PropertyLists, Preferences and Profiles for Apple Administrators

Property Lists, Preferences and Profiles for Apple Administrators CoverThese three topics seem minor, but can be a major headache for Apple Administrators. Mastering them will make you a better Apple Administrator.

Property Lists are a common configuration file format on macOS and iOS. Learn about the file structure, file formats and the tools and scripting languages that you can use to read and edit Property Lists.

Preferences are special use case of property lists. Learn about the special considerations and tools you need to work with preferences. Also learn how you can read and change user and system preferences safely.

Configuration Profiles provide and manage pre-defined settings for users and computers on macOS and iOS. Whether you use Apple’s Profile Manager, a commercial Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution like Jamf Pro or Filewave, or an open source management system like Munki, you will learn how configuration profiles work and how you can build custom profiles for many solutions.

Table of Contents

What are Property Lists?

  • XML Property List File format
  • other File formats

Editing Property Lists

  • Text Editors
  • Xcode
  • PlistEdit Pro
  • PlistBuddy
  • plutil
  • Python
  • AppleScript
  • Swift


  • Overview
  • defaults Command
  • Preference Domains
  • Python

Configuration Profiles

  • About Configuration Profiles
  • Installing Profiles
  • Creating Profiles


  • On Hidden Files
  • Internet Shortcut Files

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