Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Catalina System Issues

Patrick McCarron:

The (null) version of Mac OS Catalina is finally out!

Dave Mark:

And my Catalina install grinds to a screeching halt.

Logged in, got the “Find My” screen (see pic), tapped Continue, and I’ve been frozen for about 15 minutes.

Regret doing this? Why yes, yes I do. 😐

Peter Cohen:

Stuck in an endless iCloud authentication loop after upgrading to Catalina? This fixed it for me.


Aaaand another edge case hit: If you are stuck in an iCloud Terms and Conditions loop after upgrading to #Catalina, go to System Preferences > Internet Accounts, click the “inactive” Apple ID used for iTunes/App Store, wait for Terms and Conditions sheet to appear and agree.

Matthias Gansrigler:

Wow, Catalina seriously f**** up Bluetooth connections. To Apple devices. Like the Magic Trackpad. Only reacts after a 1-2 second delay.

Never experienced that in the beta.

David Sparks:

Blasted through my flagged email this morning on my Mac. Interesting issue though. Apple Mail now has a different flag count on every device I own: Mac - 0; iPad - 90; iPhone - 29. All running latest (non beta) releases.


Chris W:

Love how Apple’s new Music app is so lightweight and free of bloat compared to iTunes

Gus Mueller:

In 10.15 AppleFileServer is sandboxed, and it’s unable to read any volumes that I have shared out to Kirstin since upgrading. I guess I can fix this, but how is anyone that’s not a developer supposed to handle this?

Tyler Hall:

My wife’s local account password (not iCloud) on her iMac is an all-lowercase, seven character, simple English word.

Upgraded to Catalina. No problem.

iMac went to sleep. Woke up. Will no longer accept her password. 🤷‍♂️

Corbin Dunn:

I upgraded my laptop to macOS Catalina. No problems, so I did my older iMac yesterday. That was a mistake...I’m now trying to figure out why my login won’t work and where my data went (ah...readonly volumes....)

I used to always relocate my home directory to another partition when I did development on macOS so I could install multiple versions and use the same home dir. Apparently this really confused the migration to Catalina, and really messed up stuff.

Mike Epstein:

Worse still, when you update a phone, tablet, or computer to the new version of Reminders, all of the updates you’ve created using that device will be deleted across all platforms, new and old.

Even if you’ve upgraded, though, there’s still a chance that you could lose your info. The new Reminders app asks you to confirm the update the first time you turn it on. If you’ve made Reminders on your iOS 13 or iPad OS device using a secondary app or process before opening the app, those reminders will get deleted when you open the app and press “upgrade now.”

Windows users are also getting hit especially hard by the change. The new iCloud web app supports the new version of Reminders, but Apple says the iCloud for Windows app “can’t see iCloud Reminders” after the update.

Armin Briegel:

System Image Utility is gone from macOS Catalina.

It is not possible to build a NetBoot or NetInstall nbi based on Catalina.

Steve Troughton-Smith:

Judging by the Catalina GM seed, macOS Catalina is gonna ship with nonfunctional SceneKit in Catalyst on older Nvidia GPU-powered Macs (like my 2012 iMac). If you have SceneKit in your app, it will just render as an empty scene on these configurations. No workaround for users

Simon Gredal:

I’m able to buy a $0.99 Catalina-incompatible 32-bit app from Mac App Store. It even lies to me and say that it will work on my Mac.

Dave DeLong:

Turns out that sharing Maps collections only shares a snapshot. Recipients can’t modify your collection. This leaves joint trip-planning as impotent as it was before. (FB7372447)

And of course, collections don’t exist on Mac. 🤦‍♂️ (FB7372437)

Michael Flux:

Gotta say, Catalina is without a doubt the most shitshow macOS update in years.

On a completely fresh install to eliminate any potential upgrade bugs, somehow everything from photos to iCloud Drive to system apps have large enough bugs to prevent basic usability.

Issues I’ve run into:


Update (2019-10-16): See also: Mr. Macintosh’s macOS Catalina System Status.

Update (2019-10-17): LeeW (via Jeff Johnson):

Many [Mac mini users] are having issues getting a basic HDMI connection to work at all or only through weird and wonderful workarounds. Apple has confirmed to me they are aware of the issue and they advised it was an issue they could replicate when using HDMI -> HDMI.

