I used the following command:

launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchAgents/com.apple.notificationcenterui.plist

in an attempt to disable notification center. I'm not sure that I got all of the commands right and appear to have corrupted the account that I executed it from - I get a grey screen when I try to login on that account. Fortunately I have another account on the machine with admin privileges so I can still use the machine. I would however like to restore the account to a working condition preferably without having to resort to a complete system restore from my time machine backup.

Is there a way of diagnosing the current status of this launchagent and returning it to its original state?


I did exactly the same thing yesterday - using launchctl to disable Notification Center corrupted my dock, icon bar, though it left the account barely functional. Restore from TM did not work; searching the affected home directory structure for diffs did not yield anything useful for restoring.

Removing and rebuilding the same user account (without deleting the user home directory) does appear to fix the issue: C.f.


Yes, still drastic, but if you read through the article it mentions that the corruption may be in /var/db, not in the user home directory. From there, YMMV.


If you want to restore your user files but not system software, you can use Migration Assistant.

Connect the external hard drive with the Time Machine backup to your computer. Open Migration Assistant from Macintosh HD /Applications/Utilities. Enter your administrative password if required. Under the migration method choices, choose From a Time Machine backup or other disk. Select the external hard drive containing the previous Time Machine backups (it may take some time to scan the disk.) Choose which “User Accounts” you would like to migrate.


launchctl unload -w modifies /var/db/launchd.db/com.apple.launchd.peruser.501/overrides.plist, and sudo launchctl unload -w modifies /var/db/launchd.db/com.apple.launchd/overrides.plist. Others with the issue could try modifying those files or restoring them from a backup.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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