Why do I get an "Error using eval: Undefined function 'workspacefunc' for arguments of type 'struct'." error when starting MATLAB?

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Why do I get the following error when starting MATLAB?
Error using eval
Undefined function 'workspacefunc' for arguments of type 'struct'.

Accepted Answer

MathWorks Support Team
MathWorks Support Team on 17 Feb 2021
Edited: MathWorks Support Team on 17 Feb 2021
This answer was flagged by Stefanie Schwarz
This error indicates that MATLAB is unable to read your pathdef.m file. This can occur because the permissions on your pathdef.m file prevent the user running MATLAB from reading it, but it can also occur if your pathdef.m file has become corrupted.
1) First, locate your pathdef.m file. From MATLAB, run the command
>> which pathdef
It is usually located at <matlabroot>/toolbox/local/pathdef.m. On Windows this would be:
C:\Program Files\MATLAB\RXXXXx\toolbox\local\pathdef.m
You may be able to resolve this issue by changing the permissions on your pathdef.m file.
Windows:
  1. Right-click on “pathdef.m” file, select “Properties”.
  2. Go to “Security” tab and click “Advanced”.
  3. Go to “Owner” tab and click “Edit”.
  4. Click “Other users or groups…”
  5. Enter “Everyone" and click “Ok”
  6. Under “Change owner to”, select “Everyone”. Click “Ok”
  7. Click “Edit…”
  8. Under “Group or user names”, select “Everyone”
  9. Click “Allow” check box for “Full control”
Mac & Linux:
Open a Terminal window Run the following command:
sudo chmod 777 $MATLABROOT/toolbox/local/pathdef.m
2) If the above does not resolve the issue then your pathdef.m file may be corrupted or have errors. Regenerate pathdef.m by performing the following steps:
  1. Delete pathdef.m
  2. Open MATLAB again (you will see errors).
  3. Run the following commands:
>> restoredefaultpath
>> rehash toolboxcache
>> savepath
  1. Rename the temporary file created in <matlabroot>/toolbox/local to pathdef.m
  2. Restart MATLAB.
3) As a last resort, reinstalling MATLAB should resolve the issue. If reinstalling MATLAB does not resolve the issue then there may be another application on your machine which is interfering with MATLAB. If the issue persists even after reinstalling MATLAB, please contact MathWorks support .
  12 Comments
Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 13 Jun 2021
Windows 10:
Using Windows Explorer,
  1. Right-click on “pathdef.m” file, select “Properties” (it will probably be the last item in the menu)
  2. Go to “Security” tab (near top of Properties) and click "Edit" in the "Change permissions" line.
  3. You will be shown a tab that has the filename near the top and "Group or user names" below that.
  4. Click “Add".
  5. In the "Enter an object name to select" area, enter "Everyone", and click "Check Names". The "Everyone" you entered should become underlined. Click OK
  6. In the "Permissions for Everyone", list, click "Modify". This will also enable several other entries. Click OK.
  7. You are now back at the Security properties for the file. Click OK

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