Update (2019-10-18): Matt Henderson:

I wish I hadn’t upgraded to Mac OS X Catalina:

- iCloud Drive has been stuck permanently uploading two small files. (No idea what they are.)

- Safari bookmarks no longer syncing across my devices.

- Messages permanently reporting “Downloading Messages from iCloud”.

Update (2019-10-21): Howard Oakley:

There are several reports of problems getting Catalina to accept and load kernel extensions (KEXTs). This article looks briefly at how they can arise, and whether you can do anything about them.

See also: MacInTouch.

Martin Steiger:

For some OCR’d scanned PDFs, you cannot select the last page in the rewritten Preview.app, the selection jumps to the second last page

Christopher Moss (via Leo M):

Louis Rossman - better known for his hardware repair videos - has made a brief video describing an issue with Catalina bricking machines, and refers to a fix that Apple is assiduously removing from their support forums. [links added]

The issue and purported solution are not very precisely described and don’t make sense to me as written. The referenced file is not 32-bit, and I do not recommend deleting it.

Howard Oakley:

Every major upgrade to macOS brings howls of complaint. It’s the worst upgrade yet, many Macs are bricked by it, it’s full of bugs, and so on. But are those claims really true? What’s the evidence?

Last week I was surprised to see two main threads of complaint: one that Apple was advising internally that the latest Mac mini shouldn’t be upgraded to 10.15 at all because of serious issues, the other that 10.15 made an unholy mess of iCloud Drive for many users.


The document in question was a PDF, and its every aspect made obvious that it was fake.


Drilling down on the iCloud Drive problems, I noticed that quite a few of those reporting them mentioned using Catalina betas, and it occurred to me that, although some had clearly never let a beta near their Mac, a significant proportion of those now complaining of iCloud problems in 10.15 release hadn’t cleared up the mess which earlier betas had produced.

Update (2019-10-22): CogSci Apps:

When iCloud sync is enabled under Catalina (10.15), Notes’ AppleScript is almost completely useless. Even just accessing a note object can cause a -10000 error.


Catalina (10.15) Notes AppleScript is broken, lots of -1700 errors when interacting with note objects

Update (2019-10-25): Brent Simmons:

On Catalina, setting NSSavePanel’s nameFieldStringValue works on the first call but not on subsequent calls.

Let’s say you have an accessory view, and a change there needs to be reflected in the proposed file name. Works in Mojave, but not in Catalina.

I’ve also found that sheets no longer work with NSSavePanel.

Update (2019-10-31): Marco Arment:

oh my god

Thomas Tempelmann:

Caveat when upgrading to #Catalina: If you have Finder Aliases, they may get broken. That’s because the new Data volume will use different File IDs, and Aliases use them to locate renamed or moved targets of Aliases.

Update (2019-11-05): Omer Lev:

I haven’t seen this reported, but I’m encountering a consistent bug in Catalina’s Preview, in which removing a page from a PDF corrupts it in a way that it cannot be opened by Adobe Reader.

Update (2019-12-17): Gus Mueller:

Update to this- looks like NSFontManager’s availableMembersOfFontFamily: is busted on 10.15, and that’s why it’s only coming up as an issue now.

Howard Oakley:

Just when you think it’s safe to upgrade to macOS Catalina, we start hearing of strange and serious problems, like its security checks getting completely out of hand and slowing app launch drastically. Over the last few weeks, as more Mac users take the plunge and upgrade, I’ve been hearing of more and more such cases. Are these bugs and should we still hold off upgrading?


Another Catalina issue if you want to note it - weird issue with crons where they never go away and the system runs out of resources and can’t even shut down.

Update (2019-12-23): Kirk McElhearn:

Since the release of macOS Catalina, Time Machine doesn’t work with Apple Mail. If you enter Time Machine from Apple Mail, you are supposed to be able to see your email in all your backups. But if you try to do this is Catalina, Mail crashes.

I reported this during the beta period.

