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macOS 12 Monterey Problems: How to Fix the Most Common Issues

Tips • July 29, 2021

So, you’ve decided to upgrade to the latest macOS version or have already done so. macOS Monterey brings a lot of changes and upgrades such as Universal Control, redesigned Safari and a whole lot more that makes the package convincing, which means that there are plenty of reasons to give it a try on your desktop or laptop today.

However, it’s not all just a bed of roses, as the updates also bring the thorns. The macOS Monterey Beta update has its fair share of problems, and this isn’t at all surprising because it’s unfinished software. The stable update is what you should be looking for if you want zero issues, and pre-release software is typically riddled with issues. Luckily, there are fixes and solutions for almost every problem you may encounter with the Beta update and today, we’ll be breaking down the common macOS Monterey problems and how you can fix them.

Before Troubleshooting

Before you go out and start tinkering with your device, get to know where the problem lies. Is it an issue while downloading or installing macOS Big Sur, or you’re only having trouble when using specific apps?

It’s best to try to know and sort out the issue first and then look for the solutions or fixes available. If the issue is with an app you’re dealing with, try uninstalling and reinstalling or checking for updates or if it’s a problem with the OS, then look for the fixes below.

1. macOS Monterey download fail

The first problem that you may face is with the download. Either you cannot download the installer, or the overall package download isn’t working. This can occur for several reasons, such as a bad WiFi connection, compatibility issues or storage limitations and here’s how you can fix the problem.

Check your WiFi connection – Your WiFi connection or the LAN connection to your desktop might be facing issues, and the best fix for this is to check if a different device such as your phone can connect to the internet. If you cannot, you might have to contact your internet service provider or use another connection.

Clear storage space – The storage drive on your Mac might be full and doesn’t have the capacity to store the updated files. Remember, you need to have a minimum of 12GB of storage space to download the update and around 20GB to be able to install it comfortably. However, if you don’t have enough space left, check out some third-party cleaner apps to get rid of all the junk and older files you don’t use.

Wait a day or two – This fix requires you to wait a day or two as Apple’s download servers might be facing issues. You can’t download a file from a dead server, and hence, waiting for Apple to fix server issues might be the best possible scenario for you.

2. macOS Monterey won’t install

The second and foremost problem that you may be bugged with is that the installer isn’t working perfectly, and you’re constantly bombarded with a failed installation. There are many reasons that this is happening, and here are some fixes to get you started.

Check if your device is compatible – Finally, it might be the case that your device isn’t compatible, and hence you can’t install the OS. So, be sure that you’re using a supported device, and if you’re not sure, then check the list below.

  • MacBook Pro (early 2015 and later)
  • Mac Pro (late 2013 and later)
  • iMac Pro (2017 and later)
  • MacBook (early 2016 and later)
  • iMac (late 2015 and later)
  • Mac mini (late 2014 and later)
  • MacBook Air (early 2015 and later)

Stop the stuck Time Machine backup – If you haven’t made a recent backup, then the overall time that Time Machine will take is pretty massive. However, waiting for it to complete mostly solves the problem, but if you’re still stuck with the Time Machine backup after hours and hours of waiting, you might want to change a few options.

  • Firstly, try stopping the backup in progress and then uncheck the “Back Up Automatically” box before you start the installation.
  • Secondly, if you’re on a Macbook, check the “Back up while on battery power box”
  • Finally, check if you have any other anti-virus software that is interfering with the backup. You can also look for the “.inprogress” file and delete it in the Time Machine folder.

Reboot your Mac in Safe Mode – Rebooting your Mac in Safe Mode will ensure that no other app is interfering with the updating process and also make it a lot faster as Safe Mode allows only the basic tasks to boot. You can boot into the Safe Mode by:

  • Click on the Apple menu and then on Shut down
  • Hold down the Shift key when restarting your Mac and release the key once you see the login window
  • Now, you’ll boot in Safe Mode, and you can try installing Monterey once again

Reset NVRAM/PRAM or SMC – Resetting the NVRAM/PRAM and SMC will help you make a clean install and ensure that you won’t face any more issues with the installer.  Nonvolatile random access memory (NVRAM) or Parameter Random Access Memory (PRAM) helps maintain a lot of data, and the System Management Controller (SMC) manages the power delivery. Hence, resetting them can help a tonne, and you can do so by:

For NVRAM/PRAM:

  • Shut down your Mac and hold down the Option + Command + P + R for around 20 seconds
  • Now, wait for your Mac to boot normally, and your NVRAM/PRAM should be reset

For SMC:

  • Shut down your Macbook/Mac and plug in the MagSafe power adapter to a power source and your Macbook
  • Press and hold the Shift + Control + Option keys and the power button at the same time (for Macbooks)
  • Unplug the power cord and wait 15-20 seconds (for desktop Macs)
  • Now, release the keys and power on your device

Check Storage – Make sure that you have enough optimized storage left for the installation process. You can need more than 15GB of space, and it is recommended to keep a minimum of 30-40GB free for the installation to proceed smoothly.

