How to Share Notes from iBooks in iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra

It’s easy to take and share notes in iBooks for both iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra. Easy, that is, if you know how. So, let me show you how!

Firstly, I love taking notes in iBooks. I’d never desecrate a printed book with highlights, but I’ll do it all day long on an ebook. And Apple’s iBooks has the best ebook note-taking features that I’ve used.

Sharing iBooks Notes in iOS 11

iBooks started in iOS, and the ability to share or expert notes is a little better on iOS than it is in macOS High Sierra. Still, it’s not as intuitive or obvious as it should be, because you have to tap on “Edit Notes” before you can share. That is—in a word—frakking stupid. Make that two words.

Start with a note. Years before the Game of Thrones TV show, I figured out who John Snow was, and I did it, in part, thanks to the ability to take notes in iBooks. Every time I came across a reference to Rhaegar, Lyanna, the birthing bed, the bed of blood (hey, I didn’t write this stuff), and other references to Ned Stark’s early years and his sister, I highlighted them. The notes shown below are from Dance of Dragon, and deal mostly with Rhaegar and Lyanna.

To view all my notes in the book, I tap the table to contents icon, then the Notes tab at the top. That gives me a view like this:

Bryan's Notes from A Dance with Dragons

Bryan’s Notes from A Dance with Dragons

Now, tap the Share icon in the upper left.

Tapping the Share Icon in iBooks Notes

Tapping the Share Icon in iBooks Notes

You might think this would be how you share or export your notes. And it is, but there’s the stupid step to get through. You have to Tap Edit Notes > Select All, as shown below.

Select All in iBooks” width=”420″ height=”560″ />

Edit > Select All in iBooks

All of my notes get a check mark from being selected, and the Share button lights up. When you tap Share, you get a new menu with one option by default, Mail, as shown below.

Share Options in iBooks Notes

Share Options in iBooks Notes

Tap the Mail icon, and an email sheet will open where you can decide where to send it.

Exported iBooks Notes in Mail in iOS 11

Exported iBooks Notes in Mail in iOS 11

That’s it!

Sharing iBooks Notes in macOS High Sierra

You can share notes from iBooks in macOS High Sierra, too, but it’s even less obvious. First, get to your notes by tapping the Notes icon. Click on a note to select it. If you then right click on the note (you can also just right-click to select in the first place), you get the option to Copy, or to share via Mail, Messages, Notes, Twitter, or Facebook, as shown below.

Sharing a Note in iBooks on macOS High Sierra

Sharing a Note in iBooks on macOS High Sierra

Here’s the bad news. You can only export/share one note at a time. While you can shift-click or option-slick to select multiple notes at one time, rick clicking on any of them deselects all but the one you’re right-clicking on. You’d have to share one note at a time and then copy-paste each of them into an email or other app to share them all at once.

Which is—in a word—frakking stupid. Make that two words.

But, at least you can share them.

Macworld’s November digital magazine: iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra

Macworld’s November digital magazine: iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra | Macworld<!– –><!–
–>

mwdigitaledition primary nov17

IDG

“);});try{$(“div.lazyload_blox_ad”).lazyLoadAd({threshold:0,forceLoad:false,onLoad:false,onComplete:false,timeout:1500,debug:false,xray:false});}catch(exception){console.log(“error loading lazyload_ad “+exception);}});

Every day, Macworld brings you the essential daily news and other info about all things Apple. But staying on top of that torrent of information can be a constant challenge. One solution: the Macworld magazine.

In the November issue

We have the lowdown on Apple’s two big software releases with reviews of iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra.  Find out everything you need to know about Face ID on the soon-to-be-realeased iPhone X. We spotlight 10 older (but awesome) iOS games that you can still play on iOS 11. Also, learn how to stop spam emails from reaching your inbox.

Also in this month’s issue:

• MacUser: Everything you need to know about AppleCare+

• MacUser Reviews: WD My Cloud Duo, Nonda USB-C HDMI

• iOS Central: How Control Center works in iOS 11

• iOS Central Reviews: Lego Boost, Bezalel Omnia

• Working Mac: Microsoft announces Office 2019





macOS: Archiving Messages from Apple Mail (Redux!)

