I'm running the latest version of OS X and Preview is hanging whenever I try to start it.

It attempts to open the documents which I previously had open, which is ~10 PDFs and ~3 PostScript files, and it seems to be permanently get stuck whilst "converting" those PostScript files (even though opening them was no issue before).

Hence my question is, how do I start Preview without opening those documents? (I'm guessing there's some kind of cache I should delete.)

5 Answers 5


Do you want to disable the App re-open the documents when you launch the App? So, you can go to "System Preferences" > "General" and enable the "close windows when quitting and app" option.

  • That has always been enabled, I guess Preview ignores that (in the case of a crash, at least). Dec 28, 2014 at 3:50
  • you can check the "Saved state", goto the "~/Saved Application State/com.apple.Preview.savedState" directory and check
    – nelson
    Dec 28, 2014 at 4:26
  • I think you mean "~/Library/Saved Application State/com.apple.Preview.savedState" Mar 1, 2018 at 10:09

To amplify what Nelson said above, here are the full list of steps which worked for me on OSX 10.10.2:

Quit Preview if it’s running.

Hold down the option key and select Go ▹ Library from the Finder menu bar. From the Library folder, delete the following items, if they exist:




      Saved Application State/com.apple.Preview.savedState

Log out and log back in. Launch the application and test.

Credit to Linc Davis, on this page.


OSX 10.10

When you want to quit first close (hit the red circle) on all the windows/documents that the app has open. Then Quit the app.

I have several windows/documents (in textedit) that I leave open when I quit, so they will open when I reopen the app, it works with most OSX 10.10 apps. I use them as a sort of note pad, NOTE: if the system crashes you could loose the data if they have not been saved at some time.

  • This is of no help when preview crashes as soon as it starts, as in the problem of the OP. You can't close windows of a crashed app. May 26, 2018 at 14:06

You can do a Finder search for com.apple.preview and find the files you need to remove:

From Terminal, you can go to
~/Library/Saved\ Application\ State/com.apple.Preview.savedState/

There you can remove the window_*.data files that include your previously open file list.

You can also remove windows.plist and that gets rid of all of them.

  • this worked for me.
    – ams
    Sep 20, 2017 at 16:01

This worked for a colleague: you can type alt/optcmdW when opening Preview, then quit an re-open.

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