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5 Common macOS Catalina Beta Problems & How to Fix Them



This guide will show you how to fix some of the common macOS Catalina beta problems that users are running into while testing Apple’s new version of macOS.

Announced in early June the new macOS Catalina update won’t arrive for everyone until this fall, but there is already a developer macOS Catalina beta and a public beta is coming in July.

If you decide to test out the new software, we will help you fix some of the common macOS Catalina beta problems that are slowing users down without the need to wait for Apple to release an update. In case you get overwhelmed with the issues, you can go back to macOS Mojave fairly easily.

Here are the most common macOS Catalina beta problems and how you can fix them on your own, plus where to look for help.

How to Fix macOS Catalina Beta Installation Problems

Fix macOS Catalina beta installation problems.

Fix macOS Catalina beta installation problems.

There are two macOS Catalina beta installation problems that we’ve seen, both of which are pretty easy to fix. One of the big complaints is that after you join the macOS Catalina beta program it starts downloading the beta without many options. That’s because you are going to end up with an installer that you can use to choose the installation location. Don’t worry if you want to install the macOS Catalina beta on another volume or partition. Once you start the installer you can choose the location.

The other macOS Catalina beta installation problem that we’ve seen is from users who cannot install the beta. If you run into this problem you need to make sure you have enough space on the drive or volume you want to install to. This is by far the most common issue. Another thing you may need to do is simply restart your computer or restart into safe mode.

We have yet to see a “macOS could not be installed on your computer” (OSStatus error 2) like we saw with the macOS Mojave beta.

How to Fix macOS Catalina Beta Apps Not Working

Apps not working in the macOS Catalina beta is a common issue. There are many issues at play here and there are some things you can do to try and fix these issues.

If the app is working for other people, try uninstalling and re-installing the app. You can also check for updates to see if the developer is building in any additional support.

The next step is to look for a beta version of the app designed to work with macOS Catalina. This is still fairly early, but look on Twitter and support pages. If it is a specialized app that ties into the system there is a greater chance you will need to do this.

Finally some apps will not work on macOS Catalina if they are 32-bit. If you are running a 32-bit app you will need to look for an alternative or go back to macOS Mojave.

Here’s a list of apps that people say work with macOS Catalina and those that don’t,

How to Fix macOS Catalina Beta Internet Problems

While not widespread we’ve seen one report of the Internet not working on the macOS Catalina beta. If you run into this problem and are running an application called Little Snitch, uninstall that. It is not compatible with macOS Catalina, and prevented the user from being able to use the Internet. You can also update Little Snitch to the nightly update and you should be able to use it fine.

If you have WiFi issues, try turning the WiFi connection off and then back on, but thankfully we haven’t heard of any major issues yet.

How to Fix macOS Catalina Beta Side Car Problems

How to fix Side Car problems on the macOS Catalina beta.

How to fix Side Car problems on the macOS Catalina beta.

Apple now lets you use the iPad as a display for your Mac with a wireless or wired connection. If you cannot use Side Car on the macOS Catalina beta here’s what you need to do.

First off, you need the iPadOS beta installed on your iPad to use this. It does not work with iOS 12. So if you tried it and failed, go install iPadOS.

If Side Car performance is laggy or not working right, you can try connecting with a cable instead of wirelessly. Many users say this helps the performance.

Another thing to consider is that Side Car only works on newer Apple computers. This includes the following models;

If your Mac isn’t listed, you can upgrade to a new Mac, otherwise you will not be able to use the Side Car feature.

How to Fix Annoying macOS Catalina Beta Problems

If you cannot use the macOS Catalina beta with the current problems that you are experiencing, you can downgrade back to macOS Mojave. If you installed on a seperate partition or volume, you can simply switch back to macOS Mojave, but if you didn’t do that you will need to restore a Time Machine backup.

Here’s our guide on how to downgrade from the macOS Catalina beta to macOS Mojave so that you can go back to the latest stable version of macOS.



  1. Dan Kegel

    06/18/2019 at 4:04 pm

    Upgrading from beta 1 to beta 2 failed for me with OSStatus error -61
    (I guess that’s wrPermErr Write permissions error; Not a publisher)
    and now my macbook pro (mid 2014, MacBookPro11,3, is unable to boot.

  2. arturo

    06/27/2019 at 4:24 pm

    Im using imac early 2013 mac os 10.15 Beta so far so good! i look over internet for sidecar option, turns out it works like a charm! on my 1st gen 12.9 inch ipad pro running ipados 13! right now running ios 13 on my iphone 8 also!

    some bugs here and there but is worth it! btw: running new apple car style with some spanish misspells!

