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MATLAB 2020a on Catalina won't open properly through .app

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Double-clicking or using right-click->"Open with..." on MATLAB files (.m, .mat, .mlapp) opens a functional MATLAB 2020a window. Using MATLAB via terminal (/Applications/ -nodesktop) works just fine as well.
However, double clicking the icon or trying to open MATLAB via Spotlight results in a non-responsive MATLAB window with the rainbow spinning wheel. The bottom message says "Ready". Is there any way to fix this?

Accepted Answer

Nikhil Sonavane
Nikhil Sonavane on 5 Jun 2020
System Requirements:
Ensure that your Mac meets the system requirements for the release of MATLAB you are attempting to launch.
Debugging Mode
Try running MATLAB without the desktop environment. Open a Terminal window (/Applications/Utilities/ and run the following command:
$MATLAB/bin/matlab -nodesktop
Where $MATLAB is the path to your MATLAB directory. For example, if you are using MATLAB R2016b and have installed MATLAB in the default directory, the command will be:
/Applications/ -nodesktop
If MATLAB starts, it will start in the Terminal window itself. The title of the Terminal window will change to say “MATLAB_maci64 -nodesktop.” From the Terminal window, run the command “desktop” to attempt to start the MATLAB desktop environment. This will produce an error message which may help you to identify the problem. If you would like assistance in interpreting the error, please contact MathWorks support.
For more details you may refer to similar MATLAB Answer.
Leanna Morinishi
Leanna Morinishi on 8 Jun 2020
Thank you for the response. It seems like restarting my computer fixed the error I was having before I could reproduce the error via Terminal the way you described. Thanks for your help though!
Robert Dodier
Robert Dodier on 13 Jul 2021
Launching the desktop from within the terminal (no desktop) worked for me.
I have macOS Catalina. I ran into the spinning beach ball when I tried to launch the Matlab desktop either from a shortcut or from the command line. I tried several other possible solutions which were floated on various forums and none of them helped -- the only thing that helped was this idea of launching the desktop from an already-running terminal session. Thanks a lot.

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