macOS Monterey Update Problems and Fixes (roundup)

By Ciki | Posted to Home > Mac Data Recovery Tips, updated on June 11th, 2021

Summary: This post is a roundup list of all possible macOS 12 Monterey updating problems such as low disk space, Mac won't boot, or a frozen screen and their fixes. How to install the macOS Monterey developer beta is also discussed.

macOS 12 Monterey problems and fixes roundup

Many people are indecisive to download and update to macOS Monterey, the latest operating system by Apple. Thus, knowing possible macOS Monterey issues will help a lot before you install macOS 12. For example, you can't download/install macOS Monterey, apps won't work, iCloud is not available, or you have connectivity issues with yout WiFi or Bluetooth on macOS Monterey.

Therefore, this post discusses some common macOS Monterey upgrade issues and how to fix these problems.

Now, let's check the table below and see if you can find a solution to your problem.

Warning: This post will include multiple macOS Monterey problems, and some serious problems like 'Mac not booting after update' could cause data loss. Therefore, if you are facing some Mac booting issue after macOS update, it is highly recommended to recover data from Mac won't boot with iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac first.

With more patchers are released and bugs are fixed, macOS 12 Monterey becomes better and better. But new macOS Monterey issues will never stop showing up. Thus, this article is worthy of reading as you'll know some common macOS Monterey upgrade issues, and how to address them.

1. Should I update My Mac to macOS 12 Monterey?

macOS Monterey with powerful features is so tempting to upgrade, but you may still sit on the fence and wonder:

  • Is macOS Monterey stable to use on My Mac?
  • Is it worth updating to macOS Monterey?
  • Will macOS Monterey damage or slow down My Mac?

As a major macOS upgrade and newly released, reliability and performance issues are common.

If you want to try these new features mentioned in Apple WWDC 2021, you can have a bash to install macOS Monterey. But keep one thing in mind, back up your Mac and everything before updating macOS. Or you can use a secondary Mac to test this macOS version.

2. How to install the macOS Monterey developer beta

First of all, you have to be an enrolled Apple developer. If not, go to Apple's developer page to enroll in the program. If you can't enroll as an Apple developer, you can also wait until the public beta program is out in a few weeks.

  • 1. Back up your Mac use Time Machine.
  • 2. Go to Apple's Developer page and log in your account.
  • 3. Click the two-line icon in the top left corner and choose Downloads with the "Operating Systems" tab selected.
  • 4. Choose Install Profile next to the amcOS Monteray beta.
  • 5. Find your downloaded macOS beta Access Utility.
  • 6. Double-click it to open the disk image and then double-click the PKG file to installl macOS beta profile.
  • 7. Make sure your Mac has at least 12 GB free space for upgrading and click on Upgrade Now in the Sftware Update window.
  • 8. Follow the onscreen prompts to finish beta installation.

3. Can't install macOS Monterey on Mac

Normally, you can sign up to the Apple APP Store to download and install the macOS Monterey 12. But you could encounter problems while you are downloading or installing it.

How to fix:

If you are suffering from this problem, you probably need to check if you have enough space on the drive or volume for installation. The macOS Monterey update will take more than 4.9 GB in total.

Or you may not install to this volume because the Macintosh HD is not mounted when installing macOS Monterey, then you need to check your startup disk in Disk Utility.

Space is enough but the macOS installation couldn't be completed still? Well, you can boot your Mac into Safe Mode and reinstall macOS 12. This will isolate incompatible software when you update the sysem. Here is how to boot Mac in Safe Mode (also known as Single User mode).

  • 1. Restart your Mac and immediately hold the Shift button.
  • 2. When your Mac boot into Safe Mode, reinstall macOS 12 Monterey.
  • 3. Reboot your Mac.

Also, you may be unable to upgrade to macOS Monterey because of the error "macOS Monterey could not be verified" below, even though you have cleared out your content caching and re-download for times.

