I have some Finder windows that I just cannot close. They are completely unresponsive, and have the rainbow wheel whenever I select any of them.

Force Quit / Relaunch doesn't help, because the windows just get reopened again and they continue to be unresponsive. They also don't respond to e.g. Command + Option + W.

Other applications are fine, it's just Finder that's stuck.

Is there a way I can force quit Finder without reopening all the windows?

2 Answers 2


Answer found here.

Open a terminal, and move the saved settings from Finder into a backup folder just in case:

mv ~/L*/S*/*finder.savedState Desktop

Then, you can Force Quit Finder as usual using Command + Option + Esc, or use this handy terminal command:

killall Finder

Then, assuming everything looks good, you can delete the finder.savedState folder which has appeared on your desktop.


You can relaunch the Finder. Just press ctrl + alt and right click on the Finder icon on the Dock. Then select Relaunch and it's done.

  • Relaunch in general didn't work - it opened all the unresponsive windows again which kept rainbow-wheeling. control + alt + right-click is a handy shortcut though!
    – Hannele
    Nov 17, 2015 at 21:59

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