Monday, March 14, 2011

Solved: Mac Finder Crashes Upon Opening A Certain Folder Repeatedly

I experience this today. I had never heard of it before. It blew my mind at first. I thought my whole system was crashing down. Alas, it's a minor issue.

After googling some I wasn't able to find an absolute cause or solution. After some tests I discovered the cause, and a solid solution.

The cause: unreadable or corrupted extended attributes in one of the files or folders which prevents Finder from properly handling and displaying the folder contents.

The solution - remove the extended attributes on the the folder contents. I didn't know which file or folder in the affected directory was the cause, so I removed all extended attributes on all items and the problem was solved.

To do this:

1. Open terminal and go to the affected folder.
2. ls -al@e  to show the extended attributes on the folder contents.

Copy one of the attribute names and remove it from all items, for example ''

3. xattr -d *  will remove this attribute from any items that have it.

Repeat step 3 for all attributes, one at a time. For example, I had to run:
xattr -d *
xattr -d *
xattr -d com.macromates.caret *
xattr -d *

That was it. Then my Finder displayed all items properly and stopped crashing.

Other responses from Google results recommended deleting .DS_store files or restoring the directory from a TimeMachine backup. Don't do any of that. It doesn't fix this issue. Only removing the extended attributes will solve this issue.

1 comment:

Messin Baba said...

I tested removing the attributes but it didn't help, then I removed the .DS_Store file and got it working again. So the solution may wary from computer to computer I guess. Or maybe it was a combined effect in my case, hard to tell now.