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macOS 11 Big Sur problems: how to fix the most common issues

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We cover everything from installation problems to download dramas, and we also explain how to fix most of the macOS 11 Big Sur issues. It’s much easier than you might think.

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You’re not the only one experiencing problems with macOS 11 Big Sur long after switching. Even though the operating system was released in November 2020, many Mac users still experience ongoing issues. Many people considered macOS 11 a long-awaited release. However, some users have had mixed experiences with it.

If you are still having issues with your macOS 11 Big Sur , don’t worry. We will walk you through the easiest steps to resolve all common problems. After you have done this, you can relax and enjoy all that the operating system has to provide. There are many!

MacOS 11 Big Sur was the most significant leap Apple’s OS made in a long period of time. It sets it apart from other iterations. It also saw the launch of the first M1-equipped computers, ranging from the Mac mini (M1, 2020), to the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro 13-inch(M1, 2020), of which Big Sur was able to take full advantage.

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Although it is no longer the newest operating system, the macOS12 Monterey successor has just been released. However, there are still some issues that need to be fixed in any new operating system. Not only have download and installation problems been the most frequent issues reported, but also complaints about hardware and software malfunctions were common.


Most of the macOS 11 Big Sur issues can be solved easily. Most often, your Mac needs to reboot or has low storage space. However, issues can sometimes occur if you are using old apps or if the operating system is not compatible with your Mac. This guide will help you solve any problems that you may be experiencing, regardless of the reason.

Take a look at our How to Download and Install MacOS 11 Big Sur Guide. If you are ready to upgrade to the next OS, will show you how to download macOS 12. Monterey. Let’s look at some of the most common macOS 11 Big Sur Problems, and how we can solve them.

How to fix macOS Big Sur Download Problems

People have reported that one of the most common macOS 11 Big Sur issues is that macOS 11 does not download. Some users see an error message saying “Installation failed.”

Other users are receiving “The network connection has been lost” error messages while trying to download macOS Big Sur.

This is not the end of it. Several people get the error message “Installation failed for macOS.” Installation requires downloading important content. This content cannot be downloaded right now. Please try again later.

This issue can be caused by a number of reasons. This could be due to multiple people trying to download macOS Big Sur simultaneously. Try again later during a quieter time to verify that the download is working. To make sure that everything is working on Apple’s side, you can also check the current status of the Apple Server (opens new tab).

You should have a section called “macOS Software Update”. It should have a green dot if there is no problem. However, other colors indicate that there may be a problem with Apple’s delivery of the update.

The screenshot shows that there were beenissues with the software update as of the writing. These have since been resolved.

You may also have not enough storage space on your computer. If you don’t have enough storage space on your Mac, it is likely that a macOS installation will fail.

Open the Apple menu, click on “About This Mac”, and you will be able to verify that it is. Click on ‘Storage’ to check if you have enough space. Minimum 15GB is required. Open the Apple menu and click “About this Mac”, then click Storage > Manage to free up disk space.

You might also consider switching to an Ethernet cable instead of a Wi Fi connection, in order to make sure your internet connection remains reliable.

If you still have problems downloading macOS Big Sur try searching for the macOS 11 files that were partially downloaded and then a file called ‘Install macOS 11 on your hard disk. These files can be deleted. Then reboot your Mac to try again downloading macOS Big Sur.

If that fails, open the App Store and click ‘View My Account to check if anything is in the Unfinished Downloads’ section. It is possible to restart the download by going there.

To see if the download is reopened, log out of the Store.

How to fix the “gateway Timed Out” error while downloading macOS Big Sur

Another problem that macOS 11 Big Sur users are most concerned about is the downloading stopping and the system displaying a “gateway failed” or “bad gateway” error.

Try restarting your Mac in Safe Mode (hold Shift while it boots) and then download and install macOS Big Sur.

How to fix macOS Big Sur installation problems

First, make sure to check our How to Download and Install MacOS Big Sur Guide. This guide will walk you through all the necessary steps to install the operating system safely.

