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Workflows Disappeared + Lost Preferences

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Hi, I've changed my company name which has modified the folder location for DropBox on my local filesystem.


Alfred complained that the preferences file was missing, so I've followed the instructions to point Alfred preferences now to the new + correct location.


Still, even while I close and restart Alfred with the corrected preferences location:

1. each of my workflows are missing

2. preference settings are missing (like, for example: the keyboard shortcut for clipboard history)


Which is the step by step to get these things back into place?


I've verified that the workflows .plist are present there on DropBox. I only need the step-by-step to put them back into place for Alfred to recognize.


While I believe I have done this already: still the workflows window in Alfred preferences is empty.


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@Keith Helfrich Welcome to the forum.


If the location was renamed, but otherwise the contents was kept the same, pointing Alfred's sync location (from the Advanced prefs) to the new one should be sufficient. The file you want to find / keep backed up is your Alfred.alfredpreferences bundle.


There are a few other things to check with Dropbox:

  • Ensure the folder containing your Alfred preferences is set to always be available offline, which you can set by right-clicking the folder in Finder
  • Check the history of the file in Dropbox itself to make sure you're not looking at a legacy / previous version you'd used

If you keep a Time Machine backup of your Mac, you can revert to a date before your Dropbox change, and look for the Alfred.alfredpreferences bundles. Keep a copy of this somewhere safe and I'll help you reset your preferences :)



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Hi Vero, I have two machines that both point to the same DropBox folder location in the Advanced Settings → sync location.


In a secondary machine: (which I don't use often) the Alfred preferences remain accurate and the workflows are still available.

On the primary machine: I have this issue where the workflows are missing.


Also on the primary machine, I repeatedly encounter another issue where my clipboard history preferences become unchecked.

Specifically, these three check boxes found under Preferences → Features → Clipboard History:
□ Keep Plain Text
□ Keep Images
□ Keep File Lists

▴ For each of the above, after a reboot of the machine, the checkboxes are repeatedly unchecked.

▴ And also the clipboard history viewer hotkey is also reset after every reboot.



When I consider these two issues together on this primary machine where the problems are encountered, it would seem that likely the preferences file is not being read correctly (even while the DropBox sync location is set correctly).


Few questions:

1. How can I can export the preferences from my secondary machine and then import them to the primary computer?

2. Which other root causes can explain this behavior?

3. Is there any way to "force read" the preferences file?

   ▴ perhaps I could change the sync location away to something else, and then set it back again


Any thoughts?


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As the symptoms you describe are symptoms of a Dropbox folder of Alfred preferences not being made available offline did you specifically ensure as Vero mentioned:

On 3/3/2024 at 9:41 AM, Vero said:

Ensure the folder containing your Alfred preferences is set to always be available offline, which you can set by right-clicking the folder in Finder


You have not confirmed that is the case on the problem machine so, in view of the symptoms, I thought it worth stressing.



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Good catch @Stephen_C .


I am uncertain how Finder behaves with DropBox, as compared to the other cloud services like iCloud and Google Drive. Yet with DropBox on this machine there was no such ☁️ cloud / ↓ icon by the preferences folder or files that would indicate they were not already stored locally.


Nevertheless, as you suggest: I have now right-clicked upon the 📁 Alfred Preferences folder and chosen to make it available offline.

I'll keep an eye out for the next few days to discern if this alone is sufficient to solve the problem.


🙈 It is amazing to discover how frequently I use the clipboard history, because now nearly daily it is disappearing on me!

🤞🏽 Fingers are crossed this simple fix solves the problem.



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