Common macOS Catalina Problems & How to Fix Them in 2023

macOS Catalina has received positive reviews for its features and apps ever since its release in 2019. If you are a macOS owner chances are you’ve already installed the update. But, as with the case of anything that’s new and in its nascent stage, users have reported macOS Catalina problems. Needn’t worry about these, because we are here to make your ride smooth.

Here we shall enlist 14 common macOS Catalina issues and their quick fixes.

Common Problems In macOS Catalina And Their Quick Fixes

1. macOS Catalina Not Installing

One of the most commonly reported issues in macOS Catalina is that after the installer is unpacked, macOS Catalina gets stuck on initial reboot. This is mostly signified by blank screen.

The ways to fix this issue are many but one of the best ways is to install Catalina in Safe Mode. Here’s how to install Catalina in safe Mode –

  1. Shut down Mac by pressing and holding the power button
  2. While the system is booting up hold shift key

You’ll know that you are in the Safe Mode when you see the Apple logo flashing in grayish background. While in the Safe Mode run Catalina installer once again.

If the above fix doesn’t work you can try freeing up space on your Drive or reset the PRAM and SMC on your Mac.

2. Sidecar Service Error

side car service


Amongst common issues in macOS Catalina, one that users are frequently reporting is that they are not able to use the Sidecar service. Which means they are not able to mirror macOS Catalina on their iPad.

Make sure that you download the latest iPad OS for your tablets. As a matter of fact, Sidecar is supported by iPad 6th generation or later, iPad Air -2nd and 3rd generation.

3. Some Apps Won’t Work In macOS Catalina

When you try to open an app and receive a message that says ““App” is not optimized for your Mac and needs to be is because macOS Catalina does not support any 32-bit apps anymore. macOS Mojave was the last macOS that supported 32-bit apps. In most cases, Mac will notify you about an app that’s 32-bit.

To fix this, upgrade your desired software to 64-bit, if not it’s time to switch to a 64-bit compliant app.

4. macOS Catalina Login Issues

Several users have reported login issues in macOS Catalina. More specifically, there are just not able to log into their macOS machine. This is not just the only issue there have also been problems in macOS Catalina where users could log into their machines but were instantly logged out.

To resolve this –

Restart your Mac running on macOS Catalina > Press command + S keys while it is booting up.

In the command prompt that opens, enter the following command –  /sbin/mount -uw / and hit enter. Next, type rm /var/db/.applesetupdone.

You should now be able to log in without any issues. By doing this you will be able to delete the corrupted file of mac which possibly makes it look as if you are logging into the macOS machine the first time.

Read More: How To Find And Remove Malware On Mac

5. DJ Apps Affected By iTunes XML Crisis

xml crisis

If you are a DJ with a heavy reliance on iTunes, you could be facing iTunes XML issues in macOS Catalina. There are DJ apps that have heavily relied on XML library file which is gone with iTunes. The notable names include the likes of Rekordbox and Traktor. The only option is to get back to macOS Mojave so that you can enjoy iTunes once again.

6. Bluetooth Issues In macOS Catalina

bluetooth plst - bluetooth problems in mac catalina

Not able to connect Bluetooth accessories or peripherals is one of the common issues in macOS Catalina reported by users.

One way is to delete Bluetooth.plist files. If you are worried that you may delete something crucial, worry not it will automatically create a new copy by itself. To delete Bluetooth.plist file

  1. Click on Finder > Go > Go to folder
  2. Type Library/Preferences


  1. Delete this and then restart your Mac PC

7. Updates Stuck On macOS Catalina

One of the problems in macOS Catalina is that updates get frozen on Mac for hours. More specifically, the updates get stuck on “Setting Up Your Mac”, screen time or some other process.

You Could simply try rebooting your Mac (hold down the power button). It is also advisable to first take a backup of all your files so that just in case something goes wrong, the files can be retrieved back again.

8. Mouse And Keyboard Issues In macOS Catalina

If after installing macOS Catalina you are unable to smoothly access your mouse and keyboard, you can try restarting your Mac and wait for the operating system to boot completely. Then close the lid of your MacBook for a while. This way your keyboard and mouse should start working again.

9. Shorter Battery Life

At the first instance after you have installed macOS Catalina OS you may find that the battery life has become considerably shorter. This may be because things may be going on in the background, till the time your system set itself up. In most cases, things will get back to normal in a few hours or a day.

If things don’t get back to normal, you may click on the battery icon present on the top menu bar Here you will find the exact processes and apps that are taking a toll on your battery. You can close them and see the battery life improve.

Also make sure that all the apps are updated and keep tabs on their settings to know why they are consuming so much battery.

Read More: 7 Quick Tips to Improve MacBook’s Battery Life

10. Unwanted Hidden Process

Users have reported problems in macOS Catalina hidden processes. These are the launch agents or processes that run in the background and can sometimes affect your system’s battery life or cause other issues. It is important that you get rid of these as soon as possible.

11. Problems in Accessing Files

files and folders in security and privacy

As a part of macOS security, there is a change in the permissions granted to apps to access files. Say for instance you mistakenly denied permission to an app to access files. You can easily open your Mac system’s preferences in the dock and modify these changes.

1. Open the System Preferences app

2. Go to Security and Privacy and click on Privacy

3. Click on Files and Folders present in the left pane

On the right pane, you will find all the apps along with the file access privileges. To make changes to the privileges of a particular app, you can click on individual app and modify privileges.

12. App Icons Disappearing

In macOS Catalina 10.15 you might notice that some app icons start to disappear when you click on the Applications shortcut in the Finder.

Open the Finder > Right click on it and choose preferences > In the Sidebar tab select favorite applications and remove Applications shortcut

13. Boot Problems In macOS Catalina

After installing macOS Catalina if your Mac doesn’t start then try this – restart Mac and hold Command + Option + P + R. This combo will reset the non volatile RAM. Hold these keys till your Mac restarts and you listen to startup chime the second time. This way the PRAM will be reset.

Read More: Best Startup Manager Apps for Mac

14. Email Issues In macOS Catalina

If you are experiencing problems in using the mail app in macOS Catalina, for example your mail is crashing every now and then, here is a way you can resolve this issue –

  1. Open finder
  2. Click on Go > Go to Folder
  3. Type ~/Library/Containers/ Application State/
  4. Scroll down and locate and move it to trash
  5. Go back to Go to Folder and type ~/Library/Containers/
  6. Search for and and move them to trash
  7. Go to ~/Library/Mail/MailData

Find Envelope Index-shm, Envelope Index and Envelope Index-wal and move them to Trash and restart your Mac.

What Other Issues Are You Facing?

As we have mentioned earlier, macOS Catalina is in its early stages and over a period of time macOS Catalina issues shall be addressed. If there’s an issue that didn’t make it to the list, do let us know in the comments section below and we’ll try to address it. If you enjoyed the post and found it helpful do share it with your friends.

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