How To Fix macOS Catalina Error Message “Preferences Error”

Since macOS Catalina was released there have been reports that after they updated to the new macOS, mac users are getting error message “Preferences Error: There was an error in Apple ID Preferences”. And most of the time, the error message just keeps appearing even if the user entered the correct Apple ID and Password.  

There are a few reasons why you are getting the Error “Preferences Error: There was an error in Apple ID Preferences”. It can be because there is a problem with Apple servers on the Apple system, or perhaps your Apple ID needs to be updated ie. change password. Read on below to find out potential solution on how to fix “Preferences Error: There was an error in Apple ID Preferences” on macOS Catalina. 

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Solution1 : Check Apple System Status: 

Check apple system status on their website to see if Apple ID is having some technical issues that’s causing the error message to keep appearing on the screen. If Apple ID service  is green, it means it is available and working properly. If that’s the case, then you can already tell that the problem is not caused by Apple. You can now try to do some troubleshooting on your end. 

Solution 2: Log Out and Sign back In iCloud

Most of the time, logging out and logging back into your iCloud resolves most of the issues with macOS Catalina as this refreshes iCloud account and settings that might have caused the error message to appear. To do this, simply follow the steps below: 

  1. On the upper left corner of the screen of your Mac, click on the Apple icon.
  2. Now click on System Preferences
  3. Click on Apple ID. (Note: with macOS Catalina, iCloud icon is no longer available and is now replaced with Apple ID tab)
  4. From the Apple ID, click on the Overview tab located at the options on the left side.
  5. Click on “Sign Out” at the bottom end.
  6. If prompted, choose and click “Keep a copy”. This is done to create a copy of the data. 
  7. To Sign into iCloud, do the same steps above. Make sure you entered the correct Apple ID and Apple ID password to avoid encountering problems with log in.

Solution 3: Update Apple ID

Perhaps you are using an old Apple ID password and that after updating to macOS Catalina, your password needs to be updated. You may want to change your password to a more stronger and reliable password instead.

To update Apple ID:

  1. Go to the Apple ID website.
  2. Log in to your Apple ID
  3. On the Security section, click on the Change Password tab
  4. You will then be asked to enter your current password followed by entering your new chosen password. You may need to re-enter the new password again to confirm 
  5. Now click on Change Password.
  6. Once Apple ID change is confirmed, go to your Mac to update Apple ID password.

Solution 4: Restart Mac

If all the above mentioned potential solutions have been tried and still the error is not resolved, restart your Mac as most users find this the easiest fix after doing all the ways above.

Here’s how to restart Mac:

  1. On the upper left corner of the screen of your Mac, click on the Apple icon
  2. Then Click on Restart tab
  3. Mac will now restart. Wait for it to start normally.
  4. You may need to enter Password on your Mac if required.

Still seeing “Preferences Error” There was an error in Apple ID Preferences” macOS Catalina? Connect with us:

If you have any questions & concerns regarding your macOS or iPhone , feel free to connect with us using this form. We will be of help and will provide you with a free technical support. Just make sure to provide us with the details as possible for us to make an accurate assessment and provide you appropriate intervention. Also, do let us know your experience along the way. I look forward to hearing from you.






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