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I'm on macOS Mojave 10.14.3. I wanted to remove the Finder.app from the CMD+TAB, so I followed this tutorial and this solution to be able to edit the Info.plist file.

The steps I followed were:

  1. Reboot into Recovery Mode
  2. Run csrutil disable
  3. Reboot into normal mode
  4. Edit Info.plist as root
  5. Run codesign -fs - /System/Library/CoreServices/Finder.app/ as root
  6. Reboot into Recovery Mode
  7. Run csrutil enable
  8. Reboot into normal mode

After those 8 steps, I expected to get my system working normally, but without Finder.app showing up in the CMD+TAB. Instead, I got a system where I can't open Finder.app at all. When I try to open it, it will say "The application 'Finder.app' can't be opened."

So I decided to revert it, I did all the steps like before, but now I removed the additional lines from Info.plist. It didn't work, Finder.app still won't open, even after I changed Info.plist to the original state.

What can I do?

  • What do you want to do? Make a new admin account, boot from a second external OS, reinstall the OS and see if that works, wipe and restore from a backup? – bmike Mar 23 '19 at 15:02
  • I do not want to reinstall the OS. There should be a simple way to deal with it, as it's just a configuration. If I wanted to reinstall the OS I would have done it already :( – JChris Mar 23 '19 at 15:03
  • Cool, let’s see what others say about undoing the code signing damage and changed plist. I get that I have a custom setup where reinstalls are safe, fast and easy for this sort of thing. If I were network constrained, I’d be like you wanting a more surgical fix if possible. – bmike Mar 23 '19 at 15:06
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I would boot to internet recovery or another OS and reinstall finder by reinstalling the OS. That leaves all your apps and files intact and fixes whatever problems finder had.

I have fast network, usually have both the internet recovery image and the OS cached on my Mac mini that runs caching server (or Mojave cache service), so the operation takes 5 minutes instead of 25 that is typical on fast networks.

  • I have fast fiber Internet, but I wanted to avoid the hassle of reinstalling and reconfiguring all my apps. If I go into recovery mode and tell it to reinstall macOS, will it maintain all my installed apps, files and configurations for sure? – JChris Mar 23 '19 at 15:06
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    Yes. It drops a new OS and migrates everything. Pretty painless and safe since we know exactly why finder is cranky. – bmike Mar 23 '19 at 15:08
  • Sorry for the late reply. Finder.app is back and everything is where I left them, great advice. Good for me that my Internet is fast, bad for me that it took 20-30 minutes to install. – JChris Mar 23 '19 at 17:20
  • Huzzah! Questions play out over months and years here. No worries if you’re gone for hours or days. Great question, glad it’s sorted. – bmike Mar 23 '19 at 17:33

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