My com.apple.finder.plist file is missing. I've looked in Library/Preferences and it isn't there, I already have hidden files and folders made visible, etc.

Whenever I restart my computer (by going up to Apple>Restart, or by Restarting by an application installation, which is how I came across this problem) every application closes and files on the desktop disappear, however, the finder stops responding and I HAVE to end up force quitting my computer which screws up the installation of the program I've been trying to install (SideSync by Samsung, if that's relevant.)

I can only see the desktop background picture and the bar on the bottom. I can't open finder, I can't Relaunch it by going to the Force Quit Application window.

Running a mid 2012 MacBook Pro with recently installed Mavericks.

Any ideas?

  • I'd check for crash reports. You should find them in /Users/YOURUSERNAME/Library/Application Support/CrashReporter/ and/or /Users/YOURUSERNAME/Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports/. Do the crashes only happen when you run the SideSync installer? Is your Mac stable until you try to restart? Commented Dec 30, 2015 at 4:10
  • I am having the same problem and I was able to get into preferences and the com.apple.finder.plist is not there. I also tired Cmd Shift G and it wasn't found and I tried Users/MyName and there isn't preferences or library. It worked fine until a couple weeks ago. I don't know what is going on. Any recommendations.
    – user203056
    Commented Sep 24, 2016 at 23:19

2 Answers 2


The finder.plist isn't in /Library, it's in
That would be why you couldn't find it.

Quick way to get there…
From Finder
Cmd ⌘ N for New Window
Cmd ⌘ Shift ⇧ G for Go To…
Copy/paste ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.finder.plist including the tilde ~
Hit Enter ⌅

I'd also consider clearing the Saved Sate at
~/Library/Saved Application State/com.apple.finder.savedState
It's safe to delete the entire folder contents - data, window etc.

  • At the very beginning of my question I said I looked in Library/Preferences already. I ended up finding it in Users/MYNAME/Library/Preferences. Thanks Commented Jan 2, 2016 at 4:14
  • 3
    Which is exactly where I said! not /Library but ~/Library. ~/ is the standard Mac shortcut to save having to know the name of the boot drive & user. Had you copy/pasted the line as I said, it would have taken you straight there.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jan 2, 2016 at 9:00
  • I was confused about that for a second alo but I see now, the ~ makes all the difference. That helps me too, thanks. Commented Dec 12, 2016 at 17:13

I was unable to see any preview image in my column view. I did all of the above. But it was a simple as this in the end.

  1. Open any folder window (do not click on the desktop before you do step 2 or you will get a different window) enter image description here

2.Go to 'View" top menu and click on "show view options"- the window open should be titled "LIKE" enter image description here

  1. In the window "LIKE" (see below images) Check the boxes (1) Always open in column view (2) Browse in Coloum view (3) Show previews column. (In fact all boxes are checked here).

enter image description here

Hope this helps someone!

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