Quicktime Crashes on Mac OSX: DO NOT Uninstall!!! Here’s What to Do

Okay, you’re using an Apple Macbook or Mac desktop workstation running Mac OSX, and you want to play a certain video clip through Quicktime. you notice that a previous video you had watched keeps popping up and freezes the entire Quicktime program. You force quit, run it again, and the same problem happens. What do you do?

One thing you do is: DO NOT Uninstall!!!

If you have the urge to drag Quicktime to the trash can or run a custom uninstaller, you will not be able to re-install it. Quicktime is built on the Mac OSX as an operating system “structure.” If you dare to uninstall it you likely will need to re-install the Operating System, possibly formatting your hard drive and erasing your data in the process.

Here’s What to Do on a Mac OSX

What you would need to do in this case is run a disk repair, and right afterwards repair disk permissions. On a Mac OSX, if you forget to repair disk permissions after repairing your disk, bad things can happen. Do both.

I was a bit skeptical about this at first, but had an open mind and it worked for me! Quicktime, iTunes, and Safari are as integrated into the operating system as Internet Explorer is to Windows systems – you can never completely uninstall it (though they say that you can on Windows 7 and 8 – haven’t tried it though).

How to Repair Your Disc on a Mac OSX

The following was taken straight from the University of Winconson KnowledgeBase (permission pending):

Mac OS X – Using Disk Utility to Repair a Disk

This document explains how to use Disk Utility in Mac OS X to repair a disk. Disk Utility is included with
OS X and can be used to repair system file permissions and minor errors in a disk’s directory structure. It
is located in the Utilities folder within the Applications folder on the hard drive. Disk Utility can also
be run from a Mac OS X installation disc.

Repair Disk

Disk Utility cannot repair the directory structure of the active startup disk but in Mac OS X 10.4 or newer it can
verify the active startup disk. To repair an OS X system disk with Disk Utility, you must startup the
computer using an Apple Software Restore disc (included with newer Macs) or a Mac OS X Install disk (must be the same version). Insert
the disc, restart the computer, and hold the C key when you hear the startup sound. You can
release the key when the gray Apple appears.

It is normal for the computer to take longer to startup from a CD or DVD. The disc will automatically
start the OS X installer but you do not need to reinstall OS X. If you are prompted to select a language and
you do not see the menu bar at the top of the screen, click the right arrow button to proceed to the next

The method of opening Disk Utility varies depending on the version of OS X on the installation disc.

Mac OS X 10.2.x through 10.3.x:Select Open Disk Utility from the Installer menu at the top of the screen.
Mac OS X 10.4.x through 10.6.x:Choose Disk Utility from the Utilities menu at the top of the screen.

The Disk Utility window should look similar to the picture below. Select the name of the hard drive (e.g.
Macintosh HD) on the left side of the window and click the First Aid tab if it is not
already selected. To check the directory of the disk and attempt repair of any problems found, click the
Repair Disk button. If it finds any problems, it will list them. Otherwise, it will say
“The volume Macintosh HD appears to be OK.”

Note: If no disks are found, it may be an indication of a more serious problem. [The University of Wisconson provides free support for students, called DoIT Help Desk. For the rest of us, contact either the Apple Store or the place you purchased your Apple computer from, provided you are still under warranty. – RafiCall the DoIT Help Desk at 264-HELP (608-264-4357).

Note: If it does find any problems, you should click Repair Disk to
scan again. If it finds the same problem(s) during the second scan, it means Disk Utility cannot repair the
disk and a more advanced utility is required. Call the DoIT Help Desk at 264-HELP.

Repair Disk Permissions

System file permissions can be verified or repaired on the startup disk so it is not necessary to restart
from a CD or DVD. To check and repair system file permissions, select the name of the hard drive on the left
and click the Repair Disk Permissions button.

S.M.A.R.T. Status

Some hard drives are capable of reporting problems before a hardware failure occurs. This is known as
Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology or S.M.A.R.T. A hard drive’s S.M.A.R.T. status (if
available) is only displayed when the the drive (e.g. 57.3 GB IBM IC35L060A…) is selected on the left side of the

The version of Disk Utility included with Mac OS X 10.4 or newer can display the S.M.A.R.T. status while running
from a CD/DVD or the hard drive. The 10.3 version only reports S.M.A.R.T. status while running from the hard
drive. The version of Disk Utility in 10.2 does not report S.M.A.R.T. status.

In Mac OS X 10.3 or newer look for the S.M.A.R.T. Status at the bottom of the Disk Utility window. If this
line is missing, it means the drive does not support S.M.A.R.T. If the status is Verified, it means the hard
drive is probably functioning properly (although there may still be directory issues that S.M.A.R.T. does not
check). If the status is Failing, you should backup your data and replace the hard drive.



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  • Andres Hernandez

    HELP! Tengo un gran problema. Estoy editando con Final Cut Pro 7.0.2. Sospecho que al actualizar “Codecs de Quicktime para Pro Apps” (recomendado para Final Cut Pro X) ahora no puedo visualizar ni editar mis archivos HDV720p. En “Compressor” me indica que ahora es un hdv5. He intentado desinstalar Quicktime pero sigue apareciendo el codec hdv5.
    Gracias por cualquier aportación.

  • Sunny555

    This was helpful to me today, thank you for posting.
    Mine was caused by the files living on an external drive having crashed. It kept re-opening and crashing no matter how many times it was closed out.
    Here’s what I did that ended the issue: trashed the plist (a few times, probably unnecessary), closed out, and also removed the external drive, opened Quicktime, closed it, trashed the plist again, and opened it. Then plugged in the external drive and opened Quciktime again, and it worked.

    Here’s an article with more info on trashing the plist: https://www.cnet.com/news/deleting-quicktime-plist-file-for-improved-performance-in-safari-may-need-to-be-repeated/

    Note: if you are in Mountain Lion, your library folder will be hidden. I have a sidebar shortcut so I don’t remember how I originally made it visible to create a shortcut from it, I think it had to do with the option key – but if you google that you should find out how to do it.