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Performance issue on Mac OS X Launching and Closing SPSS Statistics 21 or 22.

Technote (troubleshooting)


With SPSS Statistics 21 or 22 software installed on Mac OS X.
The software was running normally, but for what ever reason, the program might fail or close improperly by using Force Quit several times.


This has been identified as a product defect under APAR PM90266


This technote applies with any Mac OS X compatible with Statistics 21 or 22, Not version 23.

- IBM SPSS Statistics 21 release is supported on Apple Macintosh 10.6 (Snow Leopard), 10.7 (Lion), and 10.8 (Mountain Lion) with Intel processor.

- IBM SPSS Statistics 22 release is supported on Apple Macintosh 10.7 (Lion), and 10.8 (Mountain Lion) with Intel processor.
Note: IBM SPSS Statistics 22 for Macintosh (Mavericks, OSX 10.9 Operating System) is not officially supported until Statistics 22 FixPack 1 is released.

Note: Windows computers see
Technote 1652535

Note: For Statistics 23.0 Windows or Mac OS X, refer to technote: 1640411

Diagnosing the problem

One or more of the following symptoms might occur that this resolution can solve.

(1) Statistics takes an abnormally longer time to start and close than when the software was initially installed.

(2) Very slow response and performance with using the software.

(3) The 'Data Editor' menu no longer appears under the Main menu bar.

Resolving the problem

Delete the following file: on your Macintosh to dramatically reduce the opening and closing of the Statistics software.

- You can delete it by opening the Finder and locate the Library/Preferences folder: /Library/Preferences/
(1) Restart your Mac.
(2) Open 'Finder'.
(3) Select the 'Home' (house) icon (folder) in the left-hand pane.
(4) Select the 'Go' menu at top of screen.
(5) Press the 'Option' key. The list of menu options will now include 'Library'.
(6) Select the 'Library' menu option.
(7) Open the 'Preferences' folder.
(8) Rename the object to

- Another option is to use the Terminal application and do the following:
rm -fR ~/Library/Preferences/

Finish and test your changes by doing the following:

(9) Launch Statistics
(10) Work with the program a bit.
(11) Close the software (It should be quicker, do not force quit)
(12) Re-launch Statistics
(13) Work with the program a bit.
(14) Close the software (do not force quit)
(15) Launch the software

NOTE: When you launch Statistics for the first time, it will take a little longer than subsequent launches, until you reboot your computer again. This is related to Java initialization routines.

- FYI: Additionally, if you are using Mac OSX Mavericks 10.9.x, you need to stop the process that protects this file and restores it (it is deleted):

Since OSX 10.9.x Mavericks a cached copy of your "plist" file is stored that uses a background process: CFPREFSD
Deleting the "plist" file and restarting SPSS Statistics does not create a new copy of these files.
Rather, Mavericks restore its cached copy.
Only by stopping the "cfprefsd" process and starting SPSS Statistics, will it generate a new "plist" preference file and default toolbar.

When you go to Finder - Applications - Utilities and open Activity Monitor on the 10.9.x computer you see that there is a CFPREFSD process visible for root user and for the current logged in user.
You need to stop the CFPREFSD process for the current user. Do so in the Terminal application by running the following command:

killall -u {CURRENT_USER} cfprefsd

Where {CURRENT_USER} is replaced with the person's user ID. One can get the user ID by typing "whoami" at a Terminal prompt.

Should removing these files and running the program does not resolve the issue, you might need to remove all of them and reinstall the program.

Related information

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Document information

More support for: SPSS Statistics

Software version: 21.0, 22.0

Operating system(s): iOS

Reference #: 1651225

Modified date: 27 August 2014