MacOS Monterey Problems – Fixing Issues with macOS 12

Nov 3, 2021 - 18 Comments

Troubleshooting MacOS Monterey problems

Difficulties with new system software versions seem to always occur for a small subset of unfortunate users, and MacOS Monterey is no different. While MacOS Monterey has installed fine for most users, for an unlikely group, there may be a variety of problems or issues experienced with MacOS Monterey.

This article will detail some of the problems and difficulties experienced with macOS Monterey, and when possible offer some solutions or fixes to the issues experienced. Be sure to share your own experiences in the comments as well.

Problems with MacOS Monterey & How to Fix Them

Let’s check out some known issues with MacOS Monterey, along with some troubleshooting tips to resolve the problems.

MacOS Monterey Not Showing as Available, “Unable to Check for Updates” Error, etc

If MacOS Monterey is not showing as available to download in Software Update as expected, it may be because of several reasons, both of which are typically easy to determine and remedy.

Unable to check for updates, internal error -  MacOS Monterey

  • The Mac is incompatible with MacOS Monterey – you can check a list of macOS Monterey compatible Macs here if you are not sure
  • There is a temporary hiccup in communicating with the Apple update servers – confirm that wi-fi is on and you have internet access, then refresh the Software Update control panel by hitting Command+R

If you know you’re on a compatible Mac, and Software Update is still not showing Monterey as available, you can also find a direct download link for MacOS Monterey InstallAssisant.pkg here, which will place the full installer within your /Applications/ folder.

MacOS Monterey Feels Slow

Some Mac users may feel that MacOS Monterey is running slower than a prior macOS release they had installed. This is fairly common after any major system software update, because after installing a new OS a variety of maintenance and indexing tasks are kicked off in the background to do things like rebuild the Spotlight search index and reindex photos.

If the Mac feels slow after updating to MacOS Monterey, the best thing you can do is simply leave the Mac turned on and wait. You can typically speed up the indexing process by leaving the Mac on and idle with the screen off, perhaps overnight. Performance should recover within a day or two, depending on the amount of data to index.

Wi-Fi Dropping or Not Working as Expected with MacOS Monterey

Wi-fi issues seem to happen with some regularity to a subset of users with any system software update. From wi-fi dropping connections, to slow speeds, to other wi-fi abnormalities, all manner of wi-fi problems can crop up for some users after updating system software.

Fortunately wi-fi problems are typically one of the simplest issues to resolve, and often simply trashing current wi-fi preferences, rebooting, and then rejoining a wi-fi network is enough to resolve the problem.

Bluetooth Dropping, Not Connecting with MacOS Monterey

Some users have found that MacOS Monterey drops bluetooth connections for some devices.

Sometimes simply disconnecting and then reconnecting the Bluetooth Device from the Mac will resolve the problem.

Also, be sure the batteries on the Bluetooth devices are fully charged, or if they’re swappable are fresh. Often Bluetooth randomly disconnects due to batteries being low, so charging the batteries of the device that is problematic is a simple solution.

If you know the batteries are charged, another trick is to remove the Bluetooth Device from the Mac, reboot the Mac, then add and pair the Bluetooth Device to the Mac again. Yes that’s a little tedious but it tends to resolve these issues.

If all else fails, you can often fix Bluetooth errors by trashing the preferences.

You can also reset your Bluetooth module with the following command entered at the Terminal:

sudo pkill bluetoothd

This basically mimics the Option+Shift click of the Bluetooth menu item to reveal “Reset Bluetooth Module” menu option in prior macOS versions.

MacOS Monterey Won’t Download or Install

Some users are experiencing issues even earlier in the update process, where macOS Monterey won’t download, an incomplete installer has downloaded, or MacOS Monterey won’t install at all.

Typically these sort of issues can be resolved by dumping the current installer, rebooting the Mac, and then redownloading the full macOS Monterey installer either from System Preferences, the App Store, or by direct download of the InstallAssistant.pkg file.

Some users may see an error stating “An error occurred while preparing the installation. Try running this application again.” If you see this error, try redownloading the installer and running it again. Note however if the Mac is using a third party non-Apple SSD, that particular error message may persist until a firmware update has been able to install with an official Apple SSD, more on that in a moment.

MacOS Monterey Won’t Install Onto Macs with Non-Apple SSD

Some Mac users who have replaced the built-in SSD drive on their Mac may find a peculiar “A required firmware update could not be installed” error message on the Mac running with a third party SSD.

