Thursday, March 7, 2024

macOS 14.4

Juli Clover (release notes, security, developer, enterprise, full installer, IPSW):

With macOS Sonoma 14.4, Apple is introducing new emoji characters and adding support for reading Podcast Episode text in full with search support. There are new features for Business Updates in Messages, along with a toggle for showing only icons for websites in the Safari Favorites Bar.

It seems to fix the bug I reported with Swift Regex hanging.

Pierre Igot:

Much to my relief, updating from macOS 14.3.1 to macOS 14.4 was NOT as painful as the previous couple of (minor) updates. Unlike them, it did NOT force me to restore all kinds of “privacy and security” settings.

However, after the restart, it still greeted me with the following two modal dialogs.

I have no idea what Microsoft is up to, and I’ve only been using Apple Music daily for the past SEVERAL YEARS. But whatever.

See also: Mr. Macintosh and Howard Oakley.


Update (2024-03-08): See also: Howard Oakley.

Daniel Jalkut:

There appears to be an AppleScript regression in Safari 17.4. References to documents aren’t resolved correctly[…]

Mario Guzmán:

This is weird. As of macOS Sonoma 14.4 (23E214), Music’s Settings window now animates in like how document-based view apps do. Hey Apple… ytho?

Here I open Settings from the menu and by using the keyboard shortcut a few times after to illustrate this incorrect animation.

Jesse Squires:

Someone broke the “monochrome” style for desktop widgets on macOS 14.4

They are just black now

They used to be like a “frosted/blurred material”

Update (2024-03-14): Amber Neely:

macOS to Sonoma 14.4 is causing some USB hubs embedded in monitors to stop working and there doesn't seem to be a clear fix.

Geoff Duncan:

I am so sick of macOS and it’s inability to consistently manage any sort of peripheral.

Normally I just bitch that it can’t remember anything about my monitor setup. Now it will only communicate with USB or Thunderbolt peripherals if they’re connected and powered on when the Mac starts up. Turn them on after that? Nope, Mac won’t talk to it. Connect them after the Mac starts up (maybe connecting a flash drive or connecting to an iOS device? Nope, Mac won’t talk to it.

FWIW, this is new as of Sonoma 14.4. Connecting peripherals worked as expected in previous versions.

Roman Loyola:

As reported by MacRumors, users have also posted about their problems on the Apple Support Community, Reddit, and on social media. While many users are having problems with USB hubs, others find that any connected USB device (mouse, keyboard, etc.) stopped working.

luckman212 (via Hacker News):

14.4 (23E5180j) seems to have gimped the fileproviderctl command again. This happened before where they completely broke the command on 13.6. Feels like there’s ONE guy whose job it is to compile and keep this tool updated, and he’s on vacation half of the year.

Pierre Igot:

My problem with Sonoma and slow mounting of external volumes at startup/login seems to be getting worse. It used to be random. Now (since 14.4) it seems to be systematic. At startup/login, the Finder launches BEFORE the volumes are fully mounted, which means that if I had windows showing the contents of folders on these external volumes left open in the Finder, these do NOT get reopened.

And toolbar buttons to folders on these volumes turn into… question marks.

Update (2024-03-15): Amber Neely:

Now, it looks like macOS Sonoma 14.4 is breaking printers, too.

Reports have begun rolling in on Reddit and the Apple Community forums, where users note that after updating their Macs, they no longer could print.

According to a post on Reddit, it seems that macOS Sonoma 14.4 removes the core CUPS software, leaving no way for the printer and Mac to interface.

It may be related to Microsoft Defender.


Apple has recently released the macOS 14.4 Sonoma update, which has resulted in compatibility issues for plug-ins protected by PACE / iLok with Audio Units host DAWs, such as Logic Pro, on Apple silicon Macs. Users have reported encountering problems with these plug-ins following the installation of the update, including DAW crashes.

Update (2024-03-17): Roman Loyola:

While many users are having problems with USB hubs, others find that any connected USB device (mouse, keyboard, etc.) stopped working.

Some users were able to fix the problem by going to System Settings > Privacy & Security > Allow accessories to connect, and then setting it to Always. Others have suggested switching to Always and then switching it to Ask every time. Before performing these steps, you may have to disconnect all USB devices, and then after adjusting the setting, the Mac needs to restart. After that, connect the devices, which should trigger a confirmation prompt and the devices may work again.

Oracle (Hacker News, MacRumors):

An issue introduced by macOS 14.4, which causes Java process to terminate unexpectedly, is affecting all Java versions from Java 8 to the early access builds of JDK 22. There is no workaround available, and since there is no easy way to revert a macOS update, affected users might be unable to return to a stable configuration unless they have a complete backup of their systems prior to the OS update.

The issue was not present in the early access releases for macOS 14.4, so it was discovered only after Apple released the update.


