Mac Tips

Top macOS Big Sur Problems and Solutions You Need to Know

by Sophie Green   Updated on 2021-05-31 / Update for  Mac OS

The long-awaited macOS 11 Big Sur finally came out at WWDC 2020 and will be available on this fall. Some users already updated MacOS Big Sur beta and reported a lot of MacOS Big Sur issues. In the article, we collect the most commonly reported macOS Big Sur 11 problems and give you the advices on what to do about

The Latest News about macOS(Round-up)

Since the macOS Big Sur has released recently, a lot of news emerge on the internet. Now we will collect the newest info about Mac and offer the first-hand news for you.

  • #1. According to Mashable, Face ID is coming to Mac computers in the near future. This is leaked from Apple's macOS beta code, but this feature depends on specialized hardware that needs to be built into computer in advance to support Face ID. So we can expect when does this really come out.
  • #2. According to iMore, Mac OS 8 now can run on any computer including macOS, Windows, and Linux. Howver, you can't connect your new Macintosh Quadra 900 to the internet. The only thing you can do is to transfer files to it.
  • #3. According to Apple, macOS Big Sur beta 4 now supports 4K videos on YouTube using Safari. Although it's not new, previously, you need to download Google Chrome or other browser compatible with 4K on YouTube.

1. Apps Not Working on Working on MacOS Big Sur

"Anyone else's Zoom not working with Big Sur? Every time I try to join a meeting, the app crashes. Icons within the app also don't appear."

There are a lot of users reported that some apps can't open/crash on MacOS Big Sur as below:

  • Dropbox is crashing on startup on MacOS Big Sur
  • Safari quit unexpectedly/crashes and freezes on MacOS Big Sur
  • Mail crashes when opening after on MacOS Big Sur update
  • Music might quit unexpectedly
  • macOS bug crashing virtualisation apps
  • iOS Mail app shows a phantom unread message badge
  • Photoshop 2020 crashing immediately after opening
  • Cyberduck not working in Mac Big Sur
  • macOS Big Sur 11 beta 6 is required to use the restore images for iOS & iPadOS 14 or later.

Possible Fixes:

  • Delete the app not working and reinstall them.
  • Update the app. If you recently installed a new version of macOS, some apps may need to be updated to work correctly.
  • Contact the app's manufacturer. If you still can't open the app, report to the app's manufacturer. The App that is not incompatible with the new version of macOS will not run on the updated system.
  • Turn Off virtual machines when you don't use it and restart the system regularlly.

2. Can You Install MacOS Big Sur on iMac Late 2013?

"When I look at introduction page for new Big Sur of it clearly states: iMac 2014 and above, but if I click on the link it says 2012 and above? So, which one is it, and will late 2013 iMacs be able to run it?"

Many users are not clear about the MacOS Big Sur compatible Macs. If you also have this question, here is the answer.

Possible Fixes:

Here are all the devices that can run MacOS 11 Big Sur.

  • 2015 and later MacBook.
  • 2013 and later MacBook Air.
  • 2013 and later MacBook Pro.
  • 2014 and later Mac mini.
  • 2014 and later iMac.
  • 2017 and later iMac Pro.
  • 2013 and later Mac Pro.

3. MacOS Big Sur is Downloading Very Slow

"MacOS Big Sur Download is very slow. I have a very good internet connection and fast speed, but still taking like 5 hours now. After 4 hours download got an error saying that some files are invalid."

There are really a lot of users complained that MacOS Big Sur Download is super slow. If you also have this problem, below are some possible fixes to macOS Big Sur problems with Download.

Possible Fixes:

  • Cancel the download then restarting it.
  • Check Network Connection. Make sure that you are connected to a strong and reliable WIFI Connection to avoid disturbing the download.
  • Delete the partially-downloaded macOS Big Sur and try to re-download again.

