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How to Reset the TeamViewer ID After Cloning a Mac

In Apple, Application, Fix It, General, How To, HTD Tech Tip, Software by Michael Sheehan16 Comments

Recently, I set up a new MacBook Pro for my step-mom where I used Apple’s Migration Assistant to easily copy over all of her data, applications and preferences. One of the applications that I actually use on her machine is TeamViewer which is fanstanstic if you need to provide remote assistance to a Mac or PC (you can actually set up a free account – I highly recommend this service). So one of the first things that I do is to configure TeamViewer on any machine that I may need to provide remote assistance to. As part of the Migration Assistant process, TeamViewer was copied over to the new Mac so I didn’t need to reconfigure anything…or so I thought.

Reset TeamViewer ID - remote control panel

There was a problem though. As I was going to reconfigure the old Mac for my daughter, I was also going to set up TeamViewer on that Mac. Sounds great right? Wrong. When TeamViewer sets up the TeamViewer ID, it makes it so that you cannot easily change it. Unfortunately, that means that on cloned Mac systems, the TeamViewer ID will be the same on the old and the new Macs, pretty much rendering TeamViewer useless when both cloned and original Macs are running.

I had read some support posts and tested out some things (like changing the MAC address) to try to reset the TeamViewer ID but until I actually contacted TeamViewer support, none of the other fixes worked. So, instead of having to search for the solution, I figured I would write out the easy steps to reset the TeamViewer ID.

How to Reset the TeamViewer ID After Clonging a Mac

Here are the steps (which I slightly modified by adding some additional lines for the latest version 10 of TeamViewer) to reset the TeamViewer ID. The commands below are for the Mac. (I would expect the process for a PC to be different so I’m not covering how to do this on the PC.)

NOTE: YOU NEED TO RUN THESE COMMANDS ON THE NEW (CLONED) MAC, NOT THE ORIGINAL MAC.

These are terminal commands, meaning you need to launch the Terminal application (usually found under Applications > Utilities).

This is what TeamViewer Support provided me with:

defaults delete ~/Library/Preferences/com.teamviewer.teamviewer9.plist
defaults delete ~/Library/Preferences/com.teamviewer.teamviewer9.Machine.plist
sudo defaults delete /Library/Preferences/com.teamviewer.teamviewer9.plist
rm -f ~/Library/Preferences/com.teamviewer.teamviewer9.plist
rm -f ~/Library/Preferences/com.teamviewer.teamviewer9.Machine.plist
sudo rm -f /Library/Preferences/com.teamviewer.teamviewer9.plist

(In case there are questions about the characters, here is an image with the commands.)

Reset TeamViewer ID - command line

However, since I had installed TeamViewer version 10, there were some other .plist files specifically for version 10.

Reset TeamViewer ID - go to preferences

You can check to see which version you have by going to the Finder and choosing the “Go” menu and “Go to Folder…”. You then put in “~/Library/Preferences/“ and look for the “com.teamviewer.teamviewer10.plist” for example.

Reset TeamViewer ID - view preference files

So if you have TeamViewer 10 installed, you will want to add some of these commands as well.

defaults delete ~/Library/Preferences/com.teamviewer.teamviewer10.plist
defaults delete ~/Library/Preferences/com.teamviewer.teamviewer10.Machine.plist
sudo defaults delete /Library/Preferences/com.teamviewer.teamviewer10.plist
rm -f ~/Library/Preferences/com.teamviewer.teamviewer10.plist
rm -f ~/Library/Preferences/com.teamviewer.teamviewer10.Machine.plist
sudo rm -f /Library/Preferences/com.teamviewer.teamviewer10.plist

Here is the image of the commands to reset the TeamView ID:

Reset TeamViewer ID - command line for TeamViewer 10

Once you run these commands to reset the TeamViewer ID, everything should work ok.

What the various commands mean

You should never run terminal commands unless you know what you are doing and what the commands mean and do. For reference, I explain each of these commands. If you ever need to know what the commands mean, just go into termain and type “man” (for manual) and the command. For example, the first one here was from “man defaults”.

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  • Defaults – allows users to read, write, and delete Mac OS X user defaults from a command-line shell. Mac OS X applications and other programs use the defaults system to record user preferences and other information that must be maintained when the applications aren’t running (such as default font for new documents, or the position of an Info panel). Much of this information is accessible through an application’s Preferences panel, but some of it isn’t, such as the position of the Info panel.
  • Defaults Delete – removes the default information.
  • rm – The rm utility attempts to remove the non-directory type files specified on the command line.
  • -f – Attempt to remove the files without prompting for confirmation, regardless of the file’s permissions.  If the file does not exist, do not display a diagnostic message or modify the exit status to reflect an error.
  • Sudo – sudo allows a permitted user to execute a command as the superuser or another user, as specified in the sudoers file.  The real and effective uid and gid are set to match those of the target user as specified in the passwd file and the group vector is initialized based on the group file (unless the -P option was specified).  If the invoking user is root or if the target user is the same as the invoking user, no password is required.  Otherwise, sudo requires that users authenticate themselves with a password by default (NOTE: in the default configuration this is the user’s password, not the root password).

These commands and the process outlined worked as I now have both the cloned and original MacBook Pros with different TeamViewer IDs. Also, there is a setting buried in the Advanced part of the TeamViewer that allows you to uninstall the application including the configuration files.

Reset TeamViewer ID - uninstall

I didn’t test this process but it try using other 3rd party uninstallers which are supposed to remove all traces of the app including .plists. Unfortunately the uninstallers still produced the same TeamViewer ID.

Regardless, I highly recommend using TeamViewer as a personal support tool for helping remote family members with technology issues. Again, it is free to use for personal use but if you are going to use it in a business or corporate environment, you need to purchase a license.

HTD says: Once you know the commands, it’s pretty easy to reset the TeamViewer ID.