How to Unfreeze the OS X Desktop

I move my laptop around hooking up monitors, disconnecting them, etc. Occasionally the desktop freezes. The icons do not respond to any mouse clicks, nor does the desktop change if removable storage devices (e.g. FireWire external drives) are attached or removed.

To fix this, I open the Terminal program and type:

killall Finder

That gives Finder a kick to the head and the Desktop starts working the way that it should.

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One Response to How to Unfreeze the OS X Desktop

  1. Paul says:


    I had the same problem on a Macbook Pro (OS Snow Leopard), but the keyboard was stuck as well… The only operation I could do was to switch off the computer.
    Are there any other solutions?
    Thank you very much.

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