Best Ways To Fix System Settings Not Responding On Mac

System Preferences on Mac lets you customize and configure various settings and preferences on your macOS. For instance, you can tweak your display settings, privacy configurations, and network settings. We have discussed some of these tricks in this post.

But, what if System Preferences are not responding on your Mac? There could be various reasons why this is happening. In this blog, we’ll have a look at some measures you can take if System Preferences are not working on your Mac –

Things You Can Do if System Preferences Are Not Responding On Your Mac

Method No. 1: Force Quit System Preferences/ System Settings

If your System Settings is not responding you can try to Force Quit it and then try to reopen the System Settings. Here are the steps to do that

Step 1 – Click on the Apple icon.

Apple icon

Step 2 – Click on the Force Quit option.

Step 3 – When the Force Quit Applications window opens, click on System Settings/ System Preferences.

System Settings

Step 4 – Click on Force Quit from the bottom-right

Method No. 2: Repair Disk With Disk Utility

Mac itself provides you a way to fix issues with your disk because of which System Settings might not be responding. To do that you can use the First Aid functionality in utilities. Here are the steps to do that –

Step 1 – Open Finder > Go

Disk Utility

Step 2 – Select Utilities and select Disk Utility from the dropdown.

Disk Utility option

Step 3 – Select your disk and select First Aid from the right-hand side.

First Aid

Step 4 – Click on Run

system settings issue

Method No. 3: Restart Mac In Safe Mode

Even if after using the Disk Utility you can’t use System Settings/ System Preferences, try restarting the Mac in Safe Mode and then run System Settings. Below we have discussed how to boot in safe mode. Wish to know other reasons why you might need to boot in Safe Mode on Mac and what it does, checkout this blog.

On An Intel Based Mac –

Step 1 – Shut down the Mac and wait for a few seconds.

Step 2 – Restart the Mac and press the Shift key.

Step 3 – Release the shift key once you see the login screen.

On An Apple Silicon-Based Mac –

Step 1 – Shut down the Mac and wait for a few seconds.

Step 2 – Press and hold down the power button until you see the startup options window.

Step 3 – Select the startup disk.

Step 4 – Press the Shift key and continue in Safe Mode.

Step 5 – Release the Shift key 

Method No. 4: Delete Plist Files

Corrupt Plist files can also be the reason why you are unable to open System Settings on your Mac. You can try deleting such files and then restart your Mac and then check if you are able to open System Settings –

Step 1 – Open Finder, click on Go and click on Go to Folder.

Go to Folder

Step 2 – Copy and paste the following path –

~/Library/Preferences and press Return


Step 3 – Locate the following file and send it to trash

Step 4 – Empty the trash and restart Mac.

To Sum Up

If your Mac’s System Preferences/ System Settings are unresponsive, there are several steps you can take to resolve the issue. You can start by force quitting System Preferences and reopening it. If that doesn’t work, try repairing your disk using Disk Utility’s First Aid feature. Another option is to restart your Mac in Safe Mode and attempt to access System Preferences from there. Finally, deleting potentially corrupt Plist files related to System Preferences may help restore functionality. Explore these methods to address the issue effectively and resume normal operation on your Mac.

Do let us know if the methods above have been able to help you fix the issue. For more such content, keep reading WeTheGeek. You can also reach out to us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest.

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