MATLAB Answers


Not responding on startup, macOS Mojave

Asked by William Smith on 17 Sep 2019
Latest activity Edited by Andriy Yabluchanskiy on 7 Nov 2019 at 2:52
I have just installed MATLAB 2019b on a Macbook Pro 2019 running macOS Mojave 10.14.6.
Just after installation, Matlab ran fine. However, if I now try to open it I see the splash screen then it freezes on the Matlab window showing no content and I have to force quit. If I run from the command line with -nodesktop it works and I can even load the desktop from there and it works ok. But if I try to load directly it hangs. I doubt it is a conflict as I have installed barely anything else on this macbook yet.


I do not have OneDrive and still have this issue
i has too
on 2 Nov 2019 at 7:29
For me, turnning off "Witch" (a program for window switching) solved the problem.

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6 Answers

Answer by Jon Gotow
on 29 Oct 2019 at 20:44
Edited by Jon Gotow
on 29 Oct 2019 at 20:46

I'm the developer of Default Folder X. With the help of Philip Slaymaker I've tracked down the issue with Matlab. Matlab doesn't launch correctly if other apps use the Accessibility API (a part of macOS) to query it for information while it's launching.
A number of applications use the Accessibility API to communicate with other applications. These includes Default Folder X, Magnet, Spectacle, and most other utilities that help you arrange / resize windows. If you run into this problem, you can narrow down the possible culprits by going to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy > Accessibility. This list shows all the applications that you've given permission to use the Accessibility API - one of them is triggering the bug in Matlab and causing it to hang. You'll need to use a process of elimination to determine which one, but it'll usually be an app that gets and sets information about other applications' windows.
Note that contacting the developer of any of these applications won't really help much, as it's not their fault. The fundamental issue is that Matlab contains a bug that causes it to hang when other apps request information via the Accessibility API. That bug needs to be fixed to resolve this problem. Phil Slaymaker submitted the bug to MathWorks - hopefully they'll fix it soon.
In the meantime, if you're a Default Folder X user, I have a version of DFX that may successfully work around the problem. I'd appreciate hearing from you at support (at) stclairsoft (dot) com.
- Jon


on 5 Nov 2019 at 19:20
Thanks and I was able to start Matlab now with your advice. This answer shall be voted so more people can see it.
Jon Gotow
on 6 Nov 2019 at 21:35
I've released version 5.4.2 of Default Folder X with a workaround for this problem, so you can now run Default Folder X and MATLAB 2019b together without triggering the bug.
Thank you, Jon Gotow !!

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Answer by Selene Schmittling on 23 Sep 2019

I have finally gotten MATLAB 2019b to work on my mac with os 10.14.6.
Initially, I could not even get MATLAB to run in Safe Boot Mode. However, after a clean uninstall (including deleting Mathworks folder out of "Application Support" folder, I was able to get it running.
There were four possible sources of conflict: Goolge Drive Stream, OneDrive, Spectacle and Echo Desktop auto-loader (loads when Echo pen connected to USB).
I turned all these off and opened MATLAB and it worked.
I turned off the automatic load of Echo Desktop and turned it back on. MATLAB still working
I also have a piece of software called Spectacle, which sizes windows with keystrokes. I turned that off and have since turned it back on and am still running MATLAB successfully.
I have not started up Google Drive Stream or OneDrive yet. I'm just so happy to have MATLAB working, I don't want to tempt fate. When I turn these back on, I'll post back my results.
I hope this helps someone else struggling with this issue too.
Regards and good luck,


To "turn the apps off" I followed two steps:
I disabled the apps from loading on start-up in their preferences and then quit each of them. In the case of Google Drive File Stream app, this is done by clicking on the gear in the upper right. To disable "load on startup" go to preferences after clicking on gear. To quit click on gear and choose quit.
I just started Google Drive File Stream app back up again and I'm using MATLAB. So far no issues. It may be that OneDrive is the issue especially since Viktor Nilsson said uninstalling OneDrive solved it.
I have not started OneDrive since this issue was resolved.
I hope that's helpful.
I have reloaded Google File Drive Stream. It currently auto-loads on start-up and I have not had an issue yet with MATLAB 2019b.
This leaves One Drive, which was an issue for Viktor above. I'm loath to load it again and have my precious house of cards fall to its knees. For now, I'll keep it off.
However, if in the future I turn it back on and use MATLAB, I'll be sure to post my results.
AAAAAARRRRGGGHHHH!!!! This ridiculous bug is back (of course when I need to get some work done). I have this issue on a Mac Book Pro 2016 running Catalina 10.15.1.
MATLAB® people: please, please fix this.
I have been running MATLAB fine, even with Spectacle running, then out of the blue, MATLAB hangs again. Once it hangs, there is no way to get it running without reinstalling the whole mess again shy of (hopefully) booting in safe mode.
I went in and removed all items that required accessibility to whit: Spectacle, Duet and Google File Drive Stream. I have rebooted my machine (multiple times) and MATLAB still hangs.
This is beyond infuriating. I'm going to boot into safe mode and hope I can get my work done.

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Answer by Zongde Qiu on 19 Sep 2019

same issue on MacOS 10.14.6


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Answer by Jonathan Lilly on 4 Oct 2019

A perhaps similar issue for me. Matlab 2019b was working, but there was a strange bug which is that I was unable to select text with the mouse in Matlab, which I do all the time. After reading this thread, I traced the problem to a window-sizing software called Magnet that I had recently installed. This solved the problem. Thanks!


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Answer by Philip Slaymaker on 26 Oct 2019 at 18:04

I had a similar issue with Matlab 2019b (Matlab 2019a worked fine) not finishing initializing the command window and then freezing, requiring a force quit of Matlab. This happened on both Mojave 10.14.6 and High Sierra 10.13.6 on the iMac 27 2019 and 2017, respectively. I found that quitting and not running Default Folder 5.4.1 at all (or earlier versions) allowed Matlab to load and run. Rerunning Default Folder while Matlab was running caused Matlab windows to freeze.


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Answer by Andriy Yabluchanskiy on 7 Nov 2019 at 2:52
Edited by Andriy Yabluchanskiy on 7 Nov 2019 at 2:52

i found that the problem, at least on my end, is somehow connected to the network in my institution. matlab runs fine when on my home network but always freezes on splash screen when at work
macOs Catalina 10.15.1
Matlab 2019b


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