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 27 Apr 2022 at 4:00
Edited: MathWorks Support Team on 27 Apr 2022 at 17:02
To regenerate your MATLAB preferences, do the following:
1. Locate the MATLAB preferences directory for your user account.
The default location of the preferences directory is at the following location:
C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Roaming\MathWorks\MATLAB\R2021a (on Windows)
/home/$USER/.matlab/R2021a (on Linux)
/Users/$USER/Library/ApplicationSupport/MathWorks/MATLAB/R2021a (on MacOS)
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 set up. 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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More Answers (3)

Image Analyst
Image Analyst on 5 Jan 2021
Resetting your preferences will remove any Shortcuts/Favorites you had set up on the Quick Access Toolbar in the upper right corner of MATLAB. To restore these you need to
  1. Copy over the FavoriteCommands.xml file from your old/prior settings folder to your new one.
  2. Copy over the shortcuts_2.xml file from your old/prior settings folder to your new one.
  3. Restart MATLAB
This will now let the Favorites be seen under the Favorites button on the Home tab of the tool ribbon, but it does not put them back onto the Quick Access Toolbar. To do that, you need to
  1. Go to the Home Tab and Click the arrow on the Favorites and select Quick Access. Your favorites should be there now, but will be without check marks, meaning they are not showing up on your toolbar.
  2. Check all the Favorites that you want to show up in your Quick Access Toolbar and click the Apply button.
  3. If you want the words/labels then be sure to click the "Show Label" checkbox. It applies to only the items you are on, not the whole list of items.
  4. The shortcuts should show up as buttons on the Layout section of the window now.
  5. Now to rearrange their order, you click and drag the button in the Layout section to the desired location.
  6. Then click OK

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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