If you are running MATLAB R2012a through R2014a on macOS Yosemite through macOS Sierra, you need to install patch 1098655.
For compatibility reasons we do not recommend running MATLAB R2013b or earlier on macOS Sierra or later.
You may also check out the article below for more Yosemite centered troubleshooting.
Why am I unable to start MATLAB on macOS 10.10 Yosemite or later?
Legacy Java 6
Running MATLAB R2013a or earlier on macOS Yosemite or later requires you to install Apple Legacy Java 6.
Java SE 8
Similarly, having Java SE 8 (Java Development Kit) installed on the machine can prevent MATLAB R2013a and earlier from starting correctly. Please see this article for more information.
Try turning off any antivirus programs or installing in safe boot.
Remove your preferences directory so MATLAB will recreate it when you launch MATLAB:
- Open the Finder, the blue face on the dock
- In Finder, click on the “Go” menu and select “Go to Folder”
- Go to this folder: ~/.matlab for R2016a and earlier or
~/Library/Application Support/MathWorks/MATLAB R2016b-present # Locate the folder that corresponds to your MATLAB version and rename it. For example, rename “R2016b” to “R2016b_old”. Do not delete any folders that contain the word licenses in the folder name, e.g. R2016b_licenses. These folders contain important license information. # Once the folder has been renamed, try starting MATLAB.
Try running MATLAB without the desktop environment. Open a Terminal window (/Applications/Utilities/Terminal.app) and run the following command:
Where $MATLAB is the path to your MATLAB directory. For example, if you are using MATLAB R2016b and have installed MATLAB in the default directory, the command will be:
If MATLAB starts, it will start in the Terminal window itself. The title of the Terminal window will change to say “MATLAB_maci64 -nodesktop.” From the Terminal window, run the command “desktop” to attempt to start the MATLAB desktop environment. This will produce an error message which may help you to identify the problem. If you would like assistance in interpreting the error, please contact MathWorks support.