  3. Al Myers

    06/28/2019 at 12:34 am

    I downloaded it to my late 2015 iMac Retina 4K and it runs fine but has had a really negative impact on my Photo library. I mean the library is there (on an external drive and in the Cloud) but is in a constant state of “restoring” for days. The library has 70k+ photos. I see them all ok on my iPhone XS Max and iPad Pro so I’m not too worried about the status in the Cloud but I just can’t do anything with the library on the iMac. If I try to add a location, a name, or anything else it just freezes up for hours and then clears up but doesn’t accomplish whatever it was I was trying to do (it doesn’t add the face, it doesn’t add the location, etc).

  4. Mick

    06/28/2019 at 10:19 am

    I installed Catalina Beta on my late 2013 iMac. It has made my Mac unusable. First thing I noticed was I could not get App updates. The App store would ask for my Apple ID password and when I would enter the correct password, I would get an “unknown error” and not allow updates. Then my Mac froze up. When I forced a reboot, now it is stuck in an eternal boot up loop. I installed it on my MacBook Air with no problems.

  5. Armand

    06/30/2019 at 2:53 pm

    Just installed Catalina on my new MacBook 2019 model and now my macOS is in a eternal reboot, can somebody tell me how to fix it

  6. Keefe

    07/01/2019 at 12:17 am

    I’m using the Mojave beta. Can’t upgrade to the Catalina beta on my iMac retina 4K. But the upgrade works for my MacBook Pro retina. Why?

  7. checkitout

    07/05/2019 at 2:10 am

    I’ve updated to Catalina beta 1 on my macbook pro retina 2012 and bluetooth speakers repeatedly falling off

  8. Col

    07/07/2019 at 12:06 am

    Post upgrade to Catalina, mostly good, but have a PHPhotosErrorInvalidState, Photos won’t open.

    Any thoughts?

    • Kaniela

      08/04/2019 at 1:17 am

      I have the same problem. I tried doing the Photos library repair function, but it didn’t fix the problem. What is the solution?

      • Zeshan Rodrigues

        08/26/2019 at 3:45 am

        My issue is PHPhotosErrorDatabaseOpenError… any idea how to resolve this?

  9. Mícheál

    07/07/2019 at 3:55 am

    Most annoying problem I’m having is that files I send to the bin are deleted immediately and zip files cannot be opened on my main drive and have to be opened on another drive. I have tried changing permissions for the main hard drive but it insists that the operation is not permitted.

  10. Jasper Siebelink

    07/23/2019 at 1:41 am

    This might just be in my head, but I feel the CPU has been working overtime ever since I installed the latest update of MacOS Catalina.
    Running on a maxed out Macbook pro ’18

  11. TheddyG

    07/23/2019 at 3:39 pm

    Biggest problem for me i wifi is turning on and off on it’s own so it can’t connect to any network even on my iphone hotspot. Attempted 3 tomes to update the first one has an error about bless or something and then the second one it deleted the downloaded update so it did not instal then the last ine installed but can’t connect to network because the wifi is turning on and off by itself. Please help

  12. Daniel

    08/04/2019 at 2:44 am

    I upgraded to Catalina beta 6 immediately after release. It worked pretty well for a day, then the Internet connection completely died as I left the computer idle over lunch. WiFi and USB-based network connections are completely dead. The only thing that works is using a USB-C adapter.

  13. My Eye Holes

    09/10/2019 at 6:32 am

    “While not widespread we’ve seen one report of the Internet not working on the macOS Catalina beta. If you run into this problem and are running an application called Little Snitch, uninstall that. It is not compatible with macOS Catalina, and prevented the user from being able to use the Internet. You can also update Little Snitch to the nightly update and you should be able to use it fine.”

    My ’18 MBP ran the Catalina Beta fine, with Little Snitch… UNTIL I updated Little Snitch to the nightly update which promptly bricked my laptop’s WiFi.

  14. Matthew Banks

    09/18/2019 at 2:51 pm

    Just wondering if anyone else has updated to the new macOS Catalina Beta 8 and is noticing issues. I am running a 2018 Macbook Pro 15 inch with an upgraded processor and drive and noticing major issues.

    Since macOS Catalina Beta 8 I have noticed the following:
    – When attempting to drag a file or item from one place to another, the mouse is unable to pick up the item and only selects it.
    – Drag and drop is not functioning in finder, on the desktop or on the dock
    – Drag and drop has stopped function on third party applications as well
    – I have attached an apple mouse however it is still providing the same result
    – I have noticed considerable app hangs (notes application has stopped functioning completely)
    – Computer is running considerably slower and fan is noticeably louder
    – Airdrop is not functioning at all and simply provides no response when I select an item to be shared by airdrop (available devices still show up in finder).

    Has anyone else had issues since updating and if so have you figured out a fix for any of these?

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