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How do I diagnose startup problems for MATLAB on Mac OS X?

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I installed MATLAB Student Version on my new MacBook. When I try to launch MATLAB, the icon sort of bounces in the dock for a moment, then disappears. There isn't even an error message! What can I do to fix this?

Accepted Answer

John on 14 Jan 2011
If MATLAB does not start properly on Mac, there are many times where there is no error message displayed. To obtain debugging information for Mac, there are two methods you can try:
1) Check the system Console log:
1. Launch the Console located in Applications/Utilities.
2. Click the broom icon labeled "Clear Display" to clear the log file.
3. Launch MATLAB again. Any crash messages should be recorded into Console.
There may be a lot of information, but usually there should be an error message that is MATLAB specific. For example:
Dyld Error Message:
Library not loaded: libtbb.dylib
Referenced from: /Applications/
Reason: image not found
2) Run MATLAB from Terminal
To see just the error message for MATLAB, you can run MATLAB from the Terminal application. To do so:
1. Open Finder and locate the MATLAB application.
2. CTRL+click or right click on the MATLAB application and chose "Show Package Contents. (For MATLAB R2008b and below, just open the MATLAB folder that appears in Applications.
3. From the MATLAB contents, navigate to the bin folder
4. Locate the "matlab" script in this directory. We will need this later
5. Open another Finder window and run the Terminal Application in Applications/Utilities.
6. Drag the "matlab" script from the MATLAB Finder window into the Terminal application. If you did this correctly, Terminal will show you the full path to the script. Ex:
7. Hit the return key in Terminal to launch the MATLAB script.
If there are any errors with MATLAB, they will be recorded in Terminal.
Once you have the error message, you can search the support site or create a service request for help here:
Preben Bruun-Nyzell
Preben Bruun-Nyzell on 25 Nov 2021
Thanks Juan! I had the same problem with R2020b on macOS Big Sur and setting the permission for admin fixed the problem.
Ayodeji Emmanuel
Ayodeji Emmanuel on 2 Mar 2022
This is the error I get
Cannot locate or initialize class com/mathworks/jmi/OpaqueJavaInterface.
java.lang.NoClassDefFoundError: com/mathworks/jmi/OpaqueJavaInterface
Caused by: java.lang.ClassNotFoundException: com.mathworks.jmi.OpaqueJavaInterface
at java.lang.ClassLoader.loadClass(
at sun.misc.Launcher$AppClassLoader.loadClass(
at java.lang.ClassLoader.loadClass(

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More Answers (1)

zach on 28 Aug 2014
this still doesn't help me...I tried loading via terminal and the program just hangs for an hour without ever loading. I'm going crazy trying to solve this situation. 2014a and os 10.8.5


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