OS X 10.11.6 Update for Mac Released

Jul 18, 2016 - 57 Comments

OS X El Capitan 10.11.6 Update

Apple has released OS X El Capitan 10.11.6 for Mac users. The minor point release system software update includes small bug fixes and security updates.

Additionally, Mac users running prior versions of Mac OS X system software including Yosemite and Mavericks will find a separate “Security Update 2016-004” release available for their machines.

Updating a Mac to OS X 10.11.6 El Capitan

The easiest way to download and update to MacOS X 10.11.6 is through the App Store. Always back up a Mac before beginning any software update.

  • Go to the  Apple menu and choose “App Store”, then select the “Updates” tab

OS X 10.11.6 Update download

Installing a software update requires the Mac to reboot.

More advanced users can also choose to download and use a Combo Update to install OS X 10.11.6 if desired.

OS X 10.11.6 Release Notes

Release notes accompanying OS X 10.11.6 are as follows:

This update:
• Resolves an issue that may prevent settings from being saved in accounts with parental controls enabled.
• Resolves an issue that prevented some network devices, such as speakers and multifunction printers, from accessing SMB share points.

Enterprise content:
• Improves startup time when connecting to a NetBoot server.
• Resolves an issue that may prevent startup from a NetBoot image created with an OS X v10.11.4 or OS X v10.11.5 installer.
• Resolves an issue that may cause Active Directory authentication to take longer than expected.

Separately, Apple has also released iOS 9.3.3 update for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS X, News

57 Comments

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    • Paul says:

      Ran into an interesting bug with the .pkg file in Combo Updater getting stuck on ‘Verifying’

      Troubleshooting now, but looks like you can force the installer to run by going to

      /System/Library/CoreServices/Installer.app

      Then selecting the OSXUpdCombo10.11.6.pkg file manually

  1. Ian Hawks says:

    Still no software fix for the freezing problem introduced with 10.11.4? Disappointing, my 9 month old $2200 computer is less reliable than a Windows machine because of the freeze problem.

    • James T says:

      The freeze problem is connected to HFS+ (the current filesystem OS X uses right now). HFS+ is over 30 years old, dating back to the days of floppy drives. When Apple switches to APFS, Macs will be become much faster, there will be no freezes and the beach ball will be gone as well.

      • Noah says:

        No, the freezing problem is something with GPU drivers, it never happened prior to 10.11.4 and 10.11.5. Reverting to 10.11.3 fixes it completely. The beachball is maybe HFS related, but it’s about as unrelated as donuts to hotdogs.

      • david says:

        It’s a GPU problem. I’m running it on an Early 2009 iMac… no freezes.

        Regarding the beachball… dry defragmenting your hard drive (assuming it’s not an SSD). That fixed it for me.

    • John R says:

      I’m using a 17,1 iMac late 2015 w OS X 10.11.6. I NEVER experience freezing or beach ball of death. It stays on 24hrs a day.

      OMHO: 1. completely wipe your drive and reinstall a complete backup, you do backup I hope. 2. You don’t say how much RAM you bought w your machine, BUY MORE.

      You’re free to return to the Darkside at anytime, as well.

      • NOPE says:

        Nope. The freezing issue is a known problem with Retina MacBook Pro models, not surprising another Mac would not be impacted by it.

        I have clean installed multiple times, have no third party software aside from Chrome installed on the computer. Still freezes once a week or so on average. This is a real problem, but unfortunately in the neurotic zealot Apple-fan world if you point out that something is clearly wrong you get attacked by your compatriots rather than recognized for reporting a bug.

        • JA says:

          Which rMBP do you have? I have a Mid-2014 15″ i7 and I don’t have ant issues at all.

          • JA says:

            …besides no having ant issues I don’t have any other issues either.

          • SB says:

            HA! Your reply to your reply made me laugh.
            I rarely have issues with my rMBP 15″ 2009 either, JA. It’s been a freaking sweet machine. She’s my first Mac, and I’ll never go back. Good ole’ Bessie. May she keep on trucking for many more years. *gently pets Bessie* I keep hoping that if I talk to my laptop in a positive, encouraging way, that it will have the same benefit as talking to your plants.

            Now in regards to the ant problems, you are lucky there b/c my sugar ants just keep coming back no matter what method I employ to kill them off. Thank goodness they aren’t zombies!

        • Mike B says:

          I have 15″ MBP retina 2014 and I’ve never had any freezing issues and I use it a lot (Final Cut, Photoshop, Illustrator & 20 tabs Safari are sometimes running at the same time).

