How to Deal With Common Issues in macOS Catalina

MacBook with Mac OS Catalina

It has only been a couple of weeks since macOS 10.15 Catalina has been released, and we’re already seeing a multitude of problems related to the new version of Mac’s operating system. These issues range from Catalina installation problems to app compatibility issues, to performance and battery concerns.

Dealing with these macOS Catalina issues can be a pain, especially since the new macOS is still in the initial release period. Instead of waiting for Apple to release updates armed with bug fixes, you can try sorting through the list of common Catalina issues listed below and see if there’s a fix that applies to your problem. Some of these problems are easy to fix if you know what you have to do.

This article will guide you through the common issues in macOS Catalina that other users are experiencing and how you can resolve them on your own. 

How to Resolve Performance Issues in macOS Catalina

After installing a major update, such as macOS Catalina, it is not surprising for some users to feel like their Mac is slower or not performing as it used to before the update. You may have also encountered the following message when you first restarted macOS Catalina:

Optimizing Your Mac

Performance and battery life may be affected until completed.

So if you’re experiencing sluggishness for the first few hours after the update, you don’t have to worry because that should be normal. The system is currently adjusting its processes and software to accommodate the new macOS. But if your Mac continues to be slow after a day, clean up your Mac using Tweakbit MacRepair and restart it to see if it makes any difference.

You may also need to install app updates that are designed to make your apps work smoothly with Catalina.

If the problem doesn’t go away, try doing a clean install of macOS Catalina to resolve these issues. 

How to Deal With macOS Catalina Battery Problems

Does your Mac suffer from poor battery life after upgrading to macOS Catalina? Just like the previous performance issue, bad battery life after a major update is expected, but the problem should be temporary and should go away after all the background processes have been completed. If your battery drains a lot faster than normal after a few days, something must be wrong.

The first thing you need to do is check which apps are using up your battery life by clicking the battery icon on the upper right corner of the screen. If you see Spotlight listed in the dropdown menu, this means that your Mac is not yet finished processing items in the background. Try leaving your Mac on overnight until all the processes have been completed, then restart your Mac. If your battery still drains faster without Spotlight listed, then you might need to check your battery’s health. 

How to Resolve Wi-Fi Issues in macOS Catalina

Wi-Fi problems after installing macOS Catalina is not a serious issue. If you can’ t connect to your Wi-Fi network after the update, it is easy to fix the problem in a minute.

To resolve this, click on the Wi-Fi icon at the top, then click Turn Wi-Fi Off. Wait for 30 seconds before turning it back on. This should easily fix your Wi-Fi problems.

If it doesn’t work, see if you can connect to another network or try using other devices to connect to your network. This would show whether the problem lies with your device or your network. Try restarting your Mac and your router to see if it helps. 

Workaround for Sidecar Issues in macOS Catalina

Sidecar is one of the key features of macOS Catalina, so it can be extremely disappointing if you can’t make the feature work after updating. Before anything else, make sure your iPad is compatible with your Mac. Otherwise, the Sidecar feature won’t work.

Sidecar only works with the latest iPad models, including:

  • iPad Air 3
  • all iPad Pro models
  • iPad 6
  • iPad 7
  • iPad mini 5

You also need a newer Mac from this list: 

  • iMac 27″ (2015) and later
  • MacBook Pro (2016) and later
  • Mac Mini (2018)
  • Mac Pro (2019)
  • MacBook Air (2018) and later
  • MacBook (2016) and later
  • iMac Pro (2017) and later

If your devices are not compatible, Sidecar won’t work. If there’s no problem with your hardware, then try restarting your device and see if it changes anything. You might also need to disconnect using the menu options before restarting. 

How to Fix Mail Problems in macOS Catalina

After upgrading to macOS 10.15, a lot of users reported experiencing various Mail problems. Some of them had missing emails while others reported receiving incomplete messages. In certain cases, only the headers are visible and the message body is blank.

If relaunching the Mail app does not work, the only other option is to import the old versions of your Mail’s folders using Time Machine. Once you have a copy of your old folders, you can import them by clicking File > Import Mailboxes using the Mail app.

How to Resolve Bluetooth Issues in macOS Catalina

One of the common issues in macOS Catalina involves Bluetooth. A lot of users reported having Bluetooth problems after installing the new version of macOS. In some cases, the Bluetooth icon is missing, while some experienced problems using their Bluetooth devices.

If you’re able to access your Bluetooth, try turning it off and then back on. This should help resolve minor Bluetooth problems. If you’re still having issues with your Bluetooth device, try disconnecting it first then pairing it with your Mac again.

If the above steps don’t work, deleting the .plist file for Bluetooth should help. To do this:

  1. In Finder, click Go > Go to this folder. 
  2. Copy and paste the following address: /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/
  3. Find com.apple.Bluetooth.plist and move the file to the Trash.

Restart your Mac and see if Bluetooth is now working.

How to Handle Notification Problems in macOS Catalina

Part of the updates macOS Catalina introduced is a new way to manage notifications. But if you’re having problems receiving notifications for an app, it must have been turned off by accident or during the update. To turn it back on, follow the steps below:

  1. Go to the Apple menu > Systems Preferences, then click Notifications.
  2. Click on the app. 
  3. Toggle Notifications to On.

You can also customize the type of notification you want to receive in this window. 

How to Fix File Access Problems in Catalina

The new macOS has redesigned the way apps can access files on your Mac. So when you open an app in macOS Catalina for the first time, you might encounter errors or access issues. To resolve this, you will need to give the app access to specific folders for it to work.

To edit the access settings, follow the instructions below:

  1. Go to the Apple menu > System Preferences > Security & Privacy. 
  2. Click on Files and Folders, then click on the app you want to edit. 
  3. Make the changes to the settings you want. 
  4. Restart the app and your Mac for the changes to apply. 

How to Resolve App Problems in macOS Catalina

If your apps will not open or won’t work properly in macOS Catalina, the first thing you need to check is whether your app is a 32-bit or 64-bit. macOS Catalina has completely ditched 32-bit apps so you need to update to the 64-bit version for the app to work. You might need to check all of your apps for any updates to make sure they are compatible with the new macOS. 

If there are no available updates, you might need to find an alternative app. Such is the case with some Adobe apps, such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and Dreamweaver. If you regularly use these apps, you should consider moving to the Creative Cloud version or switching to an alternative.

If All Else Fails…

If nothing works, your only other option is to downgrade from macOS Catalina to Mojave until a fix for your problem has been released. You’ll need a Time Machine Backup or a bootable macOS Mojave installer to downgrade to Mojave.

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