You’ll first need to ensure your Mac can run macOS Catalina. These Macs are compatible with each other:

  • MacBook 12-inch (2015 and Later)
  • MacBook Air (2013 and Later)
  • MacBook Pro (late 2013 and later)
  • Mac mini (2014 or later)
  • iMac (2014 or later)
  • iMac Pro (all models).
  • Mac Pro (2013 or later)

If you have a compatible Mac, and the macOS Big Sur Download completes, but no prompt to continue the installation, search your Mac’s Application folder for a file called “Install macOS 11”. Double-clicking this file should initiate installation.

To resolve the macOS Big Sur issue where installation fails because of low disk space, restart your Mac. To boot normally, select ‘Disk Boot’ and then delete any unnecessary files.

macOS Big Sur stuck on “Setting up Your Mac”

If your Mac keeps getting stuck at the “Setting up Your Mac” message after installing macOS Big Sur, you will need to force a restart of your Mac. You won’t lose data or cause any damage by restarting your Mac when the message ‘Setting up Your Mac’ appears.

For a few seconds, hold down the power button until the Mac or MacBook turns on. Turn it on again after a few seconds. Now your Mac or MacBook should boot into macOS Big Sur.

Hidden Time Machine files may be a problem if you are having trouble freeing up disk space.

After you have cleared enough space, you can retry the installation.

If macOS Catalina experiences a problem during installation and displays an error message, you can restart your Mac by pressing Command + Option + R on the keyboard. The Mac will then boot to the Internet-based recovery system. Shift + Option+ Command + R is also an option.

If your Mac is still having trouble booting, you can follow Apple’s instructions to create an external Mac startup drive (opens new tab).

You might try restarting your Mac in Safe Mode and then installing macOS 11 Big Sur from there.

How to fix macOS Big Sur login issues

These steps may help if you have trouble logging in to your Mac or MacBook after installing macOS Big Sur.

Start your Mac by restarting it. Once it boots up, hold down the Command + S keys.

This will bring up a command prompt. Enter the following:

/sbin/mount -uw /

Then press Enter on your keyboard. Enter the following information:

rm /var/db/.applesetupdone

This will delete a file and make it appear that you are starting Big Sur for the first time. You don’t need to worry about anything being deleted. Then press Enter and restart your Mac.

The next step is to create an admin user account.

After Big Sur update, MacBook fans get louder

Some users have reported that their MacBook fans are louder after upgrading to macOS Big Sur.

This could be because the MacBook is still updating other parts of the operating system behind the scenes, such as updating apps or reindexing Finder. The fans can kick in to keep the MacBook cool. After a few hours, the fans should be back to normal.

Is macOS Big Sur running slowly? Here’s how you can fix it

You may notice a slower device after macOS Big Sur has been installed on your Mac/Mac.

If macOS Big Sur displayed a notification saying “Optimizing your Mac: Performance and Battery Life may be affected until complete,” this is normal. MacOS Big Sur does things behind-the scenes that can impact performance.

Your Mac should start to run just as good (or better) after a few days. If your Mac or MacBook doesn’t show improvement, restart it.

You should also ensure that your software and apps are up-to-date. Your machine could be suffering from slowdowns if any of your apps or software have problems with Big Sur.

You may not be able to use the Apple M1 chip-equipped Macs or MacBooks that have the M1 chip. Rosetta, Apple’s tool that runs apps on Intel-based Macs running Big Sur on Apple M1 devices, may have performance issues. Check the latest versions regularly to see if there has been an update for M1 Macs.

You can also open the Apple menu and choose ‘System Preferences. Click ‘Users & Groups” in the window that opens. Click on ‘Login Items’ to select the apps that you wish to close at startup.

Also, make sure that all your apps are up-to-date. You can check the App Store or the website for updates.

To see if it helps, you can try restarting the Mac. If your Mac doesn’t respond, force-quit all apps that are consuming a lot of RAM. You can identify these by using Activity Monitor (in /Applications/Utilities) to establish what apps and processes are using up the most CPU or RAM. The CPU tab displays a list of active processes and provides a live view of what’s happening.

