How to Fix Quick Look Not Working on Mac

Don’t know how to fix Quick Look not working on Mac?

Apple is known for providing features that make the user experience convenient. One of these features is the Quick Look, which enables you to have a quick preview of the content inside the media files without opening them. This allows you to dig through numerous files and only open the one you were looking for.

However, many users have complained about the Quick Look feature not working, especially after they updated to the macOS Monterey. The shortcut usually opens the file preview when you press the spacebar, but for many, it’s not working anymore. Others have stated that Quick Look is only displaying a blank screen.

There could be various reasons behind this error. But don’t worry, as we’re here to save the day. Below are several troubleshooting steps to fix Quick Look not working on Mac

So, continue reading!

1. Restart the Finder App.

The most basic method to deal with an unresponsive application is to restart the application. This removes any temporary glitches that might interfere with the functioning of the feature.

Unlike other programs on Mac, Finder stays active all the time. Hence, the only way to restart Finder is to force-quit the application and restart it.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Click on the Apple logo on the left corner and select Force Quit Finder.
force quit finder on mac
  1. Find Finder in the list and select it.
  2. Click on the Relaunch button.
  3. Again select Relaunch on the confirmation box.

2. Clear Quick Look Cache.

All programs and features save temporary data files that help them load faster in subsequent uses. This is referred to as a cache. However, the storage capacity may exceed, causing the cache to get full and result in a system or application crash. 

To prevent this from happening, you’re supposed to clear the cache every once in a while. This is also important to do if you suspect there is a bug in the program, as clearing its cache will remove any temporary bugs.

Here’s how to clear the cache for Quick Look:

  1. First, launch the Terminal app on your Mac.
  2. In the terminal window, type the following command.
qlmanage -r cache
Quick Look Not Working on Mac
  1. Press the Enter key to perform the command. This will clear the Quick Look cache.

3. Stop Quick Look From Activity Monitor.

The Activity Monitor on Mac is like the Task Manager for Windows. It keeps track of all the ongoing processes in your computer that are running in both foreground and background.

As mentioned before, Quick Look works non-stop on Finder. Thus, you can quit its process from the Activity Monitor. This will reset the feature and hopefully fix the issue of Quick Look not working on Mac.

Follow the steps below to do so:

  1. Open the Activity Monitor app on your Mac.
  2. In the Search bar at the top-right corner of your screen, type QuickLookUIService and press Enter.
Quick Look Not Working on Mac
  1. From the results below, select the first option and click on the cross icon at the top of the screen to stop the particular service.
  1. Close the Activity Monitor app and check if Quick Look is working on Mac.

4. Restart Mac.

When restarting a certain program doesn’t work, it’s best to restart the entire system. This seems to get rid of temporary bugs causing the problem of Quick Look not working on Mac.

Here’s how to restart your Mac:

  1. Go to the top-left corner of your Mac’s screen and click on the Apple icon.
  2. From the options that appear, click on Restart. Your Mac will then reboot.
restart mac
  1. Log back in with your account and check to see if Quick Look is working.

5. Boot Into Safe Mode.

Booting into Safe Mode is one of the easiest methods to determine where the issue truly lies. When you enter Safe Mode, your system only starts with the necessary applications, and all other programs are put to a halt. After that, exit the Safe Mode.

If the Quick Look feature works perfectly in the Safe Mode but not afterward, it means a third-party software is causing the problem. In this case, either try disabling each application or get antivirus software to do its job.

Entering Safe Mode is different for Intel and M1 Mac. If you’re not sure which one you own, follow these steps:

For Intel:

  1. Start by powering off your Mac.
  2. Once it is turned off, wait for several seconds before turning it on again.
  3. When you turn it on, make sure to hold down the Shift key until you see the login screen appear on your Mac.
safe mode mac
  1. Then, log in to your user account.
  2. Your Mac has entered Safe Mode. Try using Quick Look to see if it works.

For M1:

  1. First, turn off your Mac.
  2. Then, press and hold down the Power button until you see the startup option appearing on your Mac’s screen.
  3. Next, choose a startup disk.
  4. Hold down the Shift key and select Continue in Safe Mode.
Quick Look Not Working on Mac
  1. After that, log in to your Mac.
  2. Now that your Mac is in Safe Mode, check if the Quick Look feature is working.
  3. If not, reboot your Mac and check again.

6. Update macOS Version.

An outdated macOS version can also lead you to plenty of troubles, such as Quick Look not working on Mac. Since version updates usually contain fixes for commonly reported issues, it’s best to always keep your computer up-to-date.

Follow the steps below to check for any pending updates:

  1. Start by clicking on the Apple icon at the top-left corner of the screen.
  2. From the menu, select the About This Mac option.
about this mac
  1. Click on the Software Update button from the window that opens.
Quick Look Not Working on Mac
  1. If there are any updates available, click on the Update Now option next to it.
update now in software update mac
  1. Once the update is completed, reboot your Mac.

7. Report to Apple.

If nothing else seems to work for you, then your last resort is to take help from the official Apple team. Report the issue to the Apple Support Center and wait for them to get back to you.

That was it! Here we end our guide on how to fix Quick Look not working on Mac. We hope by now you’ve successfully resolved the error. For more queries, feel free to use the comment section below. We’ll respond to you as soon as possible.

If this guide helped you, please share it. 😊


  • Aimen Choudhry

    Aimen Choudhry is an architecture student who has always been fascinated by science. She now finds her therapy researching and writing about the latest technology and the issues that come alongside. Otherwise, you’ll find her playing video games, listening to music, or watching fantasy/sci-fi movies.

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