3. Mac won’t turn on after installing macOS Monterey

Great you successfully installed macOS Monterey, but now you can’t boot into the OS? This is a problem that has occurs to a lot of people. Whether their installation had some issues or their storage drive has issues. All these factors can stop you from booting into your OS, and here are some fixes to use.

White or Black Screen – If you’re stuck in a white screen or black screen with the Apple logo and a progress bar, then we would highly advise you to do a hard restart. You can do this by holding down the power button until the system restarts, as this will clear and fix most booting issues that you may face. However, if this is not working for you, you would need to clean the OS.

Storage Drive Errors – Your installation might be buggy, or the storage disk might be facing issues. You can fix this by booting into the macOS Utilities Recovery mode and either do a clean reinstall of macOS, Restore from a Time Machine Backup or try repairing your storage disk from the Disk Utility mode. You can boot into macOS Utilities by:

  • Turn off your Mac and hold down the Command +  R keys to boot into Recovery mode
  • However, suppose Command + R isn’t working for you. In that case, you can try using the following key combinations. Hold down, Option + Command + R or Shift + Option + Command + R, and you will definitely boot into Recovery Mode.

Change partitions – Finally, if you have a partitioned hard drive for your macOS installation and all other data then, try wiping the OS partition and installing macOS Monterey again.

4. Missing features

Not all Macs are built the same, which is much more apparent with the Intel models. Monetary is bringing many features, but don’t be surprised to see that some of these features are missing on your Mac. Apple is explicitly bringing many more features on their M1 models and skipping out on the Intel Macs. We know that this isn’t fair, but there’s no other solution than just waiting for Apple to include those if they ever will. Here are all the features that won’t be seeing the light on Intel devices.

  • FaceTime upgrades with Portrait Mode
  • Live Text and some AI features
  • Apple Maps new globe view
  • Natural text-to-speech upgrades
  • Offline, on-device voice dictation

5. Malfunctioning Apps

Some apps may start to malfunction with the Beta build and may even crash. You may receive a notification as to the screenshot above. This may be the case with users having older software built for the 32-bit OS. However, macOS Monterey will only run 64-bit apps. So, either you update your app, get an alternative that does the same task or just roll back to Big Sur or Mojave. We hate to see the 32-bit support go, but it is what it is, and 64-bit is much faster and the future of the OS.

6. WiFi not working

WiFi issues are prevalent with Beta updates. When Big Sur first launched, it had the same problems, and the Beta for Monterey is looking to have the same trouble for many users. If your Bluetooth or WiFi stopped working after the update, you could fix it by the following:

For WiFi:

  • Go to the System Preferences and then on Network options
  • Select the WiFi tab and click on Advanced
  • Select the network you want to troubleshoot and click on “-” to remove it.
  • Finally, add the WiFi network again

Note: If this didn’t work and you are still facing issues, you can go to Finder and then enter this location – “Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/”. After you are in the location, delete the following and add the network again:

  • apple.airport.preferences.plist
  • apple.network.eapolclient.configuration.plist
  • apple.wifi.messsage-tracer.plist
  • NetworkInterfaces.plist
  • preferences.plist

7. Bluetooth not Working

Bluetooth is another wireless connectivity option that has always been buggy with Beta builds. macOS Monterey is also plagued with the same issues, and here’s how you can fix them:

  • Hold the Shift + Option and click on the Bluetooth icon
  • Now, select the “Reset the Bluetooth module” option and set the Bluetooth as Discoverable

Note: You can also go to Finder and the location – “/Library/Preferences”, delete “com.apple.Bluetooth.plist” and restart your Mac to reset Bluetooth.

[ Reading further: 11 Ways to Fix Bluetooth Issues on macOS ]

8. Universal Control is missing

If you’re worried that you can’t see Universal Control with the Monterey Beta, then don’t be worried as Apple has not included it in the Beta, and the final stable version will have Universal Control built-in.

9. iCloud is not available after the update

iCloud is fantastic to keep your data synced across all your devices, and it can be a massive problem if it doesn’t work with your new updated Mac. You might come across the notification such as “Couldn’t connect to iCloud” as in the screenshot above, and this can be fixed by:

  • Restarting the app or the OS
  • Removing and setting up the Apple ID account again in the iCloud Preferences option

10. macOS feels slow

If your macOS feels slow after the update and your Mac struggles to keep up with all the tasks, then the biggest culprit to this would be the apps. Most apps would have started back again, and the startup preferences would have been reset. So, force close the apps that are running and set up the startup preferences again. You can do this by:

  • Click on the Apple logo on the top left corner of your display and select the “System Preferences” tab
  • Choose “Users & Groups” and then select the apps that you don’t want to start up automatically.