4. macOS Big Sur Update Stuck on Downloading

"Been waiting for 8hrs now..Stuck on 9.56gb,any idea why?"

fix macos stuck on downloading

Some users complained that macOS Big Sur update get stuck. This is a long-standing problem with macOS update. Here are some advices for you to fix macOS Big Sur update stuck easily.

Possible Fixes:

  • Restarting your Mac if the macOS Big Sur update stuck with a spinning wheel.
  • Install the update in safe mode.
  • Check the Apple System Status page. It could be problems at Apple's end. With many people accessing the servers at the same time the macOS Big Sur update stuck on downloading.

5. "Incompatible Disk" Error when updating macOS Big Sur

"Dual booting Big Sur and an older macOS gives this alert and prevents the older partition from updating."

incompatible disk error when updating macos big sur

According to Apple: "If macOS Big Sur 11 beta is installed into the same APFS container as previous versions of macOS, system software updates can no longer be installed on the previous versions of macOS."

Possible Fixes:

Do not install Big Sur on the same APFS container as previous versions of MacOS

6. Unable to Install macOS Big Sur Because Not Enough Storage

"Unable to install beta because not enough storage. But there is enough storage."

unable to install macos big sur

Many users get the error "Unable to install because of required storage" but you already have the space when install macOS Big Sur. If you also have this problem, below are some possible fixes to unable to install macOS Big Sur because not enough storage.

Possible Fixes:

  • Check your purgeable space. Right-click on the Mackintosh HD and click "Get Info," it will tell you how much "purgeable space" is left.
  • Use the program called "CleanMyMac" to free up purgeable space. Make sure you download this app from the developer's website and not the one from Mac App store.

7. macOS Big Sur Bricked during Big Sur Installation

"The installer freezes with error: The operation couldn't be completed. (com. apple.DiskManagement.disenter error 49168.) Restarting doesn't help."

macos big sur bricked

Some users get stuck on macOS Big Sur update or macOS Big Sur installation failed. If the macOS Big Sur update frozen on your Mac, do as follows:

Possible Fixes:

  • Turn off your Mac and restart it after a couple more seconds.
  • Boot your Mac into safe mode and install the macOS again.
  • Uninstall macOS Big Sur.

8. Can't Sign Into iCloud after MacOS Big Sur Update

"Anyone else failing to sign into iCloud? It's hanging after entering the verification code."

Some users get stuck on iCloud sign or get the error "You can't sign in at this time" after macOS Big Sur update. If you cannot sign into iCloud on Mac, you need to do some troubleshooting as below.

Possible Fixes:

  • Make sure you’re using the correct Apple ID username and password.
  • Remove Your iCloud Accounts. Go to ~/Library/Application Support/iCloud/Accounts/ and move all the contents of that folder into a new folder then put that on your desktop. Restart the Mac then try to login again.
  • Remove Your Keychain. Go to ~/Library/Keychain/ and move all the contents of that folder into a new folder then put that on your desktop. Restart the Mac then try to login again.

9. Touch ID Disabled Unexpectedly on MacOS Big Sur

Some users reported that the Touch ID might become unexpectedly disabled on Macs with a T2 Security Chip after installing MacOS Big Sur.

Possible Fixes:

  • Restart your Mac.
  • Reset the SMC of your Mac.
  • Remove and then readd your fingerprint registration.

10. Unable to Check for Updates

"Unable to check for updates - Failed to download the documentation for the minor update. Please try again later."

If you updated to macOS Big Sur 11 beta from a previous version of macOS, you may get the "Unable to check for updates" error in Software Update.

Possible Fixes:

  • Start up from macOS Recovery.
  • On the the "MacOS Utilities" screen, pull down the "Utilities" menu from the top of the screen and click on "Terminal".
  • In Terminal type: rm -rf "/Volumes/Macintosh HD - Data/private/var/folders/zz/zyxvpxvq6csfxvn_n00000y800007k". Restart your Mac.

11. Stuck on Activation Lock after Big Sur Install

"After macOS Big Sur update, MacBook Pro stuck on activation lock. It kept saying it needs a different apple ID."

