8 Fixes for When Preview Fails to Open on Your Mac

Are you frustrated when you try to open a PDF or image file in Preview on your Mac but it fails to display? This can be a common issue that can occur for various reasons. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with 8 fixes that can help get Preview working again on your Mac.

Detailed Discussion on 8 Fixes for When Preview Fails to Open on Your Mac

1. Quit and Relaunch Preview

The first and most straightforward step is to try quitting Preview completely and relaunching it. To do so, click on Preview in the top left corner of your screen, and choose Quit Preview. Then, open Launchpad and click on the Preview icon to restart the app.

2. Check for Updates

In some cases, bugs and compatibility issues could cause Preview to malfunction. Ensure that your Mac’s software is up to date, including Preview. You can check for updates by clicking on the Apple menu in the top-left corner of your screen, choosing System Preferences > Software Update.

3. Reset your Mac’s SMC and PRAM

If Preview is still not opening after relaunching and updating, resetting your Mac’s System Management Controller (SMC) and Parameter Random Access Memory (PRAM) might do the trick. You can find the instructions for resetting these components in Apple’s support articles.

4. Clear Preview’s Saved States

Preview saves files’ previous states and settings to load them up faster when you reopen them. Sometimes, these saved states cause problems. Open Finder, and click Go > Go to Folder. Type the following in the search box: ~/Library/Saved Application State/
Delete all the items you find in the folder and relaunch Preview.

5. Check External Devices

If Preview still fails to open files, you might want to check your external devices, such as USB or hard drives, and see if they are causing the issue. Eject the devices, and re-insert them, then launch Preview and see if it works.

6. Test a Different File

The problem might not be with Preview but with specific files. To check if this is the issue, try opening different PDF and image files to check if they work.

7. Use Another Image/PDF Viewer

If you need to access a file and Preview doesn’t work, you can use another image viewer or PDF reader. There are plenty of free and paid apps available to download on the Mac App Store that can help you open your files.

8. Reinstall Preview

Finally, if Preview continues to fail, your last resort can be to uninstall and reinstall it. To do so, delete the app from your Applications folder, and then download and install Preview from the Mac App Store.

Concluding Thoughts on 8 Fixes for When Preview Fails to Open on Your Mac

Preview is a useful app that helps Mac users with viewing and annotating PDFs and images. However, if it doesn’t work, it can be frustrating. By following the above steps, you can fix the issue and get Preview functioning again.

FAQs about 8 Fixes for When Preview Fails to Open on Your Mac

What is Preview on a Mac?

Preview is macOS’s default app used to view and edit images and PDF files.

Why is Preview not opening on my Mac?

This can happen due to multiple things like software bugs, compatibility issues, external devices, or corrupted files.

What do I do if Preview continues malfunctioning?

If Preview continues to malfunction, use another app to view PDFs and images or reinstall Preview from the Mac App Store.

Is Preview available for Windows?

No, Preview is exclusive to macOS and cannot be downloaded on Windows or other operating systems.

In conclusion, these are some simple and straightforward steps to fix Preview’s malfunctioning for various reasons. Remember to check for updates, clear saved states, reset SMC and PRAM, and test different files before using a different app.



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Peter Graham
Peter Graham
Hi there! I'm Peter, a software engineer and tech enthusiast with over 10 years of experience in the field. I have a passion for sharing my knowledge and helping others understand the latest developments in the tech world. When I'm not coding, you can find me hiking or trying out the latest gadgets.


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