I've previously set a file to be crontab source file with crontab filename. How can I set it back to use default source? (the one that is modified with crontab -e)

Thank you.

  • 1
    Can you explain more? what exactly does "set a file to be crontab source file with crontab filename" mean? What commands or steps did you do,exactly? Jul 1, 2016 at 13:19
  • I ran crontab some_file.txt but I totally misunderstood what it does. I explained some more in the reply to @nobody's answer.
    – Nina
    Jul 2, 2016 at 17:31

1 Answer 1


Try (in terminal): $ crontab -r where the -r flag removes current crontab configuration.

You can also use $ crontab -e and manually delete everything inside.

Other options are:

  • -l to list crontab configuration
  • -e to edit crontab configuration

To edit someone else's crontab you can use -u followed by the corresponding username.

  • Correct answer ! -- @Nina, please help yrself anytime to $ man crontab in terminal. Man pages are yr friend. -- Something else to be added perhaps to make above answer slightly more complete: A user crontab is logically created the first time a user edits its crontab. It is located at /var/spool/cron/crontabs/user where user is the username know to yr system. You'll never have to go there though. Always use $ crontab -e to edit yr crontab and $ crontab -l to merely list its content. After removing yr crontab you can start again with a clean slate just typing $ crontab -e.
    – Cbhihe
    Jul 1, 2016 at 13:49
  • Okay this is silliness on my part. I read this superuser.com/a/391248 and somehow conclude that running crontab some_file.txt will set some_file.txt as the crontab source file (as in, cron would regularly scan that file instead). So it doesn't and will only reinstall crontab with some_file.txt content, and crontab -e and saving will reinstall crontab as usual (right?). Thank you for the answer!
    – Nina
    Jul 2, 2016 at 16:40

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