After summer comes macOS. This long-standing tradition started by Apple is the most exciting moment of the year — seeing your Macs improve and gain new bells and whistles. In 2019, we're welcoming Catalina, the 10.15 version of macOS named after Catalina island in California. Apparently, it's hot.
From the desert to the coast: macOS Mojave has given way to the next major version of the Mac operating system, called macOS Catalina. Revealed during Apple’s 2019 WWDC keynote in June, Catalina. Requires an iPhone with iOS 8 or later and an activated carrier plan. Requires an iPhone with iOS 8.1 or later and an activated carrier plan. Requires an iPhone with iOS 12 or later and a configured Home app. AirDrop to iOS and iPadOS devices requires an iPhone or iPad with a Lightning connector or with USB-C and iOS 7 or later.
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The operating system boasts a whole lot of new macOS features like Sidecar, iOS apps porting, and major Photos update. To try the features right away, you can install Catalina from the Software Update tab.
However, be prepared for some troubleshooting. The acquaintance with the new macOS doesn't always go smooth — and with macOS 10.15 deeming support for lots of software, many things will not go smooth. We've collected the key macOS Catalina issues you may encounter, along with the ways to fix them.
Giving up Catalina is a decision you can choose to make. But before rolling back, ensure you use every bit of advice as to how you can fix the common problems. Sometimes, a quick fix can solve your concerns.
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Problems with macOS Catalina you can solve:
This is the classic problem that arises with every macOS release: The installation won't start or you face the 'Catalina installation stuck' problem — when it freezes and you see no progress on the install. No matter how many times you start over, you keep getting an error trying to install Catalina.'
Say you've cleared up and backed up your disk. But your Mac still gets stuck at the installation and shows 'not enough space' error, so you can't get out of the cycle. In this case, there's another fix you can try:
Some users also report they tried to reboot into Safe Mode and take the installation from there; the others used a newly created admin user — but most attempts have been unsuccessful.
We must agree that macOS 10.15 is one of the slowest systems in terms of installation. But if you use the hacks described above and have a little patience, you'll be able to get to the 'Catalina installed' point.
Find more information about how to update mac os the right way.
There's a known problem of failing to login after the installation. Unfortunately, the only way to fix it — at least for now — would be to roll back to Mojave:
One of the things Mac users are particularly excited about is the new Sidecar feature. It comes as a handy solution for those wanting to expand their workspaces. You can either mirror your Mac's screen to iPad or use your iPad's screen as an extension of a Mac.
If the only reason you're here is because you want Sidecar, we have to warn you it might not work with your new macOS. Reddit is full of user reports about the feature unavailable on macOS Catalina. Most likely, this is the issue of compatibility.
Here are the ways to fix Sidecar problems:
Many of the previous macOS releases were known for battery life concerns — greedy apps, Safari and Chrome draining battery, or power-saving not working. There has been no major battery drain issues reported by the Catalina users so far.
Just to make sure you don't encounter the problem as well, here are a few precautions:
In the attempt to speed up your Mac's performance, Apple is killing 32-bit app architecture with the release of Catalina. This means you have to switch to 64-bit, for good. You might see the messages like this when trying to launch an app:
The chances are it's one of the oldies.
CleanMyMac X can pretty much solve every app problem on macOS Catalina.
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While app notarization takes time, you can expect many apps being unavailable after the release of Catalina. This doesn't mean they are gone for good, though. Contact developers or follow official developer announcements to find out about compatibility plans.
Due to Catalina's new security settings, Microsoft's OneDrive may have a problem accessing your drive — even if you allow a full access. This is because macOS 10.15 comes with two disk volumes by default.
There are no surefire fixes just yet, but you can try to troubleshoot OneDrive by setting it up from the very beginning. This worked for some users, according to the Reddit discussion:
The most common issue with iCloud is that users are unable to download their folders. You can try downloading iCloud files separately — but that's going to be a pain if you have an extensive library.