Quite a few users reported that Mac gets stuck on activation lock after macOS Big Sur install. It either keeps saying it needs a different apple ID or saying that the Mac is linked to another Apple ID. Here are some possible fixes for you.

Possible Fixes:

  • Downgrade macOS Big Sur to stable Catalina.
  • Contact Apple Support for help.

12. Heating problems MacOS Big Sur Public Beta

I have a new 13" Macbook pro 2020 series and I have update my software towards the MacOS Big Sur public beta. I'm now encountering some problems with the heating of my macbook. It's getting 60-80C when I open some normal programs or when I'm just surfing on the internet.""

The current possible way is to backup all of your data to an external drive and restart your Mac.

13. MacOS Big Sur Installation Needs Much Space

Why does dev beta 4 (public beta) asks so much space? In old beta I was able to install it by cleaning a bit my MBP2019, here I found +50GB space and It still does not work. I even had to delete Xcode, Photoshop etc.""

Possible Explanation:

  • Betas are never more optimized.
  • You can wait for the final version to come out.
  • Just restart your Mac and reinstall the macOS Big Sur.

14. MacOS Big Sur Wallpaper Gets Broken Weirdly

Why does dev beta 4 (public beta) asks so much space? In old beta I was able to install it by cleaning a bit my MBP2019, here I found +50GB space and It still does not work. I even had to delete Xcode, Photoshop etc."" macos big sur

Possible Fixes:

  • Force Restart macOS and check your wallpaper again.
  • Test the wallpaper on another Mac.
  • Reinstall the macOS Big Sur to see if this issue still exits.
  • If you still can't fix, please report this issue to Apple Support.

15. MacOS Big Sur WiFi Connection Issue

"Mac Big Sur cannot even connect to my wifi adapter. After system upgrade, the wifi adapter doesn't even blink at all! At first, I thought the upgrade process burns the device. I tried to plug wifi adapter to my other laptop, with usb-port only and type-c convert in between as well."

Possible Fixes:

  • Force Restart macOS Big Sur and reconnect again the Wi-Fi adapter.
  • Change device celluar data and reconnect with a new Wi-Fi.
  • If it's possible, you can try to downgrade macOS Catalina.

16. Mac Big Sur App with Sidebar Clears NavigationLink View

"I have a simple test app with a list of items in a NavigationView List. When one is clicked, it fills in the data in a detail view called by a NavigationLink. If the app goes to the background, or the sidebar is completely collapsed, the detail view disappears. I see that it calls the view's onDisppear modifier. This does not happen with macOS Catalina but happens with Big Sur when using Xcode 12 with the new SwiftUI App lifecycle or Xcode 11 with the old UIKit life cycle."

Possible Fixes:

According to the feedback from developer community, you can try to operate like the image below:

macos big sur

Bonus Tip: Lost Data after MacOS Big Sur Update, How to Recover?

You will loss important data if the MacOS Big Sur update is interrupted. That's why we recommend you to backup Mac data before update. If you didn't backup data and unfortunate lost data after MacOS Big Sur update, don't worry; try 4DDiG for Mac Data Recovery. This powerful Mac data recovery tool can easily recover photos, videos, documents, etc. on Mac and recover data from unbootable Mac.

  • Install and run the program on your Mac and select a location to scan your lost files. Then, click on Start.

    lost data after macos update
  • The software will start to scan the lost files on your selected partition.

    recover lost data after macos update
  • Click on the Recover and select a location to save your files. Remember not to save the files in the folder from where you lost them.

    recover lost data after macos big sur update

How to Recover Deleted Files on Mac [Emptied Trash]


That's all the MacOS Big Sur Update issues we found so far. We hope that our solutions will solve your MacOS Big Sur Update problems. If you have MacOS 11 Big Sur problems not listed in this article, leave a message at the comment area and we will give you the advices on what to do about them.