Finder Not Responding on Mac. How to Fix?

What to do when the Finder or Dock is not working on Mac? We know how to resolve this problem on your Apple computer. The thing is that the Finder is a system manager, which manages the entire file system. You can’t forcibly close it (like other applications or system processes). The combination of the Cmd and Q keys does not work with the Finder. In the menu, you will also find functions to disable it or force close it. However, even on newer versions of macOS, there is often a problem when Finder not responding to Mac.

Apple deliberately does not give users the option to terminate the manager because quitting it can cause some unforeseen or unwanted side effects. For example, all the icons on the desktop may disappear (no, they won’t disappear forever — once the Finder restarts, they will return). But it may cause issues with unsaved data in different applications and active services.

There are two ways to solve the problem when Finder not working on Mac:

  1. Terminal commands;
  2. System Monitoring application.

Method №1: Via Terminal

After following this instruction, you will have not only the option to close all the windows of the file manager, but also to finish its work at any time through menu.

To add this option, you need to open a terminal (which can be found through Programs > Utilities > Terminal).

Then you need to enter the following command and press Enter. You can simply copy the text of the command and paste it. If you are going to type it manually, make sure that all letters correspond exactly to the command. The upper and lower case of the letters must be 100% correct.

defaults write QuitMenuItem -bool true

finder not responding mac

To apply the changes, restart the Finder by entering the following command and pressing Enter:

killall Finder

Now you will be able to terminate it just as if it was any other application.

Method №2: Use Activity Monitor

MacOS has an Activity Monitor application that displays running processes and applications in real time. It shows how much memory and disk space applications are using. This system app will help you if Finder is not responding on your Mac. It is located under Programs > Utilities > Activity Monitor.

finder not responding on mac

Open it, find the process named Finder, and click on the button with the cross in the upper-left corner of the window. Once you click the button, you will complete the Finder.


We have described two efficient ways to shut down the Finder system file manager during a crash. You can also use these tips to shut down any other system applications. Either way, it’s a useful tip. It won’t harm your data or your operating system.

Cyril Kardashevsky

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