Mac OS 10.4 Network Preference Problem "Your network settings have been changed by another application" Solved

I helped one user to solve a strange network preference problem today. The machine is a Macbook Pro running 10.4.11. According to the user, after he updated it with the 2008-006 patch from Apple, he started to get this message whenever he clicks on the Network preference in System Preferences.

Your network settings have been changed by another application.

If you click on OK, the message would pop up again right away and you cannot do anything about it until you force quit the System Preferences.

There is a discussion thread on Apple Support forum, which gave me hints to solve the problem. It turns out the security patch changes the way of saving PPP (or PPPoE) passwords. If you have a network profile that has PPP (or PPPoE) passwords, you would run into this problem. The way to fix it, is just resetting the passwords.

Here are the steps.

  1. Log on as a administrator on the machine.
  2. Run “System Preferences”.
  3. Click on “Security”.
  4. Check “Require password to unlock each System Preferences pane”
  5. Click on “Show All” and then click on “Network”
  6. Now it’s the fun part. You have to find any connection that has PPP or PPoE passwords saved. When you find it, uncheck “Save Password”. Enter the password and check “Save Password” again. Note that you need to click on the Padlock on the lower left corner first to make changes. Apply the changes as needed.
  7. You can go back to the “Security” pane and uncheck “Require password to unlock each System Preferences pane”.

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  1. Worked for me .. a most annoying and occasionally problematic “Apple Created Fault” has disappeared from my Power Book G4 .. mine was not just a PPP or PPoE issue. Thanks.

  2. Amida168 !
    Mac OS 10.4 Network Preference Problem “Your network settings have been changed by another application” Solved thanks to you and your clear simple instructions, I have been freaked for the last few days untill I found your post, , worked like a charm
    Thanks again

  3. STOP THE PRESSES!!! I’ve just found that by clicking the “show all” button at the top of the problematic system preferences box the computer will actually think that you’ve changed them and ask you to “apply” these changes. Obviously you must be very fast to click on it immediately after you’ve clicked on “done”.

  4. Thanks for the Post. That was most helpful. Great to know I wasn’t the only one experiencing this issue. So… there is one catch to this fix that had me stumped for a good while. If you have ever used an external modem on your system there could be PPP settings that you can’t get to without having the modem attached. What a pain! I could see “External Modem” in the port configurations, but it was grayed out and I couldn’t make any changes. The only way to edit the PPP password was to find a modem and plug it in. “External Modem” became an available option and I could now edit the settings. Such a stupid problem! Hope that nugget helps anyone who has a similar situation.

  5. Thank you for an excellent post.

    Macs are rarely this annoying, but on this occasion mine was.

    Thanks to you the problem is gone now.

  6. Have the same problem after updating to 10.4.11 but the solution isn’t working for me. I’ve tried it twice, tried the click show all and that didn’t work either. Really agravating problem.

  7. Thank you so much for posting a fix. I have been trying for weeks to figure this out. What would we do without folks like you who have the answers! Please continue to post answers to issues as they arise! Thanks again

  8. Thanks for the post. I now can at least manage my network prefs since security update 2008-007. I didn’t have any ppp or pppoe connections and the annoying sheet did not go away. Furthermore, since the update, my G4 laptop (10.4.11) no longer connected automatically to my wireless network on wakeup. Thanks Apple. I ended up deleting all of my network locations and created a new one which seems to have worked.

  9. Here’s the better solution:

    This currently reported problem, which manifests after applying Security Update 2008-06, can be fixed permanently by removing the following preferences files:

    Go to Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration and delete the following (suggest make copies to the desktop first if in doubt):

    All these files will regenerate as necessary when the associated system features are accessed. If you’re using Airport or Internet Sharing you’ll have to reestablish the appropriate settings, because these will have been lost when the preferences files are removed. Small price to pay, however for a permanent, and very simple solution to this irritating problem.

  10. Solution it is. I don’t think it’s a “better” solution. If you do that, all your network settings are gone. Some of my users have a lot of different profiles. I cannot imagine how much time is needed to recreate those profiles.

  11. I could not find any PPP/PPoE passwords (step 6). What worked for me was simply to delete 2 out of the 4 network “locations” that I use less, and then try again with step 7 — uncheck “Require password to unlock each System Preferences pane”.

    One of the configurations was for a Verizon Cellular Modem, which I suspect might have been the one to delete. Next time I use the modem I’ll have to run the software that creates this location.

  12. Didn’t manage to follow the instructions exactly, but it seems to have solved it.

    This has been bugging me for ages, many thanks!

  13. Wow! Thanks. I didn’t bother looking for any PPP or /PPoE passwords yet (cuz I don’t use them anymore). But changing the security setting did the trick.


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