        • JL says:

          Chatted with apple tech and he suggested to do a command R on startup and re-install the OS from recovery. This seem to do the trick for me. I have an old 2011 late MBP and it would intermittently crash and this was after a week of self troubleshooting the problem. I even did a safe boot re-install of combo 10.11.6, and that didn’t even work. It seem like command R to reinstall the OS on top of the current one seem to work no crashing or freezing after an 2 hours after reinstall. It would do this before after 30 mins.

        • Neoristique says:

          Experiencin the same problem running a late 2013 Retina, 2.6 i7. Never had any problems with it but since OS X El Capitan 10.11.6 I am having freezes at least once a day.

    • Howie Isaacks says:

      I have never had this problem. Why does everyone who complains about their own unique issues believe that everyone else must be having the same issue? Call AppleCare.

  2. Yanek says:

    What the Diagnostic say?

  3. e1035116 says:

    My 2015 iMac with Retina Display has been stuck in upgrade stall mode. Still telling me “installing software update: About 12 minutes” and has been that ways for over 30 mins. Fudge knocker! What should do?

    • Kafir says:

      Updates can take a long time to install, 30 minutes is not that long. Wait it out. If it fails after a few hours then you can try using the Combo Update instead. ok

      • e1035116 says:

        thanks! I am hoping it works it way through the upgrade. I am resisting the temptation to power it off! 😉

        • Peter says:

          e1035116, did you manage the upgrade? I had exactly the same problem and gave up waiting after 3 hours. I turned off the power, which meant I had to do a complete reinstall from Time Machine. In my case, I had already installed the iTunes update (no problem), however I note now that the two upgrades (iTunes and OS 10.11.16) are now together as a single download, but at this time I’m diffident about trying the upgrade again.

        • Peter says:

          Dear e1035116,
          Thank you everybody for the helpful information. I tried the combo update, and the first thing I saw “11 minutes remaining”, a different message. Everything went very smoothly and the whole installation took less than 10 minutes. I managed to talk to somebody more expert than me, and he thought that the combo version is generally more reliable than the usual way. I certainly think that the combo version will have a good chance.

  4. Okei Okusogu says:

    The same freeze and reboot with my Early 2011 MacBook Pro. It clearly says GPU issue, but APC refuses to own up to the problem. I just upgraded to 10.11.6 and it still freezes or reboots, especially when I enter email address in Google Chrome Gmail.

    This sucks!

    • Tom says:

      Hi Okei,

      I also have a 2011 MBP that was freezing on 10.10 and 10.11. After turning off “graphics switching” in Sys Pref->Energy Saver I have not had a freeze in over 3 weeks. Knock on wood lol.

      Give it a shot

  5. Ionut says:

    The freezing issue (for me anyway) only involves youtube tabs (Safari). No flash plugin problems, no issues while running graphical intensive apps. That’s why i don’t think it’s a GPU driver problem or a hardware problem as some have said. I found that clearing history and website data regularly helps.

    I don’t think it’s fair to say that this makes a 2 thousand whatever machine worthless or less reliable. I noticed that all browsers had this problem at some point.
    Unfortunately we don’t know if it’s a Safari issue because people only say if they encountered the problem or not, and none tried chrome or firefox to see if it persists. It’s ok to report a problem, but “Apple should fix my problem and that’s that” doesn’t really help figuring something out until then.

    • UB says:

      I have experienced the freezing issue (post 10.11.4 update, continuing) with Safari, Chrome, and Civilization and yes it happens most often with YouTube but also other video embedded services. I would have downgraded to 10.11.3 to fix it but I have password protected notes now which would be unusable. If I had known the freezing would be a problem I would have avoided the update to begin with of course.

  6. Armando SORBI says:

    Clicking on the Combo Update link brings me to a german Apple page (I’m in Italy) and it stops at OSX 10.11.5 (no .6).
    If I click on the iOS update for my 5s (GSM) the system downloads a file named iPhone6,1_.9.3.3_13G34_restore.ipsw and I do not know if it works for the 5s as well

  7. Jan says:

    I have an iMac late 2010 and is has also freeze periods. Made a few feedback to Apple of it. I hope they’ll find an solution.

    • Gruber Acolyte says:

      Your iMac is perfect, comrade. OS X is perfection. You are doing it wrong. All praise be to Apple, the glory of perfection, wisdom perfected, software perfected. The user is the problem, comrade. OS X is perfect.

  8. Wharf Xanadu says:

    Sounds like no reason to install this one

  9. Guillermo says:

    Freezing? Restart or shutdown your Mac once week

    • Dave says:

      The Mac freezes, it forces you to restart it because it is frozen. It can then freeze again immediately, or maybe a week will go by and you won’t freeze. The more often you use YouTube, HTML5 video, or graphics intensive apps, the more common the freezing happens. You can reboot all you want, it won’t make a difference to prevent freezes.

