Finder Not Responding Mac

Finder Not Responding Mac due to insufficient free space, resource-hogging apps, corrupted Finder settings, and incompatible external devices.

Are you struggling with the frustrating issue of your Finder Not Responding Mac? This common hiccup among Apple MacBook users can disrupt productivity and hinder access to crucial files. This comprehensive guide explores the possible reasons behind this problem and provides easy-to-follow solutions to get your Finder up and running smoothly again. So why wait? Dive in, and let’s conquer this obstacle once and for all!

Quick Summary

  1. Mac Finder not responding can be caused by overloaded storage space, resource-intensive programs running in the background, corrupted Finder preferences, and connected peripherals causing conflicts.
  2. To fix Mac Finder not responding, you can try relaunching Finder, killing the Finder process in Activity Monitor, restarting your Mac, clearing storage space, closing unneeded programs, resetting Finder preferences, uninstalling third-party apps, disconnecting recently connected peripherals, and updating macOS.
  3. Regularly monitoring storage space and cleaning up unnecessary files can help prevent issues with Mac Finder becoming unresponsive.
  4. Closing resource-intensive programs and managing background processes appropriately can improve the responsiveness of Mac Finder.

Reasons Why Finder Not Responding Mac

Mac Finder stops responding due to overloaded storage space, resource-intensive programs running in the background, corrupted Finder preferences, and connected peripherals causing conflicts.

Overloaded storage space

Overloading your Mac’s storage space can indeed cause Finder to stop responding. Like every component on your system, Finder requires a certain amount of free hard drive space to operate efficiently. storage mac storage If the storage is near or at full capacity, it impacts the application’s overall performance and response time. This fact isn’t widely known, but an overly crammed hard disk can make even the most robust systems like Catalina, Big Sur, and Monterey falter eventually, leading to unresponsive apps – including Finder. It’s therefore advisable to regularly monitor your Mac’s available storage space and clean up unnecessary files whenever possible – this could be the key differentiator between your Finder app incessantly crashing and running smoothly.

Resource-intensive programs running in the background

Resource-intensive programs running in the background can significantly affect the performance of Mac Finder, leading to unresponsiveness and freezing issues. These programs consume many of your Mac’s resources, such as CPU and memory, leaving little room for Finder to function smoothly. background tasks on mac Resource-hungry applications like video editing software or virtual machines can overload your system and cause Finder to become sluggish or completely unresponsive. To address this issue, it is important to identify and close any resource-intensive programs that may be running in the background when using Finder. Doing so frees up valuable system resources, allowing Finder to operate more efficiently. Check your Activity Monitor utility (located in Applications > Utilities) for any processes that are consuming excessive CPU usage or memory. Closing these resource-heavy applications will help alleviate the strain on your Mac’s resources and improve the responsiveness of Finder. Remember to save your work before closing any program, as closing them may result in lost unsaved changes.

Corrupted Finder preferences

When your Mac Finder stops responding, one possible cause could be corrupted Finder preferences. These preferences determine how the Finder application behaves on your computer. If these preferences become corrupted, it can lead to issues like freezing or crashing the Finder. To fix this problem, you can try resetting the Finder preferences by navigating to the ~/Library/Preferences folder and deleting the “” file. Once deleted, restart your Mac, which will regenerate a new set of default preferences for the Finder application. This can help resolve conflicts or issues stemming from corrupted preferences and get your Mac’s Finder back up and running smoothly.

Connected peripherals causing conflicts

Connected peripherals, such as external hard drives, printers, or even USB devices, can sometimes cause conflicts with the Mac Finder and lead to unresponsiveness. These conflicts may occur due to incompatible drivers or software issues related to the connected peripherals. When facing this issue, it is essential to disconnect all recently connected peripherals from your Mac and then check if the Finder starts responding properly. Doing so can eliminate potential conflicts that might hamper your Finder’s performance and ensure a smooth user experience on your Apple MacBook.

Solutions to Fix Mac Finder Not Responding

To fix Mac Finder not responding, you can relaunch Finder, kill the Finder process in Activity Monitor, restart your Mac, clear storage space, close unneeded programs, reset Finder preferences, uninstall third-party apps, disconnect recently connected peripherals, and update macOS. Explore these solutions to get your Mac’s Finder running smoothly again. Don’t let a frozen or unresponsive Finder slow you down – find out how to resolve the issue now!

Relaunch Finder

If your Mac Finder is not responding, relaunching it is one of the simplest solutions. Follow these steps to relaunch Finder and potentially resolve the issue:
  1. Click on the Apple menu in the top left corner of your screen.
  2. From the drop-down menu, select “Force Quit.”
  3. In the Force Quit Applications window that appears, locate Finder.
  4. Click on Finder once to select it.
  5. At the bottom right corner of the window, click on the “Relaunch” button.
  6. Wait for a few seconds for Finder to relaunch.

