Mac OS forum

General discussion

Mac applications won't start up. (Mail, Safari, Pref, etc.)

by jess-b / September 21, 2005 11:18 AM PDT

Suddenly many of my Mac applications will not start up. Mail, Safari, many preferences, and Mac Help are some examples. I click on the application but it never boots up. This happened once before about 6 months ago. I reinstalled my system software and the problem was fixed. I did the same thing this time but the problem remained.

I'm on a Power Mac G5, OS version10.3 (I was at version 10.3.9 before I reinstalled the system).

Now that I've reinstalled the original system software (10.3), I can't upgrade to newer versions. The Mac software updater also is not working.

Any suggestions would be great!

Thank you.

Post a reply
Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Mac applications won't start up. (Mail, Safari, Pref, etc.)
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Mac applications won't start up. (Mail, Safari, Pref, etc.)
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Start Up
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / September 21, 2005 9:43 PM PDT

If, as you say, the problem continues after a reinstall of the system software, then the problem is not a software one. A re-install should be considered the last resort in the troubleshooting chain, one that is performed after exhausting all the other methods of repair. For instance, did you ever repair the Disk Permissions? The symptoms you describe can sometimes be fixed by running this utility.
Run it now and see if it makes any difference. Let us know

As an absolute last resort, you can Format and Install the OS from the restore CD's that came with the G5. Be aware though, this method WILL destroy ALL your data.


Collapse -
Same Problem... hopefully you can help!
by dustin12188 / December 6, 2009 7:25 PM PST
In reply to: Start Up

I am so sorry for being so computer illiterate in this area, but how do I use Disk Permissions?

The applications (for me its itunes and skype and picasa, system updater..... I originally thought the problem was because I had not updated recently, but I had and then system updater wont even open) just bounce once and wont open at all. I tried to reinstall picasa (as another forum said) but even the newly installed version did the one bounce and refused to open.

Thank you so much for your help!

Collapse -
Repairing Disk Permissions
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / December 6, 2009 8:46 PM PST

Open you Applications folder and then open your Utilities folder
Find the Disk Utility application
Launch it
In the Left hand pane you will see your hard disk
Click it once
In the right hand pane, choose Repair Disk Permissions
Let it run until it has finished.
Quit Disk Utility
Try to launch something from the dock


Collapse -
Still not opening....
by dustin12188 / December 6, 2009 11:58 PM PST

Dear P,
Thank you so much for responding so quickly.
Unfortunately, I ran disk utilities and did everything you said and the applications still will not start up.
It is so odd that it is just a few of my applications (firefox, word, iphoto all still work thank goodness-- but itunes and skype and the others listed above just hop once and go nowhere), but, as I said before, even reinstalling them does not work.

Do you have any other suggestions? And if not, can you point me in the right direction?

Thank you so much for your help!

Collapse -
Not sure what's going on here,
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / December 7, 2009 9:09 AM PST
In reply to: Still not opening....

the "cure" of last resort is an Archive and Install of the System.

I'll give it a little more thought and maybe someone else will pass by with a suggestion you could try.

First though, go to your home folder, Library, Preferences and delete the iTunes preferences. (just drag it onto the desktop) It's called

Close the windows and then launch iTunes, or at least try to, and see what happens. New preference files will be created when the program launches.


Popular Forums
Computer Help 49,613 discussions
Computer Newbies 10,349 discussions
Laptops 19,436 discussions
Security 30,426 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 20,308 discussions
Windows 10 360 discussions
Phones 15,802 discussions
Windows 7 7,351 discussions
Networking & Wireless 14,641 discussions


Free trip to the Grand Prix

Don't miss your chance to win a trip to the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Monaco for you and a plus-one.