Frequently Asked Questions

What to do when GraphPad Prism Mac 6.0h crashes with OS X 10.11 El Capitan

FAQ# 1992    Last Modified 1-October-2015

Prism 6

We have released Prism 6.0h which fixes/bypasses many problems Apple introduced with OS X 10.11 El Capitan. If you are using 10.11.0, we strongly recommend updating whatever is current. Here is a list of fixes in 6.0h

To update Prism, drop the Help menu and choose Check for updates.  If you have problems, write to with your serial number. Or get the full installer here:

What if Prism 6 won't even launch?

On a few computers running El Capitan 10.11. In most cases, the problem is solved by updating El Capitan. If you still have crashing issues, you have two options.  

  • Create a new user account, and then install Prism 6.0h while using that account. 
  • Fix a font default that is probably causing the problem.
    • The easiest way to fix the problem is to run this small application. It first checks your font defaults. If it finds a problem, it offers to fix it (after you confirm). This will get Prism working again. If it doesn't find the font problem we know about, it does nothing (and tells you so). In this case, contact us for further help.
    •  You can also do it manually using Terminal as explained below (if you are a certified geek who knows what Terminal is):
1. Run the Terminal command "defaults read -g NSFont", which outputs the name of the font specified in computer's preferences plist for given user account.
2. If the output is Helvetica, run Terminal command "defaults delete -g NSFont", which reverts to system's hardcoded default which is Helvetica. It won't affect apps.
3. If the output is a font name other than Helvetica, Terminal command "defaults delete -g NSFont" should be used with caution because it will revert the font that applications typically use by default for documents and other text under the user’s control to Helvetica. But we think it is very unlikely that preferences file will contain non-Helvetica font, because there is no UI for users in system preferences to change such a font and hard to imagine why users or 3rd party apps need to change it.
4. If the output is "The domain/default pair of (kCFPreferencesAnyApplication, NSFont) does not exist", then the reason of hang is not the font issue -- this reports means that preferences plist was not changed and default hardcoded font name is used.


Prism 5

We know that Prism 5 launches under OS 10.11, but don't plan to test it in a detailed way. Several users using 10.11.0 have told us that Prism 5 is basically useless under El Capitan but others using 10.11.1 have told us it works fine. We haven't done extensive testing, and don't plan to issue any more updates for Prism 5. If Prism 5 doesn't work well for you, your choices are to downgrade to Yosemite (you'll find lots of web pages that explain how), upgrade Prism, or wait a few months and hope that a OS X update will solve the problems. Do make sure you are up to date with the last Prism 5, 5.0f.


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