The best fix would be using Forklift app for your file management. The app is Catalina-ready and allows connecting local drives, Dropbox, iCloud, and tons of other storage sites.
If you're setting up iCloud, there might be another issue standing in your way: Not being able to agree to the Terms and Conditions. The window will just keep popping up on your screen. An easy way to fix this would be to access System Preferences > Internet Accounts and then click on the iCloud icon. You'll see a static Terms and Conditions window — click Accept and you're good to go.
The new macOS 10.15 brought along the end of iTunes and the birth of the new Music app. Basically, it looks the same — but with music-only content. There's a huge difference for people who rely on syncing Apple Music with third-party apps. The new app doesn't support XML file support, which makes playlist syncing impossible across many apps. So if you use Apple Music for DJing, you'll definitely have a problem.
The only fix to suggest here would be to stay away from Catalina if you need your XML apps to work with iTunes.
There have been reports about the new music app freezing on Mac. Well, it's the first splitting of iTunes, so it's no wonder it doesn't go smooth. In most cases, your Mac will keep showing the 'library updating' status.
Another problem you may come across is the Music app eating too much of your space. One user wrote the app used over 30GB of memory on his Mac.
Apparently, the problem is related to the memory management of Album Art. It is getting better, though. According to user reports, memory usage goes back to normal after restarting the app.
According to forum posts, your mailbox might get pretty messy after the upgrade — with no search functionality whatsoever. So if you try searching by keywords or recipient/sender name, the app will keep showing the numerical number of results. The reason could be the new Spotlight integration.
There have also been some early reports about emails missing from the Mail app — so you might want to wait for it to get fixed before upgrading, especially if you rely on Apple Mail.
So here's the thing: macOS Catalina should be faster than Mojave. 32-bit architecture was one of the things slowing an operating system down. It's gone, and so are the issues with slow apps. Unfortunately, you can expect your Mac go slow and overheat anyway.
On the Apple forum, people mentioned Dock disappearing from their screen after upgrading to Catalina. The nature of this mistake is unknown — some users connect it to PRAM resetting, the others say they had the issue when trying to work across two screens.
Try Option + Command + D. If it doesn't work for you, do the following:
If you're putting macOS 10.15 over your current system, you're likely to encounter Internet connection problems.
The radical way would be to clean install macOS Catalina — it's healthier for your Mac and will probably fix the issue. If you're not ready to take a risk, try rebooting your Mac.
There has been a user report saying that Sophos caused the problem of network connection. So uninstalling it may be a fix as well.
Well, that's a problem. Definitely a huge one if you use AirPods. Deleting your Bluetooth.plist files might be the way to solve this.
While Apple is trying to transition to iOS-compatible extensions, it gradually deems support for many web extensions formats. On Catalina, you'll face the problem with .safariextz files not working.
Just like with 32-bit apps, there's no way to fix the missing extensions. If you can't find a good alternative, you can switch to Chrome or another browser.
If you notice unusual storage filling up progress, this might mean your Mac captured too many redundant files during the Catalina installation. In most cases, these are APFS files and Time Machine backups.
If you can use a good Time Machine alternative like Get Backup Pro throughout the upgrade, do it. Otherwise, you can remove Time Machine leftovers after installing Catalina with CleanMyMac X. In the Maintenance tab, select 'Time Machine snapshots thinning,' and run a cleanup.
To remove snapshots manually, use the following Terminal commands:
Here's a quick review of all mentioned fixes, which you can take with you:
The short answer is yes — if you use it right. So before you decide to downgrade back to Mojave, make sure you've done the following things right:
If you want to dive more into macOS Catalina bugs fixed, check out the Reddit discussion.
macOS Big Sur elevates the most advanced desktop operating system in the world to a new level of power and beauty. Experience Mac to the fullest with a refined new design. Enjoy the biggest Safari update ever. Discover new features for Maps and Messages. Get even more transparency around your privacy.
