MATLAB 2020a on Catalina won't open properly through .app
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Leanna Morinishi on 2 Jun 2020
Double-clicking or using right-click->"Open with..." on MATLAB files (.m, .mat, .mlapp) opens a functional MATLAB 2020a window. Using MATLAB via terminal (/Applications/MATLAB_R2020a.app/bin/matlab -nodesktop) works just fine as well.
However, double clicking the MATLAB_R2020a.app icon or trying to open MATLAB via Spotlight results in a non-responsive MATLAB window with the rainbow spinning wheel. The bottom message says "Ready". Is there any way to fix this?
Nikhil Sonavane on 5 Jun 2020
Ensure that your Mac meets the system requirements for the release of MATLAB you are attempting to launch.
Try running MATLAB without the desktop environment. Open a Terminal window (/Applications/Utilities/Terminal.app) and run the following command:
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:
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.
For more details you may refer to similar MATLAB Answer.