“Show in Finder” not working in Mountain Lion

In OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2) there is a very annoying bug which prevents “Show in Finder” (or “Reveal in Finder“, “Open in Finder“) functionality (usually a menu item) from working in many applications including TextMate, TotalFinder, Transmit, The Unarchiver, Postbox, iPhoto.

Relaunching Finder or the affected application does not help. What helps is logging out/logging in or running the following command in Terminal to kill the Apple Events daemon:

sudo killall -KILL appleeventsd

Terminal will ask you for your password. In case you don’t have a password for your OS X user account, you need to set it temporarily in System Preferences > Users & Groups.

Alternatively, you can use Activity Monitor to kill appleeventsd.

The bug appears in other situations which involve communication between applications. For example, drag-n-drop stops working in Name Mangler.

This is clearly a bug on Apple’s side and it will be probably fixed in the next update.

Other information on the issue:

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44 Responses to “Show in Finder” not working in Mountain Lion

  1. Pingback: Avoid a Mountain Lion bug that can affect our apps · Tales of a Running Bird

  2. Will says:

    Thanks – it’s annoying when this stops working! :)

  3. Evo says:

    Thanks a lot. I was wondering what caused it. Thought it might be the new sandbox thingo in Lion.

  4. Saeros says:

    Thanks. You saved me a lot of trouble. It has been annoying me for the last two weeks.

  5. Richard says:

    Thanks, this has been bothering me for a few days now. Hope Apple fixes the bug.

  6. TimG says:

    Thanks how did you know that?!

  7. Mark H says:

    Thank you. What a pain in the **S.

  8. Thanks so much! Fixed a bug where
    1) Path Finder was stuck as the default in the contextual menu in iTunes even after deselected in PF preferences
    2) “reveal in Finder” wasn’t working, even with cmd click in Spotlight results

  9. Erik Hoffman says:

    Brilliant but how do you know what to do???????????

    Kind regards

    Erik Hoffman

  10. Max says:

    Thanks a lot! That bug is pretty annoying and killing the process you described is much better than restarting the system every time.

  11. volcs0 says:

    I just wanted to say that between my three macs, I end up using this about once a day. I don’t know why Apple has not fixed this yet, but I keep this site bookmarked so I can copy and paste the command into a terminal window.

    So, thanks again.

    • avioli says:

      You can always create an executable file on your desktop and double click it to run, instead of copying/pasting it every time.

      Execute this one line command in the terminal to generate the file on your desktop:

      echo -e '#!/usr/bin/env bash'"\nsudo killall -KILL appleeventsd" > ~/Desktop/kill_appleevents && chmod +x ~/Desktop/kill_appleevents

      When double clicked, the file will start the Terminal app and ask you for your admin pass. When finished just quit Terminal.

  12. Mike says:

    Thanks for this – this was annoying.

    In addition to your steps, I DID have to relaunch Finder afterwards. Until Apple fixes this bug, I just added a line like alias fix=’sudo killall -KILL appleeventsd’ to my bash settings file.

  13. Ilhan Kudeki says:

    Thanks for this, you are awesome. Didn’t think I’d find an answer until I did a more thorough search. – Ilhan

  14. alfio says:

    Excellent tip and very annoying bug :-(

  15. Claudio says:

    Thanks very much, it has helped me immensely and calmed me down significantly!

  16. stofke72 says:

    Or as an applescript

    on run argv
    set ppname to missing value
    tell application "System Events"
    set myTerminal to "Terminal"
    tell application "System Events"
    set frapps to get name of every application process whose frontmost is true
    set my ppname to item 1 of frapps
    end tell
    set theCommand to "sudo killall -KILL appleeventsd"
    do shell script theCommand with administrator privileges
    end tell
    end run

  17. stofke72 says:

    btw you can leave out the

    set myTerminal to "Terminal"

  18. Filipe Guimarães says:

    Thank you very much!

  19. Christian says:

    omg i’ve been wanting to fix this for so long .. if we were in prison i would totally protect you from being raped

  20. Jason says:

    This worked like a charm. THANK YOU!

  21. aMakUzr says:

    Thanks, this is one of the numerous bugs I’ve hit in 10.8 (along with the Preview app crashes per hour of system usage ).

  22. William Richards says:

    Like many other commentators, I was extremely annoyed by the fact that “Show All in Finder” was not working in Spotlight. A long search through the Apple Communities led me here. Avioli’s terminal command solved the problem. Again like so many others, how did you know that? I’m glad there are people around who take the time to understand the OS to the depth needed to fix these kinds of problems.

