Prebinding is an optimization process that allows faster launching of applications in Mac OS X. Often, when a program is opened, it loads data from files called dynamic libraries. These libraries must be located each time a program is run since their memory addresses are usually undefined.

When a program incorporates prebinding, the addresses of the library or libraries referenced by the program are predefined. This saves time by avoiding unnecessary searching each time the program is run. The prebinding process happens during the "Optimizing" stage of the program's installation. While prebinding make take some time, it is more efficient to do this process once, rather than each time the program is run.

Prebinding is only possible with Mach-O executable programs, since CFM PEF binaries do not support prebinding.

Updated in 2006 by Per C.

quizTest Your Knowledge

Which of the following standardizes communication between computer systems?

OSI model
Client-server model
Site reliability engineering
Correct! Incorrect!     View the OSI Model definition.
More Quizzes →

The Tech Terms Computer Dictionary

The definition of Prebinding on this page is an original definition written by the team. If you would like to reference this page or cite this definition, please use the green citation links above.

The goal of is to explain computer terminology in a way that is easy to understand. We strive for simplicity and accuracy with every definition we publish. If you have feedback about this definition or would like to suggest a new technical term, please contact us.

Sign up for the free TechTerms Newsletter

How often would you like to receive an email?

You can unsubscribe or change your frequency setting at any time using the links available in each email.

Questions? Please contact us.