Solution for running Matlab earlier than 2014b on OS X Yosemite


Cannot launch MATLAB 14a or earlier on OS X 10.10 Yosemite




After installing MATLAB R2014a or earlier on a Mac running OS X 10.10 Yosemite, the application might have the prohibition symbol (a circle with a backslash) superimposed on its icon, and attempting to run the application might result in an error message, for example, 'You can't use this version of the application "MATLAB_R2014a" with this version of OS X.'




Apple fixed the issue in a system data file update to Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite. This update will be installed automatically within a few hours of installing Yosemite. Once you receive the update, you should be able to launch MATLAB even though it may still have the prohibition symbol displayed in the Finder.

To make sure you will receive Apple's update, perform the following steps:

1   Select "System Preferences..." from the Apple menu

2   Click the "App Store" icon

3   Click the check box next to all of the following items that do not already have a check mark:

                        Automatically check for updates

                        Download newly available updates in the background

                        Install system data files and security updates

4   Leave your Mac connected to the Internet

To see whether Apple's update is installed yet on your Mac, perform the following steps:

1   Select "About This Mac" from the Apple menu

2   Click the "System Report..." button

3   Click on "Installations" under the "Software" category in the column at left

4   If you see "Core Services Application Configuration Data 10.10", Version 10.39 or later, then you have the needed update.


If you need to use MATLAB while you are waiting to receive the update from Apple, you can use one of the following two workarounds:

1   Launch the 'matlab' shell script from the Terminal command line. To launch MATLAB from the Terminal command line:

                        Determine the path to the shell script. For example, if MATLAB_R2014a is installed in the Applications folder, the path is '/Applications/'.

                        Call MATLAB using this path.

2   Create an alias to the executable in the Finder, and double-click the alias.

                        Open the Applications folder

                        Right-click (or control-click) on the MATLAB application icon and select "Show Package Contents"

                        Open the Contents folder, then the Mac OS folder

                        Right-click (or control-click) on the StartMATLAB executable icon, and select "Make Alias"

                        Drag the newly created alias to the Desktop or into the Applications folder

                        Double-click on the alias to start MATLAB


If you cannot launch MATLAB even after Apple's update has been installed, try the following steps (admin privileges may be required):

1   From the Finder's menubar, select "Go > Applications" to open the Applications folder (or open the folder that contains your copy of MATLAB).

2   Select File > New Folder to create a new folder (it will be named "untitled folder").

3   Drag your copy of MATLAB into "untitled folder"

4   Drag your copy of MATLAB back to its original location.

5   Move "untitled folder" to the Trash.


If you still cannot launch MATLAB, try these additional steps:

1   In the Apple menu, select "Force Quit..."

2   The dialog "Force Quit Applications" will appear.

3   Find "Finder" in the list and click the "Relaunch" button.


Exists in

Product Name

Release (Version)



R2014a (8.3)


R2013b (8.2)


R2013a (8.1)


R2012b (8.0)


R2012a (7.14)

This bug affects my work.


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