Apple’s confirmed a macOS Big Sur 11.3 update for Mac and the software is currently in beta testing ahead of a release later this year.
macOS Big Sur 11.3 is a milestone release which means it will bring new features, security enhancements, and bug fixes to Apple’s Mac lineup.
We don’t have an official macOS Big Sur 11.3 release date yet, but Mac users who don’t want to wait for the official release can download a pre-release version of the software right now via Apple’s beta program.
With the macOS Big Sur 11.3 update now confirmed, we want to take you through everything there is to know about the next big update for macOS Big Sur and Mac.
- macOS Big Sur 11.3 Beta
- macOS Big Sur 11.3 Beta Problems
- macOS Big Sur 11.3 Release Date
- macOS Big Sur 11.3 Release Time
- macOS Big Sur 11.3: What’s New
In this guide to macOS Big Sur 11.3 we’ll take you through the update’s known changes, what you can expect from the macOS Big Sur 11.3 release date and release time, key information about the macOS Big Sur 11.3 beta, and more.
macOS Big Sur 11.3 Beta
If you don’t want to wait for the official macOS Big Sur 11.3 release, you don’t have to. Again, Apple’s pushed the macOS Big Sur 11.3 beta to developers and those enrolled in the company’s Beta Software Program.
While a developer account requires you to pay Apple an annual fee, the Beta Software Program is free to anyone with a compatible device and working Apple ID. Most people should install the public macOS Big Sur 11.3 beta.
Before you download the beta onto your computer, remember that pre-release software is almost always plagued with bugs and performance issues. These issues could impact the performance of your core apps, your device’s battery life, and its overall speed. Most people shouldn’t use it as a daily driver.
And while you might be able to fix some problems on your own, other bugs and performance issues will probably require a fix from Apple down the road.
If you can’t stand the macOS Big Sur 11.3 beta’s performance on your Mac, you can always downgrade back to stable macOS software.
Apple is currently on macOS Big Sur 11.3 beta 8 which means the official release is getting close.
macOS Big Sur 11.3 Beta Problems
If you do decide to download the macOS Big Sur 11.3 beta, and you run into issues, here are a few resources that could help.
Before you get in touch with Apple, have a look at our list of fixes for the most common macOS Big Sur problems. It might have what you’re looking for. We’ve also released a guide that shows you how to fix macOS Big Sur battery life problems.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for in our guides, head over to Apple’s discussion forums. If they can’t help you, you might want to get in contact with Apple Support via Twitter or with customer support via Apple’s website.
If you still can’t fix your issue(s), you might want to schedule an appointment to see a Genius at your local Apple Store. If it’s open.
macOS Big Sur 11.3 Release Date
Apple hasn’t confirmed an official macOS Big Sur 11.3 update for Mac. We do have some clues though.
In an interview with Kara Swisher, Tim Cook said iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 will arrive in “just a few weeks now” without elaborating.
The company says its new App Tracking Transparency privacy measure will be required starting with the iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 betas. We expect macOS Big Sur 11.3 to roll out with these updates.
Apple will announce new hardware in the near future so we could see the company release all of this software alongside those devices.
The company recently confirmed a “Spring Loaded” launch event for April 20th so we could see these updates arrive shortly before, or after, Apple makes announcements.
macOS Big Sur 11.3 Release Time
We don’t have an official release date, but we know exactly when Apple will roll the software out on whatever date it selects.
The official version of macOS Big Sur 11.3 will probably become available on your Mac in and around 10AM Pacific.
Apple will also release macOS Big Sur 11.3 beta updates for developers, and those enrolled in the Beta Software Program, around 10AM Pacific as well. The company typically releases new betas every 1-2 weeks.
Keep this timeline in mind if you plan to install the official version of macOS Big Sur 11.3, or new macOS Big Sur 11.3 betas, right away.
macOS Big Sur 11.3 Update: What’s New
Apple’s x.x updates typically bring a mix of features, security patches, and under-the-hood improvements and that’s what you can expect from macOS Big Sur 11.3.
Developers are currently digging through the macOS Big Sur 11.3 beta and here are some of the highlights thus far:
- Support for PS5 DualSense and Xbox Series X Controllers.
- More customization options for Safari.
- A redesigned News+ tab.
- New sorting options in the Reminders app.
- New support menu with details about warranty and AppleCare.
- A new option to set stereo-paired HomePods as the default sound output.
- Apple Music Autoplay.
- A new improvement to Optimized Battery Charging where the software will make sure a Mac is fully charged prior to a scheduled calendar event.
- Game controller emulation for iPhone and iPad applications for M1 Macs.
Oddly enough, it looks like Apple might remove Rosetta 2 from M1 Macs in some regions. It’s unclear why Apple might be making this change.
Apple is removing Rosetta from Macs during updates in certain countries in Mac 11.3 beta 3. Maybe this is due to legal issues? “Rosetta will be removed upon installing this update” “Rosetta is no longer available in your region. Applications requiring Rosetta will no longer urn” pic.twitter.com/NmsjXOwPvP
— Steve Moser (@SteveMoser) March 3, 2021
The macOS Big Sur 11.3 beta also includes references to unreleased iMac models. Apple is reportedly working on silicone iMacs though it’s unclear when they will launch.
Apple could add, or subtract, from the macOS Big Sur 11.3 change log as the beta progresses so keep an eye out for changes as the software makes progress behind the scenes.
Install macOS Big Sur 11.2.3 for Better Security
If security is important to you, you should think about installing the macOS Big Sur 11.2.3 update.
macOS Big Sur 11.2.3 brings an important security patch to Mac users. You can read more about it on Apple's website.
If you skipped earlier versions of macOS, you'll get the security patches from the updates you skipped with your upgrade to macOS Big Sur 11.2.3.
The previous version of macOS Big Sur, macOS Big Sur 11.2.1, had three security patches on board. You can read about them over on its security website.
If you skipped macOS Big Sur 11.2, you'll get its patches with your upgrade to macOS Big Sur 11.2.3.
macOS Big Sur 11.2 included 50+ security patches. You can learn more about these patches over on the company's website. These patches will help protect your computer from harm.
If you skipped macOS Big Sur 11.1, you'll get its 51 security patches with your upgrade to macOS Big Sur 11.2.3. You can read about them right here.
macOS Big Sur 11.1 also included a new privacy information section on App Store pages that includes a developer-reported summary of the app’s privacy practices.
If you're moving up from macOS Catalina, you'll also get macOS Big Sur 11.0.1's 50+ security patches. If you're interested these improvements, you can read about them over on Apple's website.
In addition to those patches, macOS Big Sur comes with additional security and privacy upgrades including improvements to the App Store and Safari.
In Safari, you can now tap the Privacy Report button to better understand how websites handle your privacy.
With macOS Big Sur on board you can now get information on the App Store that will help you understand the privacy practices of apps before you download them.
Researchers also discovered that Apple brought a new "BlastDoor" sandbox security system to macOS Big Sur, iOS 14, and iPadOS 14. The system is meant to prevent attacks from occurring via the Messages app.
You can read more about "BlastDoor" right here.