Show in Finder not working in OS X Mountain Lion

Filed under: Apple | 21 Comments

I had a strange problem pop up recently in Mac OS X Mountain Lion where operations to reveal a file in the Finder would not work. I noticed it first in Chrome where I would try and open a downloaded file and could not get to it. Then I tried to reveal a download in Safari and got the same thing (confirming it was not a bug in Chrome). The same issue then appeared in Sublime Text 2, I could not jump to the Finder with my file selected. Same with Adobe Lightroom. iTunes still works, but that’s the only example I found that was not broken. Pretty much everywhere you can “Reveal in Finder” or “Open in Finder” is broken. The craziest part of this thing is it happened both on my laptop and desktop.

It appears I am not alone, which means it’s likely on Apple’s side and is not due to some combination of apps that I use. There is not a permanent fix [yet!], but you can get a temporary reprieve by killing the appleeventsd process:

$ sudo killall -KILL appleeventsd

The underlying bug seems to be unrelated to the action of actually revealing a file in the Finder, but that’s a common operation that demonstrates the issue. According to this report, the problem is applications getting into a state where they cannot send Apple events when the events are addressed by the bunder identifier.

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21 Responses to “Show in Finder not working in OS X Mountain Lion”

  1. Ryan says:

    YES YES YES I have this problem and it is bugging me soo much!

  2. Paul says:

    Thank you. Nice to find a solution to an annoyance.

  3. Steven says:

    Thanks so much for the temporary fix – this is extremely annoying when I just need to locate a file and show its location using Spotlight, which I do all the time using cmd + click. If you find a permanent fix be sure to post it!

  4. Leon says:

    awesome!! i think Apple needs to fix this issue right away … so annoying!

  5. adam says:

    When I paste this code it is says that the command is not found:

    $ sudo killall -KILL appleeventsd

  6. Bjourno says:

    Adam: remove the “$ ” at the front of the line–> “sudo killall -KILL appleeventsd”

  7. Rabbit_52 says:

    Thanks, that working now!

  8. Asa Shatkin says:

    Thanks for the tempirary reprieve – works for me!

  9. norcal says:

    interesting this also fixes the archive utility error of not working and just hanging

  10. Michele says:

    Thank you! Let us know if you find a permanent fix. This problem has been really bugging me lately.

  11. Gero says:

    Thanks this did it for me. Pretty annoying bug.

  12. Matthew Leingang says:

    Worked for me, too, though I had to wait a half a minute or so (presumably to let appleeventsd start up again).

  13. MrAbattoir says:

    Thanks for the fix, worked 🙂

  14. Martin Bernstein says:

    I got it to work again by zapping the PRAM. Restart, holding CMD-OPTION-P-R, until it chimes twice.

    • JG says:

      Simply restarting would also do the trick since killing a process fixes it (the process is also killed during a restart). No need to do anything with the PRAM.

  15. Ben says:

    You can accomplish the same thing by force quitting the finder (via the apple menu, or Option/Command ESC).

    • Ben says:

      Yeah, I was wrong on quitting the finder. However, as an alternative to “sudo killall -KILL appleeventsd”, you can keep the Activity Monitor Application open (put in dock & set to open at login) and kill appleeventsd there as needed.

      Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor

  16. Evan says:

    It won’t let me type in my password after I press enter. Why?

    • Amy says:

      It’s entering your password, it’s just not showing up for security. If you type it out and press enter, it’ll go through.

  17. Piot says:

    Thank you. This helped me a lot!

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