hetman Partition Recovery.

The tool recovers data from any devices, regardless of the cause of data loss.

Follow the directions below:

  1. Download Hetman Partition Recovery, install and start the program.

  2. The program will automatically scan the computer and display all hard disks and removable drives connected to it, as well as physical and local disks.

    File Recovery Software
  3. Double-click on the disk from which you need to recover ".PLIST" files, and select analysis type.

    Hetman Partition Recovery - Analysis Type
  4. When the scanning is over, you will be shown the files for recovery.

    Hetman Partition Recovery - Files that Can be Restored
  5. To find a file you need, use the program’s interface to open the folder it was deleted from, or go to the folder "Content-Aware Analysis" and select the required file type.

    Hetman Partition Recovery - Deep Scan
  6. Select the files you have been looking for and click "Recovery".

    File Recovery Software - Files List for Recovery
  7. Choose one of the methods for saving the files and recover them.

    Saving recovered files in Hetman Partition Recovery

How to open file with ".PLIST" extension?

Looking for how to open a stereo mac OS X Property List File image file file?

Programs that open ".PLIST" files

Microsoft Notepad Microsoft Notepad
Corel WordPerfect X9 Corel WordPerfect X9
Notepad++ Notepad++
Any <a href=text editor"> Any text editor
Apple Xcode Apple Xcode
Fat Cat PlistEdit Pro Fat Cat PlistEdit Pro
PrefEdit PrefEdit
Night Productions Pref Setter Night Productions Pref Setter
Late Night Property List Tools Late Night Property List Tools
Apple plutil Apple plutil
Any <a href=text editor"> Any text editor

Additional Information

  • File type: Mac OS X Property List File

  • File extension: .PLIST

  • Developer: Apple

  • Category: Settings Files

  • Format: N/A

  • HEX: 3C 3F 78 6D 6C 20 76 65 72 73 69 6F 6E 3D 22 31 2E

  • ASCII: <?xml version="1.


We will be happy to answer your questions!

Comments (1)

  • Hetman Software: Data Recovery
    Hetman Software: Data Recovery 18.12.2019 15:31 #
    Leave a comment if you have any questions about Recovering lost .PLIST files after deleting, cleaning or formatting!
Post comment
Leave a reply
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Vladimir Artiukh

Author: Vladimir Artiukh, Technical Writer

Vladimir Artiukh is a technical writer for Hetman Software, as well as the voice and face of their English-speaking YouTube channel, Hetman Software: Data Recovery for Windows. He handles tutorials, how-tos, and detailed reviews on how the company’s tools work with all kinds of data storage devices.

Oleg Afonin

Editor: Oleg Afonin, Technical Writer

Oleg Afonin is an expert in mobile forensics, data recovery and computer systems. He often attends large data security conferences, and writes several blogs for such resources as xaker.ru, Elcomsoft and Habr. In addition to his online activities, Oleg’s articles are also published in professional magazines. Also, Oleg Afonin is the co-author of a well-known book, Mobile Forensics - Advanced Investigative Strategies.


Questions and answers

  • How can I repair a corrupted .PLIST file?

    To repair a corrupted .plist file, you can try the following methods:

    1. Restore from a backup: If you have a backup of the .plist file, restore it to its original location. This will replace the corrupted file with a working version.
    2. Use the Property List Editor: On macOS, you can use the Property List Editor application to open and edit .plist files. Sometimes, simply opening the file with this editor and saving it again can fix any corruption issues.
    3. Delete the .plist file: In some cases, deleting the corrupted .plist file can help. However, make sure to back up the file before deleting it, as you may lose any customized settings associated with it. After deleting, relaunch the application or system service that uses the .plist file, as it will recreate a new, default .plist file.
    4. Use a third-party plist editor: There are various third-party applications available that can help repair corrupted .plist files. These tools often have advanced features to analyze and fix the corruption issues. Some popular options include PlistEdit Pro, Xcode (for developers), and Pref Setter.
    5. Reinstall the application: If the corrupted .plist file is associated with a specific application, you can try reinstalling the application. This will replace the corrupted .plist file with a fresh one.

    Note: It's always recommended to create a backup of any important files before attempting any repairs or modifications.

  • What are the common causes of .PLIST file corruption, and how can I prevent it?

    There are several common causes of .plist file corruption, including:

    1. Software or system crashes: Sudden power outages, forceful shutdowns, or unexpected crashes can lead to .plist file corruption.
    2. Disk errors: Issues with the hard drive such as bad sectors, disk errors, or file system corruption can corrupt .plist files.
    3. Malware or virus infections: Malicious software or viruses can modify or corrupt .plist files, leading to errors or malfunctioning of associated applications.
    4. Incomplete or interrupted file operations: If a .plist file is being modified or saved and the process gets interrupted or incomplete, it can result in corruption.

    To prevent .plist file corruption, you can follow these measures:

    1. Regularly update your software and operating system: Keeping your software and operating system up to date helps fix any known bugs or vulnerabilities that could lead to file corruption.
    2. Use reliable antivirus software: Install and regularly update reputable antivirus software to protect your system from malware or virus infections that can corrupt .plist files.
    3. Avoid sudden power outages or improper shutdowns: Use an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) or battery backup to prevent sudden power loss. Properly shut down your system instead of forceful shutdowns.
    4. Perform regular disk checks: Use disk utility tools or software to scan and repair any disk errors or file system issues that can lead to .plist file corruption.
    5. Backup important .plist files: Create regular backups of critical .plist files to ensure you can restore them in case of corruption or accidental deletion.
    6. Be cautious while modifying .plist files: If you need to manually edit .plist files, make sure to take a backup and follow proper guidelines to avoid introducing errors that could result in corruption.

    By following these preventive measures, you can minimize the risk of .plist file corruption and ensure the smooth functioning of associated applications.

  • Are there any software tools or methods available to automatically repair .PLIST files?

    Yes, there are software tools and methods available to automatically repair .plist files. Some popular options include:

    1. Plistinator: Plistinator is a software tool specifically designed to repair corrupt or damaged .plist files. It can automatically identify and fix common issues, such as missing or invalid keys, incorrect data types, and more.
    2. PLIST Editor Pro: PLIST Editor Pro is a comprehensive tool for editing and repairing .plist files. It provides a user-friendly interface to view, edit, and repair plist files. It can automatically detect and fix syntax errors, missing keys, and other problems.
    3. Xcode: Xcode is Apple's integrated development environment (IDE) for macOS and iOS development. It includes a Property List Editor tool that can be used to view, edit, and repair .plist files. Simply open the .plist file in Xcode and use the editor to make necessary repairs.
    4. Text editors with XML/Property List support: Many text editors, such as Sublime Text, Visual Studio Code, and Atom, have plugins or built-in support for XML and Property List formats. These editors can be used to manually repair .plist files by identifying and fixing any syntax errors or inconsistencies.

    It's important to note that the effectiveness of automatic repair tools may vary depending on the severity and nature of the .plist file corruption. It's always recommended to create backups of the original files before attempting any repairs.

Hello! This is AI-based Hetman Software virtual assistant, and it will answer any of your questions right away.
Start Chat