My Mac Pro 5,1 sometimes freezes when I open the Notification Center, and it usually recovers by itself about 10 minutes later. I'd like to know why and how to fix it. When this happens, the notification center will be half open, as shown in the screenshot. This happens about once a week, seemingly at random. Symptoms include:

  • Cmd-Tab does not work
  • Expose / Mission Control Spaces does not work.
  • Notification Center is frozen
  • Dock will not appear
  • I can't type text in any application
  • I can't drag to reposition windows on the screen
  • Cmd-Opt-Esc opens the Force Quit window, which functions properly
  • Spotlight works properly

Here is the Console's "all messages" log for a few minutes before and after the crash. http://pastebin.com/NuGesUdy

screenshot UPDATE: I've discovered two related things. When this problem happens, Activity Monitor shows Dock using about 100% CPU. Meanwhile, fseventer shows that the .db files in ~/Library/Application Support/Dock/ are being accessed constantly. Also, I think I've tracked down the culprit to the MySQL installation part of XAMPP. It turns out I can unfreeze the system every time by turning off MySQL. I'd still like to know why, and how to fix this.

  • This happens for me too. I'm waiting for apple to push in a major update soon. Wait for WWDC'13 :)
    – Jash Jacob
    May 18, 2013 at 3:11

3 Answers 3


From Apple Support Communities Thread:

  1. Restart your computer and hold down cmd + R to boot into recovery mode.
  2. From the menu bar, select Utilities -> Terminal
  3. Type in "resetpassword" without the quotes.
  4. In the window that pops up, there will be a button in the lower right corner labeled "Reset Home Directory Permissions and ACLs". Click on that. It will take a moment to complete.
  5. When it finishes, simply restart the computer from the Apple menu at the top right. Your computer will restart normally.
  • Unfortunately, since I have a non-EFI graphics card, I can't boot in Recovery Mode. But how is your suggestion different from repairing permissions using Disk Utility?
    – Elliott
    Jun 2, 2013 at 3:09
  • @Elliott Disk Utility repairs permissions in files that the OS installed; Reset Home Directory Permissions and ACLs resets all permissions even on files you've created yourself, in your home folder.
    – grg
    Jun 2, 2013 at 16:31
  • Oh ok I see. Do you know how to do this from within the OS without rebooting into Recovery Mode?
    – Elliott
    Jun 2, 2013 at 19:40

Edit: this was not meant to be an answer, simply a comment:

I have this issue once in a while as well. From the last time it occurred I believe it happened when I tried to dismiss an alert while having the notification center still open, but I think it also has happened for nothing in other occasions.

But in any case, the last time I got it back from freezing, after pressing a million keys - so no solution found.

I can add that CMD+space bar opens Spotlight just fine and from there you can open the Activity Monitor window. What I can't say is if it is possible to control that window, because all of the screen is frozen except for the notification center area and the apple logo.

The last time I also tried restarting Finder from the apple logo menu, but I can't be sure if that helped unfreezing or not.

  • Thank you for your comment, but this is not an answer.
    – Elliott
    May 30, 2013 at 6:02
  • Of course it isn't. It wasn't intended to be. I added info that the original response did not have.
    – acseven
    May 30, 2013 at 9:35
  • Yeah, which is helpful and nice, but the way this site is organized means that that kind of response should be written as a comment rather than an answer. See apple.stackexchange.com/about
    – Elliott
    May 30, 2013 at 16:07
  • Yeah, that's a good point. I guess I could use some help finding that other than where I'm writing right now. Screenshot: postimg.org/image/i5up3u9lf
    – acseven
    May 30, 2013 at 21:20
  • Ah I see your point. The issue is that commenting is a privilege that needs 50 reputation points to unlock. apple.stackexchange.com/privileges/comment
    – Elliott
    May 31, 2013 at 1:49

I recovered without rebooting :

  1. open Activity Monitor via Spotlight (Cmd+Space)
  2. use Tab key to go to filter, type in "notif"
  3. Use Tab key and Arrows keys to select the process "Notification Center"
  4. Type Alt + Cmd + Q then Return in order to quit Notification center
  • Thanks for your comment, but this is not an answer. I also have figured out how to recover, in this case I have to kill 3 processes: Dock, com.apple.dock.extra, and mysqld.
    – Elliott
    Oct 3, 2013 at 15:37

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