macOS Monterey Update Problems and Fixes (roundup)

By Ciki | Posted to Home > Mac Data Recovery Tips, Updated on November 4th, 2021

Summary: This post is a roundup list of all reported and possible macOS 12 Monterey updating problems and their fixes. The latested updates include bricked old Macs and memory leak after macOS Monterey upgrade.

macOS 12 Monterey problems and fixes roundup

Updated: a specific macOS process or application comsumes an abnormally high amount of memory known as memory leak occurred and macOS Monterey upgrade bricked some old Mac models.

Are you indecisive to download and update to macOS Monterey, or have encountered some issues with the newly updated macOS Monterey? This post discusses some common macOS Monterey upgrade issues and how to fix these problems.

For example, you can't download/install macOS Monterey, apps won't work, iCloud is not available, or you have connectivity issues with yout Wi-Fi or Bluetooth on macOS Monterey.

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

Read below or use the sidebar to find the answers to your questions about macOS 12 Monterey update.

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

macOS Monterey 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 that 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 macOS Monterey?

The installation of macOS 12 Monterey has no difference from the installation of other previous versions.

  • 1. Back up your Mac with Time Machine.
  • 2. Go to Apple logo and then select "System Preferences".
  • 3. Click "Software Update".
  • 4. Click "Update Now". You will update the operating system and exsisting apps (if there is any updates available) at the same time.
  • 5. Click "Restart" after the installation file finishes downloading.
  • 6. Use your Mac after it reboots.

3. Can't install macOS Monterey on Mac

Normally, you can directly install macOS 12 from Software Update or 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:

Space shortage. If you are suffering from an unsuccessful installation of macOS 12, you probably need to check if you have enough space on the drive or volume to download the macOS 12 installer. The macOS Monterey update will take more than 11 GB in total. Learn how to optimize Mac space.

Corrupted Macintosh HD. If you can not install the updated macOS Monterey because macintosh HD is not mounted, you need to check and repair your startup disk in Disk Utility.

Incompatible software. Space is enough but the macOS installation couldn't be completed still? Well, you can boot your Mac into Safe Mode to isolate incompatible software that prevents you from updating the system successfully. Then you can continue on updating macOS 12.

Content caching. After you finish downloading macOS Monterey installer, you might see an error "macOS Monterey could not be verified". It usually results from cached content with your user account.

How to turn off cached content:

  • 1. Click the Apple logo at the upper left and choose "System Preferences".
  • 2. Click "Sharing".
  • 3. Click the lock to make changes at lower left.
  • 4. Select "Content Caching" at the left sidebar and make sure it is turned off and Select "All Content" in the "Cahe" menu.
  • 5. Restart the Mac and download macOS Monterey once again.

If it doesn't help, try use the method below. To be honest, we don't know why this would work, but it won't hurt to try.

  • 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 Software Update. Hopefully, it will resolve the issue of the macOS update not being verified.

4. macOS Monterey runs into low disk space during installation

Sometimes, even though you have a very few personal files on this Mac and space appears to be enough for macOS Monterey update, you may still fail to update to macOS 12 with a low disk space warning.

Even worse, the free space fluctuates frenquently every time you restart your Mac. As a matter of fact, it's one of the macOS Monterey problems many users would face.

How to Fix:

You can fix the low space issue by deleting some local APFS snapshots which were taken by the system previously. You can either do it by turning off Time Machine backup temporarily or deleting one (or) all of them with Terminal.

How to delete local snapshots with Terminal to free up space for macOS Monterey update:

1. Open Terminal in Application folder.

2. Run command:

tmutil listlocalsnapshots /

3. You should be presented with something like this com.apple.TimeMachine.2020-06-01-002010 (the number will be different) depending on when the snapshots were taken.

4. Run command to delete snapshots. Remeber to replace the number with the snapshot number you see on your computer.

sudo tmutil deletelocalsnapshots 2020-06-01-002010

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

The short answer: yes. If you want to switch between macOS Monterey and macOS Big sur, you can run macOS Monterey alongside your current macOS 11.

You can split your hard drive into two systems and install macOS 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 (macOS Monterey is suggested for easy recognition), choose APFS format, and choose a size.
  • 6. Click Apply to create a new partition.
  • 7. While installing macOS Monterey, choose this newly created partition as the installation destination.

To switch between two operating systems, 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, put in the admin password as the system asks. Finally, select the system you want to run 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.

This is most likely to be seen on older Mac models before 2017 including MacBook Pro/Air, Mac mini, and iMac models. Apple comfirmed that in very rare circumstances, macOS update might cause power failure and then an unresponsive Mac.

To fix a dead or bricked Mac after macOS Monterey upgrade, you need to restore or revive firmware, which needs a second Mac and boot the Mac in DFU mode.

Before you jump into DFU mode, you can try the following solutions first to see if you have luck to bring the Mac back to the normal. Make sure you have a full Time Machine backup or conduct data recovery beforehand because some solutions might cause permanent data loss.

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Stay in calm and try the following solutions to fix this unbootable Mac after macOS update.

Uninstalling macOS Monterey from your Mac will restore your Mac to a workable OS. Follow these steps to uninstall macOS Monterey:

  • 1. Completely turn off your computer.
  • 2. Boot your Mac to macOS Recovery Mode. On an Intel Mac, restart the Mac while pressing down Command + R keys and let go of them until you see macOS Utilities window. On an M1 Mac, press the power button and hold it down until you see startup options. Select Option and click Continue.
  • 3. Choose Disk Utility and click Continue in Recovery Mode.
  • 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.
  • 8. Click Continue and then agree to any terms and conditions. When it is completed, your Mac will restart and get back to macOS that is currently running on your Mac.
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7. macOS Monterey update stuck/frozen

macOS updates have become larger and larger, so it takes longer time to install than usual. However, if the installation of macOS Monterey has taken hours and seems to be frozen, it is abnormal.

The macOS Monterey update usually is stuck on "Setting Up Your Mac", Screen time, or other process. It is a very frustrating situation, especially after you have run out of your patience by waiting for the downloading and updating.

If you have waited it for a very long time but nothing is making any progress, you can cancel or force quit (use Ctrl-Alt-Delete on Mac) the process and restart the installtion again. Or read this detailed guide on how to fix macOS update stuck.

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. 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 Mac virtual machine like Parallels Desktop for Mac to help you accomplish some tasks that need Windows environment.

10. Sidecar errors: Service Not Supported

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 receive the error saying "Sidecar errors: Service Not Supported", you need to update your iPad to iOS 13 or later, then check the following list to see if your Mac 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 your Mac is frozen or 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:

Since macOS 12 Monterey upgrade can't co-exist with 32-bit apps. You have three options in this case depending on your needs.

  • 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 that does the same work but is compatible with macOS 12.
  • 3. Not to run macOS 12 but macOS 10.14 for 32-bit software.

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 because iCloud will automatically save and update your passwords.

  • 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 system-installed apps disappearing in Finder's Application folder. It is common because macOS Monterey doesn't install a few apple apps by default.

You can download these apps easily through App Store.

14. Wi-Fi/Bluetooth is not working on macOS Monterey

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

How to fix macOS Monterey Wi-Fi not working issues:

Method 1: Click on Wi-Fi in the menu bar and turn Wi-Fi Off. And then wait for 10-15 seconds and reconnect to it.

Method 2: Shut down your Mac and wait for a few seconds before a restart.

Method 3: Create a new Network Location:

  • 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 Wi-Fi 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 plist 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 Apple devices. Sometimes, it can even restore some lost files after an update.

After your Mac has updated to macOS Monterey, 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. Log out iCloud, restart your device and log in iCloud again.

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

It is reported that Mac won't recognize the external hard drive after installing macOS 12 Monterey. What's worse, this issue also leads to some accessories like keyboard, printer drivers, and Apple Mouse not working. Why?

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

How to fix:

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

This issue has been spread to most models and even on the macOS 12.0.1. So if your work needs a USB hub or USB port, it is advised to wait until the bug is fixed.

17. macOS Monterey makes Mac slow/overheating

Some people complain that Monterey has slowed their Mac down. What's worse, it makes their MacBook Pro 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

Too much unnecessary items at login will make your computer lag. Besides, these login items could make your Mac stuck on loading bar when you boot your Mac.

To disable them 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 an Intel 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.

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.

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 deleted Word files, photos, videos, music 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.

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 hard drives are read-only in macOS Monterey. This could also include SSDs, 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 storage device is NTFS formatted, 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

20. Get a warning that the system has run out of application memory

After you have upgraded to macOS 12, you keep getting a warning saying that 'Your system has run out of application memory" even though your Mac is in minimal use. When checking the memory usage in Acitivity Monitor, a system process or an app runs for a long time in the background and takes dozens of GB of memory which it shouldn't.

This issue known as memory leak is widely reported on Macs of all models including the 2021 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros. The culprits are found in macOS Control Center, pre-installed apps, and third-party software.

To get rid of the warning, you can force quit the app or restart the Mac to reset the memory. If the warning still reappears, you probabaly should downgrade to or stay on macOS Big Sur and wait for the second version of macOS Monterey.

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]

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