How to verify and repair colorsync profiles in OS X

ColorSyncUtilityIconXColorSync is Apple’s technology for matching colors between image-handling devices, so an image shown on one will appear with the same tones and hues will appear the same on another. This can be seen if you use dual displays from different manufacturers, where one might show more reds or greens than another; however, if you properly calibrate your display, then you will allow your Mac to adjust for these color differences and make graphics on both appear the same.

To do this, ColorSync uses calibrated profiles that define the color response of each device you use and which translate these responses between devices, so when calibrated properly, devices should display almost exactly the same colors for image data sent to them.

ColorSync display settings

Ensure the ColorSync profile for your display is set properly (click image for larger view).

Since the ColorSync profiles are responsible for how colors are represented, if a problem occurs with one you use, then you might see odd color handling. This can include colors on your display appearing harsh, washed out, or have a tint of blue, green, or red. Sometimes you might not notice this until you use another monitor, or have two that are side-by-side. If such differences do not matter for you, then you have nothing to worry about; however, if your work involves graphics and images, then there are several ways you can go about fixing this problem.

Check your colorsync profiles

Open the Displays system preferences and then ensure the profile for your monitor is selected. If you have a profile as a separate file, then you can click the “Open Profile” button, or if your Mac is using a generic profile, then consider clicking the “Calibrate…” button to calibrate it. Spend time doing this, or optionally use a third-party routine for doing this, and you will have a far more accurate color match for your device than the generic profile that comes with your system.

Verify and repair your profiles

With use and especially with programs that manage or modify ColorSync properties, your profiles can become inadvertently damaged and no longer work properly. There are two ways you can check for this and repair it:

The Terminal
Apple includes a command line scriptable image editor called “sips” in OS X, which can be used in conjunction with the “find” command to locate and verify ColorSync profiles on your system. To do this, open the Terminal utility and then run the following two commands:

find /Library/ColorSync/Profiles/ -name "*.icc" -exec sips --verify {} \;
find ~/Library/ColorSync/Profiles/ -name "*.icc" -exec sips --verify {} \;

These should simply list the profiles you have in your system; however, if they show any additional warnings or errors in the Terminal output, then re-run them and replace the word “verify” with “repair” as follows:

find /Library/ColorSync/Profiles/ -name "*.icc" -exec sips --repair {} \;
find ~/Library/ColorSync/Profiles/ -name "*.icc" -exec sips --repair {} \;
Fixing colorsync profiles in OS X

ColorSync profile error will show up when you click Verify. The Repair button should ensure these are fixed (click image for larger view).

ColorSync Utility
Apple includes a ColorSync management tool that you can use to view profile information as well as verify and repair it. For those who are less savvy with the Terminal, this may be a more intuitive option:

  1. Open ColorSync Utility (in the /Applications/Utilities/ folder).
  2. Click the Verify button.
  3. If any errors are found, then click the Repair button to fix them.

When these routines are done, try selecting your profiles for use again, or replace them if they cannot be fixed.

Note that in some cases you might see a problem where the ColorSync Utility claims a profile cannot be fixed. In these cases, you will need to go to the profile in the Finder, get information on it, and ensure your username is added in the Sharing & Permissions section with both Read and Write privileges. When done, re-run the repair routine, and hopefully that will allow the profile to be fixed.

11 thoughts on “How to verify and repair colorsync profiles in OS X

  1. MaX

    ColorSync Utility cannot repair on Mac with OS X 10.9.3 (Mavericks):

    Searching for profiles…
    Checking 80 profiles…
    /Library/Application Support/Adobe/Color/Profiles/RedBlueYelllow.icc
    Tag ‘pseq’: Required tag is not present. Could not be fixed.
    /Library/Application Support/Adobe/Color/Profiles/Smokey.icc
    Tag ‘pseq’: Required tag is not present. Could not be fixed.
    /Library/Application Support/Adobe/Color/Profiles/TealMagentaGold.icc
    Tag ‘pseq’: Required tag is not present. Could not be fixed.
    /Library/Application Support/Adobe/Color/Profiles/TotalInkPreview.icc
    Tag ‘pseq’: Required tag is not present. Could not be fixed.
    Repair done – 0 out of 4 profiles fixed.

    How to fix it?
    Thanks.