There isn’t a great solution to this problem for the time being, but one solution is to replace the third party SSD with an Apple SSD again, install MacOS Monterey onto the Apple SSD, then replace the Apple SSD with the third party SSD again, and install MacOS Monterey onto there. This allows the firmware update to install onto the Mac, but it’s obviously a huge hassle because you have to physically swap out a hard drive several times.

Presumably this issue will be resolved in a future MacOS Monterey update.

Additional info can be found at the tinyapps blog.

“Your System Has Run Out of Application Memory” Error and Memory Leaks with Monterey

Some Mac users running MacOS Monterey have discovered issues with runaway memory usage. This is not subtle if you are impacted by it, because you will receive a pop-up error informing you “Your System Has Run Out of Application Memory” and offering a Force Quit menu with memory usage shown to quit out of offending apps with.

In the most absurd examples, apps like Mail, Pages, Final Cut, Brave, or Firefox are consuming 80GB of memory (in the form of swap), rendering the Mac and the application basically useless and nonfunctional. Sometimes system apps and tasks are running into this issue as well, like Control Center, FaceTime, or Notifications.

Mac error Your system has run out of memory

Some reports indicate that using a custom cursor size or color in macOS may cause the memory leaks, therefore if you are using any customizations to the Mac cursor, it would be a good idea to reset those back to default for the time being.

One temporary solution to this is to quit out of the memory hogging app, then rebooting. The “system out of memory” error may appear again after some time, in which case again quitting and rebooting is the temporary solution.

Sometimes, the Mac becomes completely unusable by the memory leak, requiring a hard forced reboot (pressing and holding the power button).

Alternatively, you could try using a different app with the same functionality, for example using Safari instead of Firefox.

This is obviously some type of bug that will certainly be resolved in a future macOS Monterey update, and perhaps updates to individual apps as well.

MacOS Monterey Rendering Some Macs Unusable / Unbootable / Bricked

This is a rare but serious problem; some Mac users have discovered that installing MacOS Monterey renders their Mac completely useless. If you are impacted by this, the MacOS Monterey update does not succeed, and the Mac eventually boots to a black screen that does not progress further. A forced reboot does nothing. A future boot leads to nothing but a black screen. Attempting to reboot into Safe Mode or Recovery Mode also does not work (if it does, simply reinstalling macOS through Recovery should resolve the problem).

We first received reports of this bricking Mac problem on the day that macOS Monterey was released, but assumed they were a fluke. Since then, the reports have been more frequent, and more covered in other Apple resources online, suggesting the issue is more widespread than a rare fluke.

It’s not entirely clear what the issue is with this, but it’s presumed to be a failure of a firmware update during the MacOS Monterey installation.

Unfortunately there is no known fix or resolution to this issue, except for contacting Apple Support and having them start a repair.

At least one report online suggested that restoring an Apple Silicon Mac in DFU mode by using another Mac resolved the issue, but that process is extensive and rather advanced as covered here for Apple Silicon and here for Intel, requiring two modern Macs.

This is obviously a bug or some other issue with the MacOS Monterey installer, and will certainly be resolved in a future update.

Though this problem is not common, it is also not so exceptionally rare that it should be discounted entirely. If your Mac is mission critical, you may want to hold off on updating to MacOS Monterey until this particular issue is resolved.

Update 11/5/2021: Apple has acknowledged this issue with T2 Macs and apparently resolved the firmware issue. For anyone who is currently impacted by this problem, impacted users are told to contact Apple Support for assistance, according to MacRumors.

“Volume Hash Mismatch detected on volume. macOS should be reinstalled” Error

A fair number of macOS Monterey users have reported a curious error message that states: “Volume Hash Mismatch – Hash mismatch detected on volume disk1s5. macOS should be reinstalled on this volume.” or some variation of that error message.

Often the “Volume Hash Mismatch” error appears after a major system crash, kernel panic, and reboot.

Some Mac users have discovered their Mac becomes increasingly unstable after they have experienced this error message.

For some users, reinstalling macOS fixes the issue.

Reinstalling macOS does not resolve the error for everyone however, which makes it even more curious.

Using Disk First Aid also does not seem to make a difference.

Downgrading to macOS Big Sur does appear to do away with the error, but that’s not a reasonable option for most users.

It’s unclear what the cause of this error is or what will ultimately resolve it, perhaps a future macOS Monterey version.

USB-C Hubs Stopped Working with MacOS Monterey

Some Mac users discovered that some USB-C hubs stop working after updating to MacOS Monterey, or they may work sporadically, frequently disconnecting, or only some of the USB-C hub ports are working.

Curiously, some users who are impacted by this find that switching USB-C cables, using a shorter USB-C cable, or changing ports on the Mac can resolve the issue.

“A required firmware update could not be installed” Error During macOS Monterey Update

The “A required firmware update could not be installed” update is typically associated with using a Mac that was upgraded with a third party SSD, or on a Mac where MacOS Monterey is attempted to install on an external SSD.

Variations of this error may phrase different error messages, like:

“Compatible internal storage is required in order to update.”


“An error occurred while preparing the installation. Try running this application again.”


“A required firmware update could not be installed.”

Sometimes simply attempting to reinstall macOS Monterey will resolve this issue.

In some cases, where the problem is associated with a third party SSD installed on a Mac, the current workaround is to switch the SSD back to the Apple SSD, install MacOS Monterey onto that, then switch back to the third party SSD, then install macOS Monterey again. A hassle, certainly.

Trackpad Tap To Click Not Working Properly in Monterey

Some Mac users have discovered that tap-to-click is no longer working as expected after updating to macOS Monterey.

Some reports state that tap-to-click ignores the first tap input, requiring repeated taps to achieve the same result.

In testing, I was able to replicate this issue a few times on a Retina MacBook Air 2018 model, but not with any consistency. It’s possible this is a bug, or the input sensitivity for tap-to-click was changed.

If you use tap-to-click as your preferred input mechanism, this can be a frustrating issue. Using a regular click is a temporary workaround, or simply dealing with the sometimes ignored tap clicks.

Adobe Photoshop Elements Not Working, Freezes with MacOS Monterey

Many users report that Adobe Photoshop Elements may freeze upon launch, crash, or not open at all.

This is presumably going to be fixed by Adobe in a future software update released by them.

Apps Crashing, Freezing, Not Working as Expected in macOS Monterey

Some third party apps are experiencing issues with MacOS Monterey, whether the apps crash, freeze, or otherwise don’t work as expected.

For third party apps that are experiencing incompatibility with MacOS Monterey, updating apps regularly, and/or reaching out to the app developer is the best course of action.

Part of the purpose of Apple’s beta software period is for app developers to get their apps compatible and ready to function as intended with the new macOS system software and whatever architectural changes are made in it. For some developers, this process can take longer than others, and some apps may be incompatible with the latest MacOS Monterey release because of that.

Have you experienced any trouble with MacOS Monterey? Did you find a solution here that worked to resolve the issue for you? Did you find another solution to a problem with MacOS Monterey? Share your experiences in the comments below.


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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS, Tips & Tricks, Troubleshooting


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. Steve Bailey says:

    Since “upgrading” to Monterey my Canon iR1435 printer is virtually useless. If I turn off/on the printer, it will print the first job, but will then indicate that “the printer is in use” until I again turn it off/on. EVERY TIME. Is this a Monterey problem or is it a Canon problem?

  2. Mark says:

    Updated to Monterey because of the newest versions of Adobe CC apps. My 2019 iMac (3GHz 6-core i5, though only 8GB RAM) is running very slowly since the update. Like, saving a 2MB InDesign file is giving me a beachball for 15 seconds, other apps like Mail and Excel are freezing for 10 seconds while scrolling, etc. These were not issues at all in Catalina.
    I’m also noticing my PDFs are not previewing properly – they look fine in Acrobat and in other programs, but the preview in the Finder and when attached to an email are giving me weird redraws.

  3. Mike Santos says:

    Hi folks,
    My M1 is connected with two external monitors by HMDI (one directly and one with an adapter).
    Everytime my mac wake up from sleeping mode, the screens position are swapped, no matter if I position again, next time it displays the login page, the screens swap again, forcing me to adjust manually the positions on the configuration page..
    Note that the monitors are the same model…
    With MacOS Big Sur, it was not a problem.
    If you have a multi screen setup, think twice before jumping into Monterey

  4. Steve Rollner says:

    My advice to ANYONE who has mission critical projects DO NOT update to OSMonterey!

