File Type macOS Property List File IconmacOS Property List File
File Format Proprietary (Apple)
Usage Runs when opened
Rank ★ ★ ★  Common

Settings file, also known as a "properties file," used by Mac OS X applications; formatted in XML and based on Apple's Core Foundation DTD; contains properties and configuration settings for various programs.

PLIST files can be saved in a text or a binary format. The text-based documents and can be edited with a text editor. However, they typically should not be edited by the user, since they are modified by their respective programs as needed.

Property list files included with applications can be created and edited by the developer using Apple's Property List Editor, which is included with Apple Developer Tools. They can also be opened and edited using a third-party PLIST editing program.

Important: You can convert PLIST files between XML and binary formats using the plutil command line tool:

  • Binary to XML: plutil -convert xml1 file.plist
  • XML to Binary: plutil -convert binary1 file.plist

Open With

IconMicrosoft Notepad

IconCorel WordPerfect

IconSmithsoft Plistinator


IconApple Xcode

IconFat Cat PlistEdit Pro



IconSmithsoft Plistinator

Updated October 28, 2014
Information from the PC File Extensions Reference