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Xcode 3: Common Solutions for Interface Builder Crashes

For people developing in Xcode, problems with interface builder are very common. Often the application will just start crashing upon launch. As Xcode has so many connections and integrations, there are multiple reasons that these problems can occur. Hopefully, these fixes will help get you started.

Like most developer’s tools, Xcode’s Interface Builder brings forth great emotions from coders. When it starts crashing for no reason, these common emotions are fury and anger. By their nature development tools are cutting edge and buggy regardless of the environment. Hopefully some of these fixes will help you get Interface Builder back up and running.

First, frequently people forget to reboot after installing (or reinstalling) Xcode. Even after installing from the official app store, Xcode really needs a reboot to get the kinks out.

A mac debugging tutorial wouldn’t be complete without recommending a plist purge. Navigate to ~/Library/Preferences and kill any related plist files such as

Interestingly enough, many users have recently had luck by reinstalling iTunes. I’m unsure if this is related to the flurry of iTunes betas being released or some incompatibility related to Lion. However, the newsgroups and forums are filled with people having success with it. It’s surely easy enough to try. It seems people are having better luck reinstalling the official iTunes code than from the betas. This has seemed to help with Xcode 3 and Xcode 4 installations.

If issues occur after updating Xcode (or some other installation borks things), completely uninstalling Xcode and then installing again will frequently help. Doing a complete uninstall is best performed by running this command from the terminal:

sudo /Developer/Library/uninstall-devtools --mode=all

If you are sharing code from other developers, you may become “coded into a corner” and be forced to update from version 3 to 4 in order to edit files without crashing. Installing from the app store seems the safest current method, but be sure to have completely exited from Xcode prior to installation. Xcode 4 integrates Interface Builder as an editor within the main Xcode application. Certainly, Xcode 4 has its own unique quirks so updating should not be done without consideration.

David Kirk
David Kirk
David Kirk is one of the original founders of tech-recipes and is currently serving as editor-in-chief. Not only has he been crafting tutorials for over ten years, but in his other life he also enjoys taking care of critically ill patients as an ICU physician.


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