Mac Preview App File Location

Certain actions that you perform on your Mac will cause default apps to open. For example, clicking a document may open Pages. But what if you want Microsoft Word to open instead? You can also set your default web browser and email reader.

Sep 20, 2019  As another helpful piece in our “New to Mac” series, this tutorial walks you through the Preview app on your Mac. This useful tool is the default viewer for images and PDFs. You can use it for more than previews, however. Preview offers markup and annotation tools along with features for merging PDF files and signing documents. In the Preview app on your Mac, choose File Open. Locate and select the file or files you want to open, then click Open. Tip: To open a file you’ve worked on recently, choose File Open Recent. To open a document in iCloud Drive, click iCloud Drive in the Finder sidebar, then double-click the PDF to open it. A little while ago I decided it would be really nice if I could go directly to the page I’m interested in when the PDF opens, so I cobbled together a Unix shell script and some Applescript that (a) opens the PDF in the Mac Preview app, and (b) goes directly to the page I’m interested in. It turns out that Preview. You can see them by choosing Go to Folder from the Go menu in the Finder and pasting in /Library/Containers/com.apple.Notes/Data/Library/CoreData/ExternalRecords. You’ll find yourself looking at a folder with a 32-character hyphenated name, which you can open. Then open the “Note” folder and then the “records” folder. Oct 18, 2017  When you double-click a photo in the Windows file browser, you can use the arrow keys to quickly browse every photo that folder. Open a photo in Preview on macOS, however, and pressing the arrow keys does nothing. This makes it hard to have a quick slideshow.

Here's how!

How to change the default Mac app for specific file types

  1. Right-click on a file that uses the file type you'd like to change the default for. For example, one with a .jpg extension (a photo).
  2. Click on Get Info in the pop-up.
  3. Click Open With if the section isn't already expanded.
  4. Click the dropdown and choose an app.

    Source: iMore

  5. Click Change All...
  6. Click Continue when the Finder asks you if you're sure.

    Source: iMore

Now any time you open a file with that extension, the Finder will automatically open it with the app you've selected.

How to set your default web browser

  1. Launch System Preferences from the dock, Finder, or by clicking the Apple icon in the Menu bar.
  2. Click General at the top left of the window.
  3. Click the dropdown next to Default web browser.
  4. Click the web browser you'd like to use as the default.

    Source: iMore

How to set your default email reader

Mail is likely the default email app on your Mac, but just in case you have others downloaded, you can set the default reader. Here's how:

  1. Launch Mail from your dock or the Finder.
  2. Click Mail in the menu bar at the top of the screen.
  3. Click Preferences.
  4. Click the dropdown next to Default Mail Reader.
  5. Click the app you'd like to set as the default.

    Source: iMore

Questions?

Let us know in the comments below.

Updated February 2020: Updated for macOS Catalina!

macOS Catalina

Main

We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.

My heart

This timelapse of macOS 10.0 through 10.15 is a nostalgic wonder

The very first version of macOS, or Mac OS X as it was known, arrived almost 20 years ago. This video takes us through every major update the Mac has seen since in one amazing timelapse.

There’s a frustrating issue with macOS, where the app you’re using stops working and spits out an error message saying it isn’t open anymore. This mostly happens with Preview, but it can affect any app on your Mac, including Finder, Safari, the App Store, and others.

When this error occurs, the app you’re using becomes unresponsive and the following alert pops up:

Despite the error message, your app still appears as though it’s open. There may be a dot beneath it in the Dock or it may still have open windows. But you’re unable to use it. With Preview, that means you can’t open PDFs, screenshots, or other images anymore!

This article explains how to fix this error and get your apps working again. We’ve even gone so far as explaining how to fully reinstall macOS, in case this issue keeps cropping up again and again.

Contents

  • 1 Quick Tips
  • 2 Step 1. Force Quit Preview
  • 3 Step 2. Reboot your Mac
  • 4 Step 3. Remove your Preview preferences
  • 5 Step 4. Update or reinstall macOS

Quick Tips

Here are the basic steps to fix Preview when macOS tells you it’s not open anymore, we’ve explained each step more fully in the article below:

  1. Force Quit Preview using command+option+escape.
  2. Reboot your Mac, using a hard reboot if necessary.
  3. Remove your Preview preferences from the Library.
  4. Update and then reinstall macOS using Recovery Mode.

Related:

Step 1. Force Quit Preview

The first thing to try and do — although it doesn’t always work for this error — is to close the unresponsive app. Despite the error message telling you Preview “is not open anymore,” it usually is. But it has frozen and needs to be reopened.

There are two ways to Force Quit an app in macOS: using the Force Quit window or using Activity Monitor. If either of these methods works, make sure you reboot your Mac before opening Preview again.

How do I close Preview using the Force Quit window?

