How to Fix Calculator App Not Working on Mac

Is the Calculator app not working on your Mac?

If your work involves crunching numbers, you probably spend a lot of time with the Calculator app on your Mac

With the built-in calculator, you can solve equations without taking your eyes off the screen.

However, things can get complicated when the Calculator app decides to stop working. It can slow down your workflow and cause you to miss deadlines. 

calculator app not working on mac

There are various reasons that can cause the Calculator app to malfunction. 

In this guide, we will give you some tips on how to fix the Calculator app if it’s not working on your Mac. 

Let’s begin!

1. Restart the Calculator App. 

Restarting an application is the most basic solution you can do if it’s not working. A restart is specifically effective if the Calculator stops working after running in the background for some time.

  1. Click on the Apple Menu in the upper left corner of your display. 
  2. Next, click on Force Quit
  3. Select the Calculator app from the list and click on Force Quit
Quit Calculator

Relaunch the app to see if it works.

2. Restart Your Mac. 


Temporary issues with your Mac can be resolved by a simple restart. This clears your system memory and reloads crucial resources. 

If the Calculator app is not working, follow the steps below to restart your Mac: 

  1. Click the Apple icon in the upper left corner of your screen. 
  2. Now, choose Restart from the drop-down menu. 
  3. Confirm your action by clicking Restart on the dialog box. 
Restart Mac

Try using the Calculator afterward to check if the problem is solved.

2. Disable RPN Mode. 

If you encounter random “dings” when entering functions in the Calculator app, RPN Mode might be enabled.

Some users suggest disabling RPN Mode if your keyboard is not working with the Calculator. 

Here’s what you need to do: 

  1. Open the Calculator app on your Mac. 
  2. Click on View in the upper right corner. 
  3. Now, click on RPN Mode to disable the feature. You’ll know the feature is disabled if it doesn’t have a checkmark. 
calculator app not working on mac

Restart the Calculator app and see if you can use your keyboard to input functions. 

3. Use Safe Mode. 

You can use Safe Mode to diagnose if the issue is caused by a third-party app. 

Safe Mode will only load important system resources needed by your computer to work.  This should create a safe environment for your system apps to function properly. 

Booting in Safe Mode is completely safe. You don’t have to worry about losing data or corrupting system files. 

Here’s how you can boot Macs with Apple Silicon in Safe Mode:

  1. Open the Apple Menu and click on Shut Down
  2. Wait for your Mac to turn off. You’ll know your Mac is completely shut down when the screen is black and indicator lights are off. 
  3. Now, press and hold the Power button until you see the ‘Loading Startup Options’ page on your screen.
  4. Choose your boot drive (usually Macintosh HD). 
  5. Press and hold the Shift key, then click Continue in Safe Mode
Mac Safe Mode

If you are using an Intel-based Mac, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Access the Apple Menu and choose Shut Down
  2. Wait for your Mac to turn off. You’ll know your Mac is completely shut down when the screen is black and indicator lights are off. 
  3. Turn on your Mac and hold the Shift key until you see the login window. 
  4. Provide your credentials to log in to your Mac. 

While in Safe Mode, try using the Calculator to see if you’ll encounter issues. If the app works fine, it means that a third-party app causes it to malfunction. 

4. Remove Third-Party Apps. 

If the Calculator app works in Safe Mode, you’ll need to identify which app causes the problem. 

Boot your Mac normally and follow the steps below:

  1. First, identify the applications you have recently installed. 
  2. Uninstall an application you recently installed. Drag the app’s icon to the Trash bin
  3. Now, open the Calculator app and see if it works. 
  4. If not, repeat the process until the Calculator app functions normally. 

When this happens, the last application you removed is the culprit. To confirm this, reinstall that app and see if the Calculator app will stop working again. 

Try finding an alternative application to prevent the issue from coming back. 

5. Update Your System. 

The issue can also lie with your operating system. Your current software might have an underlying problem related to the Calculator app. 

To fix this, check if there are available updates for your Mac and install them. 

See the steps below to update your Mac: 

  1. Click on the Apple icon in the upper left corner of your screen. 
  2. Now, choose System Settings or System Preferences
  • If you choose System Settings, click on General on the left side window. Then click on Software Update on the right. 
  • If you choose  System Preferences, click on Software Update
  1. Wait for your Mac to check for updates. 
  2. If there’s an available update, click on Update Now or Upgrade Now
calculator app not working on mac

Note

  • If you are using a MacBook, make sure that your battery is at least 50% charged. You can just leave it plugged into the wall outlet during the update. 
  • Your Mac can restart several times while installing the update.
  • The update progress bar might also appear to be stuck. When this happens, don’t do anything. Software updates can take several minutes to complete.

If your Mac won’t update, you can check our detailed guide to help you out. 

Related: How to Fix MacBook Not Charging After Update

6. Use Spotlight Search (Workaround). 

Besides the Calculator app, you can also run mathematical equations through Spotlight Search. 

While this won’t solve the problem, it is an effective workaround that allows you to get back to your work. 

Here’s how you can use Spotlight Search: 

  1. Press Command + Space on your keyboard to open Spotlight Search
  2. Enter the math equation you want to solve. 
calculator app not working on mac

Spotlight Search should immediately show the answer to your query. 

Note

Make sure to enter the mathematical equation properly to get the correct answers. 

7. Contact Apple Support. 

If none of the solutions above worked, it’s best to leave the issue to the experts. 

Visit Apple’s support page and look for the issue you’re experiencing. If there’s an available solution, it should appear in the results tab. You’ll also see related articles about the problem. 

calculator app not working on mac

For faster actions, you can get in touch with their team through chat or phone. You can also bring your Mac to the nearest Apple Store to have it checked. 

That brings us to the end of our guide for fixing the Calculator app if it’s not working on your Mac. If you have questions or other concerns, please leave a comment below, and we’ll do our best to respond. 

If this guide helped you, please share it. 

Author

  • John Sixto

    John is a staff writer at Saint and comes from a SAP ABAP development background. He has a Bachelors in IT and has been writing since 2018, with over 500 posts published. He loves to build PCs and has a deep curiosity in understanding how different components and configurations work. John spends hundreds of hours at a time, researching and testing the software and apps, before he proceeds to write about it. LinkedIn X (Twitter) Website

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