I have strange problem, my Preview app is not responding and can't kill it.

enter image description here

leo-mac:~ leo$ sudo killall Preview
No matching processes were found

Force Quit button also doesn't give any result.

ps (and Activity Monitor) is empty:

leo-mac:~ leo$ ps -ax | grep -i preview
24793 ttys000    0:00.00 grep -i preview

It's not a zombie because next command is also empty:

ps aux | awk '"[Zz]" ~ $8 { printf("%s, PID = %d\n", $8, $2); }'

I really can't understand what happened. Any ideas?

  • Does Preview return after logging out or restarting? May 22, 2015 at 8:29
  • 2
    Does the problem continue after quitting the Dock process? May 22, 2015 at 8:30
  • @GrahamMiln, restarting helps me, however, I'm afraid this situation can repeat. I think problem is with some broken doc but I can't find out, which document it is.
    – Leo
    May 22, 2015 at 14:21
  • Are any Preview.app windows visible on screen when this happens – or is it only listed in the Dock? May 22, 2015 at 14:51
  • 1
    I had partial success after killing "launchservicesd". The app would work again for the session, but a restart was still problematic and timed out.
    – Redarm
    May 24, 2015 at 13:37

3 Answers 3


I had the same problem. Workaround:

sudo killall launchservicesd
sudo killall Dock

It could be an issue with one of the files preview is attempting to open.

Go to

~/Library/Saved Application State/

Remove the com.Apple.Preview folder. This should resolve the issue when attempting to launch Preview after quitting the application from the above answer or shutting down.


I'm running OS X 10.11 "El Capitan" on my Macbook Pro, and I'm experiencing this issue with Mozilla Firefox. Unfortunately, in my case the commands sudo killall launchservicesd and sudo killall Dock aren't working this problem out: after I do this, I still can't e.g. reboot the operating system.

I found that the following command works:

sudo shutdown -r now

If your user account has administrative privileges on OS X, running the above command on Terminal will force OS X to reboot. Unfortunately, this is not a solution for the issue, but as a "last resource workaround" it works like a charm.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .