Recently Preview has started hanging for me whenever I open any pdf or image. I keep getting the spinning balloon of death and am unable to do anything in Preview, so I have to force-quit the application. Is there something I can do about this?

Crash report is here.

3 Answers 3


Probably resetting Preview by deleting its configuration from ~/Library could solve that problem.

cd ~/Library
rm Caches/com.apple.Preview \
   Containers/com.apple.Preview \
   Preferences/com.apple.Preview.SandboxedPersistentURLs.LSSharedFileList.plist \
   "Saved Application State"/com.apple.Preview.savedState

Restart Preview and test.


I had the same issue on OS X 10.10.5, and removing only ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.Preview was enough to solve.

tar czf ~/preview_cache.tgz ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.Preview/ # make a backup copy
rm -rf ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.Preview/

Then, run Preview again, and if the issue is solved, you can remove the backup:

rm ~/preview_cache.tgz
  • That saved me. Has anyone got it to the Apple engineers? I.e. "if it's killed for 5 times in a row, kill that cache"?
    – alf
    Commented Dec 20, 2017 at 23:49

Someone in my office just had this issue, and it was because one of their previously opened files reliably caused Preview to hang when opened. Unfortunately, whenever they opened Preview, it automatically opened all windows that were open when it was last terminated, causing it to immediately hang.

To fix this, we permanently disabled the feature where Preview automatically reopens previously-open files, using the command suggested at https://apple.stackexchange.com/a/54856/51010:

defaults write com.apple.Preview ApplePersistenceIgnoreState YES

After this, he was able to open Preview without it hanging.

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