Backup and Restore Dashboard Widgets

Time Machine is one solution for backing up your Dashboard Widgets, but this option is not always optimal, especially when you have limited hard drive space, or if you would rather use other backup methods. Luckily, you can backup your widgets and reinstall each of them manually without much effort.

How to Backup

  • Step 1: Choose go to folder in Finder by typing Shift + Command + G and go to "~/Library/Preferences"

  • Step 2: In the Finder window, search for every com.apple.dashboard file. Choose to sort files by name. Select all of the files the Finder displays, then copy them to a separate folder.

  • Step 3: Go to folder "~/Library/Widgets" Copy this folder along with all of the files to another backup folder. It is fine if you wish to only save only select widgets and not all of them.


Now all of your widgets and their associated files are backed up. Be sure to backup all of these files again if you decide to update your library otherwise you will have issues restoring them.

How to Restore

  • Step 1: On a Mac with which you want to restore your widgets, go to folder "~/Library/Preferences"

  • Step 2: Search for all com.apple.dashboard files, highlight all of them and send them to the trash.

  • Step 3: Highlight all of your previously backed up com.apple.dashboard files and move them to "~/Library/Preferences"

  • Step 4: Go to "~/Library/" and move your Widgets folder here.


Now simply restart your Mac and your widgets will show when you view your Dashboard. This has been confirmed to work with Macs running OS X 10.5 and higher.