Finder Issues Preference Reset

Occasionally I still have issues with the Catalina Finder not launching. The fix of Rebuilding the Launch Database helps, but does not always fix the problem. So far the only thing that really fixes this issue, at least for a while, is “Delete” the Finder Preferences. If you are experiencing this Finder launch issue or any other issues with the Catalina Finder, then read on for the Finder Preferences Deletion procedure.

Delete Finder Preferences

Deleting the Finder Preferences is really a last ditch effort. The reason is obvious, all your Finder Preferences, the way you have you Finder setup, will be gone. You have to recreate your Mac Finder the way you like it when this is done, so it is a bit of a hassle. If you have tried to “Relaunch” the Finder by using Command ⌘ – Option ⌥ – Esc␛ on your keyboard:

Finder Relaunch

And if you have tried “Rebuilding” the Launch Database:

Rebuild Launch

Without any success, then it is time to “Delete” the Finder Preferences. You can go into the User Library of the operating system and remove the Preference file if you can find it, but an easier way is to use the Terminal App:

Terminal App

Just open the Terminal App (Applications/Utilities) and type or paste in the following command:

Terminal Command

When you hit “Return”, the Preference file is Deleted. The Terminal does not ask you to Authenticate during this process. This next step is very important. Before doing anything else, you must “Restart” your Mac! After the Restart, the Finder should behave properly, but you will have to go into the various settings and setup the Finder the way you like it. 

There is one more thing I want to mention here. If Deleting Finder Preferences does not fix this launch issue, you will probably have to Reinstall the macOS from the “Recovery Mode” (Command ⌘ “R”) on a Restart. That is a total pain, but it may be the only way to fix whatever files are broken.


The Finder is probably the part of the macOS that we take for granted the most. It is there and it just works, most of the time. This is a drastic fix for Finder issues, but it does work most of the time.

PS — The Finder Preferences Delete worked for a bit, but the Finder went back to its wonkiness. So, I Restarted into Recovery Mode and reinstalled macOS 10.15.5. After the install, the Finder seems to be OK, crossing my fingers.