Kill Finder process in Activity Monitor

If you’re experiencing issues with your Mac Finder not responding, you can try killing the Finder process in Activity Monitor. This can help resolve any stuck or unresponsive processes associated with Finder. Here’s how you can do it:
  1. Open Activity Monitor by clicking on “Finder” in your dock, then selecting “Applications,” followed by “Utilities,” and finally, “Activity Monitor.”
  2. In the Activity Monitor window, locate the process named “Finder.”
  3. Select the Finder process by clicking on it once.
  4. Click the “X” button in the Activity Monitor window’s top-left corner.
  5. A confirmation window will appear asking if you want to quit the process. Click on “Force Quit” to confirm and terminate the Finder process.
  6. After force quitting the Finder process, you may notice that your desktop briefly disappears and reappears as a new instance of Finder is automatically relaunched.

Restart Mac

To resolve the Mac Finder not responding, one of the solutions you can try is to restart your Mac. This simple step can help refresh the system and fix any underlying issues causing Finder to freeze or crash. Here’s how you can restart your Mac:
  1. Save any unsaved work and close all open programs.
  2. Click on the Apple menu in your screen’s top-left corner.
  3. Select “Restart” from the drop-down menu.
  4. A confirmation dialog will appear, asking if you want to restart your Mac. Click “Restart” to proceed.
  5. Please wait for your Mac to shut down, and then turn it back on.
  6. After your Mac finishes restarting, check if Finder is now responding properly.

Clear storage space

One of the reasons why your Mac Finder may not be responding is due to overloaded storage space. When your Mac’s storage is nearly full, it can affect the performance of the Finder application. To resolve this issue, you can follow these steps:
  1. Delete unnecessary files: Go through your files and folders and delete any longer needed. This could include old documents, downloads, or large media files.
  2. Empty the trash: After deleting files, remember to empty your trash. Items in the trash still take up storage space on your Mac until they are permanently deleted.
  3. Use built-in macOS tools: macOS provides useful tools to help you identify and free up storage space. One such tool is “Optimize Storage,” which can be found in the Apple menu > About This Mac > Storage > Manage.
  4. Move files to external storage devices: If you have not frequently accessed files, consider moving them to an external hard drive or cloud storage service to free up space on your Mac.
  5. Clear cache and temporary files: Temporary files and cached data can accumulate over time and occupy significant storage space. You can use third-party cleaning applications or manually delete these files by going to the ~/Library/Caches folder.

Close unneeded programs

To further resolve the Mac Finder not responding, another step you can take is to close any unneeded programs that may be causing excessive resource usage. This can help free up memory and processing power, allowing Finder to function properly. Here’s what you can do:
  1. Identify resource-intensive programs: Open the Activity Monitor by searching for it in Spotlight or navigating to Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor. Look for programs that use a significant amount of CPU or memory resources.
  2. Close unnecessary programs: Select the resource-intensive programs one by one and click on the “X” button in the top-left corner of the Activity Monitor window to quit them. Ensure you only close applications that are not essential for your current tasks.
  3. Check for background processes: Sometimes, certain background processes or services can cause conflicts with Finder. Use Activity Monitor to identify suspicious processes that may be unnecessarily run and consume resources. Force quit these processes by selecting them and clicking the “X” button if necessary.
  4. Restart Finder: After closing unneeded programs and background processes, you should restart Finder to ensure all changes take effect. Right-click on the Finder icon in your Dock while holding down the Option key, then select “Relaunch.”

Reset Finder preferences

You can try resetting the Finder preferences to resolve the Mac Finder not responding issue. This can help to fix any corrupted or misconfigured settings that may be causing the problem. Here’s how you can reset Finder preferences on your Apple MacBook:
  1. Quit Finder: Go to the Apple menu and select “Force Quit” or press Command + Option + Escape. Select Finder in the Force Quit Applications window and click the “Force Quit” button.
  2. Open Terminal: Launch Terminal by searching for it in Spotlight or navigating to Applications > Utilities > Terminal.
  3. Enter the command: In the Terminal window, type or paste the following command and press Enter
  4. Relaunch Finder: After executing the command, close Terminal, and relaunch Finder by clicking on its icon in the Dock or using Spotlight.

Uninstall third-party apps

Uninstalling third-party apps can be an effective solution when you encounter the Finder not responding issue on your Mac. Here are the steps to follow:
  1. Go to the “Applications” folder on your Mac.
  2. Locate the third-party app(s) that you suspect might be causing conflicts with Finder.
  3. Click and hold on the app icon until it starts to wiggle.
  4. Drag the app icon to the Trash bin located in your Dock.
  5. Right-click on the Trash bin and select “Empty Trash” to permanently delete the app.
  6. Enter your admin password if prompted.

Disconnect recently connected peripherals

If you’ve recently connected peripherals to your Macbook and are experiencing issues with Finder not responding, disconnecting those devices may help resolve the problem. Sometimes, conflicts between connected peripherals and your Mac can cause Finder to become unresponsive. To troubleshoot this issue, try the following:
  • Unplug any external hard drives or USB devices connected to your Mac.
  • Disconnect any printers, scanners, or other external devices causing conflicts with Finder.
  • If you’re using a docking station or hub, disconnect it temporarily to see if that resolves the issue.
  • Restart your Mac after disconnecting the peripherals to allow Finder to reset and function properly.

