Finder is Not Responding? 7 Ways to Fix Finder Not Responding on macOS

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Finder is that essential part and the go to feature of the Mac Operating system. As the name indicates, it helps the Mac users to manage & find files and responsible for launching other applications. What if the Finder is not responding or working when you Start your Mac? Well, if you ever encountered such an issue, here are the best workarounds to fix the problem Finder is not responding.

Finder is not responding on macOS

There have been many issues reported by users of Mac stating that Finder is not responding on their Mac Catalina, Mojave and other OSs. Here are the 7 troubleshooting methods that could easily help you to resolve the issue.

However, it is always advised to know what caused your Finder not to work or respond. Let’s see what might be causing Finder not to respond on Mac. 

Why is Finder not opening on my Mac?

There are various reasons that could cause trouble to Finder but, here are few major reasons:

Finder Configuration: Bad Finder configuration or corrupt Finder configuration often makes Finder unresponsive on Mac.

Low Storage: When you are running multiple applications on Mac with the low storage, Mac slows down it’s performance along with the applications.

System Preferences: If the system preferences get corrupted on Mac, it results in the unresponsiveness of Finder. 

Sometimes even error on the User profile could also be a reason for Finder not to properly work. In such situations logging out and relogging in might fix the problem.

Once you have known the reasons that lead to the problem, let us go to the troubleshooting methods to fix the issue.

How to Fix Finder Not Responding on macOS?

As these problems are easily fixable, you can try each one of them in sequence to make your Finder work.

Method 1: Relaunch the Finder When Not Responding

Relaunching the Finder is the easy way to fix whenever Finder stops responding

Force quit to fix Finder is not responding

Step 1: Go to the upper menu bar → click on the Apple logo.

Step 2: Click on Force Quit Finder

Step 3: From the application list à Select Finder

Step 4: Click on Relaunch and then on Relaunch again.

Method 2: Force Quit Finder from Activity Monitor app

If Relaunching the finder didn’t help you fix the issues with Finder

Step 1: Go to your Launchpad and find Activity Monitor → open it

Step 2: Locate and click on Finder

Step 3: Click on the X in the upper right corner of the Activity Monitor window.

Step 4: Then click on the Force Quit button

Most of the time Relaunching or Force Quit should resolve the problem of Finder not responding. If the problem is related to corrupt configuration files or other, follow all the below-mentioned methods and verify if the Finder is responding at the end of each method.

Method 3: Fix Finder Not Working by Power Cycling the Mac

Power Cycling removes temporary configurations that are corrupted. This may help you resolve problem with the Finder

Step 1: Go to the upper menu bar and click on the Apple logo.

Step 2: Click on Log Out → Shut down your Mac

Step 3: Disconnect the power cable and all the associated peripherals

Step 4: Wait for sometime and turn on your Mac and login to your user profile

Method 4: Fix Finder issues by Deleting Finder Files that are corrupted

There are chances when Finder .plist files get corrupted, those files must be deleted immediately to make your Finder work. You can delete corrupted files using a terminal app.

Step 1: Navigate to Launchpad

Step 2: Find Terminal and Open it

Step 3: Type the line: rm ~/Library/Preferences/ → Enter → Restart Mac

Method 5: Clear storage to repair Finder when doesn’t open

Manage your storage space by deleting your files and unnecessary content. Transfer your important files and documents to an external drive. Having a low storage space on Mac can cause Finder to go unresponsive and slows down the machine’s performance.

Method 6: Reset to factory settings to fix Finder in Disk utility not responding

If you have tried all the above-mentioned methods and none of them worked for you, the problem might be with internal files/folders that users cannot access. Restoring the Mac to factory reset helps you fix the problem with Finder.

Note: Before following the below steps, make sure you backup all your important files and folders as resetting to the Factory setting will erase all the data.

Step 1: Restart your computer by holding the power button, Next select Restart when it appears

Step 2: While the computer restarts, hold down the Command + R keys

Step 3: Once you see the Apple logo appear, release the Command + R keys

Step 4: When you see a Recovery Mode menu, select Disk Utility

Step 5: Make sure the Macintosh HD startup disk is highlighted in your Disk Utility window –> select Erase

(You can recover accidentally erased Macintosh HD in Disk utility)

Step 6: When Pop-pop Window appears, change the Format to macOS Extended (Journaled) → select Erase again

Step 7: Select Quit Disk Utility in the Disk Utilities menu

Step 8: A window will then appear giving you the option to reinstall macOS →  select Install macOS

Step 9: After the new macOS is installed, your computer has been successfully factory reset

If you have not taken backup of your data, do not worry! You can always rely on SFWare Mac Data Recovery Software, that works on all macOS including the latest Big Sur, Catalina, Mojave etc.

Method 7: Finally check for third party plugins

Sometimes third-party plugins can start conflicting with the system and cause Finder to not respond. If you have installed any application recently and the issue occurred, therefore, the recent application is causing the problem. As every configuration is different to an individual user, you must find a faulty plugin by yourself.

Step 1: Find the FinderApplications Folder

Step 2: Under View function, Click on List

Step 3: Select the plugin you think might be causing the problem → Delete

Step 4: Restart your Mac and Restart your Finder


With the help of above mentioned methods, you will surely be able to fix the issue Finder is not responding. Few methods may cause data loss from Mac, make sure you keep the back up of your important files, if you fail to keep backup, do not worry! you can always make use of SFWare Mac Data Recovery software for easy and hassle free data recovery.

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