Dec 27

I had a problem where I was adding names to my iChat buddy list, the name would show up and then it would disappear, could not see the person at all. I do have Chax installed so my Growl notifications would tell that the person was sighing off and on but the iChat Buddy list would give no feedback.

To fix the issue I first went and checked AIM Express to verify that iChat did in fact add that person to my buddy list ( and it did ). Then, I quit iChat, erased all four files in ~/Library/Preferences/:

Restarted iChat and entered my login and …. it is worked just fine now.

Note: One thing that I did notice is that even though I had added my friend correctly ( who was using Adium ), I still could not ping him. He had to add me first then ping me. This is not the case with iChat users.

62 Responses to “Can’t add a iChat Buddy – name disappears after 5 sec.”

  1. David Fisher Says:

    Hey! That worked. I should have tried that before, but for some reason my mind just never thinks to do it. Thank you!

  2. Rocco Says:

    good call, thanks!

  3. Jon Says:

    Thanks for the detailed post, it’s just what I needed. Keep it up.

  4. Jeff Kee Says:

    Those files don’t even exist on my computer. I did a full search for filenames containing The files do not even exist all around my computer. Any ideas?

  5. Jeff Kee Says:

    Update – when I try to add my friend, it even shows his status for like 5 seconds… the custom msgs like “Making a pile of Ramen” kidna stuff, with the Red dot indicating “away” or wahtever… arrrggghhh.

  6. Rob Cain Says:

    Thank you for this. This helps me immensely… somehow almost all of the buddies I add refuse to show up. This is an immense help. I am afraid though that doing this every time gets annoying because I have to reset all my preferences every time I add a buddy. Isn’t there a way to prevent this from happening? What causes this, anyway?

  7. Kamran Kazempour Says:

    No problem, you should not have to do it every time. Just one time and it should work perfectly after that.

  8. Rob Cain Says:

    I meant to imply that I *have* had to do this every time, not that I expected to. It works for all of the buddies I’ve added but not for the ones I add after I do it. Mnerg.

  9. Mary Says:

    same as #4 , these files dont even exist on my computer…what should i do?

  10. Kamran Kazempour Says:

    comments #4 and #8. The files have to exist on your computer. If you have launched iChat then they are there. Spotlight or the search box in the finder won’t locate them as they are system files. You have to go into ~/Library/Preferences/ yourself, locate the files and remove them.


  11. jo Says:

    hm… i looked under my library>preferences but i can’t seem to find the files. I have a bunch of other—— but nothing regarding ichat.

    sorry, i’m new with mac so i don’t really know what i’m doing.

  12. emily Says:

    oh, i have a question is that wether people who i add to ichat must be mac member? i mean when i add friends using nick yahoo, i cant add them. How can i do now?
    Help me

  13. jonturner Says:

    #10 Kamran,

    The users in (#4, #8) are correct. These files are in the

  14. Ifrank Says:

    thnjks soooo much it fix my problem work great

  15. JKT Says:

    This did NOT work for me. I removed all files in ~/Library/Preferences and the problem still occurs. Unfortunately I have to brand this a fundamental bug in iChat and switch to Adium. :-(

  16. JM Says:

    After I found the files it worked! Thanks for the help, this was bothering me

  17. Fiorentino Says:

    This worked for me! THANK YOU!

  18. Jim Says:

    Nice work dude!!!

  19. Kristen Says:

    Thanks so much for posting this! My sister was just having a problem with this on her new MacBook, and it fixed the issue right away! Awesome!!! :)

  20. Jaws Says:

    #4 #8 #10 #13…. In Linux, ‘~’ stands for your home directory (i.e. Users//), so unless Mac changed that too, the original post is correct. Of course I may be wrong, I’m not a Mac user.

  21. Jaws Says:

    #4 #8 #10 #13…. In Linux, ‘~’ stands for your home directory (i.e. Users/USERNAME/), so unless Mac changed that too, the original post is correct. Of course I may be wrong, I’m not a Mac user.
    PS: sorry for re-post, this doesn’t seem to backslash angled brackets.

  22. nicole Says:

    thanks so much. ive had this problem for a while and it drove me crazy. but the added info about it being under the user file THEn library was also helpful as i couldnt find these files in my library folder on my hard drive

  23. Kip Says:

    Worked great! Thanks so much.

  24. Wayne Says:

    Same problem–how frustrating. Your fix worked great. Thanks!

