I am running an iMac Pro with Intel silicon under the latest version of Big Sur 11.3.1. I upgraded my Mathematica from 12.2 to 12.3 yesterday, but now I have suddenly lost the ability to use the QuickLook feature with Mathematica notebooks. I click on a notebook's icon in Finder to highlight it and then touch the spacebar, just as I have done for years, but under 12.3 I get only a picture of the icon--no internal contents of the notebook is displayed. I suspect that this will also interfere with Spotlight's ability to search and index the internal contents of Mathematica notebooks on my Mac. Mathematica itself seems to run fine, and QuickLook works as normal with files that are not Mathematica notebooks.

I used my Premier Service agreement to call Wolfram Support about this problem and I spoke to a technician. He seemed to confirm that this also happens on his Mac running some version of Catalina. Neither of us could get QuickLook to display a preview of the contents of even a trivial notebook containing only the cell 2+2.

For me the ability to use QuickLook with my Mathematica notebook files is important to my overall workflow. Has anyone else experienced this problem? I tired running the command "qlmanage -r" in terminal to reset the QuickLook cache, but that didn't seem to help. Any ideas? Thanks"

  • $\begingroup$ Quicklook works for me V12.3, Bug Sur 11.3.1, on files whether created by an earlier version of Mma or by V12.3. On very large files I get no preview, but that was true before. Normally the bugs is added only after a consensus has been reached by the community. $\endgroup$
    – Michael E2
    May 22, 2021 at 20:20
  • $\begingroup$ It also works in my machine (Big Sur 11.3.1). Have you renamed Mathematica.app? - E.g. added the version number or something because then macOS might not find the registered application for previewing .nb files. $\endgroup$
    – Philipp
    May 23, 2021 at 5:29
  • $\begingroup$ Quicklook works for me (also MacOS 11.3.1) and for both pre-12.3 and 12.3 notebooks. It works even though I renamed the Mathematica app. In prior upgrades, I noticed when I had notebooks open when installing the new version, that confused the default opening app for notebooks. Try Cmd-I on a notebook to see if it correctly lists 12.3 as the default app to open your notebooks. $\endgroup$
    – tad
    May 30, 2021 at 23:58

2 Answers 2


I'm seeing am seeing issues with Spotlight and Quicklook as well. Spotlight is only finding a subset of files that it should which led me to believe that the indexing function was failing.

Using Console (Applications|Utilities|Console) I'm seeing crash reports for both the mdworker and ExternalQuickLookSatellite.

mdworker: used by Spotlight to index files, drilling into the report I see

PlugIn Path: /Applications/Mathematica.app/Contents/Library/Spotlight/Wolfram Notebook.mdimporter/Contents/MacOS/Wolfram Notebook PlugIn Identifier: com.wolfram.mathematica.notebook.search.spotlight PlugIn Version: ??? (2.0.0)

The crash detail:

Termination Signal: Segmentation fault: 11 Termination Reason: Namespace SIGNAL, Code 0xb Terminating Process: exc handler [2209]

QuickLook seeing the same class of issues.

PlugIn Path: /Applications/Mathematica.app/Contents/Library/QuickLook/Wolfram Notebook.qlgenerator/Contents/MacOS/Wolfram Notebook PlugIn Identifier: com.wolfram.mathematica.notebook.preview.quicklook PlugIn Version: 8.0 (8.0)

Crash detail:

Termination Signal: Segmentation fault: 11 Termination Reason: Namespace SIGNAL, Code 0xb

Seems like an issue with the plug-in.

MathM V12.3 Mac 11.4


Are use using version 12.3.1 on the Mac? This version seems to have resolved the issues I originally experienced. Wolfram Technical support also informed me that they believe the problem has been fully resolved in 12.3.1. If you are still having issues you should report it to Wolfram.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.