  23. TXLogic says:

    I also have to restart the Finder to get work-around to work. It’s easy to add this to the above scripts. For the bash script, simply append the line

    sudo killall -KILL Finder

    For the AppleScript, open the AppleScript editor and add the lines

    set theCommand to “sudo killall -KILL Finder”
    do shell script theCommand with administrator privileges

    before the second “end tell” command near the bottom of the script.

  24. Esteban says:

    Thank, this fixed it.

  25. Bev says:

    This is great! So easy–can’t understand why Apple hasn’t fixed it yet! And I join the others in asking: how in the world did you know to do this? THANKS!

  26. Nick M says:

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  27. I_Love_Mud says:

    Nice find, and thanks for those who pointed me to your blog. I use the feature about 20 times a day emailing files I just created to people. We can only hope that Apple listens and fixes the issues — I miss you “Reveal in Finder”….

  28. David Weitz says:

    So I was getting this multiple times per day and it seems to have been solved by updating my Dropbox install to 1.6.16. Maybe just a coincidence, but I know a lot of people have Dropbox installed which could have been causing it. It hasn’t happened in the past three weeks, so hopefully it’s fixed.

  29. Gleb says:

    Thank you, sir!
    Does appleeventsd have some kind of error log where we can see which application is causing the issue?

  30. Duke says:

    Cheers mate. Was bugging me like crazy!

  31. Jack says:

    Thanks a bunch, I created an alias in my .profile for this!

  32. Nostradamus Fixxit says:

    Fire up Automator
    > click the service wheel in the right panel and hit the choose button
    From the list of actions drag Run Shell Script into the newly created right pane…
    if your Run Shell Script container is like mine it should have the word cat in it..

    overwrite cat with sudo killall -KILL appleeventsd

    File > Save (Give your service a name like Finder Fix.

    Now launch Finder… Click The Finder Menu…
    Services Preferences…
    and under services scroll down til you find your newly created service…
    Assign it a shortcut and save…

    You should now be able to fix the issue from withoin FInder by just using that shortcut!

    However this method is not foolproof!

    ================== ALTERNATIVELY=================
    Redo the above but instead of a service choose to automate the acrion as an application or workflow… I chose application… I repeated the steps and saved to the desktop. I run an app called unclutter that is dead neat, quickly accessible from the desktop yet its contents are actually located in your user library… I dumped the app(script) in there but you can put it somewhere easily accessible or even leave it on the desktop…. when your reveal in Finder doesn’t play nuice just double click on the app and abracadabra… all is groovy!

  33. Julie Mountain says:

    I would love to use this solution but as a coding dunce, I have no idea how to input the code / instructions. I’d be very grateful if anyone could give me some step by step instructions of how to get to (and indeed, what actually IS) a terminal window, etc. I also don’t know what Automator is and can’t find it anywhere because Finder doesn’t work… going insane.
    Thanks in advance for any help. Feel free to patronise me for my Mac idiocy.

  34. tomasio says:

    You should get _payed_ by Apple doing their work for them. Thanks a lot for making my Spotlight search work again \o/

  35. Jenna Carbee says:

    I’m trying it now but it shows me a warning message saying that I could lose all date and important system files. I have videos on my computer that I imported them to iPhoto and I’m trying to edit them all together. If I go through with this, will it delete all of my videos?

    • Dae says:

      I don’t remember any warnings. Could you upload a screenshot? The actions suggested in my post should not affect any of your files, but I don’t know what exactly you’re doing. Also the bug in OS X that broke “Show in Finder” functionality, has been fixed long ago in one of the system updates.

      • Jenna Carbee says:

        I have all of my videos organized into events in iPhoto, however, I can’t import them from iPhoto to Final Cut Pro X so I have to open up the video files through finder to save them in their own folder on my desktop. It was working before but now where I go to File > Reveal in Finder > Original File, this pop up shows up: “The operation can’t be completed because the item can’t be found.”
        The video is not deleted though. I can see all of my videos under my documents.
        So I tried using terminal, but no luck. It won’t let me type in my password even though the “password:” shows up after I type in the code.

  36. Jenna Carbee says:

    It tells me to type in my password but it’s not letting me type.

  37. wonder says:

    I’m curious why people are making applescripts for this… does it need to be done all the time and repeated once in a while? Is the terminal command not a permanent solution of done only once? Can I expect the issue to return?

  38. Just some dude says:

    This still works in Yosemite by the way. There’s been times after the last patch (10.10.3) that “show in finder” doesn’t work after waking from sleep. Unzipping files also does not work. This command does seem to fix the problem. Perhaps it can automatically be executed each time the computer wakes up?

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