Update (2020-02-28): Marco Arment:

I’m finding that Catalina introduced LOTS of little delays involving Finder integration: displaying open/save dialogs, displaying changed files, starting moves/copies, deleting files…

Update (2020-03-27): Drummond:

This year I opened my 2019 organizer PDF and Preview did not recognize it as a form. The only way I can edit it is by manually using the Markup bar, which would take forever.


So then I went back to my old machine (a 2015 MacBook Pro still running Mohave) and sure enough, BOTH PDFs were editable as forms.

So what’s going on? Why can’t Preview under Catalina edit a PDF form?

Paul Haddad:

I just got bit by a 10.15 issue earlier today, for some reason my printer/scanner thing is only recognized as a printer now. Booted up a 10.14 VM and it scanned fine. Not quite worse OS X ever, but pretty close.

It also doesn’t like Tripp Lite UPS hardware.

20 Comments RSS · Twitter

First of all, thank you Michael for collating all of this Catalina info the past few weeks. I wish I were in a position to support your blog but perhaps one day...

Second of all, it really does seem like Apple's annual update cadence has finally left macOS falling apart at the seams. At what point do we admit that Apple can no longer make reliable software (or hardware, or services, or...)?

(fwiw, I'm noticed the same issue with the Catalina photo on an old test Mac with a non-retina display)

I still haven't run into any showstopper bugs, but generally the quality of software coming out of Apple lately is terrible. I've been on the Mac for almost 30 years now, and we've had some rough times here and there. But that was when computers were slow, everything was more finicky back then, and Apple was always struggling in one way or another so it kinda made sense. But now they are one of the richest companies in the world with thousands more employees.

How can they not walk and chew gum at the same time? How can any of their software engineers sleep at night when they are releasing stuff that is so obviously buggy? I would be ashamed. I mean it's one thing when there's some esoteric bugs deep in the system that only a developer can find, or which only occur in very particular edge cases... but when there are so many bugs that normal end users can easily find on day 1, WTF? When they are shipping software that's just so terribly designed, that Apple of 10-20 years ago would have absolutely ridiculed had it come from Microsoft, WTF? Where is Tim, Phil, or Craig saying "This isn't good enough!" ?????

Have they lost all of the competent software designers? (obvious exception being the Shortcut folks) Really... what is going on? Even when their software isn't necessarily buggy, it's missing features that previous versions had, or features that are standard on other platforms, has glaring inconsistencies/behaviors between apps, or just plain ignores their own HIG.

What happened to the Apple that was always 10 steps ahead of everybody else, and doing it well?

Maybe they should go back to 18+ months between OS X releases, to start with. Not that everything was perfect back then, but it'd be a good start.

@Ben G

Agree, Something is definitely wrong with Apple. From Hardware Design to Software. There were always some bugs in Apple software, but they had 10x less resources then. Now instead of getting more resources to improve quality, they spend money on Apple TV+. iOS 13, Catalina, what else.

It seems Apple has been spending more money in software and yet getting less out of it.

A lot of the bugs mentioned seem to be realated to "cloud" crap. That's probably harder to test since they presumably have to use test servers instead of the real thing. And not with real customer data.

I've only used 10.15 to test my own app, and actually it's probably the first macOS that I didn't file a single radar for.

Will Notbepublished

@bob The "cloud" crap issues were supposedly fixed in the GM: Apple reverted the changes they made in some iCloud components after the fiasco of the macOS Catalina betas.

I have iCloud Drive (desktop and document). When the first beta came out, I tried it on a secondary machine and after 2 days, iCloud Drive was still continuously downloading files So I decided to do a clean install and it worked. When the official version came out, I did the upgrade on my main MacBook. Same thing happen, more that 2 days of constantly downloading files (more GB than my drive can handle). once again I decided to do a clean install and it worked.

I am in a MUG and I help a lot of people, software quality if going down for the last few years, and Catalina just follow the same downhill path. The last 4 years, I have take a lot of screen recording showing strange little bug and the "It's just work" is not true anymore.

Had some major problems connecting to my Samsung 4K display after upgrading to Catalina. They must’ve changed the display driver because the Hz are all messed up.


