How to fix Finder not working on your Mac

The Finder has been an integral part of macOS since its initial release. Basically, it serves as file management and navigation system that provides access to your files, documents, and folders. If you are new to macOS, you should know that the Finder is similar to Windows Explorer.

The Finder is the heart of a Mac, so there is nothing worse than losing control of the Finder. Indeed, there are times when the Finder becomes unresponsive and fails to speak to you, preventing you from accessing your files and folders. If you find yourself in a similar situation, we are here to help.

There are a few workarounds for bringing the Finder back to life on your Mac. And we will help you discover how in the section below. Before going anything, make sure you have the latest macOS software update installed on your machine. The latest software update you can get is macOS 10.14.5, which focuses on bug fixes and performance boost.

Relaunch the Finder using Task Manager

If the problem still persists, then try to relaunch the Finder from Task Manager. Doing so will force quit the Finder and re-open it. This is one of the main things to do if the Finder gets frozen or is not working.

To do this, press Option + Command + Esc to open Task Manager, then you should see a list of all apps running on your Mac. From here, locate the Finder, then click on it and hit Relaunch to force quit it. Once the Finder finishes restarting, everything should work fine. If nothing is fixed, make sure you read on.

Force quit the Finder

If the above tip fails to work for you, then try force quitting the Finder. Following this method, the Finder will be force-closed on your Mac, meaning that it will not relaunch. To do this, click on the Apple logo at the top (make sure the Finder is now running on your Mac) and then click on the Force Quit Finder from the drop-down menu.

Quit the Finder from Activity Monitor

Activity Monitor shows all the processes running on your Mac. From here, you can track down an app that’s now eating up your Mac’s resources and shut it down. In this case, you can quickly quit the Finder from Activity Monitor if it is acting weird. To do this, simply open the Activity Monitor app on your Mac, locate Finder and click on it. Now just simply select Quit from the pop-up menu.

Log out of your Mac and log back in

If the problem is still there, try logging out of your Mac and log back in. Following this method, all of your running processes will be closed, which may lead to file corruption, so make sure you save your work before moving ahead.  To log out of a Mac, click on the Apple logo at the top and select Log Out. Wait for a few seconds and log back in.

Remove Finder Corrupted File from Terminal

If none of the above solutions helps, there is a good chance the Finder file gets corrupted. In this case, try deleting the corrupted file using Terminal. To do this, open the Terminal app from Launchpad, then enter the following command: sudo rm ~/Library/Preferences/ and hit Enter. Once you are done, restart your Mac to see if the problem is fixed.

Wrapping Up

The Finder is the center of macOS, but that does not mean it works seamlessly at all times. If the Finder is not working on your Mac, the best shot is to force quit it. However, if you have exhausted all the possibilities, but nothing works, then take your Mac to a local Apple Service center to get help.

Let us know in the comments below if you have another tip.


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