Why am I unable to start MATLAB on macOS 10.10 Yosemite or later?

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After installing macOS 10.10 or later (such as macOS 10.11) I am no longer able to launch MATLAB (for any release version). This support article also applies to customers who have successfully installed MATLAB R2014a in macOS 10.10, but are now unable to launch MATLAB.

Accepted Answer

MathWorks Support Team
MathWorks Support Team on 1 Feb 2021
Edited: MathWorks Support Team on 6 Feb 2021
MATLAB R2014b is supported on macOS 10.10 (Yosemite) and later. R2014b works without any modifications. Earlier versions may require a patch, or a legacy version of Java, or both.
MATLAB R2012a through R2014a
When launching MATLAB, you will see a Java exception and abrupt exit upon startup. This patch should fix this error:
Even after applying the patch you may see this error message when launching MATLAB:
ERROR: "You can't use this version of the application".
This issue can be resolved by following the steps in the Bug Report linked below:
MATLAB R2008b through R2013a
These releases of of MATLAB require Apple's legacy Java 6 to run:
You will also need to install XQuartz, an open source implementation of X11, to run these releases:
Note that R2011a through R2013a require legacy Java 6, XQuartz, and the above patch to run
MATLAB R2008a and earlier
MathWorks is not aware of a way to make R2008a or earlier run on OS X 10.10 or later. If you discover a workaround for this configuration, please contact MathWorks support:
  2 Comments
Image Analyst
Image Analyst on 29 Nov 2014
And your solution will be the same as for others who the patches didn't work for: call them on the phone and they will get it working for you (for free even!).

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More Answers (1)

Rachid Log
Rachid Log on 7 Nov 2014

Apple already solved the problem. Click on the link below then download the Java that apple provide: http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1572

  1 Comment
Shawn Lyons
Shawn Lyons on 13 Feb 2015
Edited: Shawn Lyons on 13 Feb 2015
Please note that this is only an installer for Java 6 for OS X.
You will still need to apply the bug-report fix as described in the accepted answer above, for MATLAB versions R2011a through R2014a in OS X 10.10. If you do not apply the patch as described in the bug report above, you will still receive an 'Error starting desktop' message. Simply installing Java 6 will not resolve that problem.
-Shawn
MathWorks Support

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