Some days after installing Mac OS Mojave my quick look startet showing the spinning icon in the finder sidebar and when i press space on media files (.jpg, .png, .gif, .psd, .pdf, etc.).


Here what i tried so far:

  • Rebooted in safe mode (no effect)
  • Deleted com.apple.finder.plist and relaunched finder
  • The approach suggested here Quicklook not working

When trying the last approach my termnial freezes when i try to force reload the list using qlmanage -r.


I then tried to generate a preview of an image, and got this error Error

I'm thinking maybe one of these apps could be causing trouble, but they didn't do in High Sierra:

  • Dropbox
  • Adobe Creative Cloud
  • iCloud drive (synced with desktop)

Any help would be greatly appreciated, for now i'm using Adobe Bridge to search files.

  • Damn, I'm with the same issue and I don't use Dropbox, neither Adobe Creative but I use iCloud Drive (but without synced Desktop). Commented Oct 1, 2018 at 14:51

10 Answers 10


A combination of the answers in here + killing all QuickLook-related processes fixed it for me. I have been experiencing this ever since the Mojave update. No reboot required.

qlmanage -r commands always got stuck for me, too.

Fix TL;DR version:

  1. Delete DropboxQL.qlgenerator from ~/Library/QuickLook (Credit to suntrop)
  2. Restart Finder
  3. sudo update_dyld_shared_cache -force (Credit to Dishoperator)
  4. Kill all QuickLook-related processes
  5. Restart Finder

Fix detailed how-to version follows

For those not very familiar with what the above means.

To get QuickLook working when previewing files with spacebar:

  1. Delete DropboxQL.qlgenerator in ~/Library/QuickLook, as per suntrop's suggestion.

    • Open Finder
    • Press ⌘+G
    • ~/Library/QuickLook
    • Look for a file named DropboxQL.qlgenerator, it will probably be the only one
    • Delete it, and then delete it from Trash
  2. Restart Finder:

    • Press ⌘ ⌥ ␛ (Command + Option + Escape)
    • Find Finder
    • Click Relaunch

To get thumbnails to work:

  1. Run the Terminal command Dishoperator suggested: sudo update_dyld_shared_cache -force

    • It doesn't do any harm, it just updates the kernel caches
    • Open Terminal
    • Paste sudo update_dyld_shared_cache -force
    • Type in your password (it will not appear as you're typing)
    • Press Return
    • It will take ~30s to a couple minutes depending on your machine
  2. Open up Activity Monitor (⌘+Spacebar, type in Activity Monitor)

  3. Order by Process Name

  4. Force quit quicklookd

    • Click on quicklookd
    • Press the X stop-like button in the top left
    • Press Force quit
  5. Force quit all instances of QuickLookSatellite

  6. Keep force-quitting until none of them are left

    • Make sure you order processes by name to see them all at once
  7. Restart Finder (see point 2. Restart Finder: again if you forgot how)

Keep having problems?

Since this is now working for me, but in case it still doesn't for you, here are some apps that would normally be suspects but are NOT the cause. This should narrow-down your search:

  • Dropbox (was a problem)
  • Sketch 52.2
  • Principle
  • CraftManager
  • Photoshop CS6
  • Illustrator CS6
  • Bear
  • Highland 2
  • Kindle
  • Atom, PhpStorm, Sublime Text, Caret
  • p4merge
  • Slack
  • Screenhero (don't know why I still keep it)
  • SourceTree
  • Chrome, Safari, FireFox
  • Franz
  • 1Password
  • Spotify
  • Shazam
  • TeamViewer
  • Steam
  • Flux (don't know why I still keep this one either)
  • Microsoft OneNote
  • Bartender 3
  • PSequel
  • Postico
  • GoToMeeting
  • Kaleidoscope
  • MindNode 5
  • Podio
  • Fluid UI
  • Gliffy Diagrams
  • Conceptboard
  • Moqups
  • Wireframe.cc
  • Graph.tk
  • SketchUp, Layout, StyleBuilder
  • Google Keep
  • VLC
  • Trello
  • Asana
  • LiveMinutes
  • Zoom
  • Amphetamine

And remember to clean up useless apps from your laptop. Which I clearly don't.

