How To Fix Preview Not Working on Mac (6 Solutions)

Mac’s Preview is our one-stop destination for viewing images, and documents and catering to all our editing necessities in one space. With the help of Mac’s Preview app, you can open images, and PDF files, fill out and sign forms, add a signature, password-protect your important documents, combine PDF files, convert file format, and perform a wide variety of editing tasks with ease.

The Preview app supports almost all major image formats including JPEG, PNG, PSD, and TIFF. You can easily rely on this tool for editing PDF files on macOS without having to download a third-party tool.

Preview Not Working
Image source: Apple Support

So, yes, Mac’s Preview app is quite useful. Preview not working on Mac? Is the Preview app unable to load a thumbnail or open a file? Don’t worry. You can easily fix this issue by following a few workarounds. In this post, we have listed a bunch of solutions to fix the “Preview not working on Mac” issue. You can use any of the below-listed resolutions to get the Preview app up and running again within no time.

Let’s get started.

Also read: How to Edit Photos on Mac Using the Preview App?

Ways To Fix Preview Not Working on Mac

Solution 1: Manually Enable the Preview App

If the Preview pane on Mac has been temporarily disabled, here’s how you can enable it again using Mac’s Finder.

Launch Finder. Now, tap on “View” and select the “Show Preview” option.

Show Preview

In case, you are seeing the “Hide Preview” option on the context menu. Tap on it and then again select the “Show Preview” option to manually enable it.

Solution 2: Force Quit the Preview app

Tap on the Apple icon placed on the top menu bar, and select the “Force Quit” option from the menu.

You will now see a list of active apps on the screen. Select “Preview” from the list and then tap on the “Force Quit” button.

Force Quit

Also, if you don’t see the Preview option in the Force Quit window, first launch the Preview app and then follow the above-listed steps to force quit the application.

Also read: Quick Look Not Working on Mac? Here’s the Fix!

Solution 3: Delete the PLIST File for Preview

Deleting the PLIST file for Preview will load the app to its default settings to give you a fresh start. To delete the PLIST file for Preview, here’s what you need to do:

Launch Finder> Go> Library.


In the Library folder, select the “Preferences” folder.


Now, look for the “’” in the Preferences folder. Right-click on this file and select the “Move to Trash” option to delete the PLIST file for the Preview app.

Also read: Hacks To Preview Mac Files Quickly

Solution 4: Update macOS

Using an outdated version of macOS can lead to unexpected app crashes, longer response time, and other unwanted issues. To make sure that you are operating the latest version of macOS, here’s what you need to do:

Tap on the Apple icon placed on the top menu bar and select “About this Mac”.

About this Mac

Tap on “Software Update”. If an update is available for your Mac device, hit the “Upgrade Now” button to install the latest version of macOS Monteray on your Mac.

Also read: How to Fix High CPU Usage on macOS (5 Methods)

Solution 5: Use an Alternative Image Viewing App

Tried the above-listed solutions and still no luck? Does the preview app keep crashing on your Mac? Well, if the Preview app is giving you a hard time, you can switch to alternative image viewing apps meanwhile. A plethora of image viewing and editing apps are available for macOS that you can download from the web.

Solution 6: Restart your Device

Yes, no matter how simple this solution may sound but it helps. Restarting your Mac can help you overcome the “Preview not working” issue. So, just tap the Apple icon and select the “Restart” option.

Restart your Device

Wait for your Mac to reboot. Relaunch the Preview app and check if the issue was resolved.


Here were a few simple solutions to fix the “Preview app not working” issue on Mac. You can use any of these solutions if you are any errors or issues accessing the Preview app on macOS. Do let us know which method did the trick for you! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.

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