11. Mouse/Trackpad is laggy or not working

If you have trouble connecting any third-party accessories such as a Mouse or if your trackpad feels laggy, you can go ahead and restart your Mac. If that doesn’t fix the issue, you should:

  • Update the drivers for the mouse/accessory you’re using
  • Restart your Mac

Note: Also, you can dive into mouse settings and look for the tracking speed and scrolling speed options and adjust accordingly.

12. Icons missing in Finder

Having the icons on Finder makes navigation a whole lot easier. However, if you can’t seem to find some of the icons, such as the Hard Drive icon on Finder, then simply go to Finder and follow the steps below:

  • Go to Finder Preferences and select the “General” tab
  • Now, check all the boxes as shown in the screenshot above and save the preferences
  • Finally, restart your Mac, and you will see all the icons back in Finder

13. Monterey keeps asking for Apple ID

There are many cases where the users are complaining about the Monterey bug where it constantly asks you for your Apple ID. After you put in your ID and Password and save the settings, the notification will still pop up to ask you to log in once more. This is a very annoying bug, and here’s how you can fix it:

  • Go to “System Settings” and choose your Apple ID on the top section. Now, click on iCloud and scroll down.
  • Here select “Keychain” and enter your Apple ID and your computer password.

14. AirPlay problems in macOS Monterey

Monterey also brings in AirPlay problems that can affect you if you use the technology. However, this is relatively easy to fix, and you just have to enable one option from the Settings panel.

  • Head on to the Display Settings under “Built-in Retina Display”
  • Select the AirPlay Display as shown in the screenshot above and turn it to “On”

Note: You can also check to see if there’s an update available for your Apple TV if your Apple TV AirPlay isn’t working.

15. Battery drain issues

If you have battery life issues with your Mac and it didn’t have trouble with the previous version. You can head on to the Battery “Usage History” section and look for the apps that consume the most amount of power. Now, close that app or uninstall it. If that doesn’t solve the problem, we recommend using a system monitoring tool to deliver you the best infographics on power consumption and stop all background activity.

16. VPN apps are not working correctly

If your VPN apps are not working as they should after the update, we’re sure that the new Monterey feature iCloud Private Relay is interfering with the VPN. This newly added option works by hiding your actual IP address and keeps on assigning you new IP addresses when you connect to a network. However, it can screw up your VPN settings, and you can disable this by:

  • Going to the Apple menu and then on System Preferences
  • Next, click on your Apple ID in the left-side menu and select iCloud.
  • Finally, look for Private Relay, click on “Options”, and turn it off to disable it.

17. Sidecar errors

The new Sidecar feature is also facing some issues with connecting to your iPad, and if you’re one of the unfortunate people with this issue, then we recommend you update your iPad with the latest update and if that doesn’t solve your problem, then wait for the stable build of the Monterey update to be released.

18. Issues with Music

Music is also reported to be having some bugs with the new update and if you are facing the same problem, then follow the great fix below:

iTunes Store is missing:

  • Go to the “Music Preferences” and then on the “General” tab
  • Next, click on the “Show iTunes Store” option

Can’t access your music library:

  • Go to the “System Preferences” and then on the “Media Sharing” option
  • Now, enable “Home Sharing” to share your music library with your other devices.
Should you install macOS Monterey Beta?

Now that we have seen all the issues with the new update and all the benefits that it provides. We can be sure that you should be ready to face some problems with the update if you upgrade to the latest update. So, if you are not sure about what you are doing and what you are getting into, don’t proceed with the update. But if you’re okay with a little bit of tinkering and fixing the issues, you can install the update, and hopefully, everything works fine.

TLDR; if you can live with the problems and issues listed above, you can be sure that the Monterey update will pose no problems to you.

[Related: macOS Monterey vs. Big Sur: Is it Worth an Upgrade? ]

Some common macOS Monterey FAQs

Q: Is Mac OS Monterey stable?

No, the current release of the macOS Monterey update is not stable and is a beta build. Hence, you can expect some bugs and issues with the current build, and if you want the stable release, you would have to wait until the end of the year as Apple generally releases most of their OS updates at that time.

Q: Will I lose everything if I reinstall macOS?

If you reinstall macOS, you will lose your data, but you can rest assured that the data would be reserved if you do a regular update. You can also use Time Machine to back up your Mac and restore that data after a clean install of macOS.

Q: How do I fix my Mac startup problem?

There are many startup problems with Mac and the apps. However, if you’re not sure how to fix those, we would highly recommend you to go through the guide above and learn the fixes, as they can surely come in handy with future updates and new installs.