Back in 2014, I wrote a tip about how to archive your messages out of Apple Mail using the “Export Mailbox” option.

macOS Mail Mailbox Menu showing Export Mailbox

That still works (as long as you’re aware of the caveat at the end of this article), so if you’re looking to clean up your Mail program, go check it out. However, there’s one piece of it that needs an update. As it turns out, Apple has now hidden the “Export all subfolders” checkbox under a button, and if you aren’t paying attention, you could end up deleting critical info! Here’s how it works now: As I mentioned in the previous tip, you’ll click on your mailbox from the sidebar, and then you can right-click on it to choose “Export Mailbox” from the contextual menu or pick that option from the menus at the top (shown in my screenshot above). Whichever way you do it, though, Mail will next want to know where you intend to store your mbox file.

macOS Mail Export Mail dialog Options Button

See that “Options” button I’ve called out? Underneath that is the very important checkbox that you’ve gotta toggle on if the mailbox you’re exporting has subfolders.

If you forget to do this and then delete the originals from Mail…well, you’ll be sad. For example, here is a section of some of my saved mailboxes:

macODS Mail Mailboxes with Subfolders ready to export

If I exported those without “Export all subfolders” on, then I’d be saving “Work TO DO,” “TO KEEP,” and “Electronic Receipts,” but not the folders underneath them. Bad, bad, bad, wrong. I’m not sure why Apple made this choice—it’s not as if this saves a bunch of screen space or anything!—but as long as you’re aware of what you’re doing, everything should be OK.

Also, you used to be able to use Mail’s Window > Activity menu item to monitor your export’s progress. This often no longer works; now you’ll need to find the mbox files you exported, and if the process isn’t complete, you’ll see “partial” in the file name.

Finally, here’s the caveat: I’ve found these exports to be more persnickety and prone to failure in recent versions of macOS than before, so if you decide to attempt this, be sure you’ve got good backups in place and watch the progress carefully. What I’ve been doing as well is reimporting the mbox files after the export (using the steps in my previous tip) before I delete the originals. Once I make sure everything in the reimported mailbox matches the original, I then delete both the original and the newly imported one. This assures me that if I ever need to use those saved-out mbox files in the future, they’ll be accurate. Paranoid? Yes. But thorough? You betcha.

How to Skip Converting to APFS When Installing macOS High Sierra

How to skip APFS when installing macOS High Sierra

MacOS High Sierra includes the all new APFS file system, which is arguably one of the most significant new features introduced in the new Mac operating system update. Nonetheless it’s possible that some Mac owners with SSD volumes will want to not convert the existing HFS+ file system to APFS file system when installing macOS High Sierra. With a little command line magic, you can skip converting to APFS during the macOS High Sierra installation process if desired.


How to Install macOS High Sierra Without Converting to APFS File System

This is not recommended and should only be applicable to advanced users who have specific reasons to not want to convert a Mac to APFS. APFS is faster and offers better encryption, amongst other benefits, so it’s generally recommended to use APFS if the Mac supports it. APFS is currently only supported on SSD drives, with Fusion drives support for APFS soon to arrive in a future Mac software update.

How to Not Convert to APFS During macOS High Sierra Installation

By skipping APFS conversion of file system, macOS High Sierra will install with the longstanding HFS+ file system instead.

  1. Download the MacOS High Sierra installer from the App Store as usual, making sure it’s within the /Applications/ directory*
  2. Open the Terminal application, found in /Applications/Utilities/ (or from the Utilities screen menu options if booted from a USB boot installer)
  3. Enter the following command syntax at the command line prompt:
    /Applications/Install macOS High Sierra.app/Contents/Resources/startosinstall --converttoapfs NO
  4. Hit return key to start the macOS High Sierra install process with the –converttoapfs NO directive, thereby skipping the APFS conversion of existing file system

* You will need the full installer to have the Contents/Resources/ options available to you. You can download the full macOS High Sierra installer with these instructions if you’re getting the little mini-installer without /Content/Resorouces/ folder.

In case you were wondering, skipping APFS can be achieved when running the High Sierra installer directly from Mac OS or when using a macOS High Sierra boot installer drive.

Mac users who ran the beta of macOS High Sierra may remember earlier versions of the beta builds had a toggle setting during installation to skip APFS conversion, but that option toggle is no longer available in the installer.

Regarding APFS and macOS High Sierra, Apple says the following on a knowledge base support article:

“When you install macOS High Sierra on the Mac volume of a solid-state drive (SSD) or other all-flash storage device, that volume is automatically converted to APFS. Fusion Drives, traditional hard disk drives (HDDs), and non-Mac volumes aren’t converted. You can’t opt out of the transition to APFS.”

Despite the Apple support article saying that you can’t opt out of the transition to APFS, it turns out that you can skip APFS if you choose to start the installer from the command line of Mac OS and give a directive to skip file system conversion. Outside of using the Terminal approach outlined above, or installing on an HDD or Fusion drive, there is no known other method to skip APFS.

Again, there is no benefit or particular reason for most users to skip APFS conversion. Skipping APFS file system on a Mac with a flash drive means the computer won’t see the potential performance boost offered by APFS with High Sierra. This is really only for advanced users who need to skip APFS for a specific reason, usually for networking or drive sharing compatibility purposes.

Pesky iMessage delay bug persists for some in Apple’s macOS High Sierra


 

A bug affecting a number of macOS High Sierra users can result in significant delays for receipt of iMessages and text messages, as well as a lack of notifications from an iPhone or Apple Watch for the same messages. At the moment, the only fixes appear to be disabling messages, or rolling back to macOS Sierra.

A number of users have detailed the issue in a growing thread on Apple’s support forums. In addition, one AppleInsider staff member also continues to have problems with the bug.

After updating to High Sierra, some users found that iMessages are significantly delayed in arriving on a Mac. In addition, while the Mac is active, notifications are silenced on other iCloud-connected devices like iPhones and Apple Watches.

The result means users may not receive texts and iMessages for hours after they are actually delivered.

Users posting in Apple’s forums found that certain actions can temporarily fix the problem, including disabling and re-enabling messages, or sending a message via the Mac. But the problems appear to return in time.

The only persistent fix users found was either disabling the receipt of messages on a Mac entirely, or rolling back the macOS install to the previous-generation version, Sierra.

In the interim, a community bug report for the problem has been created. But recent beta updates to macOS High Sierra do not appear to address the issues.

It has been speculated that the bug could be related to changes in High Sierra that will pave the way for iCloud syncing of messages. Messages in iCloud were featured in earlier betas of High Sierra and iOS 11, but the feature was removed at launch and is scheduled to debut in an update later this fall.

Messages in iCloud will seamlessly synchronize a user’s messages between devices. For example, deleting a message from one device would strike it from all other iCloud-connected devices.

Apple Says ‘KRACK’ Wi-Fi Vulnerabilities Are Already Patched in iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS Betas

Apple has already patched serious vulnerabilities in the WPA2 Wi-Fi standard that protects many modern Wi-Fi networks, the company told iMore‘s Rene Ritchie this morning.

The exploits have been addressed in the iOS, tvOS, watchOS, and macOS betas that are currently available to developers and will be rolling out to consumers soon.

A KRACK attack proof-of-concept from security researcher Mathy Vanhoef

Disclosed just this morning by researcher Mathy Vanhoef, the WPA2 vulnerabilities affect millions of routers, smartphones, PCs, and other devices, including Apple’s Macs, iPhones, and iPads.

Using a key reinstallation attack, or “KRACK,” attackers can exploit weaknesses in the WPA2 protocol to decrypt network traffic to sniff out credit card numbers, usernames, passwords, photos, and other sensitive information. With certain network configurations, attackers can also inject data into the network, remotely installing malware and other malicious software.

Because these vulnerabilities affect all devices that use WPA2, this is a serious problem that device manufacturers need to address immediately. Apple is often quick to fix major security exploits, so it is not a surprise that the company has already addressed this particular issue.

Websites that use HTTPS offer an extra layer of security, but an improperly configured site can be exploited to drop HTTPS encryption, so Vanhoef warns that this is not a reliable protection.

Apple’s iOS devices (and Windows machines) are not as vulnerable as Macs or devices running Linux or Android because the vulnerability relies on a flaw that allows what’s supposed to be a single-use encryption key to be resent and reused more than once, something the iOS operating system does not allow, but there’s still a partial vulnerability.

Once patched, devices running iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS will not be able to be exploited using the KRACK method even when connected to a router or access point that is still vulnerable. Still, consumers should watch for firmware updates for all of their devices, including routers.

