SPSS 23 - Performance Issue Launching and Closing with MacOS




With SPSS Statistics 23 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

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: com.ibm.spss.plist 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/com.ibm.spss.plist
(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 com.ibm.spss.plist object to old_com.ibm.spss.plist

- Another option is to use the Terminal application and do the following:
rm -fR ~/Library/Preferences/com.ibm.spss.plist

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.

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