This question is very specific to Mac, and not mobile devices. I am using a MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019), running macOS Bug Sur 11.2.3

But I went to start work today, tried to open my Messages App and it crashed before the app window would open. Messages works on my iPhone, and iPad, but on the Mac it fails to start and immediately asks me to send a report to apple.

Why does Messages keep crashing?


The problem is that the pList is corrupted or there's something wrong with it.

We have to access the Library directory to fix it.

  1. hit Command + shift + g to pull up the directory search, and enter ~/Library search function

1a. If you still cannot get to the ~/Library directory, we need to show hidden files. open your Terminal, Enter: ⌘ + ⇧ + . (Command + Shift + .) That's a period if it's not clear.

  1. From there you want to go to ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.iChat.plist

  2. Move that file to your desktop

  3. restart your computer

  4. open messages, verify it's operating correctly.

  5. If it works okay and all your contacts and messages are still there, delete the plist from the desktop.

  6. If that doesn’t work, repeat the above steps with com.apple.imagent.plist

  7. To re-hide your files Enter: ⌘ + ⇧ + . (Command + Shift + .)

Alternatively, if you use zsh, to hide/show files I have aliases in my .zshrc:

  • alias showFiles="defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles YES; killall Finder /System/Library/CoreServices/Finder.app"
  • alias hideFiles="defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles NO; killall Finder /System/Library/CoreServices/Finder.app"

Not sure if that's helpful, but that's what I use to hide/show files since before it was available in a shortcut.

That should fix the issue with Message app on a Mac computer! Enjoy!

  • 1
    btw, since i think High Sierra, you can show hidden in Finder with ⌘+⇧+. [stop/period] – Tetsujin Apr 6 at 17:06
  • Thanks! That's a lot faster than my command that I have been using for a decade. lol – dustbuster Apr 6 at 17:41
  • 1
    I updated the answer to reflect that shortcut. Thank you! – dustbuster Apr 6 at 17:50

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