<rant>I wish I never upgraded to OS X 10.9, it is so buggy!! But the alternative to stick with the unpatched earlier version of OS X was not a solution!
Anyway, so I am on this crappy Mavericks and since I have either full OS freeze or some other weirdness, slowness.

Today's one is "simple": the finder freezes while browsing the local SDD too often!

I open finder, go under Documents (on my local SSD) it contains only 31 items, 5 PDF wiht size 10-50MB, 1 PDF fo 300MB, the rest are small TXT, ODS, XLS, HTML of < 1MB and 5 subfolders. While scrolling through the view, it freezes, sometimes the display in the finder windows is all white, sometimes the beach ball is turning, sometimes you wait just a couple of seconds, some other times it is closer to 20 sec.

Documents is one example, but it is not limited to that folder sadly. Even the home folder which contains 15 subfolder and 3 files (for a total of 500kB!!) has such lock-up.

There is close to no activity on the machine, but when browsing the finder and when it locks, 1 to 2 processes are often quite active: Finder itself (always) and QuickLookSatellite (sometimes). Memory or disk IO/transfer do not show any spikes and are rather low in usage anyway. So there is no apparent reason for this behaviour than Mavericks quality...

Note: I have tried this tips regarding Finder slowness, but in my case it did not help.

Edit 01: I have removed all tags, but this did not help. However, I have found out that I have the problem in some of the Finder's view, so in the "icon" view it freezes for no reason but not in the "list" view for example.

  • 1
    Have you done a disk check and permission check recently? I had similar problems with my SSD but after doing both permission check/fix and disk check/repair it's working a lot better. I did it from the recovery partition.
    – Hoshts
    Commented Feb 18, 2014 at 22:43
  • Nope I haven't done than since the Mavericks upgrade (so last December). I can try it.
    – Huygens
    Commented Feb 18, 2014 at 22:49
  • I did check and repair of the permissions and disk, and it did found a few minor problems (iBooks App permission or free space blocks). But I still have the problem in the icon view.
    – Huygens
    Commented Feb 18, 2014 at 23:08
  • I've recently ran into a similar issue and what is strange is that listing files in terminal is instant (with ls -la), but in finder it will be brutally slow. Commented Aug 1, 2014 at 11:55

4 Answers 4


This answer may come a bit late for you, but I was able to solve this problem by removing the Finder plist and restarting Finder. You can do this in Terminal by entering the following command:

rm ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.finder.plist && killall -HUP Finder

Give that a shot and see how it works.

  • Looking in the preference folder as well as com.apple.finder.plist i also found files like these : com.apple.finder.plist.DUkfEQe and com.apple.finder.plist.DUkfEQe2 and others with random strings at the end. Any idea what these are and wether they need to be deleted also ?
    – sam
    Commented Apr 29, 2015 at 9:48
  • It may be more prudent to move, rather than delete the plist, just in case. mv ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.finder.plist ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.finder.plist.bak && killall -HUP Finder
    – Jeff
    Commented Mar 13, 2016 at 16:33
  • Seems to no longer be working for me. Give me my thanks back.
    – zundi
    Commented Mar 15, 2016 at 14:53

Is it possible your disk is being indexed? This can make the finder run a little slow. Click on the spotlight icon in the upper left and see if you see a progress bar.

A few possible steps for troubleshooting this:

  1. Reboot
  2. Run any updates you can find in the ap store
  3. Repair permissions
  4. Reboot, hold down option, and boot from the repair partition. Open disk utility, repair all partitions, and repair permissions on all partitions
  5. Reboot, hold down D, and run Apple Hardware Test or Apple Diagnostics. This will tell you if you have a hardware issue with your SSD.
  6. Re-download Mavericks from the Ap store, and re-install it. This has fixed issues for me in the past.

To investigate the problem, I remove FileVault (full disk encryption) which allowed me to start the computer using the guest account (not just the Safari limited guest account when FileVault is activated).

In this mode, I was able to test the Finder and see that it did not have slow downs or freeze.

So I had probably a third party tool doing some nasty stuff, and Maverick is not at fault (for once that I was ranting...).

Anyway, after investigating which 3rd party tool I had installed or updated in the past months, I manage to found the culprit.

I have Synology CloudStation client installed. When I quit the application, the Finder behaves normally. When it is started, then the Finder has these hiccups in the icon view. I have reported the bug to Synology which are aware of it and are in the process to fix it.

As a work around either quit CloudStation when using the icon view or switch to the list view in Finder.


On my dad's mac and mine, the problem was solved by changing the "arranged by" setting of the finder from "none" -- which was the default option -- to either of the other options (say "name").

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