Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

After heavy manipulation with fonts, the font list (in word or photoshop) shows to me strange results.
What is the best methods of clearing font cache in SnowLeopard?


share|improve this question

Use atsutil from the command-line.

databases will remove fontd System or User databases along with any cache files. Removing databases may cause the loss of font registration state: fonts activated outside the standard font directories, font faces disabled, and font libraries.

New databases will be regenerated from fonts installed the standard font directories after the user logs out, restarts, or the fontd server is restarted.

Usage: atsutil databases [-remove | -removeUser] [-h]
-remove     removes databases for the system and current user.  Must be run as root.
-removeUser removes databases for the current user only
-h      help

This article recommends to shutdown the font server afterwards, but the atsutil man file disagrees:

server queries the status of fontd or shutdowns the fontd. Shutting down the fontd will spawn a new fontd. Shutting down the server is NOT recommended and will likely lead to misrendered text or application crashes.

You probably only should shutdown if necessary.

share|improve this answer

Safeboot (hold down the shift key after the bong sound) clears the font cache.

share|improve this answer

MainMenu is a nice utility for clearing caches, including font caches, and though it's not free anymore, its worth it.

share|improve this answer

You may also want to check out the Font Management in Mac OS X Best Practices guide to learn more about font organization, font cache cleaning, and which fonts are required for the operating system to function properly.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.