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macOS Big Sur 11.6.1 Problems: 5 Things to Know

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The macOS Big Sur 11.6.1 update is causing problems for some Mac users.

Apple’s pushed a new macOS upgrade and the macOS Big Sur 11.6.1 update is available to download right now if you own a Mac that’s compatible with macOS Big Sur. The software brings important security updates to Mac owners.

Some Mac users are noticing a big difference after moving their computer up from the previous version of macOS Big Sur, macOS Big Sur 11.6.

On the flip side, some Mac users have run into bugs and performance issues. Some of these issues have carried over from macOS Big Sur 11.6, others are brand new.

In this guide to macOS Big Sur problems we’ll take you through the current state of the 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 downgrade process and outline what you can expect from Apple and macOS Big Sur down the road.

macOS Big Sur 11.6.1 Problems

As we push away from the release we’re seeing complaints about macOS Big Sur 11.6.1 and older versions of macOS Big Sur. Some of the problems are minor and others are far more problematic.

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

If you’re dealing with 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 including Box Drive, 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.

Owners of Apple’s new M1 MacBook Pros are complaining about a Fast User Switching bug that leaves them unable to close the screensaver. This leaves the device unusable until the lid is closed and opened again, the Alt-Command-Q key combination is used, or the Power/Touch ID key is pressed. In order to fix the issue, users need to shut off Fast User Switching.

On top of that, macOS Big Sur users are running into a nasty issue with the Apple News application. The popular app is reportedly causing extremely large background downloads for some users. If you’re unsure about whether the issue is impacting your machine, you can check in Activity Monitor.

It’s unclear when or even if Apple will issue a fix so Mac users dealing with the problem are on their own for the foreseeable future. Fortunately, there’s a quick manual fix available. Here’s what you need to do in order to fix the problem:

  • Open System Preferences on your Mac.
  • Click on Apple ID in the top right corner of the menu.
  • From there, select iCloud on the left side of the screen.
  • Once there, you’ll want to scroll down and uncheck News to turn off iCloud syncing.
  • You can then choose to keep iCloud News data on your Mac or delete it. If you choose to delete it, the data will stay put on your other Apple devices.

If you’re experiencing this issue on your MacBook Pro, you’ll want to get in contact with Apple support because the company will fix the problem for free.

If you haven’t downloaded the latest version of macOS 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 macOS Big Sur 11.6.1 Reviews

If you’re currently running macOS Big Sur 11.6.1 or if you’re planning to upgrade, you’ll want to sift through feedback from other users. This feedback will alert you to potential bugs and performance issues.

We recommend keeping an eye on YouTube, Apple’s discussion forums, social media sites like Twitter/Facebook, and the MacRumors forums for additional feedback about macOS Big Sur 11.6’s performance.

We’ve also put together a list of the best reasons to, and not to, install macOS Big Sur 11.6.1 on your Mac and it’s worth a look if you’re on the fence about an upgrade.

How to Fix macOS Big Sur 11.6.1 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 11.6.1 Downgrade

If you run into major issues on macOS Big Sur 11.6.1, you can downgrade your Mac’s software. 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 11.6.1, 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.

What’s Next

It’s unclear when we’ll see the next version of macOS Big Sur.

macOS Big Sur 11.6.1 could serve as the final version of Big Sur though Apple may continue to update the operating system with new security updates throughout the year.

Apple’s also released its new macOS Monterey operating system and the software is available to download right now if you own a compatible Mac.

The company won’t force you to install Monterey on your Mac so if you want to stay put on macOS Big Sur for the time being you can do so.

4 Reasons Not to Install macOS Big Sur 11.6.1 & 11 Reasons You Should

Install macOS Big Sur 11.6.1 for Better Security

Install macOS Big Sur 11.6.1 for Better Security

If security is important to you, you should think about installing Apple's macOS Big Sur 11.6.1 update right now.

Apple says macOS Big Sur 11.6.1 has numerous security patches on board and you can learn more about them over on the company's security site.

If you missed previous versions of macOS you'll get the patches from those updates when your upgrade. 

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

10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. krystal fields

    01/25/2021 at 4:25 pm

    Haven’t commented before as I’m a novice … but this update has screwed my email up… toolbars …. ugh…

  2. Ahmed

    02/01/2021 at 9:51 am

    I have update my MacBook Pro to macOS Big Sur (11.1), but my mac CPU cooling fan is always running with high speed & the CPU temperature is getting high without any running app. I would to know what is this issue and is there anybody facing the same issue?!

  3. Not Happy

    02/02/2021 at 8:43 pm

    Boy, Apple really screwed the pooch on anything Big Sur related. Incompetent.

  4. JohnIL

    02/04/2021 at 7:27 am

    Not going to defend Apple like some Apple fanboy web sites. Ever noticed how some don’t even mention the problems clearly posted on Apple’s own forums and on Reddit. Big Sur and the M1 Mac’s are not having a perfect rollout by any stretch. Big Sur was incredibly bad on my two Mac’s a early 2020 MacBook Air and a 2018 Mac mini I had to roll back to Catalina. Even Catalina had a update yesterday that appears to have messed up some things with external monitors and my Magic Mouse 2 lost pairing with my Mac mini. I feel at times Apple has become Microsoft where they fix one thing and break something else. Maybe there is a beta testing issues where this stuff does not get tested enough before release?

  5. Grant

    02/18/2021 at 10:50 pm

    I didn’t see any mention of problems with Bootcamp in Big Sur. My late 2013 MacBook Pro had been operating flawlessly until I upgraded to Big Sur. I’m now having problems booting into Windows either from preferences, startup disk or using the restart, option key method. I have read of a few other users having the same problems. I contacted Apple regarding the problem and they say they are aware of it. Hopefully a fix comes soon.

  6. Brett

    03/05/2021 at 6:23 am

    11.2.2 bricked my 2019 macbook pro

  7. Johan

    03/09/2021 at 1:35 am

    Be aware that the Xcode installation is deleted by Apple when updating. This is very unfriendly and I say: stupid.
    So all GIT related software is not running anymore after the update. This happens after every update and is more than annoying.

  8. Derek

    04/28/2021 at 12:23 am

    Have given up trying to download OS11.3 on my late 2019 iMac – the repeated failed attempts at downloading and installing recent mac OS upgrades is getting rather boring now….
    Having read the reviews, I think I have made the right decision.

  9. Priti

    08/05/2021 at 9:34 pm

    After downloading macOS Big Sur 11.4, my MacBook Pro late 2013 started crashing. Updated to 11.5.1. but the problem persists. Unable to do any work….sometimes it stays on for an hour or so…sometimes it does not boot fully or shuts down in couple of minutes. Any solutions?

  10. Russ Newell

    08/10/2021 at 7:03 am

    I am susposedly up to date with 11.5.1, but not when entering serial number info, what it typed it is changed. For example “FJ9NV” shows on the screen as FJg

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