Update Mac

Keeping your Mac updated is essential to ensure the smooth and optimal performance of your Finder. Regular updates from Apple provide new features and include bug fixes and security enhancements. To prevent or resolve Finder not responding issues, update your Mac to the latest macOS version. Here’s why updating your Mac can help:
  1. Bug Fixes: macOS updates often address known issues and bugs that may be causing problems with Finder. By installing the latest updates, you can benefit from bug fixes specifically targeted to improve the stability and performance of Finder.
  2. Security Enhancements: Outdated software can have vulnerabilities that malicious actors can exploit. Updating your Mac ensures that you have the latest security patches in place, reducing the risk of potential threats that could lead to Finder not responding.
  3. Compatibility: Their developers regularly update Software applications and drivers to work seamlessly with the latest macOS version. If you’re experiencing compatibility issues between third-party apps and Finder, updating your Mac can help resolve them.
  4. Performance Improvements: Apple’s updates often contain performance optimizations that can enhance the overall speed and responsiveness of your Mac’s operating system, including Finder.
  5. Enhanced Features: New versions of macOS may introduce new features or improvements to existing ones in Finder. You can take advantage of these enhancements by keeping your Mac up to date, potentially improving your workflow and productivity.

How to Prevent Finder Not Responding Issues

Preventing Finder not responding to issues on your Mac is essential for a smooth user experience. Regularly monitoring and managing your storage space, closing resource-intensive programs when not in use, keeping your Mac software and apps updated, safely ejecting peripherals before disconnecting, and performing regular maintenance tasks such as clearing cache and temporary files can all help prevent Finder from freezing or crashing. Stay proactive to ensure a responsive and efficient Finder on your Mac.

Regularly monitor and manage storage space

To ensure your Mac Finder runs smoothly, monitoring and managing your storage space regularly is crucial. When your storage becomes overloaded with files and applications, it can strain your system’s performance and cause the Finder to become unresponsive. By monitoring your storage usage, you can proactively prevent this issue. Take the time to declutter and organize your files by deleting unnecessary ones or moving them to external drives or cloud storage. This will free up valuable disk space and help optimize the performance of the Finder. Additionally, consider employing tools like macOS’ built-in Storage Management feature or third-party apps that provide detailed insights into what’s taking up space on your Mac.

Close resource-intensive programs when not in use

It’s important to close any resource-intensive programs when you’re not using them to prevent Mac Finder from becoming unresponsive. These programs can consume a significant amount of your Mac’s resources and slow down the overall performance, leading to Finder freezing or crashing. By closing these programs, you free up valuable system resources, allowing Finder to operate smoothly without issues. Regularly checking your Activity Monitor for resource-hungry applications is a good practice that ensures your Mac runs efficiently and minimizes the chances of encountering Finder not responding problems. Remember, keeping unnecessary programs running in the background unnecessarily strains your Mac’s memory and processing power, making it more susceptible to freezes or crashes. So be proactive in monitoring and closing resource-intensive programs when you’re done with them for smoother functioning of Finder on your MacBook.

Keep Mac software and apps updated

Regularly updating your Mac software and apps is crucial to prevent Finder not responding to issues. Software updates often include bug fixes, performance improvements, and compatibility enhancements that can address any underlying issues affecting Finder’s functionality. Keeping your Mac up to date ensures you have the latest patches and optimizations for a smooth user experience. To update your Mac software, click on the Apple menu in the top-left corner of your screen and select “System Preferences.” From there, choose “Software Update” to check for any available updates. If updates are available, proceed with installing them. In addition to system updates, it’s also important to regularly update third-party apps installed on your Mac. Developers frequently release updates that address bugs or improve app performance. You can usually find app updates within the App Store or directly from the app developer’s website.

Safely eject peripherals before disconnecting

Before disconnecting any peripherals from your Macbook, it is important always safely to eject them. Safely ejecting a peripheral ensures that all data transfer processes have been completed and there are no active connections or conflicts between the device and your Mac. Simply unplugging a peripheral without proper ejection can lead to potential data loss or corruption and cause issues with your Finder’s responsiveness. By taking the time to safely eject your peripherals before disconnecting them, you can minimize the risk of encountering problems with Finder not responding on your Mac and ensure the smooth functioning of your devices.

Perform regular maintenance tasks such as clearing cache and temporary files

Regularly performing maintenance tasks, such as clearing cache and temporary files, can help prevent Finder from responding to Mac issues. Cache and temporary files are created by various applications to speed up their performance, but over time they can accumulate and cause slowdowns or conflicts with the Finder. By clearing these unnecessary files, you can improve the overall efficiency of your Mac’s system. Clearing cache and temporary files is a simple process that involves accessing the Library folder on your Mac and manually deleting the relevant folders. This will vary depending on your macOS version, so following specific instructions for your operating system is important.


In conclusion, experiencing Mac Finder not responding or crashing can be frustrating, but several solutions are available. You can prevent and resolve these issues by relaunching Finder, clearing storage space, updating your Mac software, and performing regular maintenance tasks. Remember to monitor your storage space and close resource-intensive programs when not in use to maintain optimal performance. With these troubleshooting tips, you can ensure a smooth and responsive Finder experience on your Mac.