5 Replies Latest reply: Jan 5, 2013 5:53 AM by KKWen
SamuelLockyer Level 1 (0 points)

General Description

Mission Control and Launchpad glitch when invoked (whether by using the mouse or trackpad gesture). They seems to crash or quit, and then relaunch themselves (/itself - all the same app?), I know this because:

  • they both, as well as Dock, become unresponsive;
  • the desktop background images disappear temporarily (being replaced by blank light or dark grey);
  • the Mission Control animation stops/freezes and does not execute properly (the windows stay still);
  • Dock becomes unresponsive as well as Launchpad.


This happens a lot (every other invokation) and seems to be random; it's annoying and is ruining my workflow, since I am a heavy user of multiple desktops.



  • I usually have over ten desktops, all with active apps open at one time; when it glitches I can't even open or switch applications, though I can use the ones that are on the current desktop (if was trying to use Mission Control).
  • There is no correlation with the glitch and the amount of applications open, or how much RAM or CPU is active (still happens with only a few light apps open and a few desktops).
  • It does not matter whether I am using more than one monitor, the glitch still occurs.
  • It does not happen due to a particular open application, as I have tested with nothing open at all straight after a restart.


Possible and tested causes

  • An application might be corrupting the glitchy app(s), since the disk breaks after being repaired in Safe Boot mode. Once the disk has been repaired, the glitch doesn't seem to occur until a few applications have been opened, though I haven't tested this much. (I am suspecting TheBrain, but not sure. Other potential culprits: Chrome, Mail, Firefox, Spotify, Skype, Dictionary, Activity Monitor, Finder).
  • It isn't the operating system itself because I have reinstalled it from Safe Boot mode, and yet the glitch persists.
  • The application(s) affected by the glitch may be corrupted, and need reinstalled - that is, if they weren't already by reinstalling the operating system (they are in the '/System/CoreServices' folder).


  • I doubt it is a virus - it would be a pretty pointless glitch for one to cause.
  • I have Time Machine running most of the time, but I have no reason to believe that is the cause.
  • I am using a NEET mini display port to HDMI adapter for my second monitor (no idea how that could be causing the issue).



  • Any ideas on what I could do to fix this?
  • And does anyone know how to reinstall Mission Control, Dock and Launchpad (I think they are all part of '/System/Library/CoreServices/Dock.app')? This might be worth a try.


Specifications (just in case)

  • 2010 Macbook Pro
  • 2.8 GHz Intel i7
  • 8 GB memory
  • 500 GB HD (two thirds full)


Thanks for any help!

  • Kappy Level 10 (265,726 points)

    One thing I'd like for you to try: Create a new user account. Log into the new account and see if the same problems persist.


    Many times such crashes are the result of corrupted preference or cache files. The above will eliminate these in the user account but not at the system level. So, I suggest you use a utility such as Lion Cache Cleaner 6.0.11 or Purity 1.10 to clear out cache files at the system level. I've never used the latter software but I, personally, use the former one on my computers.

  • SamuelLockyer Level 1 (0 points)

    I'm on the new user now, and it seems to be working fine. I will follow up with the rest of your advice as well. I downloaded Lion Cache Cleaner - similar to Onyx. Should I do a deep system only cache clean? And what will the effect of that be? I'm thinking that it will reset a lot of settings.

  • Kappy Level 10 (265,726 points)

    If it works fine in the new account, then the problem you are having is most likely isolated to your old account files.


    Although doing a thorough clearing of all caches can't hurt anything, it may not be necessary. Clearing user data may be all that's needed. Nevertheless, clearing everything is not a bad thing. It will only result in a one time restart delay as the system rebuilds the caches. Rebuilding cache files doesn't reset any settings. That only occurs if you delete a preference file that contains custom settings.

  • SamuelLockyer Level 1 (0 points)

    I've been spamming Mission Control and Launchpad for a while now, and I think clearing the system caches worked!


    Thank you very much!

  • KKWen Level 1 (0 points)

    HOw do i clean the system cache?