macOS Big Sur Problems: 5 Things to Know
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macOS Big Sur Problems: 5 Things to Know



The macOS Big Sur beta wiped out some glaring issues, but problems have slipped into the official version of the new operating system.

Apple’s pulled its long-awaited macOS Big Sur update (11.0.1) out of beta testing. The update is available to download and it brings a long list of new features including upgrades to Safari, Messages, Maps, Privacy, and a whole lot more.

It’s worth noting that Apple’s released a new version of macOS Big Sur 11.0.1 for select users. We don’t have an official change log for the new build, but we assume it contains performance improvements and bug fixes.

macOS Big Sur also features under-the-hood improvements and some Mac users are already noticing a huge difference after moving their device up from macOS Catalina.

On the flip side, some users have run into bugs and performance issues. Some of these issues have carried over from macOS Catalina and other versions of macOS, others are brand new.

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In this guide to macOS Big Sur problems we’ll take you through the current state of these issues. We’ll show you where to find potential fixes for the most common macOS Big Sur problems and provide you with some resources that should help if do you run into trouble.

We’ll also touch on the macOS Catalina downgrade and outline what you can expect from Apple and macOS Big Sur down the road.

macOS Big Sur Problems

As we push away from the software’s release we’re seeing complaints from Mac users. Some of the problems are minor, others are far more problematic.

Mac users are having trouble downloading and installing the new operating system. If your macOS installation gets stuck, try powering your Mac off and on. This typically resolves the issue.

If you’re seeing installation errors, and you’re using a 2013 or 2014 MacBook, have a look at this guide from Apple.

We’re also seeing complaints about long download times, lag, Touch ID issues, issues with first and third-party apps, iMessage issues, Wi-Fi problems, Bluetooth problems, lockups, freezes, and crashes.

The macOS Big Sur update is also bricking some older MacBook models. The problems appear fairly widespread and they’re mostly impacting owners of 2013 MacBook Pro and mid-2014 MacBook Pro models. These are the oldest MacBook models supported by macOS Big Sur.

Again, this is an early list and we expect the list of macOS Big Sur problems to grow as more people transition to the new firmware.

If you haven’t downloaded the macOS Big Sur update yet, we recommend preparing your Mac for the download. Some prep work ahead of time can help you avoid major headaches.

We’ve put together a step-by-step pre-installation process and it will take you through the best way to prepare for the move.

Where to Find Feedback

If you’re currently running macOS Big Sur or if you’re planning to upgrade, you’ll want to sift through feedback from early adopters. This feedback will alert you to potential bugs and performance issues.

We recommend keeping an eye on YouTubeApple’s discussion forums, social media sites like Twitter/Facebook, and the MacRumors forums for additional feedback about macOS Big Sur’s performance.

We’ve also put together a list of the best reasons to, and not to, install macOS Big Sur on your Mac and it’s worth a look if you’re on the fence about the upgrade.

How to Fix macOS Big Sur Problems

Some issues might require a fix from Apple, but some you might be able to fix on your own.

Before you make an appointment at your local Apple Store, 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, you should head on 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. They should be able to diagnose your problem in minutes.

macOS Big Sur Downgrade Options

You can downgrade from macOS Big Sur to macOS Catalina. There is no time limit and it’s easy if you have a good backup for your Mac.

If you want to get your Mac off of macOS Big Sur, you just need to start your Mac in safe mode and choose Restore from Time Machine Backup.

This will take some time, so you’ll need to stay patient, but it’s an option if you can’t wait for Apple to release the next version of macOS Big Sur.

What’s Next

Help is on the way.

Apple’s confirmed a new macOS Big Sur 11.1 update. macOS Big Sur 11.1 is a milestone upgrade and it’s currently in beta testing ahead of an unknown release date.

We don’t have an official change log to share, but there’s a very good chance macOS Big Sur 11.1 is packed with bug fixes for some of the initial issues impacting the new operating system.

For more on macOS Big Sur 11.1, please check out our guide.

4 Reasons Not to Install macOS Big Sur & 11 Reasons You Should

Install macOS Big Sur for Better Security

Install macOS Big Sur for Better Security

If security is important to you, think about installing the macOS Big Sur update right away.

macOS Big Sur brings 50+ new security patches to your Mac. If you're interested in the exact nature of 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. 

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