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MacBook Pro 16 Problems: 5 Things to Know in December



After nearly a month in the wild, there are reports of MacBook Pro 16 problems and some news about fixes that are coming in a new software update soon.

We are experiencing popping speakers, reboots and issues with using external displays.

Apple announced the new MacBook Pro in November rounding out the 2019 MacBook Pro models and setting the stage for bigger updates to the 2020 MacBook Pro. This is the flagship Apple notebook, replacing the 15-inch model and fixing many complaints from users.

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We are hearing some complaints about issues and errors, and you may even find yourself dealing with some of the macOS Catalina problems since the new notebook ships with the latest release and you can’t downgrade to macOS Mojave.

The new MacBook Pro 16-inch is a solid device that many users are enjoying, but it isn’t perfect. We’re experiencing some issues and hearing a few complaints from users about issues and some software problems on the new MacBook Pro.

Read: Best MacBook Pro 16 Cases, Covers & Skins

The good news for users is that there are no “gate” style widespread problems and the changes to the keyboard do look likey they borrow from a tried and tested design.

We want to walk you through the most important things to know about MacBook Pro 16 problems, and what you can do to fix these issues and where to look for support and feedback. Plus, we’ll look at what’s next for the MacBook Pro 16-inch.

MacBook Pro 16 Problems

We’re seeing a few MacBook Pro 16 problems already. The first is the new MacBook Pro not playing nicely with Thunderbolt Docks and external displays. Another issue that I’ve run into is apps showing up as blank when trying to use them on the new MacBook Pro. This happened with Messages and Trello. I was able to solve the first issue with a reboot, which is similar to external display issues from my old MacBook Pro and quitting the apps completely solved that issue.

We’re hearing reports on a blank screen on the MacBook Pro, issues installing Bootcamp on the 16-inch MacBook Pro and complaints of backlight bleed.

We’re also seeing reports that the Radeon Pro 5000 GPU isn’t working right with some games on the MacBook Pro. AMD may need to update drivers or Apple may need to push an update.

A major complaint is popping speakers on the MacBook Pro 16. This happens when you start or stop audio on the MacBook Pro and is fairly widespread. Thankfully Apple is working on a fix.

Where to Find Feedback

If you are considering buying a MacBook Pro 16, or if you are looking for help with problems you are experiencing, you can look for information from early adopters in a few places.

The best places to look are on YouTube, Apple discussion forums, MacRumors forums and on Twitter. These locations all offer insight into what is happening with the MacBook Pro.

We’ll be detailing our MacBook Pro 16 review and impressions this week with more on what we are experiencing.

How to Fix MacBook Pro 16 Problems

Fix MacBook Pro 16 problems with this update.

Fix MacBook Pro 16 problems with this update.

If you do experience any of these MacBook Pro problems, you can fix some of them on your own.

The first thing to do is make sure you have the macOS Catalina 10.15.1 supplemental update installed. This is an update that arrived for the MacBook Pro 16 specifically to address issues with external displays and other problems. It is a 4.73GB update that should prompt you soon after you set up your MacBook Pro.

You can also try restarting your MacBook Pro 16. This solves many issues with displays and accessories. It’s not a great solution if you are in the middle of something, but it will get you back to work quickly.

If you are running into WiFi or Bluetooth issues, we recommend turning both of these off, waiting a minute and turning them on. You may also want to reconnect or re-pair the devices.

If you can’t solve the issue, you can read out to Apple on Twitter, through the Apple chat service or schedule a Genius Bar appointment.

No macOS Mojave on MacBook Pro 16

While you can downgrade some 2019 MacBook Pro models from macOS Catalina to macOS Mojave, you cannot install macOS Mojave on the MacBook Pro 16. Since Apple never released a version of Mojave for this model, you cannot downgrade.

That means you need to live with the macOS Catalina problems that are out there as well as app and hardware limitations. Don’t try to install macOS Mojave on the new MacBook pro.

What’s Next

Apple is already working on the next macOS Catalina update, and there is a good chance that it arrives in the next few weeks to fix some of these MacBook Pro 16 problems and errors.

The macOS 10.15.2 update is in the developer beta program, and on the second beta. There is a good chance that Apple bundles in additional fixes for some of these issues and potentially driver updates for the new GPU on the MacBook Pro 16.

5 Reasons to Keep Waiting for the MacBook Pro 16-inch & 2 Reasons To Sto

Wait for a Larger Screen

Wait for a Larger Screen

The MacBook Pro 16 will feature a larger screen. Rumors suggest 16-inches to 16.5-inches, but it's looking like this will only go up to 16-inches. 

Apple's 15-inch MacBook Pro comes with a 15.4-inch display, so even a jump to 16-inches will offer a noticeable upgrade to screen real estate. 

A report from IHS Markit suggests Apple will use a 16-inch display with a 3,072 x 1,920 resolution, while Ming-Chi Kou's reports focus on a 16 to a 16.5-inch display. 

This upgrade would allow users to do more on the go and would pair up well with the Side Car feature on iPadOS 13 to deliver more screen real estate and mobile productivity. 

Pair this up with the ability to use your iPad as a second display and you're going to be ready for a ton of mobile productivity.

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