4 Ways to Fix a Failing Mac App

By December 14, 2015Uncategorized

Mac App Fail

We’ve all dealt with the pesky error of an App stalling to launch or just simply not doing anything when we click it to open. We all probably have our own ways of going about trying to fix it. Most of the time it works, but, for those times it doesn’t, Mac Enthusiasts has put together a list of steps that can help:

  1. “Quit process” in activity monitor: This is a quick and easy way to suspend a simple error and try again. This usually will fix everything. In “Finder” go to Applications> Utilities> Activity Monitor. Go through the processes and find the one associated with your app that will not open. Select it and click “Quit Process.” If this does not fix the problem, you can move on to the next step.
  2. Correct disk permissions error: All of your permissions are automatically generated by your computer. You can access them to repair one, if needed. Before you use the “Repair Disk Permissions” option, you should know that it can take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour. Also, you will want to backup your hard drive externally or with Time Machine before you begin. Once you are ready to repair your permissions, go to Finder> Applications> Utilities> Disk Utility. Select your hard drive and the “First Aid” pane at the top. Select the box with “Show Details,” and click “Repair Disk.” If any errors appear, keep running “Repair Disk” until a message comes up saying, “The volume xxx appears to be ok.” If the application does not run after this process, try the next step.
  3. Delete appropriate .plist files: There may be errors in the system preferences file of the certain program you’re having difficulty with. You can delete this folder, relaunch the app, and reset your preferences. You can do this by right clicking on “Finder” and clicking “Go to Folder.” Put in “~/Library/Preferences,” and click “Go.” A list of all of the preferences folders for each program will come up. The files will be named like: “com.apple.safari.plist, orcom.apple.desktop.plist.” Find the one for the program you can’t open and drag it to the trash. Once you open the app again, be sure to add your new preferences into the app. If this does not work, try the last step.
  4. Re-install the application: If all else fails, it may be time to delete and re-install. Many applications can simply be deleted by dragging the application into the trash. If an app has its own installer, it’s recommended to use their uninstaller to completely remove all of the app’s data. When re-installing any app, try to get it again from its most official source, namely the App store, to avoid downloading any corrupted software.


If you continue to have any problems past this point, it may be time to bring your computer into Mac Enthusiasts for some help. Our team of Mac experts will be able to fix any issues you may be having. You can also call us with any questions (800)448-1892, or contact us online here.

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