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How to banish the Final Cut Pro registration screen forever

Update: We've now developed an automated solution for this with System Toolkit in FCS Maintenance Pack.

Everyone hates it - the annoying "please register" screen that pops up every 5 or 6 launches of Final Cut Pro and Apple's other ProApps. Of course, the easiest way to get rid of it is to just register but that may not always be practical or advisable. Many companies do not connect their editing machines to the internet (quite rightly) and some of the tinfoil hat-wearers among us might not be keen on giving their personal data out to Apple.

Whatever the reason, here is a method of stopping the Final Cut Pro registration screen from appearing again without having to register.

1. Make sure all Final Cut Studio applications are closed.

2. Go to /Library/Application Support/ProApps and open the file Final Cut Studio System ID.

3. In Property List Editor, click the arrow next to Root and you will see some details about the unique ID that FCS has created for your machine. On this machine, I upgraded from Final Cut Studio 1 to Final Cut Studio 2, so I have two IDs listed under 100-1 and 100-6. If you look under fullKey1, it tells me that the original ID is marked 100-1 so the new one (FCS 2) must be 100-6.

Yours may differ a little but if one doesn't work, try the other.

Update: If you don't have the Apple Developer Tools installed, you won't have a copy of Property List Editor on your system. In this situation we recommend using System Toolkit in FCS Maintenance Pack.

4. On the 100-6 option (or whatever yours says), double-click the data under the Value tab to select it and then copy it to the clipboard.

5. Go to /Library/Preferences and open

6. Click the arrow next to Root and delete all of the entries in the list.

7. Now select Root and click New Child. Enter the name AECoreTechRegInfo, select Data as Class and paste the value you copied earlier into the Value column.

Update: For Final Cut Studio 3, you need to add an additional String with the name AECoreTechRegister and value of YES.

8. With the entry you just created still selected, click New Sibling up the top and type AECoreTechRegSent, keep the Class as String and enter a value of YES. Your final plist should look like this:

9. Save the file and enjoy a nag-free Final Cut Studio experience. It works for all applications in the Studio, not just FCP.

It is worth noting that this works for all of Apple's ProApps including Shake, Aperture and Logic. For Shake, use /Library/Application Support/ProApps/Shake System ID and /Library/Preferences/ The issue is especially annoying with Shake because if the registration screen appears, Shake will "forget" the project or file you wanted to open, so you have to open it again.

Also, if you do want to register but don't want to keep opening and closing the application until the registration dialog appears, just delete the file, launch FCP and it will appear immediately.

Posted by Jon Chappell on Mar 15 2008 to Final Cut Studio, Compositing, Video Editing