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Undefined function 'workspacefunc' — How to change search path back after accidentally changing it

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Bill Tubbs
Bill Tubbs on 24 Jul 2020
Commented: Walter Roberson on 25 Jul 2020
I couldn't remember the function to check if a directory exists so I typed the following, and then accepted the suggested correction:
>> ispath('plots')
Unrecognized function or variable 'ispath'.
Did you mean:
>> path('plots')
Warning: Name is nonexistent or not a directory: /Users/billtubbs/gel-2005/notes/10/plots
> In path (line 34)
com.mathworks.jmi.MatlabException: Method 'workspaceUpdated' is not defined for class 'internal.matlab.variableeditor.MLNamedVariableObserver' or is removed from MATLAB's search path.
com.mathworks.jmi.MatlabException: Method 'workspaceUpdated' is not defined for class 'internal.matlab.variableeditor.MLNamedVariableObserver' or is removed from MATLAB's search path.
com.mathworks.jmi.MatlabException: Method 'workspaceUpdated' is not defined for class 'internal.matlab.variableeditor.MLNamedVariableObserver' or is removed from MATLAB's search path.
com.mathworks.jmi.MatlabException: Method 'workspaceUpdated' is not defined for class 'internal.matlab.variableeditor.MLNamedVariableObserver' or is removed from MATLAB's search path.
com.mathworks.jmi.MatlabException: Method 'workspaceUpdated' is not defined for class 'internal.matlab.variableeditor.MLNamedVariableObserver' or is removed from MATLAB's search path.
com.mathworks.jmi.MatlabException: Method 'workspaceUpdated' is not defined for class 'internal.matlab.variableeditor.MLNamedVariableObserver' or is removed from MATLAB's search path.
com.mathworks.jmi.MatlabException: Method 'workspaceUpdated' is not defined for class 'internal.matlab.variableeditor.MLNamedVariableObserver' or is removed from MATLAB's search path.
com.mathworks.jmi.MatlabException: Method 'workspaceUpdated' is not defined for class 'internal.matlab.variableeditor.MLNamedVariableObserver' or is removed from MATLAB's search path.
com.mathworks.jmi.MatlabException: Method 'workspaceUpdated' is not defined for class 'internal.matlab.variableeditor.MLNamedVariableObserver' or is removed from MATLAB's search path.
com.mathworks.jmi.MatlabException: Method 'workspaceUpdated' is not defined for class 'internal.matlab.variableeditor.MLNamedVariableObserver' or is removed from MATLAB's search path.
Now I get these errors whatever command I type (including path). I can't even quit MATLAB.
How do I recover from this situation?
Ideally I would like to restore whatever paths I had set up before typing the above command.
  10 Comments
Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 25 Jul 2020
The environment variable MATLABROOT is not expected to exist; where the documentation refers to $MATLABROOT it is described as being the MATLAB installation directory. It is an abbreviation for writing in "MATLAB Installation directory path goes here".
It can be misleading to people who are accustomed to actual environment variables.
MATLAB will not pay any attention to an environment variable MATLABROOT when it is executing; MATLAB constructs its notion of matlabroot() based upon the location of the MATLAB executable.

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