The following models are supported:
To see which model you have, click the Apple icon in your menu bar and choose About This Mac.
Before you upgrade, we recommend that you back up your Mac. If your Mac is running OS X Mavericks 10.9 or later, you can upgrade directly to macOS Big Sur. You’ll need the following:
Go to Software Update in System Preferences to find macOS Big Sur. Click Upgrade Now and follow the onscreen instructions.
If you’re running any release from macOS 10.13 to 10.9, you can upgrade to macOS Big Sur from the App Store. If you’re running Mountain Lion 10.8, you will need to upgrade to El Capitan 10.11 first.
If you don’t have broadband access, you can upgrade your Mac at any Apple Store.
For details about your Mac model, click the Apple icon at the top left of your screen and choose About This Mac. These Mac models are compatible with macOS Big Sur:
Requires a broadband internet connection and microphone (built-in or external).
Supported by the following Mac models:
Requires a microphone (built-in or external).
Requires a broadband internet connection.
Requires a Multi-Touch trackpad, Force Touch trackpad, Magic Trackpad, or Magic Mouse.
Force Touch gestures require a Force Touch trackpad.
VoiceOver gestures require a Multi-Touch trackpad, Force Touch trackpad, or Magic Trackpad.
Requires a FaceTime or iSight camera (built-in or external) or USB video class (UVC) camera.
Audio calls require a microphone (built-in or external) and broadband internet connection.
Video calls require a built-in FaceTime camera, an iSight camera (built-in or external), or a USB video class (UVC) camera; and broadband internet connection.
High dynamic range (HDR) video playback is supported by the following Mac models:
Dolby Atmos soundtrack playback is supported by the following Mac models:
Supported by the following Mac models:
Supported by all iPad models with Apple Pencil support:
Requires an iPhone or iPad that supports iOS 12 or later.
Requires an iPhone with iOS 13 or later or an iPad with iPadOS 13 or later.
Requires an iPhone or iPad with a Lightning connector or with USB-C and iOS 8 or later.
Requires an iPhone or iPad with cellular connectivity, a Lightning connector or USB-C, and iOS 8.1 or later. Requires Personal Hotspot service through your carrier.
Requires an iPhone or iPad with a Lightning connector or with USB-C and iOS 10 or later.
Requires an Apple Watch with watchOS 3 or later or an iPhone 5 or later.
Requires an Apple Watch with watchOS 6 or later or an iPhone 6s or later with iOS 13 or later.
Requires a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air with Touch ID, an iPhone 6 or later with iOS 10 or later, or an Apple Watch with watchOS 3 or later.
Requires an iPhone with iOS 8 or later and an activated carrier plan.
Requires an iPhone with iOS 8.1 or later and an activated carrier plan.
Requires an iPhone with iOS 12 or later and a configured Home app.
AirDrop to iOS and iPadOS devices requires an iPhone or iPad with a Lightning connector or with USB-C and iOS 7 or later.
AirPlay Mirroring requires an Apple TV (2nd generation or later).
AirPlay for web video requires an Apple TV (2nd generation or later).
Peer-to-peer AirPlay requires a Mac (2012 or later) and an Apple TV (3rd generation rev A, model A1469 or later) with Apple TV software 7.0 or later.
Requires an external storage device (sold separately).
Requires an iPhone with iOS 14 and a compatible electric vehicle.
Requires an iPhone running iOS 14 or an iPad running iPadOS 14.
Allows Boot Camp installations of Windows 10 on supported Mac models.
Requires Microsoft Office 365, Exchange 2016, Exchange 2013, or Exchange Server 2010. Installing the latest Service Packs is recommended.
Supports OS X 10.7 or later and Windows 7 or later.
Available only to persons age 13 or older in the U.S. and many other countries and regions.
The improved Retouch tool is supported on the following Mac models: