Fixed: Spacebar Quick Look Preview Not Working in macOS Sonoma

  • Identify various factors that can contribute to the ‘Spacebar Preview Not Working’ issue, including software conflicts, Quick Look cache corruption, and macOS compatibility issues.
  • Navigate through practical solutions to resolve macOS spacebar issues, and the simple yet effective solution of restarting your MacBook to address software glitches and corrupted caches.
  • Importance of keeping macOS up to date and regularly performing system maintenance to minimize the risk of software conflicts and cache corruption.
Spacebar Preview not Working

Are you facing an issue with the new macOS Sonoma spacebar Quick Look preview not working on your MacBook? Take for example, you’d be working on a project for hours with a strict deadline from your team. You’d be working on editing a complex video project that needs the spacebar preview to ensure that the transitions, animations, and overall timing are smooth.

Unexpectedly, you start to notice that pressing the spacebar no longer triggers the preview, disrupting the usual workflow. Frankly, in the same way, I’d also been in a situation where previewing documents using spacebar on my MacBook was a hassle. If you’d ever been in a similar situations, I will be happy to assist you in practical ways to solve this problem.

What Causes the ‘Spacebar Preview Not Working’ Issue?

Spacebar preview issues can occur due to various software conflicts in your MacBook. If there are any third-party software on your system, sometimes, it can interfere with Quick Look. Quick Look is a feature that powers the space bar preview. Hence, it is vital to know if any installed third-party software hooks into the Finder or other system processes.

Another cool thing I found about Quick Look is that it stores temporary data about the files it shows by using caches. And now, if this becomes corrupt, we may have trouble with spacebar preview not working. Yet again, another common issue many people have is upgrading to the newer versions Apple’s operating system, which, in this context, is the macOS Sonoma version.

Now, while these are just some of the major reasons why this issue persists. Sometimes, saving your files on a cloud storage service like iCloud Drive or Google Drive can cause spacebar preview to be slower or stop working altogether.

How To Fix macOS Spacebar Issues?

Now, we already know the source of the problem, which makes it easier to solve the problem. I will be walking you through some useful ways to do this:

Check Your Full Keyboard Access

The first thing I’d ever told anyone who’s ever reported this issue is, “Have you checked your Full Keyboard Access?” To me, it’s the most important one. This is due to the fact that it allows you to control your mac using your keyboard only. However, it can sometimes interfere with the spacebar. You’d need to disable and enable it.

Time needed: 2 minutes

Checking your keyboard access helps to understand key issues that may be wrong with your spacebar

  1. Go to “System Settings” > and click on “Accessibility”

    Select Accessibility

  2. Uncheck the box to “Enable Full Keyboard Access.”

    Keyboard accessibility

Check Keyboard Hardware

Checking your keyboard is a remarkable way to know if the “macOS space bar preview not working” issue persists due to damage to your keyboard hardware. Since the spacebar preview is a part of the keyboard, it is important to inspect the keyboard for any indications of physical damage, such as cracked keys, loose wires, or spilled liquids.

On the other hand, if you are using a MacBook with a detachable Magic Keyboard, ensure that the keyboard is securely connected to the MacBook. And for those using a MacBook with a built-in keyboard, I check for any debris or dust that might hinder the keys from adequately contacting the keyboard switches.

Safe Mode Check

Try restarting your Mac in Safe Mode by holding down the Shift key during startup. This will help ensure if some third-party applications or utilities are interfering with the keyboard functionality. If the spacebar works properly in Safe Mode, it could mean there’s a problem caused by some other software you’ve got running.

Restart Your Mac

Sometimes, you may simply need to restart your MacBook. This can often fix software glitches and corrupted caches. See if the spacebar functions properly afterward.

Reinstall Your macOS

One thing I have noticed in the forum is that Mac users running older macOS complaining about the spacebar preview issue. Thus, updating to the new operating system will fix any bugs associated with the System Management Controller which includes your keyboard. But if you are using the latest macOS, considerer reinstalling macOS. To reinstall macOS using macOS Recovery, You may need to “shut down your Mac” > Turn on your Mac and immediately press and hold one of the following key combinations:

  • Command + R: Reinstall the latest version of macOS that is compatible with your Mac.

If you’re worried about losing your data after reinstalling your macOS, this guide has helpful information on how to do that.


I realize that resolving the ‘Spacebar Preview Not Working’ issue on your MacBook involves a systematic approach. From checking Full Keyboard Access settings to inspecting physical keyboard condition, exploring potential software conflicts, and considering a macOS reinstall, these steps provide practical solutions.

Now, you may have further complaints after you have tried these solutions, be rest assured that I am here to guide you. Let me know of your inquiries in the comments. 

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