    Apple software has increasingly come with more bugs and glitches.
    I won’t speculate on the cause of this degradation of software programing, however, it has become bad enough that my very high profile firm is now eliminating Macs from the premises!

    I will keep this short but I know at least 12 to 14 colleagues who have thrown in the towel with Apple and have switched over to the new Windows or Linux platforms.

    I can only say after working with Apple for more than 25 years when I started using a new Windows PC with 11 it performed magnificently! Windows is extreme fast and it is also extreme secure given the amount of experience Microsoft programmers have dealing with security issues. I also feel those of us who have been buried in the Apple ecosystem have been fooled as to its capabilities.

    I don’t care about the Apple prettiness anymore. If a machine is slow, buggy, and has issues for decades that programmers either won’t fix or don’t know how to fix, it is time to withdraw from that ecosystem.

    • Rachel Runge says:

      100%. Amen. Monterey OS update crippled me as a veteran MAC user and graphic designer 2 weeks ago on a Macbook Pro 2015 model. Had to buy a new computer to even be able to work for my deadlines. I went to Apple and they replaced my battery and did not fix my software conflicts after I spent $200. My finder hangs doing simple tasks and I am about to just wipe it down to an old time machine backup and use as a glorified ipad. This is also after I tried a Big Sur update that didn’t tell me I didn’t have enough space (which I thought I did) and it bricked my laptop in a boot loop which forced me to wipe/reinstall a time machine from the prior day. So disappointed in the hassles. One thing i always said was mac was easy, user friendly and not buggy, but now… i can’t justify it.

      • Ron Bouwman says:

        Same here, I had my IMAC 2008 for over 12 years and it was heaven. It crashed on me last November and I bought the newest IMAC 2021. No problems so far. It accepted my Samsung SSD as an external HDD so I thought I was fine. After upgrading to monterey (no warning about it being buggy) I now lost everything. I does not want to mount my external HDD anymore so I lost years of data.
        Apple is becoming a shitty brand. I am going to see if I can return this monster since I only bought it 2 weeks ago.

  5. Alan says:

    My M1 iMac crashes frequently running Monterey. I have not found a cause. Monterey installed without issue and runs okay — until it “hisses” and crashes and then reboots.

    Very annoying.

  6. Pete Yeo says:

    Update on 2017 iMac failed with mac stuck trying to restart. infinite reboots. Tried restore from earlier backup but mac would not accept it as the reformat to the drive was different to the backup.Internet restore completed and mac booted but kept freezing and crashing, wifi would not connect, internet not available, weird screen in InDesign and generally unusable. This should not happen on a basic os upgrade. Do I have to go to an Apple Store?

  7. oli says:

    After Monterey upgrade (2021 M1 Macbook Pro) app windows I put (move to) on extra monitor do not stay in place if I close (or logoff) and reopen the mac. They always fall back to the mac monitor, so they have to be moved back to the extra monitor each time. Clearly a bug in Monterey

  8. John says:

    Safari 15.1 freezes on my 2015-vintage iMac, still running Big Sur. Happens when I click on a URL to load it, usually. Spinning wheel continues until Safari is forced to quit.


  9. Hugo Damián Pastor says:

    I’m having VPN issues, and I kind of require a custom VPN to work, so my day to day has become a nightmare.

    VPN doesn’t connect, or connects but disconnects, or connects and blocks the rest of the traffic, or just blocks all connections. The only solution is to turn off and on WiFi… but obviously that disconnects the VPN.


  10. Paige Harper says:

    My MacBook Pro 2020 crashed and died when I tried to install Monterey I will not turn on and is dead. I called Apple and after trying a few things they declared it was a hardware issue and too bad it is out of warranty. The unit is only 18 months old!

  11. Glenn Lego says:

    My Mac won’t take Monterey. It’s too old they say. I’m considering getting a computer from someone else.

    • Nikolas says:

      Honestly you’re not missing much, macOS Monterey is basically Big Sur with a few extras.

      As far as modern macOS versions go, the latest Big Sur 11.6.1 is actually pretty good and I still prioritize that on my workstation.

      For my other Macs, I also still like the last Mojave release because it’s the last version with 32-bit app support, but it no longer receives security updates from Apple so have to be cautious about what you do online. Catalina offered no benefits to me and was problematic so I avoided that one, but it still gets security updates.

      Sometimes older macOS versions perform better. The rush to update is not always the right thing to do.

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