Usually after I open quicklook and then close it again I cannot open quicklook again. And if I right click on an icon it lists exit quick look as an option but when I click it nothing changes.

What's my problem here?

I am on OSX 10.11.6

  • Try triggering QuickLook with space bar press?
    – owlswipe
    Nov 7, 2016 at 22:08

2 Answers 2


Try the following:

  1. Open the Terminal application (/Applications/Utilities/Terminal.app)
  2. Type qlmanage -r and hit enter
  3. Type qlmanage -r cache and hit enter
  4. Type killall Finder and hit enter

This should force QuickLook to reload the generator lists and reset the disk cache.

Source: https://www.macissues.com/2014/03/22/fix-quicklook-errors-in-os-x/

  • That seems to have worked for now, however usually after a fresh restart it does work for a short period. I will come back if I have problems again, but for now you win Nov 11, 2016 at 17:36
  • 1
    This is back to not working again. I don't feel like I should have to do this once a week Nov 19, 2016 at 23:53
  • It could perhaps also be a plugin from a 3rd party that is breaking something. For example when you install Adobe Illustrator, it adds the ability to view .ai files in quick look. Have you noticed if it happens with a certain file type at first or have you installed any specific software that could cause this? You can use qlmanage -h to give you some tools for debugging quick look, if you feel comfortable using this.
    – Morten
    Nov 20, 2016 at 13:47
  • The solutions in Morten's answer both worked for a minute, but a minute later quicklook is right back to being broken again. Won't play audio files (video files work fine tho'...?!) Anybody got a permanent fix?
    – a941cba4
    May 19, 2021 at 13:30
  • 1
    Instead of wasting your time on rebooting try terminal with killall Finder command first
    – HotJard
    Nov 29, 2021 at 20:27

Pressing the function key and the spacebar fixed it for me.

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