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Preview Not Working on Mac, How to Fix in 2022

Preview Not Working on Mac, How to Fix

Is the Preview app not working on your Mac? Learn how to fix the Preview Not Working on Mac issue. 

Preview is an important app that we rarely notice but use a lot. The app is responsible for showing previews of images on your Mac. The app displays images and even lets you edit them.

Preview is a simple app, but one that is essential for most people’s day to day needs. However, sometimes Preview might now load thumbnails or even open and work as it should.

So if Preview stops working, it can be frustrating, to say the least. So what to do if Preview doesn’t work on your Mac? You can try the following if Preview is not working on your Mac.

  • Enable Preview in Finder
  • Force Quit the Preview app
  • Restart your Mac
  • Update macOS
  • Delete Preference (plist) file for Preview
  • Restart your Mac in Safe Mode
  • Reinstall macOS

If you don’t know how to perform these fixes then you continue reading step by step explanation of the fixes. Learn how to fix the Preview not working on Mac issue in this guide. 

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Preview Not Working on Mac, How to Fix

Enable Preview in Finder

If Preview won’t work on Mac the first you should do is enable it. Preview might have been disabled by mistake and that is why you can’t see the thumbnails on Finder. Follow these steps to enable Preview,

spacebar preview not working on mac

Step 1 Open Finder on your Mac.

Preview Not Working on Mac, How to Fix

Step 2 Click on View in the menu bar.

preview not working on mac monterey

Step 3 Now, click on Show Preview.

quick preview not working mac

Step 4 If there is no Show Preview option, click on Hide Preview and then follow the same steps and click on Show Preview, this will reset the Preview feature.

Force Quit the Preview app

If the Preview app is not loading images or not responding, then you can force quit and reopen the app to fix it. Check out how to force quit the Preview app,

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how to reset preview on mac

Step 1 Open the Preview app, and then click on the Apple menu (top left corner).

Step 2 Click on Force Quit.

quick look mac settings

Step 3 Now, select the Preview app from the list and click on Force Quit.

Step 4 Open the Preview app again and check if it works properly.

Restart your Mac

Restarting a device can fix a myriad of issues plaguing it. Close all the apps and then restart your Mac if you are facing any issues, including issues with the Preview app. Follow these steps to restart your Mac,

mac spacebar preview small

Step 1 Click on the Apple menu (top left corner).

preview not working on mac activity monitor

Step 2 Click on Restart and wait for your Mac to restart.

Step 3 Now, open the Preview app and see if it works. 

Update macOS on your Device

Older versions of Mac can have bugs and issues that can cause apps to crash. So make sure your mac is updated to the latest version of macOS so that you have the best experience. Follow these steps to update macOS,

mac quick preview not working

Step 1 Click on the Apple menu (top left corner).

how to fix preview on mac

Step 2 Now, select About This Mac.

finder preview not working

Step 3 Click on the Software Update

Step 4 Your Mac will check for the latest update.

Step 5 If an update is available, click on Update Now.

After updating, restart your Mac and see if Preview is working, if not check out our other fixes. 

Delete Preference (plist) file for Preview

Deleting plist files on Mac will reset the settings of an app or component. It is similar to the reset settings feature on iPhones and iPads. Check out how to delete preference files on Mac,

Preview Not Working on Mac

Step 1 Open Finder on your Mac.

Preview Not Working on Mac, How to Fix

Step 2 Now, click on the Go option in the menu bar.

Preview Not Working on Mac

Step 3 Now, press and hold the Option key on the keyboard and then select the Library option from the dropdown menu. 

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Preview Not Working on Mac, How to Fix

Step 4 Scroll down and open the Preference folder.

Step 5 Now, find the com.apple.Preview.plist file and delete it.

Step 6 Open the Preview app and see if it works. 

Restart your Mac in Safe Mode

Safe mode on Macs will only load the essential extensions and files on your Mac. Safe mode will also run repairs and fix any problems with the boot disk on Mac. The process for restarting in safe mode is different depending on the processor of your Mac. Follow these steps to restart your Mac in Safe Mode,

Intel-powered Macs

Step 1 Shut down your Mac.

Step 2 Now, power on your Mac while holding down the Shift key.

Step 3 Let go of the Shift key when you see the login window, then log in to your Mac.

Step 4 You should see Safe mode in the top corner of the login window.

Apple Silicon

Step 1 Shut down your Mac.

Step 2 Now, power on your Mac by holding the Power key.

Step 3 Let go of the Power key when you see the Startup Options, then select Options.

Step 4 Select your startup disk and hold down the Shift key and then select Continue in Safe mode.

Step 5 Now, release the Shift key and log in.

Once you are logged in to Safe mode, launch the Preview app and open files in it. If the Preview app works well, then the problem is with a launch agent or login item. To fix this, you have to disable login items, and you can do that by following these steps,

Step 1 Click on the Apple menu (top left corner) and then select System Preferences.

Step 2 Now, click on Users & Groups.

Step 3 Click on your Username and select the Login Items tab.

Step 4 Click on each item and then select.

Step 5 Restart your Mac.

If Preview works as intended then, the problem was with a login item. You can find which login item was creating trouble by enabling them one by one and checking Preview. 

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If Preview still won’t work, then the issue is probably due to launch agents or something else. There is no way to fix an issue with launch agents. However, you can try reinstalling macOS. This will fix all issues with your Mac and give you a fresh start.

Use a Third Party Image Viewer App

If Preview still won’t work on your Mac, then you try using a third-party image viewer app for images. Some of the best ones are

Reinstall macOS on your Device

Resort to this only if all other fixes didn’t work. Reinstalling macOS can fix all issues with your mac, but it will take time and if you don’t do it right, you might lose all your data. Make sure to back up your Mac before you reinstall macOS on it. You can use the Time Machine tool to create a backup.

Once you have backed up your Mac, follow these steps to reinstall macOS,

Step 1 Shut down your Mac.

Step 2 Now, press the Power key and hold Command + R to boot in Recovery mode.

Step 3 In the macOS Utilities window, select Reinstall macOS

Step 4 Follow the onscreen instructions to complete the installation.

Step 5 Now, restore your backup from Time Machine if you wanted to. 

Preview Not Working on Mac – Conclusion

If you are not able to access or use the Preview app on your Mac, then one of our fixes should have helped. We hope you were able to solve the Preview Not Working on Mac issue. Let us know which fix worked for you in the comments below. 

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