I recently upgraded my 2008 macbook pro's hard drive to 500GB. I used Carbon Copy to clone a bootable version of my then current 160GB drive. The boot drive volume name changed during the upgrade.

Post upgrade, when I use either the 'open' or the 'open with' context menu to, in particular, open a psd file in preview, nothing happens --> preview doesn't launch, there's no error dialog, and I don't find anything in the system logs that seems related.

If I launch the preview app and then open the file from within the application, preview opens it without issue.

Finder's preview pane view works as expected, displaying thumbnails of the image file contents. (If I recall correctly, and I'm pretty sure about this - only I'm not in front of the machine at this minute and can't confirm.)

I haven't determined whether this issue is limited to the preview app, or is generally the case when attempting to open files from within finder when using the 'open' or 'open with' context menu.

Any clue on what the problem is, and how to fix it so that the context menu works again?

Any suggestions on what else to check to further debug this?

  • Try other user accounts too, not just other applications. What happens when you re-assign default application associations in a file's Get Info dialog? – Daniel Beck Apr 4 '11 at 19:28

Try rebuilding your launchservices database by opening terminal and issuing the following command: /System/Library/Frameworks/CoreServices.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/LaunchServices.framework/Versions/A/Support/lsregister -kill -r -domain local -domain system -domain user

Next, update your locate database by issuing this command: sudo /usr/libexec/locate.updatedb

(I would recommend a restart after this point)

You may also update the whatis database by executing: sudo /usr/libexec/makewhatis but it shouldn't be necessary.

  • That did it! What is this 'launchservices database' of which you speak? And thank you very much! – marfarma Apr 5 '11 at 6:57
  • The launchservices database is what the launchservice API in Mac OS X uses to determine how the OS should handle a file/icon/URL. You can think of it like a dictionary: OS X wants to open a .jpg -> look in the database to find out what to do -> open Preview.app(or whatever is set as the default). – Madison S Apr 5 '11 at 19:19

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