The Java Virtual Machine generates code dynamically and leverages the protected memory access signal mechanism both for correctness (e.g., to handle the truncation of memory mapped files) and for performance. With macOS 14.4, programs that attempt this will now terminate instead of having the opportunity to handle the signal.

Peter Steinberger:

There are no tests, are there.


Like you build an OS, you will have basic tests to check if stuff like Java, Python etc still runs…?

Marcel Weiher:

Changing a signal that can be caught to one that cannot be caught…

Who could have predicted that would break anything?

Update (2024-03-20): Addigy (via Ric Ford):

In the release of macOS 14.4, Apple has deprecated support for several commands, including  launchctl kickstart. This update will cause all existing scripts that utilize the launchctl kickstart to fail on machines running macOS 14.4, and Apple advised using the kill command instead when attempting to restart services on macOS devices. However, in testing, the kill command has not been effective and instead, Apple recommended restarting devices to force the services to restart in lieu of the kickstart command.

This directly impacts the Addigy MDM Watchdog, which relies on the launchctl kickstart command to restart the MDM and software update processes on stuck macOS devices. When these processes become stuck, devices cannot carry out MDM-based actions and perform System Updates. As a result, the MDM Watchdog will no longer be able to restart the essential services on devices running macOS 14.4 or later. However, it should continue to function on macOS devices running an older version of the OS.

Howard Oakley (MacRumors, TidBITS-Talk, Hacker News):

I’m very grateful to JK, who has alerted me to what I can only assume is a serious bug in 14.4. In previous versions of macOS, when a file is evicted (‘Remove downloads’) from local storage in iCloud Drive, all its saved versions have been preserved. Download that file again from iCloud Drive, and versions saved on that Mac (but not other Macs or devices) have remained fully accessible. Do that in 14.4, and all previous versions are now removed, and lost forever.

Howard Oakley:

Because no backup software can back up saved versions, you won’t find them in your backups, or in copies of that file on other volumes or disks, because versions always remain local to a volume. As they don’t get copied up to iCloud Drive, you also won’t find them in its 30-day backup.


More stuff that 14.4 broke: searching manual pages.

Tim Hardwick (Hacker News):

Since Apple unveiled macOS Sonoma 14.4 on March 7, the transition to the latest software update has not been entirely smooth for everyone, and a number of issues have been reported by users that significantly impact their daily workflow.

This article lists the most prominent challenges users have faced since updating to macOS Sonoma 14.4, and offers potential solutions where available.

Howard Oakley:

Occasionally, at seemingly random intervals, the fans in the iMac blow, and its responsiveness suffers, just for a few seconds. Activity Monitor reveals that the process that’s suddenly consuming high CPU % at the time is universalaccessd, which is typically taking over 100% for a period of a few seconds, then drops back to a far lower percentage as responsiveness returns.

Update (2024-03-21): Pierre Igot:

More new fun since upgrading to Sonoma 14.4: Now, after some undetermined amount of uptime, all of a sudden, notifications from certain apps stop being displayed altogether, for no apparent reason, with no way to get them back that I have found so far (other than a reboot).


Example of affected app on my Mac: Amadeus Pro. But I am quite sure it’s completely random.

Jeff Johnson:

In macOS 14.4, the command-line tool /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Apple80211.framework/Versions/Current/Resources/airport has been deprecated “and will be removed in a future release.”

Dave Wood:

Note also, if you use Parallels, and have a macOS guest, it becomes unusable if it upgrades to macOS 14.4. The VM will boot, you can log in, but once you do, the keyboard/mouse stop working. Likely due to the same reason you’ve listed by others, with USB peripherals not being able to connect/disconnect, and the way Parallels automatically handles that.

Update (2024-03-25): Nikhil Nigade:

Account syncing is bugged in on macOS 14.4

Seems like the root issue stems from the Account Services daemon (

Removing and adding the iCloud account back, disabling/enabling the Calendar service has no effect. It just fails to sync calendars for that iCloud account.

Update (2024-04-03): Glenn Fleishman:

I completed a basic Sonoma user account setup and then ran Migration Assistant. It found the networked Mac on which I manage Time Machine backups and recognized it. However, it refused to mount my child’s backup volume. No matter what I did, “Mount failed” appeared. Digging around in forums, I found that Sonoma has broken the SMB/Samba-based networking mount procedure for Time Machine restores, and no one had found a solution. This appears to still be the case in 14.4.

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To my pleasant surprise, this release appears to fix two bugs that I reported in November and December respectively:

- FB13365612: Text input in ignores autocorrect settings (even when turned off in System Settings, the app interferes with text input and makes substitutions)
- FB13468535: NSDatePicker ignores user format specified in System Settings (always uses "mm/dd/yyyy" system-wide even when "yyyy-mm-dd" is specified)

Unsurprisingly, neither report was acknowledged by Apple or received any reply, and both remain listed as open.