  • This resolved my issue. Thank you for the thorough instructions. Commented Oct 20, 2018 at 22:47
  • 1
    After the TL;DR, I had to qlmanage -r again to fix the problem - might help somebody out there...
    – janniks
    Commented Oct 22, 2018 at 8:42
  • Thank you! It's an reoccurring issue for me. But for now, thankfully, i'm not experiencing the issue, when it happens again i'll try your method. I had luck booting in safe mode and running qlmanage once. Commented Oct 23, 2018 at 7:13
  • Just had the issue again, and this solution fixed it for me. Thanks! Commented Oct 25, 2018 at 13:57
  • You might wanna add Google Drive File Stream app to that list.
    – vfranchi
    Commented Jun 13, 2019 at 14:08

Use the following command. It worked for me. No restart required.

sudo update_dyld_shared_cache -force

mac OS Mojave - iMac - Late 2013 - i7 - NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M


This worked for me after everything else on the internet didn't worked: https://www.tonymacx86.com/threads/rough-guide-fix-for-finder-preview-not-working-on-mojave-10-14-1.264398/

So here is what the problem is and what you do to solve it: Mojave installed an internal list of which Mac model can use hardware de-/encoding for images and other files. This makes some Mac SMBIOS definitions (e.g. the vanilla iMac 14,2 definition I use) incapable of showing images in Preview, as your hardware might not actually support hardware encoding/decoding but the Finder assumes it will because of this new setting.

To change this, we have to remove the entry that tells the Finder it should use hardware image processing for your SMBIOS definition. So that's all - removing an entry from a plist file. Follow these steps:

  1. In the Finder, press Command-Shift-G and enter this to go to find the file:

  2. Copy this file and save it somewhere for restoration purposes later if needed.

  3. Open the original file in its original location with eg TextWrangler or BBEDit. (NOTE: the AppStore version of TextWrangler will not allow this, see above).

  4. In that file, find your used Mac Board ID. If you do not know it, here's how to do that:

    • start Clover Configurator (available above under Downloads->Community Software),
    • mount your EFI Partition under Tools - Mount EFI (probably something like EFI on APFS Container),
    • then choose "Open..." and pick the config.plist in the EFI/CLOVER/ folder,
    • choose SMBIOS and look at the "Board-ID" entry. (In the case of the 14,2 definition it's Mac-27ADBB7B4CEE8E61).
  5. Once you have found that entry in the Info.plist file, (in my case it was in line 76) it will look like this:

  6. DELETE this section.

  7. SAVE.
  8. Restart.
  • Excellent! Looks like you accidentally removed the link to the source, so I've put that back in, along with some quote formatting to indicate the content is quoted and some other formatting for the nested list and fixing up the code snippets. +1
    – grg
    Commented Aug 18, 2019 at 11:34
  • 1
    Thanks! I'm using a custom setup, and this worked for me after trying many of the other suggested solutions
    – Chubas
    Commented Mar 16, 2020 at 17:53
  • By "DELETE this section", I presume that you meant everything inside that <dict></dict> tag. That's what worked for me, anyway. Commented Apr 5, 2020 at 4:18
  • @ChillyPenguin you mean without the <key> tag? Commented Apr 6, 2020 at 9:46
  • @onderbewustzijn, everything inside the <dict> tag. So yes, I deleted the <key>forceOfflineRenderer</key> tag, but kept the <key>Mac-27ADBB7B4CEE8E61</key> tag. Commented Apr 7, 2020 at 22:07

In my case this was caused by Sketch, and update 52 fixes it.

  • This is a great specific error and a great general error. Installing an app can install a new quicklook plug in that would cause all the indexing to be hung up or stopped while it errors out on each file and/or specific file type.
    – bmike
    Commented Oct 3, 2018 at 14:58

Had the same issue, but solved it by deleting DropboxQL.qlgenerator inside ~/Library/QuickLook Needs a Finder restart I think


Like the other answer (answer-362293), my problem was with Google Drive File Stream. I didn't delete it though, since I need it.

I did a reinstall of Google Drive File Stream and now quicklook/preview works again.


Just in case someone is still facing this issue.

After using the command qlmanage -t on an image I found out that Google File Stream app was giving me the trouble.

[ How to do that ? (for beginners) : Open Terminal, write the command qlmanage -t add a space then "drag/drop" the file that is not working right after the space then press enter]

Terminal screenshot

After deleting Google File Stream app, the QuickLook preview started working again.

  • This is the money answer! if you run qlmanage -t on a file, you'll get the details about why quicklook isn't working. debugging is cake after that!
    – Mr. T
    Commented Jun 16, 2019 at 7:57

I was getting the same problem. I ran the clean my mac, and solved. Not sure what it did. T

  • 1
    Isn't "clean my mac" bad news? Commented Oct 1, 2018 at 13:14
  • Well, I cleaned System cache with Clean My Mac and it solved it 🤷‍♂️ Commented Oct 2, 2018 at 8:24

Had the same issue. I booted into Safe Mode by holding Shift upon restart. That must've cleaned up something that was happening because it works great now. No more spinning wheels!

  • Already tried that with no luck. Commented Oct 2, 2018 at 6:07

There's a dropbox setting that syncs with dropbox that you should switch off from Dropbox preferences. It works perfectly after that

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