I launch Preview and search for all processes associated with it in Activity Monitor. In addition to a few regular processes, I see QLPreviewGenerationExtension (Finder).

Is this normal? I have only seen it on an M1 MacBook Pro running Monterey. Not seeing it on Intel Macs. Has anyone else seen this process? It's not consuming much CPU time or RAM, but I have never seen it before. It does not matter if Preview keeps an open file or not...

  • MacOS launches and quits hundreds of different processes as part of normal operation. Unless you are experiencing a particular problem, I wouldn't waste my time trying to track them all.
    – benwiggy
    Nov 14, 2021 at 15:26
  • I am just wondering if anyone else has seen this particular process and if it's common to only M1 Macs.
    – user439662
    Nov 14, 2021 at 15:28
  • It is currently running on my Intel Mac Mini. It's a standard MacOS process.
    – benwiggy
    Nov 14, 2021 at 15:32

1 Answer 1


QL stands for QuickLook, so this is a process relating to QuickLook previews in the Finder, not to Preview.app.

This is an entirely 'normal' MacOS process.

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