How to fix:

  • 1. Click the Apple logo at the upper left and choose System Preferences.
  • 2. Find Date & Time and open it.
  • 3. Select Date & Time panel and Click the lock to make changes at lower left.
  • 4. Uncheck and then recheck the "Set date and time automatically" option and then save changes by click the lock.

Then restart the computer and proceed to download the update once again through settings and software update. Hopefully, it will resolve the issue of the update not being verified.

4. macOS Monterey runs into low disk space during installation

Chances are that you still can't install macOS Monterey even in Safe Mode. Sometimes, even though you have pretty much no personal file on this Mac and space appears to be enough, you still could fail to install this system due to low disk space warning. As a matter of fact, it's just one of the macOS Monterey problems many users would face.

However, if you are disturbed by the low space problem, you received the low space warning from the system.

How to Fix:

You can fix the low space issue is to delete some local Time Machine snapshots which were made by the system previously. However, if you are not a specialist, you are not advised to do this deletion in case of losing data. Instead, if you have backups in Time Machine, you can just downgrade the macOS Monterey to another stable one like Mojave and then restore your lost files.

Some users see an additional Macintosh HD - Data volume in the Disk Utility of macOS Monterey and regard it as an unknown issue. Indeed, it's not. APFS drive in macOS Monterey will be divided into two volumes. One is called Macintosh HD which contains the system information and is protected with read-only mode, while the other one is Macintosh HD - Data volume where your apps and files are stored.

macOS 12 Monterey Macintosh HD - Data

5. Can I install the macOS 12 alongside macOS Big Sur?

You are torn if you don't know if macOS Monterey is better than Big Sur or Catalina. Maybe, you can make a compromise between them. That is to run macOS Monterey alongside your current macOS.

You can split your hard drive into two systems and install the Monterey on a separate partition. It is feasible because macOS Monterey will reside itself in a read-only volume, and you can do this with these steps:

  • 1. Open Finder and click Go at the upper left of your desktop.
  • 2. Go to Utilities and choose Disk Utility.
  • 3. Select the internal/startup hard disk and choose Partition at the top.
  • 4. Click Partition and click on the plus button +.
  • 5. Fill in a name, choose APFS format, and choose a size.
  • 6. Click Apply to create a new partition.
  • 7. When you move forward to install macOS Monterey, choose this partition as the installation location.

To switch between your current macOS Mojave and macOS Monterey, you can access System Preferences by clicking the Apple logo at the upper left of the desktop and select Startup Disk. Then click the lock at the lower left corner to make changes, key in the password as the system asks. Finally, select your system and restart your Mac.

6. Mac won't boot/turn on after installing macOS Monterey

If you breeze in the newest macOS and install it to your lovely Mac computer, only to find that your Mac won't turn on or stuck on the loading bar after update, or even gets stuck on Mac grey or white screen.

What a nuisance! It has to be fixed instantly because you probably are in need of this Mac. But before you go further to fix the not booting Mac, you are strongly advised to recover lost data from this unbootable Mac with iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac to avoid losing anything important.

After you get your files back, stay in calm and try the following solutions to fix this unbootable Mac.

Solution 1: Check Mac hard drive with Disk Utility in macOS Recovery mode

If your Mac can't boot past the Apple logo after installing macOS 12, you can check the startup disk in Disk Utility in case there is any disk error.

  • 1. Reboot your Mac and immediately hold Command + R to boot into macOS Recovery mode.
  • 2. Release theses keys when you see the loading bar.
  • 3. Select Disk Utility from the macOS Utilities menu.
  • Check Mac hard drive with Disk Utility in macOS Recovery mode
  • 4. Select the startup disk or the macOS volume in the left sidebar of Disk Utility.
  • 5. Click First Aid at the top center and click Run to repair this disk.
  • 6. When it's finished, click on Done and restart your Mac as usual.