  1. Press the command+option+escape keys to open the Force Quit window.
  2. If the escape key on your Touch Bar is unresponsive, go to  > Force Quit from the menu bar.
  3. Select Preview from the list of applications.
  4. Click Force Quit, then reboot your Mac.

How do I close Preview using Activity Monitor?

  1. Open the Activity Monitor application in one of these ways:
    1. Go to Finder > Applications > Utilities.
    2. Or go to Launchpad > Other.
  2. Select the CPU tab, then click ‘Process Name’ to sort the processes.
  3. Find and select Preview in the list of processes.
  4. Click the stop sign button in the top-left of Activity Monitor.
  5. Choose Force Quit, then reboot your Mac.

Step 2. Reboot your Mac

Preview For Mac

If it’s not possible to close Preview using Force Quit or Activity Monitor, you can close it by rebooting your Mac instead. This forces any apps that macOS says are not open to restart, bypassing the error message.

Mac Preview App File Location Free

The safest way to reboot your Mac is using a soft reboot, but that may not be possible if the unresponsive app cannot close. If that’s the case, you have no choice but to use a hard reboot. We’ve explained both reboots below.

How do I soft reboot my Mac?

  1. From the menu bar, go to  > Shut Down.
  2. Uncheck the box to reopen windows when logging back in.
  3. Confirm you want to Shut Down.
  4. Wait at least 30 seconds for your Mac to power off.
  5. Briefly press the power button to turn your Mac on again.

How do I hard reboot my Mac?

  1. Performing a hard reboot may result in lost data or corrupt files. If possible, save your documents and back up your Mac first.
  2. Press and hold the power button for 10 seconds or so until the screen goes black.
  3. Wait 30 seconds, then briefly press the power button again to restart your Mac
  4. In the alert window that appears, click Cancel to avoid reopening any apps.

Step 3. Remove your Preview preferences

If you still get the same error message — ‘The application “Preview.app” is not open anymore’ — you may need to remove some of your preference files.

These are small files that macOS automatically creates to store your settings for each application. You can usually remove them without losing any data or causing problems, but we recommend you back up your Mac first just in case.

Follow each of the suggestions below, testing Preview again after each one.

We advise you to move the preference files to a new folder on your Desktop for safekeeping, that way you can always put them back if something goes wrong. If this works and your issue is fixed, go ahead and delete those preference files.

How do I remove my Preview preferences?

  1. Open Finder, then from the menu bar select Go > Go to Folder.
  2. Type the following location and click Go:
    ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.Preview.plist
  3. Move the highlighted preferences file to your Desktop for safekeeping.
  4. Reboot your Mac and test Preview again.
  5. If the error persists, repeat the steps above for each of the following files:
    1. ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.Preview
    2. ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.quicklook.ui.helper
    3. ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.Preview.LSSharedFileList.plist
    4. ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.Preview.SandboxedPersistentURLs.LSSharedFileList.plist
    5. ~/Library/Saved Application State/com.apple.Preview.savedState

Step 4. Update or reinstall macOS

Hopefully, that’s all you need to resolve the ‘“Preview.app” is not open anymore’ errors. But if you’re still experiencing problems, there might be a bug in your operating software. You can fix this by updating or reinstalling macOS.

We suggest you update your Mac to the latest version of macOS first. Apple frequently releases patch updates to fix bugs like this, but you can’t benefit from them if you don’t keep your machine up-to-date.

If you’re already running the latest version of macOS or if an update doesn’t solve anything, you need to reinstall macOS using Recovery Mode. This shouldn’t affect your data — although we recommend you back up your Mac first anyway.

Reinstalling macOS rewrites every line of code in the operating software on your Mac.

How do I update to the latest release of macOS?

  1. Connect your Mac to a working Internet connection.
  2. Go to System Preferences > Software Update to check for new updates.
  3. Download and install any updates your Mac finds.

How do I reinstall macOS?

  1. If you haven’t already, make a new backup using Time Machine.
  2. Use the following instructions to boot your Mac into Recovery Mode:
    1. Go to  > Shut Down and confirm you want to Shut Down you Mac.
    2. Wait 30 seconds for your Mac to fully power off.
    3. Briefly press the power button, then immediately hold command+R.
  3. When the Recovery Mode screen appears, click Reinstall macOS.
  4. Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the macOS reinstallation.

Fingers cross, that’s the last of the ‘“Preview.app” is not open anymore’ messages. Check out this post if you need more help with crashing apps on your Mac.

Mac Preview App File Locations

And let us know in the comments if you found these suggestions helpful!

Mac Preview App File Location Windows 10

Dan is a freelance writer based in South West England.

He spent two years supervising repairs as a Genius Admin for Apple Retail and uses that knowledge to keep our troubleshooting guides up to date.

Mac

Long before that, Dan turned to Apple products from a musical background. Having owned iPods for years, he bought a MacBook to learn sound recording and production. It was using those skills that he gained a first-class Bachelor of Science in Sound Technology.

Related Posts: