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I'm not sure how, but some app is changing the file associations on my machine automatically. It is becoming very frustrating. Is there a way I can track what application is doing this?

What makes it really strange is that I don't use these 'newly defaulted' applications. For example, I never use Safari, but somehow it is set as my default browser. So I set Chrome as my default browser and a day later, the same thing happens.

I find that the file association on my media is changing as well to an esoteric video editing software which I don't use.

How can I go about figure out what's going on? I just figured maybe when the file association is changed it is logged somewhere. I took a look at /var/log/system.log but didn't see anything that could help me.

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1 Answer 1

Do you remember when this started?

File and URI associations are set in ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.LaunchServices.plist under the LSHandlers key, and not on a per-app basis. To check what process changes this file's contents, you could install fseventer and let it run in the background for a while.

This will gather lots of information, but you can filter it to the com.apple.LaunchServices.plist file. Here, for example, you can see how the cfprefsd changed the file. In this case, it's a deliberate change I did using RCDefaultApp, which in the background uses the CFPreferences agent process to modify the plist file.

With more information about this process, you could track down what's changing the associations.

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Thank you very much for the quick response. I'm going to install fseventer and see what it tells me. It first happend on Nov 29, once again on Dec 1 and then today. –  hba Dec 3 '12 at 23:43

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