Solution 2: Uninstall macOS Monterey or downgrade it to macOS Big Sur

Also, it is possible that your Mac is not compatible with macOS 12, or you are not satisfied with macOS Monterey's performance. In this case, you may want to uninstall macOS Monterey from your Mac.

Then how to uninstall macOS Monterey on Mac? Can you downgrade macOS Monterey to Big Sur? You can check the overall solutions to Mac is not booting up after macOS update or follow these steps to uninstall macOS Monterey.

Step 1: Completely turn off your computer.

  • 1. Completely turn off your computer.
  • 2. Restart your Mac and hold Command + R instantly to boot Mac into macOS Recovery Mode.

Note: If your Mac can't boot into macOS Recovery mode with Command + R, you can hold Option + Command + R or Shift + Option + Command + R at startup. It will boot into macOS Recovery over the Internet, so make sure your Mac is connected to the Internet.

  • 3. Let go of the key combinations when you see the macOS Utilities menu.
  • 4. Choose Disk Utility and click Continue.
  • 5. Choose the Startup Disk (labeled Macintosh HD usually) and click Erase.
  • 6. Format it as APFS and click on Erase.
  • 7. Back to macOS Utilities menu and choose Reinstall macOS.
  • Downgrade macOS Monterey to macOS Mojave
  • 8. Click Continue and then agree to any terms and conditions. When it is completed, your Mac will restart and get back to macOS Mojave.

7. macOS Monterey update stuck/frozen

You may be wondering how long time macOS Monterey will take to install because this macOS update is frozen on your Mac for hours. Many people are confronted with the similar problem that the macOS Monterey is stuck on "Setting Up Your Mac", Screen time, or other process. It annoying and frustrating, especially after you have run out of your patience by waiting for its completion.

How to fix:

Well, if you have waited it for a very long time but nothing has changed, you can try to backup your files and reboot your Mac by holding down the power button. Hopefully, this will make your Mac go back to normal condition.

8. Several macOS Monterey features unavailable on Intel-based Mac

According to macOS Monteray preview by Apple, some newly updated features may be exclusive on Apple Silicon M1 Macs released in November 2020. If you find those features not available on your Mac running macOS 12, that is the reason. Those exclusive features include:

  • In FaceTime videos Portrait Mode blurred background
  • Live Text for copying and pasting, looking up, or translateing text extracted from images and photos
  • An interactive 3D globe of earth in the Maps app
  • More detailed maps in big cities such as San francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and London in the Maps app
  • Text-to-speech supports more languages including Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, and Finnish
  • Offline on-device keyboard dictation
  • Unlimited keyboard dictation that used to be limited to 60 seconds per instance

No information has been confirmed why Apple doesn't release these features to Intel-based Macs. A reasonable guess is that Apple is gradually leaving Intel-based Macs behind and keeps transitting to its custome silicon chips.

9. Windows can't be installed on M1 Mac

Boot Camp Assistant is a feature that helps users to install a Windows partition on Mac's startup disk and supports dual boot at startup. However, this software only works on Intel-based Macs.

Macs with an Apple M1 chip don't support installing Windows operating system on Mac any more (at least not now). Even though Microsoft rolled out Windows 10 ARM version, Apple has not officially supported Windows 10 on M1 Mac models. If you are an M1 Mac owner, when you launch Boot Camp Assistant an error message pops up telling you it cannot be used.

If you do need to be able to use Windows, the best way is to install virtualization software like Parallels Desktop for Mac to help you accomplish some tasks that need Windows environment.

10. Sidecar errors: Service Not Supported

Even though Sidecar is the most exciting feature for many users, the Sidecar is limited to work on some Macs/iPads. That's to say, Sidecar may be not working when you mirror macOS Monterey to iPadOS. If you're unable to connect to your iPad and receive "Sidecar errors: Service Not Supported", you need to firstly check if your iPad is installed with iPad iOS 13, then check the following list to see if your device is compatible with macOS Monterey 12.

