Mac OS X 10.4.9 Special Report: Finder persistently crashes and re-launches

Mac OS X 10.4.9 Special Report: Finder persistently crashes and re-launches

Some users have reported an issue where the Finder repeatedly crashes then re-launches (its default behavior in the case of a crash) after updating to Mac OS X 10.4.9.

MacFixIt reader Vernon Haley writes:

"I have never had an issue with an update until now. After applying this update by-the-book, my Finder repeatedly quits and restarts. The Finder crash log reports an error, but does not identify the problem. There are also no error messages that pop up on screen to say that the program has crashed."


Re-apply combo updater The tried and true method of re-applying the Mac OS X 10.4.9 combo updater has proven successful for some users experiencing this issue. Download links are as follows:

  • Mac OS X 10.4.9 Update Intel, Combo [310 MB]
  • Mac OS X 10.4.9 Update PowerPC, Combo [163MB]
  • Mac OS X Server Update 10.4.9 Intel, Combo [350 MB]
  • Mac OS X Server Update 10.4.9 PowerPC, Combo [216MB]

Delete Finder .plist In many cases, Finder crashes can be resolved by deleting the files: and from the following directory:

  • ~/Library/Preferences

then restarting. [note, this is  the Library folder inside your home user folder].

Remove third-party contextual menu items Though it is usually useful only for a situation where the Finder crashes when control-clicking (or right-clicking) an item to access its contextual menu, it may also be applicable in cases of inexplicable Finder crashes.

Check the following folders:

  • ~/Library/Contextual Menu Items/
  • /Library/Contextual Menu Items/

for recently added third-party contextual that could be causing the crashes. Try temporarily removing all items, then logging out and back in (or restarting) and check for persistence of the freeze. If the problem is gone, add files back one-by-one to determine the culprit.

Notorious culprits for this issue include StuffItCM.plugin.

Check for corrupt/bad fonts, clear font caches Repeated Finder crashes can be caused by corrupt or otherwise problematic fonts or font caches.

First, try clearing font caches with a tool like Font Finagler. Failing that, inspect the following directories:

  • ~/Library/Fonts (the tilde [~] represents the current home user directory)
  • /Library/Fonts
  • /System/Library/Fonts

for recently added fonts that may be causing the problem. Temporarily remove them and check for persistence of the issue. For a list of all the fonts installed by Mac OS X by default, see Knowledge Base article #301332.

Look for problematic login/startup items Look in the following folder:

  • /Library/StartupItems

for any third-party startup items that could be causing the issue. You can also open System Preferences, then the "Accounts" pane and turn on or off specific startup items for each user. In some cases, processes that start here can interfere with normal Finder operation.

One MacFixIt reader provides a case example:

"(My Finder was crashing after the update to Mac OS X 10.4.9). I did some testing and digging around. It seems that my Stuffit Deluxe AVR (Archive Via Rename Daemon) VERSION 10 was the culprit. I took this item out of my login/startup items and the problem disappeared."


  • [310 MB]
  • [163MB]
  • [350 MB]
  • [216MB]
  • Font Finagler
  • #301332
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