Click on an item in the Activity Monitor List, click the X to the left, and then confirm that you wish to force-quit.

You can also delete the cache. Open the Finder window and click ‘Go’ in the top menu. Then, click ‘Go To Folder’.

Type in the text box.

Delete all data in each folder. Next, remove the data from every folder using /Library/Caches without the symbol. Disk Utility can also run the Repair Disk utility. For more information, see our How do I speed up my Mac guide.

How to fix battery problems in macOS Big Sur

You may notice a decrease in battery life for your MacBook at first, similar to the performance issues. This is likely because macOS Big Sur is performing some background work to set up your MacBook. After a few hours, or a day, everything should settle down and your battery should be back to normal.

Make sure that all your apps have been updated if it isn’t. Clicking the battery icon in the top menu bar will display which apps and processes are consuming a lot of battery life. You can close them and check if your battery life improves.

If this happens, make sure that the apps are updated and review any settings to determine why they take up so much battery power in macOS Big Sur.

You can find more information at our How to Improve Your MacBook’s Battery guide.

How to fix macOS Big Sur mouse issues

If you’ve installed macOS Big Sur and found your mouse no longer works, open up the ~/Library/Preferences/ directory in finder and select and delete the following files:

  • com.apple.AppleMultitouchMouse.plist
  • com.apple.driver.AppleBluetoothMultitouch.mouse.plist

To get the mouse to work, you may have to restart your Mac.

How to fix Bluetooth problems in macOS Big Sur

Open Finder, click on ‘Go” in the top menu, then Go to Folder …’.. This will resolve Bluetooth device issues in macOS Big Sur. Type in ‘/Library/Preferences’.

From there, you should see a file called ‘com.apple.Bluetooth.plist ‘. Move the file to a different folder or delete it. Then restart your Mac and connect your Bluetooth device.

How to fix macOS Big Sur boot issues

If your Mac doesn’t start after installing macOS Big Sur, restart it by holding down Command, Option P and R. This will reset the NVRAM (nonvolatile RAM).

You will hear the startup chime again if you hold the keys down to the computer’s restart. After the startup chime, release the keys. You will also reset the PRAM.

To fix macOS Big Sur boot problems, you can run Disk Utility while in Safe Mode.

You can also find other solutions to a Mac not starting .

Apps won’t work in macOS Big Sur

The macOS Catalina’s most controversial change (and still in Big Sur) was the removal of 32-bit support for 32-bit apps. Apps that do not have 64-bit versions will not work.

Transmist 4.1.7 and 1Password 2.12.2 are among the apps that will be removed from macOS Catalina (and thus Big Sur), as well as QuickBooks 2015 and iStats menu 2.9. The complete list of apps can be viewed at The Tape Drive (opens new tab).

Most apps will have 64-bit updates. However, some won’t. This is bad news for those who rely on them.

You should verify that you have 32-bit apps installed on macOS Big Sur if you are concerned about an app you depend on not working in macOS Big Sur.

Click on the Apple icon at top of screen to do this. Next, select ‘About This Mac. Next, click on ‘System Report’ to access the ‘Software section.

You’ll find a list with apps when you click ‘Applications. You will see a column called “64-bit Intel” It is a sign that an app won’t work in macOS Big Sur if it has ‘No’ in this column.

You can view the list on The Tape Drive (opens new tab), to see if any of your apps are there.

You will need to verify that 32-bit apps are installed. If the app has a website it will indicate whether a 64-bit version is available.

You’ll need an alternative app to perform the same function, but it must be 64-bit. You can find our guide to the top Mac apps.

How to fix macOS Big Sur Wi Fi problems

Try starting your Mac in Safe Mode to see if it can connect to the internet.

If it’s not possible, it could be an issue with the extension or app you have installed. You should make sure that you have updated all your drivers and applications. Also, keep an eye on the Apple Update in the future.

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