Sidecar is not working in macOS 12 Monterey

Macs that are compatible with macOS Monterey:

  • iMac (late 2015 and later)
  • iMac Pro (2017 and later)
  • MacBook Air (Early 2015 and later)
  • MacBook Pro (Early 2015 and later)
  • MacBook (Early 2016 and later)
  • Mac Pro (Late 2013 and later)
  • Mac Mini (Late 2014 and later)

11. Apps won't work in macOS Monterey

It is possible that you install macOS Monterey on your Mac, only to find that some of your software like Microsoft Word 2011 won't run or even open in macOS 12 at all. Instead, you may receive a message like below to inform you that your app is not optimized for your Mac and needs to be updated.

32-bit Apps won't work in macOS Monterey

Why? Actually, it is because macOS Monterey doesn't support 32-bit apps anymore. Apple has been phasing out 32-bit software for the last 10 years and macOS Mojave is the last one that supports 32-bit software.

How do I check if my app is 32-bit on Mac?

By default, macOS will tell you that the app is "not optimized for your Mac" or something like that when you attempt to open a 32-bit app in macOS Monterey. However, if it doesn't give any warning but the software just won't open, you can also check your apps for 64-bit compatibility manually.

  • 1. Click on the Apple logo at the top left corner and select About This Mac.
  • 2. Click on the System Report….
  • 3. Scroll down the context menu in the sidebar until you see the Software section.
  • 4. Click on the Applications option under Software to show your applications on this Mac.
  • 5. Find the target app and you will see a section titled 64-Bit (Intel).

32-bit software is not working in macOS 12 Monterey

Next to this section is either Yes or No. "Yes" means the app is 64-bit, and "No" means the app is 32-bit and needs to be updated.

How to fix:

Well, you can't have your cake, and eat it. If you want to upgrade your operating system to macOS Monterey which is only compatible with 64-bit software for sure, you can't use your 32-bit apps. So, you have only three options in this case and the solution is totally up to your preference.

  • 1. Upgrade this software to a newer 64-bit version.
  • 2. If there is no 64-bit version available for this app, find an alternative one that does the same work but is compatible with macOS 12.
  • 3. Downgrade macOS Monterey to macOS Mojave.

12. macOS Monterey keeps asking for Apple ID

Some users also complain that after installing macOS Monterey, the Mac asks for updating the Apple ID settings.  However, after you put in your password of Apple ID and your Mac password, the message may pop back up again and again after a few minutes.

How to fix:

You can solve this macOS Monterey bugs by saving your keychain to iCloud drive, and the following is the steps to do this.

  • 1. Click on System Settings.
  • 2. Choose Apple ID at the top and then choose iCloud in the context menu. It will show what is using the iCloud.
  • 3. Scroll down this menu and choose Keychain.
  • 4. Enter your Apple ID and your computer password a couple times as they are asked.

13. Apps icons go missing in the Finder

In macOS Monterey 12, you might see some icons of your apps disappearing when clicking the Applications shortcut in the Finder sidebar, only third-party applications. This will happen if you used Migration Assistant to migrate your data to a Mac running macOS Monterey.

How to fix:

  • 1. Open the Finder on your Mac.
  • 2. Right-click on Finder at the upper left corner of your desktop, and then choose Preferences.
  • 3. In the Sidebar tab, select the Applications favorite, then remove the Applications shortcut from the sidebar that displays incorrect results.

14. WiFi/Bluetooth is not working on macOS Monterey

Can't access the Internet after installing macOS Monterey? WiFi/Blutooth is not working or not available? Check the following methods to fix such issues.

How to fix macOS Monterey WiFi not working issues:

Method 1: Simply click on WiFi in the menu bar and turn WiFi Off. And then wait for 10-15 seconds and reconnect to it. Try this for several times if it doesn't fix the WiFi problem after the first try.

Method 2: Restart your Mac in Safe Mode and see if you can access the Internect. If you can, it should be some incompatible apps or extensions that hinder the WiFi in normal work, and you could fix such WiFi not workign issue by uninstalling or updating your software and drivers.

Method 3: Create a new Network Location simply.

  • 1. Click the Apple icon at the upper left, and then choose System Preferences.
  • 2. Find Network and then create a new Network location which usually show as Automatic.
  • 3. Choose Edit Locations, click on the + button to create a new location, and then click Done.
  • 4. Re-join a known working WiFi network.

How to fix macOS Monterey Blutooth issues:

  • 1. Open Finder, click on Go in the top menu, and then click Go to Folder....
  • 2. Type in /Library/Preferences and click Go.
  • 3. Find the file com.apple.Bluetooth.plist, copy this file to another location and then delete the original one.
  • 4. Restart your Mac and reconnect to your Bluetooth devices.

15. iCloud is not available after macOS update

As you know, iCloud is extremely helpful to share folders between different devices. Sometimes, it can even restore some lost files after an update.

However, after macOS Monterey was released, you might see the message "Couldn't connect to iCloud" when creating a new Pages, Numbers, or Keynote document in a shared folder. When confronted with this problem, you can simply close this document and then reopen it.

Furthermore, you could meet some other iCloud issues.

  • iCloud Drive fails to automatically download all files after macOS Monterey update
  • Multiple empty Application libraries within iCloud Drive after update

How to fix:

  • 1. Download the desired files from iCloud drive manually and individually.
  • 2. Safely remove the empty folders from iCloud.
  • 3. Restart your device and start everything from scratch.

16. External hard drives/mouse/keyboard is not working in macOS Monterey

It happens that Mac won't recognize your external hard drive after installing macOS 12 Monterey. What's worse, this issue also affects some accessories like keyboard, mouse and printer drivers, etc. Why?

For the most part, it is still the 32-bit driver that makes your external drives not working.

How to fix:

  • 1. Simply update these drivers in App Store.
  • 2. Contact the developer in their support page to ask for a driver update.

17. macOS Monterey makes Mac slow/overheating

As for a large number of exciting features are introduced in macOS 12 Monterey, some people complain that Monterey has slowed their screens down. What's worse, it makes their computers overheating, and even causes some battery problems.

It is annoying, especially for some game geeks and office workers who need a fluent computer eagerly. Thus, try the solutions below to calm you and your Mac down.

Solution 1: Uncheck Login Items as many as possible

Even though macOS is designed for better performance, too much unnecessary items at login will lower you Mac. What's worse, these login items could make your Mac stuck on loading bar when you boot your Mac. So, just disable it as the following steps.

  • 1. Click on the Apple logo at the top left corner and select System Preferences.
  • 2. Choose Users and Groups in the menu and click on your account in the left sidebar.
  • 3. Click Login Items in the right column to show a list of programs that automatically start up when you turn on your Mac.
  • 4. Select as much software as you can and click on the minus - button at the bottom of this window.

login items make macOS 12 Monterey slow

If this doesn't fix your problem when you reboot your Mac, try the next solution.

Solution 2: Reset System Management Controller (SMC)

Resetting the System Management Controller (SMC) is a feasible solution if the macOS Monterey is not working normally, which helps to solve many power and hardware related issues. If you are suffering from one of these problems below, resetting SMC is particularly effective.

  1. Mac computer is overheating
  2. Power management and battery problems
  3. Video and external displays not working
  4. Mac doesn't respond when you press the power button
  5. General performance and functionality problems

How to reset SMC on Mac:

  • 1. Shut down the computer completely and make sure your Mac is connected with power.
  • 2. Using the built-in keyboard, press and hold the Shift + Control + Option + Power Button keys at the same time for about 10 seconds. If you have a MacBook Pro with Touch ID, the Touch ID button is also the power button.
  • 3. Release all the keys together and press the power button to start up your computer.
  • 4. The boot time after resetting a machine's SMC will be a bit longer than usual, that is normal. When the computer is booting up, you can customize your Mac settings according to your need again.

