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Addon Spotlight: Starting from scratch

Since the release of Patch 2.4, Blizzard has recommended to players that they delete the contents of their Addons and WTF folders to ease the transition to the changes made with the new content patch. I've had a few people ask me how this is done, so here it is, folks; how to start from scratch.

First off, it might help to understand where your addons live and how your preferences are stored. The guts of your addons live in the Addons directory, the working parts so to speak. When you configure your addons, these preferences are stored in the WTF directory, which also provides a home for your macros, video settings and any other preferences you are able to change. In order to truly "start from scratch", you will need to remove all traces of your addons and their associated settings. This can present some frustration to those of you who don't want to reconfigure all of your settings, but it is part of the price paid for patches.

Keep reading to find out how you can do some spring cleaning in your World of Warcraft directory...There are two directories (also known as folders) that you will want to consider emptying in order to completely start over with your addons. If you have a default install of World of Warcraft, you can follow this default path:
  1. Open your Start menu
  2. Select My Computer
  3. Open the Local Disk (C:) directory
  4. Open the Program Files directory
  5. Find your World of Warcraft directory and open it
  6. Locate the Interface directory and open it
  7. Locate and open your Addons directory
  8. Take everything in that directory and drag it into your Recycle Bin
You've now removed all of the program files for your addons, but their configuration files are still present, which can cause problems if you install an updated version of an addon you previously used and configured. To prevent this and truly begin from scratch, you can delete the contents of your WTF folder. You can locate this folder by opening the directory called WTF in your World of Warcraft directory. (You would open it at step 6 above, rather than the Interface directory) I will continue the list for clarity
  1. Open the WTF directory
  2. Drag all the contents of this folder to the Recycle Bin
This will clear your World of Warcraft client of all addons and preferences. Keep in mind that this also removes your macros and keybindings, so use with caution.

For you Mac users, the file structure is the same, and getting to them is only slightly different. Here are steps for the Mac player:

  1. Open a Finder window
  2. Open your Applications directory
  3. Open the World of Warcraft directory
  4. Open the Interface directory (The WTF folder is also located here)
  5. In the Interface directory, open the Addons folder
  6. Empty the contents of the Addon folder to the Trash
As with the Windows instructions, you can diverge at the WTF folder (Step 4 above) and empty the contents of this folder as well, giving you a truly clean slate.

A word about the WTF directory, if more than one person plays on the machine, you will find their settings in there as well. In the WTF folder is a folder called Account. Within this folder are separate folders for each World of Warcraft account that has ever been played on the machine. You can delete the contents of these individually to reset the preferences for individual accounts. A step further, into the Account Name folder (whatever your World of Warcraft login is), you will find folders for each realm you play on, which hold folders for each character played on a given realm. As you can see, you can go as deep as you want to delete settings down to a character-by-character basis (or even each addon's saved preferences). I don't bother with this, as a fresh start can be refreshing, but do what you please, it's your $15 a month!

Once you've done this, you can start finding updated versions of your addons and perhaps create a new and exciting User Interface! Dismissed!

Filed under: How-tos, Add-Ons, Features, AddOn Spotlight, Guides

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