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Why will MATLAB not start up properly on my Mac?

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Why will MATLAB not start up properly on my Mac?

Accepted Answer

MathWorks Support Team
MathWorks Support Team on 1 Oct 2019
Edited: MathWorks Support Team on 1 Oct 2019
System Requirements
Ensure that your Mac meets the system requirements for the release of MATLAB you are attempting to launch. If you have recently updated your Mac to a new version of macOS, you may need to update to a newer version of MATLAB.
Yosemite
If you are running MATLAB R2012a through R2014a on macOS Yosemite through macOS Sierra, you need to install patch 1098655.
For compatibility reasons we do not recommend running MATLAB R2013b or earlier on macOS Sierra or later.
You may also check out the article below for more Yosemite centered troubleshooting.
Why am I unable to start MATLAB on macOS 10.10 Yosemite or later?
XQuartz
Running MATLAB R2012a or earlier on macOS requires you to install XQuartz.
Legacy Java 6
Running MATLAB R2013a or earlier on macOS Yosemite or later requires you to install Apple Legacy Java 6.
Java SE 8
Similarly, having Java SE 8 (Java Development Kit) installed on the machine can prevent MATLAB R2013a and earlier from starting correctly. Please see this article for more information.
Antivirus
Try turning off any antivirus programs or installing in safe boot.
Clear Preferences
Remove your preferences directory so MATLAB will recreate it when you launch MATLAB:
  1. Open the Finder, the blue face on the dock
  2. In Finder, click on the “Go” menu and select “Go to Folder”
  3. Go to this folder: ~/.matlab for R2016a and earlier or
~/Library/Application Support/MathWorks/MATLAB R2016b-present # Locate the folder that corresponds to your MATLAB version and rename it. For example, rename “R2016b” to “R2016b_old”. Do not delete any folders that contain the word licenses in the folder name, e.g. R2016b_licenses. These folders contain important license information. # Once the folder has been renamed, try starting MATLAB.
Debugging Mode
Try running MATLAB without the desktop environment. Open a Terminal window (/Applications/Utilities/Terminal.app) 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/MATLAB_R2016b.app/bin/matlab -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.

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Dwobble
Dwobble on 24 Mar 2020
Possible workaround for running dual monitors:
I've been running MATLAB R2019b on macOS Catalina and am currently using a larger secondary monitor in addition to my native mac screen. I originally set the external monitor to be my primary display, but was unable to load MATLAB beyond the splash screen. By setting the built-in display as the primary display, I was able to successfully load MATLAB beyond the splash screen.
System Preferences > Displays > Arrangement > Drag menu bar to built-in display
Note: While the menu bar on mac appears by default on all connected displays, placement of the menu bar on a display within the system preferences determines which screen is the primary.

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Patrik.Neuro
Patrik.Neuro on 24 Sep 2020
This works with multiple monitors even when using DisplayLink software. Thanks!
Kashumi Madampe
Kashumi Madampe on 1 Oct 2020
I am using DisplayLink too and had the same problem with MATLAB R2020a. The workaround solved the issue! Thank you so much!

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smsinks
smsinks on 28 Mar 2020
In my case initiating MATLAB Desktop from the Terminal works fine. However, double clicking the MATLAB_2020a icon in the Applications folder (or anywhere else) does not start MATLAB. In the second case Matlab crushes during launch without throwing any error message.
Any suggestions that would fix this?

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Christian Chiadikobi
Christian Chiadikobi on 3 Apr 2020
Try allowing MATLAB_2020a to access files and folder in your privacy settings.
System prefences > Security & Privacy > Privacy > Files and Folders > locate Matlab_2020a icon, then make sure that the document folder tick box is selected.
Hope this helps
smsinks
smsinks on 3 Apr 2020
This worked!!
Thanks Christian.
I now know what happened. MATLAB 2019b had access to the files and folders but not MATLAB 2020a because only one version can have access to the files and folders at any time. This is unlike the behaviour of previous MATLAB versions.
Then I uninstalled MATLAB 2019b -- the beginning of the troubles. Because after that, MATLAB 2020a didn't show the usual message requesting access to the files and folders.
I should have figured it out, but I also think that MathWorks should fix this.
Thanks once more.

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Frankie Kan
Frankie Kan on 19 Jun 2018
Edited: Frankie Kan on 19 Jun 2018
use command line to start matlab without JVM, this solved my problem.
cd /Applications/MATLAB_R2018a.app/bin
./matlab -nojvm

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Yi Chen
Yi Chen on 10 Dec 2019
This works for me. Thanks
Debugging Mode
Try running MATLAB without the desktop environment. Open a Terminal window (/Applications/Utilities/Terminal.app) 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/MATLAB_R2016b.app/bin/matlab -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.

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