Having issues with Mojave? Seems like it’s a rite of passage to install a new version of the macOS, and then uncover issues we didn’t see in the beta version.
With macOS Mojave, we appear to be seeing a smaller crop of issues than we saw in our previous “what broke” guides:
- What Sierra Broke, How to Fix it & Where to File Bug Reports
- macOS 101: What High Sierra Broke and How to Fix It
- [Update 12/18] Three Months of Mojave: What Works, and What Still Doesn’t
That may be due to a more rigorous beta cycle, or maybe we just haven’t had enough time to uncover all the possible problems. Either way, here’s our newest guide to what broke and how to fix it in macOS Mojave.
SMS Messages Not Delivered
If you use the Messages app on the Mac to send SMS messages, you may notice a strange timeout error occurring when you send an SMS message to a non-Apple device.
Once you send such a message, you may see a “Not Delivered” error message. While the error message is a bit vexing, it gets stranger. Turns out your message was sent, and likely received, without any problems.
If that was the extent of the issue, you could probably live with it and wait for a fix in one of the subsequent Mojave updates. But as you may have guessed, there’s one more problem associated with the Not Delivered error. Once you see the Not Delivered error message, the recipient will not be able to send you any responses.
At the time of this writing, there’s no fix available for the issue that always works. But I can list a few things that some people have reported as a cure, although just as many said the cure didn’t help them. Since there’s no official fix, this, then, is a best shot approach:
- Sign out and sign back into Messages: Works for some people, but in most cases, the problem eventually returns.
- Sign out of iCloud and sign back in: The idea here is to force your Mac’s data to re-sync with all of your other devices via iCloud. If you give this fix a try, be sure to save the iCloud data locally on your Mac, just to ensure you don’t lose any information. You’ll be presented with the option to save the iCloud data locally when you sign out.
- Stop sending SMS messages to non-Apple devices: This works, but it may be difficult to get all your Android-using friends to switch to Apple.
The SMS error appears to be very erratic, with many people not experiencing the problem at all, yet there’s more than a handful of users who have reported the issue. If you’ve seen this problem, let us know by using the comments section, below.
No, not a new set of fonts for the Mac, but fonts you’ve been using for ages now looking weird in Mojave. The usual sign for weird fonts is a bit of blurring or softness along the edges, even the straight horizontal or vertical lines of a letter.
The blurring is seen most often on non-Retina Macs. The cause is Mojave disabling sub-pixel antialiasing, an older font rendering technique that helped fonts appear smoother and less jagged on most displays.
You could solve the problem by upgrading to a Mac with a Retina display, or you can try the following fix:
You may not be afflicted with the problem if you upgraded to Mojave from an earlier OS that had font smoothing enabled. Even then, some users have mentioned the weird fonts even though they upgraded. No matter what the actual sequence of events is needed to disable sub-pixel font rendering, you can turn the feature back on with this simple two-step process:
Launch System Preferences by clicking or tapping the System Preferences icon in the Dock, or selecting System Preferences from the Apple menu.
Select the General preference pane from the System Preferences window.
At the bottom of the General preference pane, make sure there’s a checkmark in the “Use LCD font smoothing when available” box. (It may say “Use font smoothing when available,” depending on the type of display you’re using.)
Even if the font-smoothing box was already checked, you need to continue on to the second part of the fix: using Terminal to force font rendering to be enabled:
- Launch Terminal, located at /Applications/Utilities.
- At the Terminal prompt, enter the following:
defaults write -g CGFontRenderingFontSmoothingDisabled -bool NO
- Press enter or return on your keyboard.
- You can quit Terminal and close the System Preferences window if it’s still open.
- For the change to take effect, you need to restart your Mac.
Bluetooth Devices Not Connecting to Your Mac
There was a Bluetooth issue during the beta phase of macOS Mojave development, but it was believed to have been fixed in the release version of Mojave. Even so, some users are reporting that many third-party Bluetooth devices are unable to connect to their Macs, or aren’t seen by their Macs.
This is an easy one to fix, and only requires the removal of the Bluetooth plist file your Mac maintains. Speculating on the issue, I believe the plist file was damaged during the upgrade process, or when it was first accessed during the setup process.
The fix will remove the file, along with all the data about the Bluetooth devices you had connected to your Mac. Once removed, your Mac will generate a new default Bluetooth plist file to take the place of the damaged one. This will fix the basic problem but will require you to go through the connection process for any Bluetooth device you wish to use.
To delete the Bluetooth plist file, follow these steps:
- Open a Finder window, and browse to /Library/Preferences.
- Locate the file named: com.apple.Bluetooth.plist.
- Select the com.apple.Bluetooth.plist file and drag it to the trash.
- Empty the trash.
The com.apple.Bluetooth.plist file will be recreated.
Go ahead and try using or connecting a Bluetooth device.
Freeze or Slowdown at Login
If you just upgraded to Mojave and you notice your Mac seems to freeze for a minute or so when you log in, or there’s a general slowdown for a few minutes when you first start up your Mac, you may be experiencing an issue with Login Items that are out of date or incompatible with Mojave.
When you install Mojave, it performs a check of installed apps, and moves those that are incompatible with the new OS to the Incompatible Software folder, which you can find at the top level of your startup disk.
