How to access Preferences and Settings on MacBook

  • The Welcome page says "You can open up Preferences any time to view and change your f.lux settings" but WHERE do I find the preferences? Fine, but now that I've downloaded f.lux and chosen my preferences, WHERE ARE THEY NOW? (I've tried looking under Mac System Preferences menu, clucking on the f.lux icon on my launch pad). What are the clicks to even FIND the preferences?

  • Good question and since I wanted to know the answer too I went hunting for it.

    The answer is good news and bad news. The good news is it's all in one preferences file here: ~/Library/Preferences/org.herf.Flux.plist

    The bad news is that it is saved in the binary plist data format, so chances are that if you edit it manually with a text editor then there's a good chance you'll break the file format and thus all the existing saved preferences.

    If you decide to do it anyway, then make absolutely sure you make a backup copy first.

    The simplest and simultaneously safest way to do this is to do this:

    1. Open a terminal (e.g /Applications/Utilities/ and change to a temporary directory somewhere. For this example I use a flux specific directory in my home directory:

      cd ~/dev/osxapps/flux
    2. Copy the preferences file there:

      cp -p ~/Library/Preferences/org.herf.Flux.plist .
    3. Convert the binary plist format to XML:

      plutil -convert xml1 org.herf.Flux.plist
    4. Open the file in the text or XML editor of your choice. I usually use oXygenXML Editor for dealing with XML, but it's proprietary, very much not free and *significantly overkill for this. Emacs or Atom are more than fine for something like this situation and provides semantic display of the elements. I decided to add disable values for iBooks by inserting two lines and editing a third:


      The edited line ws just below to change the integer value for the disableCount element. It originally had five apps and now I made those lines say (only the second of these two are edited).:

    5. Once that's done, save the XML file as is and convert it back to the binary format:

      plutil -convert binary1 org.herf.Flux.plist
    6. Make absolutely certain you have a backup of the original file:

      mkdir backups
      cp -p ~/Library/Preferences/org.herf.Flux.plist backups/
      ls -l backups/
    7. Close Flux and then copy your edited version into the original file location:

      cp -p org.herf.Flux.plist ~/Library/Preferences/org.herf.Flux.plist
    8. Launch Flux again and enjoy your new settings! :)

    By the way, the example I used here I was trying the first time while writing it and it worked flawlessly.

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