Top 10 Ways to Fix Apps Not Opening on Mac

Apps not opening on your Mac can be frustrating and hinder your productivity. Whether it’s a specific application or multiple apps that refuse to launch, it’s important to identify the underlying causes and find effective solutions. In this article, we will explore the top 10 ways to fix apps not opening on Mac, providing you with a comprehensive guide to troubleshooting and resolving this issue.

I. Check System Requirements

Before delving into troubleshooting methods, it’s crucial to ensure that your Mac meets the system requirements for the problematic applications. Developers often specify the minimum macOS version and hardware specifications needed to run their apps smoothly. To check if your Mac is compatible, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Apple menu and select “About This Mac.”
  2. Check the “Overview” tab to find information about your Mac’s model, processor, memory, and macOS version.
  3. Visit the developer’s website or the App Store to verify the system requirements for the app in question.

II. Restart Your Mac

Restarting your Mac can often resolve minor software glitches and temporary issues that may be preventing apps from opening correctly. To restart your Mac:

  1. Click on the Apple menu in the top-left corner.
  2. Choose the “Restart” option from the drop-down menu.
  3. Wait for your Mac to restart and try opening the problematic apps again.

III. Update macOS and Apps

Keeping your macOS and apps up to date is crucial for compatibility and performance. Developers frequently release updates to address bugs and improve stability. To update macOS and apps:

  1. Click on the Apple menu and select “System Preferences.”
  2. Choose “Software Update” to check for available macOS updates.
  3. Install any pending updates and restart your Mac.
  4. Open the App Store, click on the “Updates” tab, and update your apps.

IV. Clear Cache and Temporary Files

Cache and temporary files can accumulate over time, potentially causing conflicts and preventing apps from launching correctly. Clearing these files can help resolve the issue. Here’s how:

  1. Open Finder and click on the “Go” menu.
  2. Select “Go to Folder” and enter the following path: ~/Library/Caches
  3. Delete the contents of the “Caches” folder. (Exercise caution and avoid deleting important files.)
  4. Repeat the process for the “~/Library/Preferences” folder, removing any preferences related to the problematic app.
  5. Restart your Mac and attempt to open the apps again.


Resetting the PRAM (Parameter Random Access Memory) or NVRAM (Non-Volatile Random Access Memory) and SMC (System Management Controller) can help resolve various hardware and software-related issues. To reset PRAM/NVRAM and SMC:

  1. Shut down your Mac.
  2. Press the power button and immediately hold down the Command + Option + P + R keys simultaneously.
  3. Keep holding the keys until your Mac restarts and you hear the startup sound twice.
  4. Release the keys and allow your Mac to boot up.
  5. Launch the apps to check if the issue persists.

VI. Disable Startup Items and Login Apps

Certain apps or processes set to launch automatically at startup may interfere with other applications. Disabling these startup items and login apps can help resolve conflicts. Here’s how:

  1. Go to the Apple menu and select “System Preferences.”
  2. Choose “Users & Groups” and select your username.
  3. Click on the “Login Items” tab.
  4. Select any apps or processes you don’t need at startup and click on the “-” button to remove them.
  5. Restart your Mac and try opening the problematic apps.

VII. Run Disk Utility

Disk Utility is a built-in macOS tool that allows you to verify and repair disk permissions and other disk-related issues. Running Disk Utility can potentially fix problems preventing apps from opening. Follow these steps:

  1. Open Finder and navigate to the “Applications” folder.
  2. Open the “Utilities” folder and double-click on “Disk Utility.”
  3. Select your Mac’s startup disk from the left sidebar.
  4. Click on the “First Aid” button and choose “Run” to scan and repair any disk errors.
  5. Once the process completes, restart your Mac and test the apps again.

VIII. Create a New User Account

Creating a new user account can help determine if the problem is specific to your user profile. If the apps open without issues in a new user account, it indicates that your original account might be corrupted. Follow these steps to create a new user account:

  1. Open System Preferences from the Apple menu.
  2. Select “Users & Groups.”
  3. Click on the lock icon and enter your administrator password to make changes.
  4. Click on the “+” button to create a new user account.
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions to set up the new account.
  6. Log in to the new account and attempt to open the apps. If they work, consider migrating your files and settings to the new account.

IX. Reinstall the Problematic App

If a specific app is not opening, it might be corrupted or have missing files. Reinstalling the app can often resolve the issue. Follow these steps to reinstall the problematic app:

  1. Open Finder and go to the “Applications” folder.
  2. Locate the app that is not opening and move it to the trash.
  3. Visit the developer’s website or the App Store to download the latest version of the app.
  4. Install the app and try launching it again.

X. Contact App Support or Apple Support

If none of the previous methods have resolved the issue, it’s advisable to seek further assistance. Contacting the app’s support team or Apple Support can provide expert guidance and solutions tailored to your specific problem.


Encountering apps that won’t open on your Mac can be frustrating, but by following the top 10 methods outlined in this article, you should be able to troubleshoot and resolve the issue. Remember to check system requirements, update your macOS and apps, clear cache and temporary files, reset PRAM/NVRAM and SMC, disable startup items, run Disk Utility, create a new user account, reinstall the problematic app, and seek support when necessary. With these troubleshooting techniques at your disposal, you’ll be able to get your apps up and running smoothly on your Mac once again.

Leave a Comment