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I am running macOS version 10.14.4 (18E226) on a MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017, Two Thunderbolt 3 ports.)

Frequently, at least twice a week, I get this error while opening any application:

The application "XYZ" can't be opened.

This happens with every application, even with default applications like Calculator! When this happens, no app will start. But, the already running applications continue to run. Even with Google Chrome, I can use the existing tabs but new tabs will not work.

I thought of attaching a screenshot, but the screenshot tool also didn't work.

Everything comes back to normal once I restart my mac.

This is so annoying and interrupts with my work. What could be the reason? How to fix this?

Edit: Got the logs

May 12 20:26:40 MacBook-Pro com.apple.xpc.launchd[1] (com.apple.calculator.11368): Could not spawn trampoline /usr/libexec/xpcproxy: 35: Resource temporarily unavailable
May 12 20:26:40 MacBook-Pro com.apple.xpc.launchd[1] (com.apple.calculator.11368): Service only ran for 0 seconds. Pushing respawn out by 10 seconds.
May 12 20:26:40 MacBook-Pro com.apple.xpc.launchd[1] (com.apple.calculator.11368): Deferred spawn of service failed: 35: Resource temporarily unavailable

Since, screenshot tool didn't start, took a photo. enter image description here

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  • Can you have a look at the log files in Console.app (or /var/log/system.*) afterwards, and check whether something "interesting" is getting logged at the time the problem occured? – nohillside May 8 '19 at 9:52
  • @nohillside I haven't tried that yet. But, I am afraid Console.app will open during that time. I'll try that next time. Thanks for the suggestion. – brainless May 8 '19 at 9:59
  • The logs should still be around after a reboot :-) – nohillside May 8 '19 at 10:10
  • Same happens to me and a friend after upgrading to Catalina (10.15). An update about this would be great. – Ricardo Martins Nov 15 '19 at 0:07
  • In my case, I looked at the logs and found an exception on Tv.app and Music.app before the error starts. I don't use and never opened neither apps. I'm also not logged in to iCloud. I unchecked everything automatic and cleaned the cache for these apps. Let's see what happens now. – Ricardo Martins Nov 15 '19 at 0:30
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I faced the same problem here, and after investigating, I realized the problem was due to the number of processes my mac was running.

In my case, a cronjob was triggering multiple httpd threads (more than a hundred).

You can:

  1. open activity monitor and kill those processes;

  2. check your crontab -e and look for suspicious jobs

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