Apple’s finally released its macOS Big Sur 11.4 update for Mac.
Unlike macOS Big Sur 11.3.1, macOS Big Sur 11.4 is a milestone release and it carries new features, bug fixes, and important security patches.
With that in mind, we want to take you through everything there you need to know about the macOS Big Sur 11.4 update and its release.
In this guide we’ll take you through the macOS Big Sur 11.4 update’s performance, the current list of macOS Big Sur 11.4 problems, the best places to find feedback about macOS Big Sur 11.4 problems, and more.
- macOS Big Sur 11.4 Review
- macOS Big Sur 11.4 Problems
- macOS Big Sur 11.4: What’s New
- macOS Big Sur 11.4 Downgrade
- Next macOS Updates
We’ll start out with some quick impressions of macOS Big Sur 11.4 update’s performance on Mac.
macOS Big Sur 11.4 Review
If your Mac is currently on macOS Big Sur 11.3.1, macOS Big Sur 11.4 requires a fairly large download. The exact macOS Big Sur 11.4 download size varies based on your Mac model and the version of macOS its running.
If your Mac is running macOS Big Sur 11.3.1, the installation should take less than 15 minutes to complete. It took around 13 minutes on a MacBook Pro (2017).
For more on the macOS Big Sur 11.4 download and installation, take a look at our guide.
We’ve been using the macOS Big Sur 11.4 update on a MacBook Pro (2017) for several days now and here’s what we’ve learned about its performance thus far:
- Battery life is currently stable.
- Wi-Fi connectivity is fast and reliable.
- Bluetooth is working normally.
- Third-party apps including Twitter, Slack, Asana, Gmail, Chrome, and Spotify are working fine at the moment.
- First party apps like Safari and Podcasts are also stable.
- macOS Big Sur 11.4 feels as fast as macOS Big Sur 11.3.1.
If your Mac is struggling on macOS Big Sur 11.3.1 or an older version of macOS, you might want to install macOS Big Sur 11.4 on your Mac today.
If you need help making a decision, check out our reasons to, and not to, install the macOS Big Sur 11.4 update.
macOS Big Sur 11.4 Problems
macOS Big Sur 11.4 update is already causing problems for some Mac users.
Mac owners have noticed installation issues, UI lag, issues with first and third-party apps, abnormal battery drain, iMessage issues, Wi-Fi problems, lockups, freezes, and crashes.
If you decide to download the macOS Big Sur 11.4 update on your Mac, and you encounter bugs and/or performance issues, here are a few resources that could help.
Before you get in touch with Apple, check out our fixes for the most common macOS Big Sur problems. We’ve also released a guide that will show 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.
macOS Big Sur 11.4 Update: What’s New
Apple’s milestone (x.x) updates typically bring a mix of features, security patches, and under-the-hood improvements and that’s what macOS Big Sur 11.4 brings to the table.
Here’s the full macOS Big Sur 11.4 change log:
- Apple Podcasts subscriptions are available for purchase via monthly and annual subscriptions
- Channels group together collections of shows from podcast creators.
- Bookmarks in Safari may get reordered or moved into a folder that can appear hidden
- Certain websites may not display correctly after your Mac wakes from sleep
- Keywords may not be included when exporting a photo from the Photos app
- Preview may become unresponsive when searching PDF documents
- 16-inch MacBook may become unresponsive when playing Civilization VI
macOS Big Sur 11.4 also ties in with Apple’s new Spatial Audio and Lossless Audio features for Apple Music. Those features are due out in June.
The update also brings a whopping 50+ security patches to Mac users and you can learn more about those over on Apple’s security site.
You Can Downgrade from macOS Big Sur 11.4
If you run into problems on macOS Big Sur 11.4, you can downgrade your Mac’s software back to an older version if you think that might help.
There is no time frame for this to expire so if you decide you need to go back, it’s fairly easy to do if you are prepared. Here’s our guide to downgrade and it will help you understand the process and make your move.
Apple’s confirmed a new version of macOS Big Sur.
The company’s put macOS Big Sur 11.5 into beta testing and the pre-release version of the firmware is available to download right now through the company’s beta programs.
Like macOS Big Sur 11.4, macOS Big Sur 11.5 is a milestone upgrade which means it should carry new features, fixes, enhancements, and security patches.
For more on macOS Big Sur 11.5 and the beta, take a look at our guide.
Apple’s also confirmed its new macOS Monterey operating system and it’s currently in beta testing.
The macOS Monterey release date lands this fall, but if you don’t want to wait until September, you can download the software on your Mac right now.
For more on macOS Monterey and the beta, have a peek at our walkthrough.
Install macOS Big Sur 11.6.8 for Better Security
If security is important to you, you should think about installing Apple's macOS Big Sur 11.6.8 update right now.
macOS Monterey 11.6.8 has 25+ new patches on board and these will protect your Mac from harm. You can learn more about these changes over on Apple's website.
If you've fallen behind on updates, you'll also get the patches from older versions of macOS when you upgrade.
The macOS Big Sur 11.6.6 update had 40 important security patches on board. If you're interested in the particulars, check out Apple's security page.
macOS Big Sur 11.6.5 brought more than 15 security patches to Macs. You can learn more about those right here.
Apple said macOS Big Sur 11.6.4 "improves the security of macOS" though it still hasn't outlined the patches in detail.
macOS Big Sur 11.6.3 delivered seven new security patches. If you're interested in the details, head over to Apple's website.
If you missed the macOS Big Sur 11.6.2 update, it brought more than 30 new security patches to macOS Big Sur users. It's a substantial list and you can learn more over on Apple's security site.
If you skipped macOS Big Sur 11.6.1 you'll get its patches when you upgrade your Mac. You can learn more about those patches over on the company's security site.
If you missed macOS Big Sur 11.6, it had two important security patches on board. You can read about both of those over on Apple's security website.
If you missed macOS Big Sur 11.5.1, it brought a brand new security patch to Macs. You can read more about it on Apple's website.
If you missed macOS Big Sur 11.5, the update carried 35 new security patches that will help protect your Mac from harm. If you're interested in the details, check out the company's security site.
If you missed macOS Big Sur 11.4, you'll get the update's 50+ security patches when you upgrade. You can read more about them over on Apple's security site.
If you missed macOS Big Sur 11.3.1, it had two crucial security patches on board, both related to WebKit. If you want to learn more about them, head over to Apple's website.
If you skipped macOS Big Sur 11.3, it also had patches on board. The list included one for a vulnerability that escaped built-in malware protections. For more on macOS Big Sur 11.3's patches, head on over to Apple's security site.
If you missed earlier versions of macOS, you'll want to consider upgrading so you get their security patches as well.
macOS Big Sur 11.2.3 brought one security patch to Mac users. You can read more about it on Apple's website.
macOS Big Sur 11.2.1 had three security patches on board. You can read about them over on its security website.
macOS Big Sur 11.2 had a ton of patches on board and you can learn more about them right here.
If you missed macOS Big Sur 11.1, it had 51 security patches on board. 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 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.