How to Make MATLAB Respond in Mac?

MATLAB is often reported to come to a grinding halt and freeze in Mac computers.

There are several reasons that can be ascribed to the eventual blackening out of MATLAB, such as a lack of RAM, technical problems, corrupt installation files and so on and so forth.

In this guide, we have provided a handful of solutions to help you get around this issue. So let’s dive into these solutions and fix this irritant.


Turn off MATLAB Source Control

Most users state that often MATLAB’s source control feature is the sole culprit and must be simply turned off to get around this issue for good.

  1. In MATLAB, go to Home and click PREFERENCES in the Environment section.
  2. Select Matlab | General | Source Control.
  3. Select None at the end.


Check System Requirements for Running the Relevant MATLAB Version

Make sure that all basic ingredients for Mac to run smoothly are in place, as newer releases sometimes take the hardware requirements bar a step further. Therefore, make sure the Mac you’re using meets the criteria for recommended MATLAB system requirements. You can check this from the MATLAB website.


Apply Yosemite Patch to Make MATLAB More Responsive

If you are running MATLAB R2012a through R2014a on MacOS Yosemite, then MATLAB has a new patch available that you need to install. This is patch 1098655.

Please note that for some compatibility reasons, MATLAB doesn’t recommend running any version earlier than MATLAB R2013b on macOS Sierra or later.

Install Java 6

While running MATLAB R2013a (or an earlier version) on either OS X Yosemite or a newer version, remember to install Apple Legacy Java 6 to prevent MATLAB freeze problems on Mac.

Uninstall Java SE 8 on MATLAB R2013a and earlier versions

It is better to uninstall Java SE 8 or Java Development Kit 8 on the machine in order to prevent MATLAB R2013a (and earlier versions) from encountering any problems while they’re being launched. You can, however, install Apple Legacy Java 6, as stated above.


Clear Preferences

If the MATLAB software is facing any issues even though you have performed the solutions suggested above, reset the Preferences to their default state.

  1. Open Finder in Mac.
  2. Select Go | Go to Folder.
  3. Now go to ~/.MATLAB.
  4. Locate the folder that matches the MATLAB version you’ve installed and rename it. As an example, if the MATLAB version installed on your Mac is R2016b, then rename this folder to R2016b_old.
    Note: Don’t delete any folders that contain the term license in their name. An example is the R2016b_licenses folder. These folders are very vital for verifying license information.
  5. Now restart MATLAB.


Debugging Mode Can help

Try running MATLAB in the Terminal mode. Open the Terminal window through (/Applications/Utilities/ and execute the following command:

$MATLAB/bin/MATLAB -nodesktop

The $MATLAB term refers to your MATLAB directory. If you are using MATLAB R2016b and have installed MATLAB in the default directory, the command will instead be:

/Applications/ -nodesktop

Now when you relaunch MATLAB, it will open in the Terminal window with -nodesktop written on it. Run the desktop command from the Terminal window to start MATLAB desktop environment. This may produce an error, but nevertheless, it will help you identify the problem.

You can get support on the issue by contacting MathWorks Support.


Patch for MATLAB R2012a through R2014a

You can also use the patch to fix the Java exception error as well as the abrupt exit upon startup in MATLAB R2012a and R2014a. This patch easily fixes these errors.

If you still get the following error message:

You can’t use this version of the application

Then this issue can only be resolved by following the steps available in the Bug Report.


Versions that require Apple’s Legacy Java 6

The versions of MATLAB, ranging from MATLAB R2008b to R2010b require Apple’s Legacy Java 6 to run. You can find more information here.

You may also have to install XQuartz, which is an open source software to implement X11, to run the releases.

To run MATLAB R2011a through R2013a, you will need all the three items we just described to render it to function properly.


MATLAB R2008a and Earlier Can’t Run On OSX 10.10

There is no way available as of the writing of this article to run MATLAB R2008a (or earlier versions) on Mac OSX 10.10.