18. Files, documents, or folders get lost after update

You may lose files after macOS update. Some users' desktop becomes empty, and some other people find that they can't locate some photos in Photos library. It's a terrible feeling when you can't find important documents, photos, emails, etc. after macOS update. So, you'd better not risk your work Mac with the every new Apple operating system.

But since you have lost files after macOS update, the most urgent thing probably is to recover these files. You can try these 3 solutions to get them back.

Solution 1: Recover files from iCloud

Actually, if you 're using iCloud Drive to sync Desktop & Documents folders, it is rather easy to restore documents, photos, etc.

Just visit www.icloud.com and sign in with your Apple ID to recover your files now.

Solution 2: Recover files from Time Machine backups

No data backup in iCloud? Don't worry, because you have another feasible way to recover lost/disappeared files.

Ta-ta, that is Time Machine. If you have backed up your Mac with Time Machine before update, it's easy to recover lost files then. Now, let's see how to recover files from Time Machine backups.

  • 1. Connect this Time Machine backup external hard drive to your Mac.
  • 2. Click on the Apple logo at the top left corner and select System Preferences.
  • 3. Find Time Machine, open it, and then check Show Time Machine in menu bar.
  • Recover files from Time Machine backups
  • 4. Locate Time Machine at the upper right menu, click its icon and choose Enter Time Machine.
  • 5. Look through the Time Machine backup folders in the left sidebar and locate the target files according to time.
  • 6. Select files you want to recover and click Restore.

Solution 3: Recover lost data with Mac data recovery software

If you haven't backed up the lost/missing files with Time Machine, then you can look for a Mac data recovery tool to recover files from the Mac computer after macOS Monterey update.

You can use iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac to recover lost data from Mac computers.

iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac is user-friendly Mac data recovery software, which can recover photos, videos, music files, word files, emails, etc. from Mac computers. It is one of the most powerful APFS data recovery tools that can recover files from formatted, corrupted, unreadable, unmountable APFS partitions/drives. What's more, it also can retrieve deleted/lost files from emptied Trash and supports external hard drive data recovery, SD card data recovery, USB flash drive data recovery, etc.

Tutorial to recover lost data from macOS Monterey with iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac

  • 1. Download iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac on your Mac and launch it.
  • 2. Select the drive/volume you lost data from and click Next to scan for files on this drive.
  • recover lost data from macOS Monterey
  • 3. Select files you want to get back. You can preview the target files by double-clicking.
  • 4. Click Recover to get lost/missing files back.

19. External drive is read-only in macOS Monterey

Another problem many users are facing is that external drives are read-only in macOS Monterey. This could include hard drives, USB flash drives, SD cards, etc. As a result, you will be unable to write to, transfer, edit, delete files on the read-only drive in macOS Monterey. As a matter of fact, this problem results from the NTFS file system which Apple does not officially allow write support, and it not only occurs to macOS 12 Monterey but other Mac operating systems.

How to fix external drive read-only in macOS Monterey:

If your external hard drive is read-only on Mac and you're unable to write to NTFS drives, you can download an NTFS for Mac driver like iBoysoft NTFS for Mac. This tool can mount NTFS drives on Mac in read-write mode, granting you full access to NTFS drives in macOS so that you can create, save, copy, paste, delete and modify files on this drive.

Best NTFS Driver for Mac - iBoysoft NTFS for Mac

  • Mount NTFS volumes in read-write mode and unmount with single click
  • Check and repair NTFS disk errors on Mac
  • Erase data on NTFS disks easily
  • Reformat exFAT/FAT32/HFS+ disk to NTFS on Mac
  • Support macOS 11/10.15/10.14/10.13

Read also:

If you're faced with a macOS Monterey issue that is not covered in this article or you have other tested and trusted solutions, kindly update us via [email protected]