  25. Olga Says:

    Thanks so much guys this was a fantastic help!

  26. Jenna Says:

    Every time i try to add a buddy on iChat, it will appear for a second then blink a couple times then disappear. I tried fixing the settings in my preferences, and my iChat settings. It still wont work! Help!

  27. Tiiz Says:

    Worked for me too. I appreciate the help! My girlfriend was having the same problem.

  28. Anthony Says:

    This fix worked GREAT! Thanks a lot for posting!
    I also had to delete the below files to get it working: 21-10-57.plist 22-49-00.plist 22-49-08.plist

  29. shanep Says:

    Finally someone with an answer! Why doesn’t Apple have this posted somewhere? I’ve known a few people with the same issue.

  30. River Says:

    Thanks for this, but…
    I tried this and deleted all files (I found the plist files but not
    Then emptied trash and restarted.
    I am new to ichat, had entered only two buddy names.
    One appeared. I tried to add the other, nothing.
    I repeated deleting preferences, empty trash, restart.
    Same result.
    I am using Mac Os 10.5.4.
    The problem began when I installed Aim 4.7, which i thought i needed. i later uninstalled it, but that too did not fix the problem.
    Any suggestions appreciated. Thank you.

  31. Tyson Says:

    Thanks for the solution.

  32. mallory Says:

    dude… i dont even know how to get to library preferences

  33. Me Says:

    Finally, someone who can help >_

  34. Me Says:

    ***Finally someone who can help. #28 was right, that worked for me. GJ All!

  35. Dave Says:

    YAY! Thanks. Worked for me.

  36. newSeasons Says:

    your my hero!

  37. Lou Says:

    Is everyone that is having this problem a chax user (the original poster and myself are) – if so this is a chax bug and we can bring it up with Keith, if it isn’t one – — maybe he can find a fix and build it into chax anyway!

  38. Lou Says:

    woops. his name is Kent.

  39. jordan Says:

    worked perfectly!!! thanks alot!

  40. Sean Says:

    I did this and it worked great. Thanks…

    Can someone please email me and let me know why the error is happening everytime I add a new buddy. They disappear. :( Then I have to go through the steps every time. What is up with that?



  41. Cody Says:

    Worked great. Thanks!

  42. Josh Says:

    thanks so much!!

  43. Femida Says:

    Фемида-Аудит – Курсы Diploma in the International Financial Reporting – DipIFR подробнее

  44. MATT Says:


  45. Россия Says:

    Конференция на тему: «Система управленческого учета: разработка и применение». 13 ноября 2008 года в бизнес-центр «Холидей Инн Сущевский».

  46. Jessi Says:

    Thanks. Looked everywhere for a solution. This worked!

  47. your mom Says:

    I don’t think the solution is deleting system files

  48. Reality Man Says:

    This is a case where a zillion Google hits should be reduced to one: yours. Thanks.

  49. Pat the Mac Says:

    Worked!!!!!! Thnx!!!!!!!

  50. t-Bear Says:

    To answer someone above, there is a Yahoo Messenger app. for Mac. And there are apps that do all the IM’s, but iChat handles .Mac (or .Me as it is now called) AIM, Jabber & Google.

    YOu can have the Yahoo Messenger and the iChat open at the same time though. Get you friends to sign up for a free AIM account. Yahoo is on shaky ground anyway.

  51. Darian Says:

    I did the AIM expressions but i don’t really get what I am doing after that.

  52. erik Says:

    thank you!

  53. Nicole Says:

    Thanks so much! :)

  54. Catie Says:

    Thanks so much!

  55. gary Says:

    Thanks! Worked out well. :-)

  56. sam millner Says:

    i went to macintosh hd, went to library, went to preference, but there are no files that u list ed there. wat do i do

  57. Kamran Kazempour Says:

    Make sure you go to the Library folder in your Users’ folder… not the one listed under Macintosh HD

  58. Julius Says:

    Thanks so much for posting the iChat fix. I was unable to communicate with my fiancee while she was gone. This so great, I’m grinning from ear to ear.

  59. Sarah Says:

    Awesome! It worked like a charm, thanks!

  60. Liam Says:

    Thank you. I had the same problem and it was getting REALLY annoying. I tried it and it worked!

  61. Arden Says:

    I’m having the same problem…I don’t get it these aren’t real links…


  62. Kamran Kazempour Says:

    They are files on your file system.

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