Mac Finder Not Responding? Here's the Fix

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Sarahi Johns

3 min read

Summary: From this article, you will learn 5 tips to fix the Finder not responding issue on Mac.

Finder is a powerful and handy file manager in macOS. Sometimes, especially after a macOS update, you may find it doesn't respond or doesn't work.

If you're experiencing this problem and don't know what to do, read on to find out five ways to get it working again.

Let's dive right in.

Finder Not Working on Mac? Here's the Fix

Reasons Why Your Mac Finder Is Not Responding or Working

There are tons of reasons why your Finder might become unresponsive or not work properly. Here are some of them.

  • Your Mac is running out of storage space.
  • The Finder preferences file is corrupted.
  • Spotlight is indexing.
  • There are issues with third-party apps and plugins.

How to Fix “Finder Not Responding or Working” Issue on Mac

Now that you know the possible reasons why the Finder is not working or responding, let's see how to fix the problem.

Relaunch Finder

The simplest way to fix an unresponsive Finder is to relaunch it. Here are 3 methods you can try.

Method 1. Force Quit Finder

  1. Click on the Apple menu and select Force Quit.
  2. From the Quit Applications list, highlight Finder and click the Relaunch button.
Force Quit Finder to Relaunch

Method 2. Relaunch Finder Using Dock

  1. Press the Option key while right-clicking the Finder icon in the Dock.
  2. Select Relaunch.
Relaunch Finder with Dock

Method 3. Relaunch Finder Using Activity Monitor

  1. Launch Activity Monitor via Spotlight or Launchpad.
  2. In the list of processes, locate Finder, double-click it and click the Quit button.
  3. Click the Quit or Force Quit button in the new window.
Relaunch Fidner with Acitivity Monnitor

Clear Disk Space

As we mentioned, insufficient disk space can also cause problems with the Finder, such as slow response, not working, crashing, or not launching. For Finder to work properly, you should reserve at least 15-20% of your storage space.

To check how much free space you have left, click Apple menu > About This Mac > Storage.

If you don't have enough storage space, use BuhoCleanerto clean your drive. BuhoCleaner is one of the best Mac cleaning software. It takes care of all the junk files on your Mac, including cache, log files, .dmg files, duplicate files, etc. Also, with its App Uninstall feature, you can uninstall any unwanted apps without leaving any traces.

Clear Disk Space with BuhoCleaner

Related Article: 8 Ways to Get More Disk Space on Mac

Check If Spotlight is Indexing

The Finder may not work correctly if Spotlight is indexing. Follow the steps below to check if it is indexing.

  1. Click the search icon in the status menu to launch Spotlight.
  2. Enter a keyword in the search box.
  3. If Spotlight is indexing, you will see a blue progress bar. When the indexing is complete, check that your Finder is working properly.
    Spotlight Is Indexing

Related Article: Spotlight Search Not Working? Here's How to Rebuid Spotlight Index

Delete the Finder Preferences File

Whether the Finder works properly also depends on its preferences file. If your Finder keeps crashing, then you need to go ahead and delete its preferences file in the Preferences folder.

  1. Launch Terminal via Spotlight.
  2. Run the command in Terminal: rm ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.finder.plist.
  3. Restart your Mac to see if the Finder is working.
Delete the Finder Preferences File

Log Out and Log In Again

If your Finder still doesn't work, try logging out and back in to your Mac.

  1. Click the Apple menu, then select Log Out.
  2. Click the Log Out button, and all running applications will be quit out.
  3. Log in to your Mac again to see if your Finder is working.
Log Out and Log In Again

Start Mac In Safe Mode

If none of the above solves your problem, start your Mac in Safe Mode. This will help you determine if the problem is caused by an application that starts automatically when your Mac logs in.

For Macs with Apple Silicon:

  1. Click the Apple menu and select Shut Down.
  2. Click the Power button on your Mac until you see "Loading startup options".
  3. Select a volume.
  4. Press and hold the Shift key, then click Continue in Safe Mode.

For Macs with Intel Chips:

  1. Restart your Mac, then press and hold the Shift key until you see the login window.
  2. Log in to your Mac.
Note
If your Mac is in Safe Mode, you should see Safe Mode words in the menu bar.

The Bottom Line

Now that you probably have fixed the Finder not responding or working issue. If you don't, try power cycling your Mac, updating your apps and plugins, resetting PRAM/NVRAM or resetting your Mac to default settings.

It's worth noting that BuhoCleaner is a simple and useful tool that not only cleans your Mac, but also frees up memory and reindexes Spotlight. You should give it a try.

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