IBM SPSS Fixes for Common Issues

Created on

 If you are experiencing one of many possible issues with SPSS on a Mac, follow these instructions to reset your SPSS to its default state.


Some common problems that occur with SPSS are:

  • Toolbars disappearing
  • Top menu missing items
  • SPSS not opening or taking a long time to open


The following link has detailed instructions on how to reset SPSS to its default state (, but they have also been copied here and simplified.


  1. Make sure that SPSS is closed.
  2. Open Terminal
    1. Terminal is in your Applications folder within Utilities.
  3. First, enter “killall -u {CURRENT_USER} cfprefsd”, except type your user name instead of {CURRENT_USER}
  4. Hit Enter. If you get no error message, the command went through.
  5. Second, enter “rm -fR ~/Library/Preferences/
  6. Hit Enter. If you get no error message, the command went through.
  7. Restart your computer and open SPSS


IBM SPSS Statistics Error at launch: The application has failed to start because its side-by-side configuration is incorrect.

If you encounter this error, please try using this resolution, detailed in this documentation:


Administrator Privileges Error in License Authorization Wizard

If you encounter an error where you cannot input your license key for SPSS 23, please see this documentation for a resolution:

Was this article helpful?
0 out of 0 found this helpful
Have more questions? Submit a request