MATLAB 2016a error: "The desktop configuration was not saved successfully"

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After a fresh install of MATAB 2016a (along side MATLAB 2015b) on a Win7 machine I get the following error message whenever I start MATLAB:
The desktop configuration was not saved successfully
I've seen previous posts about this problem, the suggestion on all of them boils down to checking file permissions for the preferences directory (i.e the directory returned by prefdir) and if that doesn't work then deleting MATLABDesktop.xml and restarting MATLAB.
I've tried both approaches and in fact the above message appears also when MATLAB is run as Administrator. It seems that MATLAB is able to write the MATLABDesktop.xml (it reappears after I delete it and restart MATLAB) but the file contents are always empty.
Possibly related: MATLAB R2016a doesn't save user setting. Similar to that case I have Oracle Java 8 set as MATLAB_JAVA, but I do not get any exception on startup except for the above error. My MATLAB 2015b installation uses the same MATLAB_JAVA but does not fail in saving my preferences.
Any help is appreciated.
Blake on 18 Feb 2017
I'm having this issue as well. I'm on Windows 10 Pro and using a custom MATLAB_JAVA (Server JRE I'm on MATLAB Student 2016b.
Using this particular version of Java also breaks the Help documentation, disallowing the contextual menu, copy/paste, and bookmark links in the documentation.
I can't go back to default MATLAB_JAVA path because MATLAB crashes whenever my computer resumes from sleep. Really frustrating.

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Answers (2)

John Anzola
John Anzola on 11 Jan 2020
Good day
In my case I solved it with:
cd ~/.matlab
sudo chmod a+w -R R2018a/

denny on 6 Apr 2017
you should set your jre to jdk1.7.0_xx. The jdk1.8.0_121 can not pass the building jar.

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