The 14.4 release notes make no mention of these fixes either. (What's the point of them anyway?)

Wes Campaigne

@Ben Kennedy

I also filed a never-acknowledged Feedback about the NSDatePicker issue. Actually, I filed two, since there's really two issues:

1. NSDatePicker ignores user format specified in System Settings (FB13221469). But, this isn't actually a regression: NSDatePicker has _never_ respected that format settings option; even in previous macOS versions, it's always just used a format determined purely by your locale.

... and the reason that was noticed is because ...

2. The format used by NSDatePicker for the en_CA locale was wrong starting in macOS 14.0 (FB13221502). For some reason Apple switched it to the US-style "M/d/y" instead of the ISO8601-style "y-MM-dd", which was inconsistent with the other default date formats for en_CA.

macOS 14.4 has fixed the second issue — the picker format for Canada — but unsurprisingly does _not_ address first issue, which I imagine would only ever addressed in a major macOS version change.

They've quietly fixed the bug in AppKit that caused VMware Fusion to crash whenever VoiceOver was running and it now correctly prompts for permission to allow Fusion to use Automation (as opposed to, what, "accessibility"?). The vmware-vmx binary was setuid root and apparently that kicked off some security check that had been newly introduced in Sonoma. So now blind people can use virtual machines with 3D graphics acceleration again. Yay! Sigh.

>The 14.4 release notes make no mention of these fixes either. (What's the point of them anyway?)

I do wish Apple published more detailed change logs somewhere else. I get that they don't want to do so in the Software Update UI; you gotta edit that to the most important facts, or people won't read it at all. But a more comprehensive list _somewhere_ would be appreciated.

@Sören: Well they actually do, but those too are incomplete: has no mention of these bugs either.

I always thought _those_ release notes are chiefly for the SDK, but yeah, they do oddly slip some stuff in there that appears to have nothing to do with development (the Finder section, say).

What is happening at Apple, causing OS X to become so terrible, inconsistent, and user hostile? Almost all of the VPs at Apple have been there 15+ years, during peak OS X (10.8?). And now Tim, Craig, Joz, Phil, etc don’t care about it anymore?

(it’s not just Apple either, Adobe products have gotten awful too, e.g. the newest version of Acrobat Pro. Just garbage. And I was using Illustrator last night to export some SVGs, and the dialog to set the options says “Less Options” on one of the buttons. Does nobody at this multi billion dollar company know proper grammar?)

> What is happening at Apple, causing OS X to become so terrible, inconsistent, and user hostile?


> And now Tim, Craig, Joz, Phil, etc don’t care about it anymore?

Have they ever cared? Some of them said they bleed in six colors. They just forgot to mention that they mainly bleed in green.

Exactly. Greed. If that's not abundantly clear from the behaviour and apologetics of the leadership in recent time, I really don't know what is. It's sad, but here we are, and making money fast is always going to be easier than doing right by doing good. We need an urgent reshuffle at the top with new (green) stock, and a binding mission statement that puts customer satisfaction at the very top of the list of objectives. Otherwise we'll just continue to see the decline of a once great company.

TL;DR: Apple are doooooooooooooooomed!

>> What is happening at Apple, causing OS X to become
>> so terrible, inconsistent, and user hostile?

Remember when Apple introduced brushed metal? Replacing creator codes with file name extensions? Optional case-sensitive file systems? Yeah, this has started a long time ago. It's just never been corrected, and went more and more off the rails, as Apple's success seemed to have validated their decisions.

@Plume As somebody who hates case-insensitive file systems and silly metadata, and thinks of them as largely parochial leftovers from a different era, I dunno that I feel too badly about Apple's abandonment of those. Change isn't the problem: apart from boot HDD users, nobody would object to APFS in other respects, and I think it's clear that JHFS+ lived on for far, far too long, hampering an otherwise great consumer UNIX.

The real issue, IMO, is that Apple no longer pursues its distinctive love of powerful, humane and desirable tech that meets peoples' needs by bringing the technology and the polished and consistent experience together with a vision of the future that is nonetheless forgiving of their diverse requirements, levels of experience and expertise, and habits.

Well, they don't do that no more. And that's the problem, IMO.

Mac Folklore Radio

What @Sebby said. Every time Apple sends me a chirpy "Do you have any feedback about your new Mac????" survey, I rate everything as "terrible" because it is, hardware aside, and offer to go over the 1992 edition of the Human Interface Guidelines. Oh, and reviews of Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard.

AND they broke PACE iLok so almost none of my audio plugins work in 14.4. Of course, I was so hungry for bug fixes that I pounced on it. At least I can finally drag-and-drop pictures from Spotlight result list. Maybe I wasn't the only one who complained, though...

Mac Folklore Radio

The hits keep coming. Maybe we should throw the whole thing out along with Craig Federighi and start over with the Linux kernel.

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