Common issues (with simple solutions) in Mac OS Catalina

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There are many known issues with Catalina that you may experience after the upgrade. But waiting for Apple to release an update with all bugs fixed may not be the best option. Compiled here are simple solutions you can do yourself to fix the most common issues with Catalina.You can directly click on links below to go to the solution to resolve the problems you are experiencing with Catalina.

Common issues with Catalina & how to resolve them

There are indeed many kind of problems while upgrading Mac OS & data loss is one among the most common of them. If you are experiencing such an issue, try Remo Recover Mac. It can recover the data lost due to Mac OS upgrade, OS re-installation or any related problems you may encounter during the upgrade process.

Unable to install Catalina

Many users have reported that their Catalina update gets stuck in the middle of the installation process. If you are experiencing this issue, the following workarounds may help you fix it.

Tip 1: Ensure that you are running a Mac that supports Catalina & that you have enough storage

The new Mac OS Catalina requires that you are running a Mac that supports Catalina. If you have any of the following Mac devices then, upgrading to MacOS Catalina shouldn’t give you any compatibility related errors.

MacBook (2015 and above)
Mac Book Air (2012 and above)
MacBook Pro (2012 and above)
Mac Pro (2013 and above)
Mac Mini (2012 and above)
iMac Pro (2017)
iMac (2012 and above)

The Mac OS installation may also fail when there is not enough storage space on your Mac. So, before you install, ensure that you have a minimum of 15-20GB of space free to accommodate the new OS. See the complete guide on installing Catalina here.

Tip 2: Try a hard reboot

If Catalina installation gets stuck on ‘Setting up your Mac’ screen, you can try a hard reboot.

Caution: Please note that a hard reboot is usually not recommended as it can sometimes cause the system to crash and cause data loss. However, if the system itself is stuck it becomes inevitable to perform hard reboot.

To perform a hard reboot,

  • Hold down the ‘Power’ button until your Mac restarts
  • Then begin the Catalina installation again

Although risky; performing hard reboot can free your Mac from a frozen screen. However, if you find the system has crashed during this process, you have absolutely nothing to worry about. Remo Mac data recovery tool is built with codes that can scan and recover any type of file even after a hard drive crash!

Tip 3: Install Catalina in Safe Mode

  • Click on the Power button to shut down your Mac and restart
  • Now, hold down the Shift key while its turning ON

You will see a gray background with the Apple logo in Safe Mode. Now, install Catalina again. Using the Safe Mode is known to resolve such issues with Catalina quite well.

Mac turned slow after installing Catalina

If you have noticed an obvious decline in Mac performance post Catalina upgrade, it could be because of unnecessary processes running in the background. This can keep consuming processors resources that could otherwise be used for desired tasks a user wants to perform. To learn about these processes, follow the below mentioned steps.

Go to Launchpad > Activity Monitor

Check all the processes that are consuming the most resources and close them. Specially, look for the processes named ‘fileproviderd’ and ‘mds’. They are known to consume the most resources, try closing them and check if your Mac works at normal speed.

Storage space full

After upgrading to Catalina, you may find that the storage space is filling up too soon. This could happen because of Time Machine backups and snapshots stored in several locations. By deleting these multiple backups, you can claim your free space back.

  • Go to Applications > Utilities
  • Open the Terminal app and type the following command

‘tmutil listlocalsnapshots /System/Volumes/Data’

  • This will provide you a list of all the local snapshots.

Example of a snapshot as shown in the list: ‘

Then delete the snapshots using the following command
tmutil deletelocalsnapshots ’. The Snapshot date should be in the same format as it was shown in the list of snapshots (obtained in the previous step).

Example: ‘tmutil deletelocalsnapshots 2019-07-08-213511

If you find this above mentioned manual method of deleting a snapshot complicated, you can also use some third party cleaning tools to delete them for you.

Note - If you are wondering how to recover lost or deleted files on macOS Big Sur, click here

Apps not working

The apps that we use are normally 32-bit or 64-bit. But the new Mac OS Catalina does not support 32-bit apps. Hence, if you are trying to run 32-bit apps on Catalina, your apps don’t work and may give you some errors.

Here’s a quick workaround to avoid these kind of issues.

  • On your home screen, click on the Apple logo > About This Mac > System Report
  • Click Applications
  • Check if the apps are 32-bit; if they are launch them and click Uninstall

Finder crashing/unresponsive

After upgrading to Catalina, many users have reported that their Finder crashes/becomes unresponsive. If you’re facing this problem,

  • Go to Applications > Utilities and open Terminal.
  • Type the following command:

‘~ /Library/Preferences/’

  • Hit ‘Enter
  • Now, a problematic file is highlighted; select the file and delete it.
  • Restart your Mac and check if the Finder crashing issue is fixed

Trouble connecting to Wi-Fi

Trouble connecting to Wi-Fi is another common issue with Catalina. There are a couple of things you can try to fix this problem.

First, check if there are any updates available and update your Mac. To do so, go to Apple menu > About This Mac > Software Update
Then restart your Wi-Fi connection, first click on the Wi-Fi icon and select ‘Turn Wi-Fi OFF’. Wait for a couple of seconds and turn it back ON.
If you still have trouble connecting to Wi-Fi, restart your Mac. Check if it works, if not, then restart your modem and router. This should usually help.
If you still have trouble connecting to Wi-Fi, restart your Mac in Safe Mode

To restart in Safe Mode,

  • Turn OFF your Mac
  • Turn it back ON while holding the Shift key pressed.
  • Release the Shift key when you see the Apple logo appear
  • Now, your Mac will start in Safe Mode; now check if you still have Wi-Fi problems
  • If not, restart in normal mode. The problem could be coming from an app/program, which needs to be examined.


Like you’ve seen in this blog post, there are quite a few problems one may experience with the new Mac OS. The solutions described here should help you address most common issues with Catalina.

However, in addition to the solutions described above, there are some universal solutions you can try for instance, quitting and restarting an application that malfunctioned. This is known to help in many situations. Secondly, you can check for hidden apps and disable them. This should also help you solve the most common issues with Catalina.

Do let us know in the comments what kind of issue you experienced with the new upgrade to Catalina and how you resolved them.

About the Author: Tony Landry

Tony Landry is a Web Content Editor at Remo Software. He loves to write, edit, and manage content for users trying to troubleshoot and fix problems on Windows, Outlook, storage drives, and Cloud storage networks. With an aptitude that transcends writing, Tony is recognized as a Microsoft Outlook, Word, and PowerPoint expert. His comprehensive solutions…