It’s actually pretty handy to have the apps that won’t work moved aside for you, but there’s a good chance that if any of those incompatible apps made use of a Login Item to start some required process, that login item is still present, and trying its best to start up an app that’s no longer in the expected location.
That won’t cause a long-term issue, but it can result in a slowdown as your Mac tries to launch an app, waits for a reasonable time, and then makes a few log entries about the process not working. By itself, the slowdown probably won’t be noticeable for a single login item, but if there are a number of them, you may be able to notice the effect.
You can remove unneeded login items by using the Users & Groups preference pane.
- Launch System Preferences, and select the Users & Groups preference pane.
- In the Sidebar, make sure your currently logged in account is selected.
- In the main pane, select the Login Items button.
- A list of many of the Login Items that are automatically started when you log in will be displayed.
- To make changes to the list, you’ll need to click or tap the lock icon at the bottom of the window. Supply your administrator password when requested.
- You can delete an item from the list by selecting the item and clicking the minus (-) sign at the bottom of the list.
- It can be difficult to know which items to remove from the list. You can start by deleting any entry that matches up to an app in the /Incompatible Software folder.
- Deleting an item only removes it from the Login Items list, preventing it from automatically launching; it does not delete the file from your Mac. You can always put the item back using the plus (+) button at the bottom of the list.
Note: To put an item back, you need to know where it’s located in the file system. You can discover where an item is located by selecting an item before you remove it, right-clicking or tapping it, and selecting the Show in Finder option from the popup menu.
Apps No Longer Working
One of the most troublesome aspects of any system upgrade is the realization that some apps, perhaps your favorites, will no longer work. This can include completely failing to launch, running but with unusual bugs or pieces not working as expected, or simply running very slowly, to the extent the app is no longer useful.
That’s why it’s always a good idea to check with the app developer before you upgrade to a new OS version, to ensure the app in question will work. Even when you check, you can sometimes discover that even though the developer thought it would work, there are problems you’ll encounter.
With any luck, you’ll only need to wait a short time for a new version of the app to be released. But sometimes, you’ll need to find an alternative right away.
A handy way to check if an app is Mojave compatible, as well as find suggestions for alternatives, is to visit the RoaringApps website. RoaringApps collects crowdsourced data on which apps work with the various versions of the Mac OS, and displays the results in an easy-to-search database. You can also find suggestions for alternatives when the app in question no longer functions, as well as compatibility tips that may let you continue to use an app for a while longer.
Apps and Security Changes in Mojave
macOS Mojave has added security and privacy capabilities that can prevent apps that haven’t been updated for Mojave from running correctly. The specifics vary by app, but generally speaking, if you have an app that fails to launch, or launches and freezes, and the app used to work in one of the recent versions of macOS, you may be able to get the app to work while you wait for an update from the developer.
The problem may be that the failing app makes use of one of your Mac’s hardware or software components that is now protected by Mojave’s privacy system.
When an app tries to access one of the protected components, your Mac should put up a warning and ask if you wish to let the app make use of the item, say your Mac’s camera or microphone. However, it seems with some older apps the warning message is never displayed, or is hidden under other windows.
You may be able to correct the issue by adding the app in the Security & Privacy preference pane.
Launch System Preferences, and select the Security & Privacy preference pane.
Select the Privacy button.
To edit the Privacy settings, click the Lock icon at the bottom of the window, then enter your password when requested.
Check the various categories in the sidebar and see if the crashing or freezing app is listed. You may find the app is listed in a category, but its status is unchecked, indicating it was trying to access a protected component but was blocked (likely by the request to add never being seen). Go ahead and place a checkmark in the box to allow the app to make use of a protected hardware or software component.
Try launching the app again to see if it now works.
32-bit Apps and Other Non-Working Software
There has been a lot of confusion about 32-bit apps and whether they will work with Mojave. The good news is 32-bits apps that worked with macOS High Sierra should still run fine under macOS Mojave.
The bad news is that Mojave will be the last macOS release that will support 32-bit apps.
Even more bad news is that there will be some 32-bit apps that used to work that will no longer be viable under Mojave. It’s not the 32-bit status that is causing an issue, it’s just that most 32-bit apps are old, and may rely on older APIs that are no longer supported in Mojave.
If you have any apps that no longer work under Mojave, and you can’t find alternatives, there are still ways to make use of those apps if they’re important enough to you.
You can make use of a virtualization environment, such as Parallels, to run an earlier version of the Mac OS that works with your important apps. Parallels can run OS Mountain Lion or later in a virtual machine, letting you work with your older apps while still upgrading your Mac to Mojave.
Another option is to run an earlier version of the Mac OS from another startup disk. This disk could be an external drive, a fast USB flash drive, or a container (APFS) or a partition (HFS+) on an existing drive.
Let Apple Know About Any Bugs You Find
If you come across a bug, or something about macOS Mojave that seems a bit strange to you, you can let Apple know by using the macOS Feedback form.
Be sure to specify the feedback type within the form, such as Bug Report or Feature Request.
Also, please leave a comment below about any issues you’re having with Mojave, as well as any solutions to the problems you have found that work.
Related: A Guide to the New Mojave Security and Privacy Protections
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