the Life of Zim

14th December
written by dzimney

I’ve had a Wacom Bamboo Pen Tablet for the past year or so and love it. It’s hard to imagine going through my workday using a mouse now. However, I’ve found that from time to time the driver for my Wacom will fail when I login to my user account on OS X 10.5. Usually OS X asks if I’d like to relaunch the driver and everything is dandy, so I haven’t had to really do much anything about it; that is until today.

Today, I booted up my computer and my tablet driver failed and “relaunching” the driver didn’t help at all. I figured Apple must have made an update that conflicted with the Wacom driver, leaving me to reinstall the latest driver, which I downloaded from Wacom here. Unfortunately I found reinstalling the driver did no good. I restarted. Uninstalled the driver. Reinstalled the driver. Restarted. Nothing. Same problem over and over; once I login the driver fails and when I go to my preferences pane it tells me that it is unable to find my USB tablet. Unplug USB. Reboot. Plug in USB. Nothing.

Eventually I was able to discover that while the new driver did not seem to work for my user account, it worked fine on my login screen and for my “admin” account. So at least I knew the problem was specific to my user configuration. Now, armed with this information and Google I was really able to get to the root of the problem with the help of this post by someone going by the handle rausch over a year ago.

Quick Answer

When uninstalling (which should be done before reinstalling) the pen tablet driver, the Wacom uninstall script fails to remove a few key files located in the ~/Library/Preferences/ directory:


To fix the driver from failing, uninstall the driver — do this by holding down open-apple and clicking on the icon in the preferences pane. Then delete any of the above files that still exist in your ~/Library/Preferences directory — where “~” is your user directory (OS X recognizes this syntax). In my case I only need to delete two of the above files as they were the only two of the four still present in my ~/Library/Preferences directory. Reinstall the driver and with any luck, your tablet will function properly again. Keep in mind, this will reset your tablet preferences back to the default settings.

Thank you rausch, whoever you are. And I hope that by republishing these instructions, someone else will be able find a solution to their problem faster that I did.


  1. 16/10/2010

    Bless you. Hours of installing, uninstalling, searching, with no results. But this finally fixed the issue. Thanks again.

  2. 06/02/2011

    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! I’ve been unable to update or roll back the drivers for my Intuos 3 on my iMac, even after a reinstall for another issue. I was on the right track last night, realizing that Wacom now includes a utility that will remove both the driver and the settings, but still no joy. What I didn’t realize is that Wacom’s tool is still leaving ‘com.wacom.tabletpreferences’ behind – deleting that finally did the trick.

  3. 16/05/2011

    I just spent an hour trying to figure out why my tablet was not working, and you just fixed it in 60 seconds. Thanks!

  4. 01/02/2012

    Thank you very much!!!! : D I thought I had lost my magical energy from my pen.

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