    1. B. Jefferson Le Blanc

      Many of my Adobe color profiles were reported as damaged as well. I added my user name plus read and write privileges to the enclosing folder, as Topher suggested, and then applied the changes to the enclosed items (under the gear menu), which is far easier than changing the enclosed items one by one, and this enabled Profile First Aid to fix a few that could not be fixed the first time around. The same procedure enabled me to fix all but two of the profiles in the Library/ColorSync/Profiles folder as well.

      The Adobe profiles are not, in any case, used to profile monitors; they may still work in Adobe’s apps, supposing you have an occasion to use them. In any case, it may be possible to reinstall the Adobe profiles from the application installer DVD, if you have one. If you have any trouble reinstalling them, you can use Pacifist to extract them and install them manually.

      I had only one monitor profile that could not be repaired. Since I never use it anyway, I just deleted it.

      Equally important, for some, may be their printer profiles. I had no errors on these. If some are damaged you should be able to download them again from the printer manufacturers web site. Indeed, many, like Epson, offer numerous additional profiles covering their different kinds of ink and many kinds of paper. Of course, that goes beyond the scope of this article, but it’s good to know if you’re thinking about getting into serious printing, where color profiling is every bit as important as it is for monitors.

      1. MaX

        In my case the issues remain (not fixed) after adding my username (I am also the Admin) and Read & Write privileges

  2. PJ

    Some of the problem icc profiles are in System/Library/Colorsync/Profiles folder and inaccessible from within the booted drive. In Yosemite I had 4 unfixable profiles in /Library/CS/Profiles and 4 in the System Colorsync folder. In El Capitan I have 5 in each. I have a Spyder 5 calibrator and wonder if I can get accurate reading if the system profiles for the display are corrupt.

  3. Addis ATNAFU

    ……you will need to go to the profile in the Finder, get information on it, and ensure your username is added in the Sharing & Permissions section with both Read and Write privileges. When done, re-run the repair routine, and hopefully that will allow the profile to be fixed…..
    ……

    how do i get to the above information, ( profile in the finder ? would you please write me the procedure how to find the procedure in the finder ?)

  4. Yogesh

    hello can you help?

    by mistake got deleted few files from colorsync folder, and now I am unable to login to the my macbook air?

    can you help to get log in?

    the system is keep on login screen and freezes on the same place.

  5. Willetta

    I was trying to install the latest version of Adobe Creative Cloud and it repeatedly fails with this
    error message, which is not on any of the list in the help area of Adobe or Apple:
    Exit Code 151
    – 2 fatal error(s), 0 error(s), 1 warnings(s)
    FATAL: Error (Code = 151) executing in command ‘CreateMacAliasCommand’ for package:
    ‘AdobeColorCommonSetRGB_1_0-mul’, version:1.0.4
    FATAL: Error occurred in install of package (Name: AdobeColorCommonSetRGB_1_0-mul
    Version: 1.0.4). Error code: ‘151’
    WARN: Unable to delete file at “/Library/ColorSync/Profiles/Recommended”.
    —–
    Then I go to ColorSync.
    I run the repair function, but there are 4 errors that will not repair. Theses errors are preventing
    Adobe Creative suite (Photoshop and Illustrator)from updating or re-installing on my Mac.
    —–
    ColorSync Utility cannot repair on Mac with OS X El Capitan version 10.11.6

    Searching for profiles…
    Checking 80 profiles…
    /Library/Application Support/Adobe/Color/Profiles/RedBlueYelllow.icc
    Tag ‘pseq’: Required tag is not present. Could not be fixed.
    /Library/Application Support/Adobe/Color/Profiles/Smokey.icc
    Tag ‘pseq’: Required tag is not present. Could not be fixed.
    /Library/Application Support/Adobe/Color/Profiles/TealMagentaGold.icc
    Tag ‘pseq’: Required tag is not present. Could not be fixed.
    /Library/Application Support/Adobe/Color/Profiles/TotalInkPreview.icc
    Tag ‘pseq’: Required tag is not present. Could not be fixed.
    Repair done – 0 out of 4 profiles fixed.
    ——–
    What worked for me:
    Thank you B. Jefferson Le Blanc for mentioning, “Equally important, for some, may be their printer profiles. I had no errors on these. If some are damaged you should be able to download them again from the printer manufacturers web site. Indeed, many, like Epson, offer numerous additional profiles covering their different kinds of ink and many kinds of paper.”

    I have an Epson printer. i deleted the printer, deleted the problem profiles, restarted my computer. Than I was able to download and install the latest versions of Adobe CC 2015.5

    Mission accomplished!

Comments are closed.