  10. Guillermo says:

    Once a week restart

  11. John R says:

    I think it would be easier on folk’s if they bought a TV and skipped computers. Some folk’s seem to want to just turn it on and it work.

    • Gruber Acolyte says:

      Yes comrade, buy an Apple TV. Give Apple your entire paycheck. The great wisdom of Apple knows how to spend your money. Buy an Apple TV, the Apple TV is perfect.

  12. Mark Simon says:

    I have had trouble previously installing the update to 10.11.5 on my iMac in the form of an unresponsive blank screen after rebooting. I had the same problem for this upgrade, but this time I had found a solution.

    Fortunately I also have have MacBook. When I got to the unresponsive blank screen, I took to my MacBook and went to Screen Sharing. From there I could actually see my iMac login screen, so I could log in from there. After another reboot, everything was fine.

    I think there may be issues with video drivers on my aging iMac … ?

  13. mark B says:

    El Crapitan.

    had to restore from the 10.11.6 update. nothing worked, Mail, Safari… 2011 iMac 2 hour Time Capsule Restore!

    STRONGLY suspect PRINTING an email with an attachment STILL is not working from 10.11.0 update as the beta didn’t fix that.

    Write an email with images and captions under the images that span a few pages. Try printing it. Try several times as each time will change what prints.
    Letter to Grandma type email.

    Scroll bars will print on the page. Now if Apple could get the piece of paper to scroll, that would be a game changer.

  14. harekrshn says:

    I updated my apple macbook pro 15″ late 2015 to this latest 10.11.6. No issues seen, it is observed to be good.

    Only one thing – in all laptops which contains OS X EL capiton shipped in contains new FS and optimzed disk I/O performance. No issue with freezings….all good…

  15. Ion kno says:

    Just had MacBook Pro freeze completely while using Messages app. 10.11.6 OS X.

    Never had these problems with 10.11.3 and earlier. Very buggy software.

  16. Steve Zeigler says:

    Is anyone seeing problems accessing SMB drives after this update?

    • Yes. Seeing about 10% of the performance. Seeing the samba shares falling off on simple aja test. Same workspace can be mounted on the updated clients with AFP and performance is normal. Same Workspaces can be mounted on older OS clients and performance is normal. This simply seems to be samba-only as no other hardware/software configuration changes have ocured. Updated TB/Ethernet bridge firmware which did not solve issue(ATTO NT12). Anyone know where to find release notes? Anyone find a solution? nsmb.conf? sys.conf?

      updated two clients. one from 10.11.2 and one from 10.11.3. both are MacPro:
      3.7GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon E5 processor
      12GB 1866MHz DDR3 ECC memory
      Dual AMD FirePro D300
      with 2GB GDDR5 VRAM each
      256GB PCIe-based flash storage1

      Server SAMBA version 3 (I believe)

  17. STI Sk says:

    iOS 9.3.3 update

  18. Jim says:

    I recently upgraded to 10.11.6, and it looks like this problem still is not fixed. Our machine freezes, usually with the fan running at full speed, about once a day now. Last night we got back from a short trip and started the Mac up. I checked my mail, my wife checked hers, That’s ALL we did. I came down this morning and knew immediately that we had another freeze – I could hear the fan running as soon as I walked into the family room.

    Ours is a late 2012 21.5 inch iMac.

  19. marne says:

    since updating to 10.11.6 on a iMac (27-inch, Mid 2011) my computer now struggles with displays and apps, it is sluggish and displays are very jittery. watching videos is impossible on full screen, what to do????

  20. Bob Peirce says:

    My wife and I have 15″ MBPs. Mine is 2012. Hers is the newest 2015 model. Both have SSD drives and run 10.11.6. Mine is fine. If hers goes to sleep there is a very good chance it will be frozen on waking up. It seems to run fine as long as it stays awake.

    We tried shutting any running apps down and disconnecting the mouse. That didn’t help. Now we are trying a safe boot.

    I suppose we could try never letting it go to sleep but that seems to be a bit extreme.

  21. Bob Peirce says:

    Doesn’t freeze with safe boot. Therefore, we tried shutting down not only any apps we were running but any apps that got started on login. It still froze, but this time the fan turned on. I have heard of that problem but it is new to us. The mouse pointer eventually appears but doesn’t do anything.

    Next step is to try logging off rather than just let it go to sleep. That is probably the first thing we should have done to isolate system vs. user problems. However, from all we have read it is a system problem of some sort.

  22. Bob Peirce says:

    Left it logged off for a while and it was frozen when we went back. Cursor eventually appeared but didn’t do anything.

    I wonder what the difference is in Safe Mode that keeps it running. There must be something running that Safe Mode turns off.

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