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10.6: Fix a broken Services menu on the fly System 10.6
Snow Leopard only hintSometimes Services in Snow Leopard stop working for no apparent reason. The menu is missing from the contextual menu items when you do a right-click, and the Services menu in the menu bar shows only 'Building...' Other times, there may be more than one entry for the same service. These problems can always (in my experience) be corrected without logging out or rebooting.

The technique is simple. Run the following command in a Terminal window or Automator workflow:

/System/Library/CoreServices/pbs

That's all there is to it. Your Services should now be working.

[crarko adds: A more little explanation is good for this one; the pbs utility is a debugging tool (follow the link, and scroll down to 'Testing' at the bottom) related to the Pasteboard Service in Cocoa. Running it will force a rescan of Services which is why the above will work. It's been mentioned in a previous hint back in 2004, so it's been around for a while. I doubt anyone noticed if there was a problem with Services prior to 10.6. Apple mentions that it could change or be removed at some point, so don't depend on it indefinitely.]
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10.6: Fix a broken Services menu on the fly | 10 comments | Create New Account
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10.6: Fix a broken Services menu on the fly
Authored by: Sesquipedalian on Aug 06, '10 08:17:25AM

I've never experienced this problem, but if I ever do, this information will be good to know.



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10.6: Fix a broken Services menu on the fly
Authored by: renaultssoftware on Aug 06, '10 09:49:52AM

Thanks! I've had this problem a lot before.

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10.6: Fix a broken Services menu on the fly
Authored by: llee on Aug 06, '10 10:55:39AM

"man pbs" reveals:

"NAME
pbs -- general helper tool

SYNOPSIS
pbs

DESCRIPTION
pbs is a helper tool for the Cocoa frameworks.

There are no configuration options to pbs. Users should not run pbs manually."

So it might be helpful to know why the manual page appears to discourage running the command manually.



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10.6: Fix a broken Services menu on the fly
Authored by: crarko on Aug 06, '10 11:42:14AM

I'd guess it's because "Apple mentions that it could change or be removed at some point," as is implied by the description given in the link.

Edited on Aug 06, '10 11:45:12AM by crarko



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10.6: Fix a broken Services menu on the fly
Authored by: tedw on Aug 06, '10 11:46:12AM

As Craig mentioned above, pbs is a debugging tool, and as such it is mostly useful to developers. In fact, if you find that services are consistently failing on your machine, you probably have a buggy service. If you have the time and inclination, you should track down the app causing the issue and email the developer. Running pbs will do no harm to your system - it simply rescans the system for available services - but non-developers shouldn't have to do it, ever.



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pbs is not a debugging tool
Authored by: lincd0 on Aug 06, '10 01:22:09PM

It runs automatically whenever anything is added to /Library/Services, as you can see from the contents of the file

/System/Library/LaunchAgents/com.apple.pbs.plist



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pbs is not a debugging tool
Authored by: crarko on Aug 06, '10 01:35:18PM

Well, what Apple says:

"Important: The pbs tool is for debugging purposes only. It does not have a guaranteed interface, and may even be removed in a future version of Mac OS X. You should not design any programs to depend on it."

They could be joshing, I suppose.



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pbs is not a debugging tool
Authored by: lincd0 on Aug 06, '10 04:40:27PM

Running it manually is a debugging method. It's not exclusively a debugging tool, or it wouldn't be invoked automatically on every Mac. It's running on yours right now. All you're doing with this hint is restarting it.



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10.6: Fix a broken Services menu on the fly
Authored by: mr. applescript on Aug 07, '10 09:25:05AM

System/Library/CoreServices/pbs -flush



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10.6: Fix a broken Services menu on the fly
Authored by: kopf on Aug 29, '10 07:27:04PM

Any idea what else to do if the problem doesn't go away after following the above hints?



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