How to delete UserDefaults data on macOS and Catalyst

⋅ 2 min read ⋅ UserDefaults Catalyst macOS

Table of Contents

UserDefaults is a commonplace to save app preferences and settings. And you might need to delete or reset this many times during development.

In iOS, if you want to delete the app's user defaults, you can simply delete the app. But that is not the case for macOS and Catalyst app.

To delete user defaults on macOS/Catalyst, we need help from the default command.

What is a defaults command

macOS applications and other programs use the defaults system to record user preferences and other information to be maintained when the application isn't running.

When you use UserDefaults in iOS, it is saved in the defaults system when translating to Catalyst.

The defaults command is a way to interact with these values.

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What is a domain

Every user defaults belong to a domain. The defaults delete command need to know a domain to identify the one you want to delete. To domain that your user defaults belong to depends on how you initialize them.

Domain for UserDefaults.standard

When you use standard user defaults, the system uses your app bundle id as a domain.

UserDefaults.standard.set("A", forKey: "a")

Domain for custom UserDefaults

UserDefaults.standard is not the only way to initialize a user defaults. You can initialize user defaults with a custom domain using init?(suiteName suitename: String?).

UserDefaults(suiteName: "Custom")

The suitname will be used as a domain. In this case, the domain is "Custom".

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After you know how to find the domain, here are two ways you can delete your user defaults.

Removes all information

To delete every key under user defaults, you use defaults delete domain.

defaults delete
// or
defaults delete


UserDefaults.standard.set("A", forKey: "a")
// defaults delete

UserDefaults(suiteName: "Custom").set("A", forKey: "a")
// defaults delete Custom

Remove a specific key

If you want to delete just one key, you can use defaults delete domain key.

defaults delete key
// or
defaults delete key


UserDefaults.standard.set("A", forKey: "a")
// defaults delete a

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