- installed catalina on an empty APFS container i created on my mid-2018 MBP that was previously running the latest version of mojave.
- booted into the new catalina install, no problem so far
- started "migration assistant" from catalina to migrate my old mojave partition into my new catalina partition.
- migration assistant hung- first i tried waiting 4-ish hours for it to recover. when that didn't happen, i tried clicking the "cancel" button, at which point the screen went black and became completely unresponsive.
- waited another few hours, still hadn't recovered. laptop beeped when i press keys on the keyboard, but that's it.
- powered the machine off by pressing + holding the power button. when i turned it on again, none of the partitions were bootable (previously, there were three bootable partitions, counting the new catalina install)- i just got the dreaded prohibitory symbol every time i tried to boot off any partition.
- had to boot up from internet recovery- "disk utility" said that the partitions still contained data, but none of the data could be recovered (tried listing the contents of the drives via terminal- everything was gone).
- spent a good chunk of the next day trying various recovery methods- total loss, had to restore from a backup.

as a third-party mac dev, this isn't terribly surprising- disappointing, sure, but not surprising.

Catalina continues the tradition started in Mojave of being difficult with the Accessibility permissions, frequently displaying Keyboard Maestro Engine in the preferences, but then just refusing to allow the user to toggle it on (clicks on the checkbox just bounce), requiring the user to delete the entry and then relaunch Keyboard Maestro to have it re-added and then work.

If the permission system for the security system is broken, how does anyone have any faith that the actual security system works?

@Peter I’m seeing those types of issues, as well. So many situations where the security database gets messed up, and it’s not possible for the customer to grant permissions. Sometimes resetting the whole database helps. Sometimes you need to reboot without SIP and actually delete the file.

Justin du Coeur

+1 on the problems with Magic Trackpad. That peripheral is *the* reason I switched to a Macbook, after decades of being Windows-centric -- it's central to how I work. But it's now experiencing absolutely unbearable (and erratic) lag, to the point where it is almost unusable at times. Somebody screwed something up *horribly* in the new Bluetooth stack, it looks like...

+1 on Magic Trackpad issues. I bought a brand new one from the Apple Store, returned it the next day because it had the same issue. Thought this was fixed after the first Catalina supplemental update, but now later today it's back.

My trackpad no longer works the same way it did prior to the Catalina update. I have a Macbook Air, late 2013. Sometimes it doesn't seem to work at all and sometimes it is so sensitive that it moves things, highlights, opens and closes programs etc. Doesn't seem to work well on the lower right portion especially. I texted with Apple and they had me reset some such thing and that didn't work. Then I reset the NVRAM and that didn't work. Should I just roll back the update?

Michael Harder

Since I updated to Catalina, all my external drives has turned into "read only". I can no longer move files from one drive to another. Perhaps I am missing something obvious to others, so any advise will come in handy :-)

@Ben G

> Maybe they should go back to 18+ months between OS X releases, to start with. Not that everything was perfect back then, but it'd be a good start.

Absolutely agree. The pace they are on leads to poor results.

I installed Catalina onto my MAC with no problem. I started my computer and can log in with one user fine and that all seems to work fine. But the second user on the same machine just sits there doing nothing. I let this run all night and it never was albe to log in. Anyone have any ideas?

Since the update to Catalina, I have found lots of bugs. Mail no search etc etc. I knew it would be fixed pretty quickly becuase it was so easily found. not all the bugs were fixed. Now I cannot view any image files on preview. Seriously ???? Come on Apple. do you not have any beta testers.

Totally frustrated with Catalina. Have been with MAC since Leopard and this is the absolute worse. I consider it a Beta of a Beta [glitches galore!]and definitely NOT ready for prime time. Wish I could go back to Mojave and have told all my Apple owning friends to not [down]grade to this OS for at least another six months in the hopes that Apple can straighten out this mess of a OS.

FYI: Since the [downgrade], I've twice done reinstall, I've run First Aid numerous times, re-downloaded it. I hae to relaunch Finder numerous times a day as well as run CCleaner frequentlhy due to handing up, etc. To say I am exasperated is putting it mildly.
INFO: This is my second iMac20, we own 2 iPhones, a iPod Touch, and a iPad, so it is not as if we are acquainted with MAC products.

I hate Catalina. Turned my 27" iMac into a piece of shit. If and when I buy another computer, it won't be an Apple. Fuck'um

Leave a Comment