7 Fixes for Preview Not Working on Mac

You are not alone if your Preview app is not working on Mac. It can be due to multiple reasons such as glitches, errors with the file you are trying to open, or something else. Here is a list of solutions that you can try when Preview is not working on your MacBook. Let’s dive deep into these fixes and see what works.

1. Restart the System

The first thing you need to do is simply reboot your Mac. This is a basic step, but it works most of the time to flush out any bugs or errors, if any, without trying out any complicated steps moving further.

Make sure you have saved all your work before restarting the system.

Here is how you can do it.

1. Go to the Apple Menu on the top left of your screen.

2. Click on Restart

Wait for it to start, and then check if the preview issue has been fixed.

2. Force Quit the App

Another method you can try is force quitting the Preview app. Since Preview isn’t working properly, you need to exit it and start again forcefully. Follow the steps below to quit Preview.

1. Press the Command + Option + Esc keys on the keyboard.

2. Choose Preview from the dialog Box.

3. Click on Force Quit to exit the app.

Did the app quit? If it does, you can either move ahead and restart the system or try opening your files again to check if Preview is still not working on Mac.

3. Use Safe Mode

Safe Mode is a great way to identify different errors in the system. It is a diagnostic tool that starts your Mac with only the essential system processes and drivers.

Let’s check if there is something wrong internally or due to third-party files or software. Here is how you can enter Safe Mode on Mac.

For Intel-based Mac

1. Go to the Apple menu on the top-left of your screen and choose Shut Down.

2. Turn on your Mac again using the power button.

3. Now, immediately press and hold the Shift key on the keyboard.

4. Keep holding till you see the login window.

Enter the password to log in, and your system is now in the Safe Mode.

For Silicon-based Mac

1. Go to the Apple menu on the top-left of your screen and choose Shut Down.

2. Press and hold the power button.

3. Keep pressing till you see the Loading Startup Options on the screen.

4. Choose the volume.

5. Now, while the system starts, press and hold the Shift Key.

You will see the log window; enter the password to use Safe Mode.

Once you have entered the Safe Mode, you can now test the Preview app and see if it works normally without any issues. If it does, it suggests that a third-party application, extension, or system component might be causing the issue.

Simply quit the Safe Mode by restarting the system as you would normally do and check if Preview is working on Mac or not.

4. Remove AV Software

Many MacBook users use different antivirus software to keep off viruses and malware. However, such third-party software can interfere with the normal functioning of certain internal apps on your Mac; in this case, we have Preview.

Hence, you need to remove or uninstall the app completely from the system and test Preview again.

The steps to uninstall the software depend on the type of app you are using. But here are the basic steps you can follow accordingly.

1. Quit the antivirus software on your system.

2. Then, look for an uninstaller for that particular software.

3. If the uninstaller is available, simply follow the steps and remove the AV software.

4. Or else, you can drag the App icon into the Trash.

5. Now, empty the Trash.

Once all the above steps are done, restart the system to save your changes. Turn it on again and open the file using the Preview app to test.

5. Delete the PLIST Files

The PLIST files are used to store configuration data and settings for any applications on your Mac. You can delete these files and reset your Preview app’s default or initial state. Here is how you can do it.

1. Press Command + Option + Esc on the screen.

2. Click on Force Quit to quit the Preview app.

3. Now, open the Finder window and click on Go.

4. Select Go to Folder and enter ~/Library/Preferences. Hit Enter.

5. Look for a file named com.apple.Preview.plist.

6. Drag the file to the Trash or make a two-finger tap and choose Move to Trash.

Don’t forget to empty the Trash. After following the steps above, restart Preview; hopefully, it will return to its normal state.

6. Clear Preview Cache

Now that you have deleted the PLIST files for the preview app. Try deleting the cache files as well. This will resolve issues related to cached data and potentially improve its performance.

1. Quit the Preview app.

2. Now, open the Finder window from the Dock.

3. Click on Go at the top menu bar and choose Go to Folder.

4. Type ~/Library/Caches/com.apple.Preview and hit Enter.

5. Delete all the cache files here.

Make sure to Empty the trash and then restart the preview. Double-check the files before deleting them and ensure they are the right ones.

7. Update macOS

Lastly, you can update your macOS to the latest version. Often due to outdated software, your system might encounter errors that cannot be fixed by any other method.

Here is what you can do to update the system.

1. Go to the Apple menu on the top-left and click on System Settings.

2. Scroll down and go to General. Click on Software Update.

3. Wait for the system to check for updates.

4. Now, click on Update Now.

Your Mac will start updating and restart in the process. Once the update is complete, try starting Preview again to test-run it.

Preview Working on Mac Now

You can try all the methods listed above, starting from the simplest which is restarting your Mac. These steps are tried and tested and have worked for many users for whom the Preview app was not working on their Macs. Apart from this, we would not recommend using any third-party software just yet unless you have worked on these fixes.

Furthermore, if the above steps still do not solve the issue, you can always try contacting Apple Customer Care, and they might help you with other fixes.

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is Senior Writer DZ-TECH, where he covers the world of technology, hacking, cybersecurity, surveillance and privacy.

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