Finder is not responding: How to restart Finder on Mac

5 tips to relaunch Finder and get it working again. 

Finder is there for us every day. It makes finding apps, documents and games easier and quicker. In fact, without it, navigating around your Mac isn’t as easy. Or it’s a sign that other systems aren't working as they should, such as Spotlight Search and Siri. 

So here is how to get it working again! 

1. Relaunch Finder using Dock 

  1. Press and hold the Option key. 
  2. Now Right-Click or Control-Click on Finder in the Dock (while still holding down the Option key).
  3. A menu should pop up: Select Relaunch. 
  4. If this hasn't appeared, make sure you've been pressing the Option key while right or control-clicking on Finder in Dock. 

Don’t worry if that doesn't work. It should, but we’ve got a few other ways to get it working again. 

2. Repair disk permissions

Something more is wrong with your Mac that requires a bit more work to fix. But it shouldn't take too long. Let’s look at how to quickly and easily repair disk permissions: 

  1. Firstly, get CleanMyMac X (Download a free version here).
  2. Now click Repair Disk Permissions.
  3. Let it run for a few minutes: this should have fixed your disk permissions and Finder should be running as good as new. 

3. Force Quit Finder 

If this problem persists, follow these steps: 

  1. Press and hold Command+Option+Escape (you can also get to Force Quit through the Apple menu icon: top toolbar). 
  2. A pop-up menu will appear: Select Finder. 
  3. Now press Relaunch. 

4. Delete system junk

Another solution is to delete system junk. Old caches and clutter could be preventing Finder from running.

  1. Open CleanMyMac X (a popular Mac app for deleting junk) — a link to download the free version.
  2. In the app, click on the System Junk tab
  3. It should show any system junk that needs deleting, such as old caches and settings that are preventing apps from running as they should 
  4. Now delete all of that as indicated and see how your Mac is doing.

5. Refresh Finder using Terminal 

Another solution, if all else fails, is Terminal. 

Terminal is the command-and-control center of your Mac. 

  1. Go to Application > Utilities.
  2. Open Terminal.
  3. In Terminal, type this command: killall Finder
  4. Finder should automatically restart. 

One way or another, one of these solutions should restore Finder to working order. 

When Finder crashes, the most obvious solution is to simply restart your Mac. Though this may work as a band aid, this could be a symptom of a more serious, system-wide error. In this case, try deleting your old system junk with CleanMyMac X. In addition, check your Activity Monitor for any suspicious processes.

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