With its refreshed design and various new features, macOS Big Sur is well worth your time. That said, no OS is perfect—including Big Sur.
The good news: none of the issues with Big Sur can break your computer. Plus, you can expect Apple to deal with them in future software updates. Until that happens, though, these issues can be annoying and disruptive to your Mac experience.
Don’t want to wait for Apple to fix some of the more common Big Sur problems? Here’s what you can do to deal with them.
Wi-Fi Connection Issues
After installing Big Sur, many Mac users can’t connect to their Wi-Fi network. There are several reasons why this might be happening.
The first thing you should do is reset your router and connect your Mac again. If that doesn’t help, try connecting to another Wi-Fi network. This allows you to rule out your router and Wi-Fi as potential culprits.
Next, go to the Disk Utility app and make sure it shows all your devices. Select Volumes from the left sidebar and click First Aid to fix the Volumes. Once that’s done, use First Aid on Containers and Disks as well.
Another thing you can do is delete your Wi-Fi connections. Go to System Preferences > Network > Advanced and remove all preferred networks. Restart your Mac and try reconnecting to your Wi-Fi network.
If you’ve installed Big Sur recently, your battery should drain a bit faster. This is normal, as your Mac is doing a lot in the background.
This issue should only persist for a few days—otherwise, you should check it out. Go to Activity Monitor and click the Energy tab to get a list of apps creating an energy impact on your Mac. Close some of them and see if that changes things.
If you have an older Mac, your battery may simply not be performing well due to old age. To find out if this is the issue, go to System Preferences > Battery > Battery Health. This will give you the current status of your battery.
Apps Running Slow
Does one of your apps run slower on Big Sur despite working perfectly before? If so, the chances are that the issue lies in the app itself.
First, make sure that all your apps are entirely up to date. Head to the App Store and click Updates on the side menu. By now, most developers should have updated their apps for Big Sur, but there may be a few holdouts.
This issue is more pronounced if you have a Mac with the M1 chip. Many apps are still made for older Intel-based Macs and won’t work great on M1. Until the devs optimize these apps for M1, Rosetta 2 can help you use them.
Menu Bar Is Disappearing
The disappearing Menu bar is one of the most common macOS Big Sur problems. Fortunately, it’s also among the easier ones to fix.
Click the Apple Menu on your Menu bar and select System Preferences. From the offered options, click the Dock & Menu bar. At the bottom of the window, uncheck the option that says Automatically hide and show the menu bar.
For a lot of people, the Big Sur update changed this option on its own. This is one of the many reasons why a clean macOS install is better than an upgrade. Click here to learn more about how to install Big Sur from scratch.
Printer Isn’t Working
Has your printer stopped working right after you updated to macOS Big Sur? If so, there’s a good chance this isn’t a coincidence.
The simplest solution here is to restart your printer and give it another go. With some luck, this should be enough to fix the problem. If that doesn’t help, you’re best off reinstalling the printer and trying again.
To do this, go to System Preferences > Printers & Scanners. Select your printer on the left side menu and click the minus button to remove it. Once you’re done, reinstall it, and it should start working again.
Bluetooth Pairing Problems
Among all Big Sur update problems, poor Bluetooth pairing is one of the trickiest. To get to the bottom of it, you’ll need to put in a bit more effort.
Start by clicking the Bluetooth icon in the Menu bar while holding the Shift and Option keys. Then, click on Reset the Bluetooth module and press OK. This will reset all Bluetooth devices on your Mac so you can connect them again.
If that doesn’t solve the issue, you’ll need to delete your list of connected devices. This solution is a bit more technical, but it’s still easy enough to do.
First, go to Finder > Macintosh HD > Library. Select the Preferences folder, search for a file called com.apple.Bluetooth.plist and delete it. Then, restart your Mac and reconnect your Bluetooth devices.
Apps in the Background
Your Mac always has some apps running in the background. The catch: you may not need all of them for your Mac to operate normally.
Major updates like Big Sur, in particular, may cause some apps to launch automatically on startup. Some of them may have a significant impact on your Mac’s performance, causing your battery to drain faster than usual.
To prevent this, go to System Preferences > Users & Groups. Make sure you select the correct user from the left side menu and go to Login Items. You’ll see a list of all open items on startup, so remove the ones you don’t want.
Other Common Big Sur Problems
If you’ve upgraded to Big Sur recently, you’ve likely had an easier time than early adopters. By now, all major Big Sur problems are a thing of the past. As for the rest, this article should be a good starting point for solving them.
Are you dealing with macOS Big Sur problems that we haven’t mentioned? Keep reading our Big Sur-related content for more information on how to get your Mac in order!