Home > Apple Remote Desktop, Mac administration, Mac OS X > Fixing the Apple Remote Desktop client when it crashes repeatedly

Fixing the Apple Remote Desktop client when it crashes repeatedly

On a few of my servers, I’d recently begun running into a problem where the ARDAgent process (which is the process for the Apple Remote Desktop client) was crashing repeatedly. It would launch, crash, relaunch, crash, relaunch, crash, relaunch, etc. every few minutes. The common factor seemed to be that it was happening on my 10.4.x Macs (I didn’t see the problem on 10.5.x or 10.6.x Macs) and would persist across reboots, reinstalls and everything else I could think of.

I’d seen a number of folks with the same problem, but I didn’t find a solution until I ran across this Apple Support Discussions thread.


I have run into a similar problem a couple of times but today was the first time I was actually able to resolve it!

The fix I used is to remove the /Library/Application Support/Apple/Remote Desktop/Client directory and restart the client. For whatever reason the tasks.plist in the Tasks folder found inside the Client directory above seemed to be corrupt; removing it seemed to do the trick.

Restarting the Agent from the command line: /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ARDAgent.app/Contents/Resources/kickstart -restart -agent

Hope this helps!



I tried it out on my own servers, and it looks like it has resolved the problem! Here’s what I did:

1. Logged in with an admin account.
2. Opened Terminal.
3. Ran the following command to stop the Apple Remote Desktop client:

sudo /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ARDAgent.app/Contents/Resources/kickstart -agent -stop

4. Ran the following command to remove the /Library/Application Support/Apple/Remote Desktop/Client directory:

sudo rm -rf /Library/Application\ Support/Apple/Remote\ Desktop/Client

5. Ran the following command to restart the Apple Remote Desktop client:

sudo /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ARDAgent.app/Contents/Resources/kickstart -agent -restart

  1. July 7, 2011 at 12:26 am

    worked great thanks. we use this to provide IT support to our clients so its critical

  2. December 16, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    This worked great for me – Didn’t have to remove the client directory.

  3. Anthony
    February 14, 2012 at 8:21 am

    It didn’t work for me, but I think I found another problem which causes a crash. I checked the preferences of my saved connections and somehow it had an improper login along with the security setting “Always Connect Even If Authentication Fails”. I changed the security option to “Warn me if authentication fails” and it stopped crashing.

  4. amcairns
    June 7, 2012 at 6:08 am

    I have a 10.4 server that still works well after 8 years (most recently a Retrospect backup server and Open Directory replica) except for the crashing problem that began a few weeks ago. Spent a lot of hours trying to solve this but ran across this page, applied the recommended fix and it has worked flawlessly for 2 days. Thanks very much for the tip.

  5. August 6, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    Perfect fix! Mine was so bad I had a 26GB log file that ate up all my free disk space, and it would kernel panic the box if I tried to empty trash, or rm through terminal. Finally had to put the server into target disk mode, and rm the file from terminal on another host machine.

  6. Denny
    September 26, 2021 at 2:56 pm

    sorry didn’t work for me I’m using MacBigSur 11.6

  7. dfbills
    February 1, 2022 at 10:57 pm

    Wow, still works in 2020 on Monterey with a pair of M1s. Thanks, man.

  1. January 8, 2012 at 8:50 pm
  2. August 11, 2013 at 11:41 am

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