Ahead of the release of the update that addresses the vulnerabilities, customers who are concerned about attacks should avoid public Wi-Fi networks, use Ethernet where possible, and use a VPN.

Wifi WPA2 security cracked: Android & Linux most vulnerable, but iOS and macOS too [Video]

WPA2 – the encryption standard that secures all modern wifi networks – has been cracked. An attacker could now read all information passing over any wifi network secured by WPA2, which is most routers, both public and private.

Android and Linux are particularly vulnerable, being described as ‘trivial’ to attack, but all other platforms are vulnerable too, including iOS and macOS …

NordVPN

The flaw in WPA2 was discovered by Mathy Vanhoef, a postdoc security researcher in the computer science department of the Belgian university KU Leuven.

We discovered serious weaknesses in WPA2, a protocol that secures all modern protected Wi-Fi networks […] Attackers can use this novel attack technique to read information that was previously assumed to be safely encrypted. This can be abused to steal sensitive information such as credit card numbers, passwords, chat messages, emails, photos, and so on. The attack works against all modern protected Wi-Fi networks […]

The weaknesses are in the Wi-Fi standard itself, and not in individual products or implementations. Therefore, any correct implementation of WPA2 is likely affected […] If your device supports Wi-Fi, it is most likely affected. During our initial research, we discovered ourselves that Android, Linux, Apple, Windows, OpenBSD, MediaTek, Linksys, and others, are all affected by some variant of the attacks

A proof of concept shows an attack against an Android smartphone, as devices running Android 6.0 or higher are especially vulnerable. In addition to allowing data to be decrypted, they can also be easily fooled into resetting the encryption key to all zeroes.

However, Vanhoef emphasizes that all platforms are vulnerable, and that although attacking Macs proved a tougher challenge initially, he has since found a much easier way to do it.

We can take some comfort from the fact that the attack only decrypts data encrypted by the wifi connection itself. If you are accessing a secure website, that data will still be encrypted by the HTTPS protocol. However, there are separate attacks against HTTPS that could be employed.

The attack works by exploiting the comms that goes on when a device joins a wifi network. There is a 4-step process used to confirm first that the device is using the correct password for the wifi router, and then to agree an encryption key that will be used for all the data sent between them during the connection.

In a key reinstallation attack, the adversary tricks a victim into reinstalling an already-in-use key. This is achieved by manipulating and replaying cryptographic handshake messages. When the victim reinstalls the key, associated parameters such as the incremental transmit packet number (i.e. nonce) and receive packet number (i.e. replay counter) are reset to their initial value. Essentially, to guarantee security, a key should only be installed and used once. Unfortunately, we found this is not guaranteed by the WPA2 protocol. By manipulating cryptographic handshakes, we can abuse this weakness in practice.

The practical implication of this is, if you know any of the contents of the data that have been sent between the device and the router, you can use that known data to work out the encryption key. As Vanhoef points out, there is almost always going to be known data being passed at some point, so you have to assume that the encryption can always be cracked. Even if you don’t know any of the content, a sufficient volume of English text would be enough to break the encryption.

With Android and Linux, an attacker doesn’t even have to do that much work: the attacker can simply reset the encryption key.

The good news is that Vanhoef says that WPA2 can be patched to block the attack, and the patch will be backward compatible. Once a patch is available for your router, you should update the firmware without delay.

The Wi-Fi Alliance has issued a security advisory thanking Vanhoef for his work, stating that it is aware of the issue and that major platform providers have already started deploying patches. It says there is no evidence that the attack has been used in the wild, though the research paper notes that such attacks would be difficult to detect.

macOS High Sierra’s biggest updates happen behind the scenes


With all of the new features packed into iOS 11, High Sierra is something of a disappointment. It’s a bit like getting socks and underwear for Christmas. You know it’s necessary and you’ll be happier six months from now when you don’t have to walk around with your toes poking out of holes, but for now, you wish there were a few more video games and action figures mixed in with the bunch.

That’s partially a result of a yearly upgrade cycle — Apple can’t reinvent the wheel each time out. But more than that, this latest version of macOS is about rebuilding the software’s foundation. There are a few surface level enhancements, most notably to Safari and Photos, but the fundamental updates to the operating system are almost entirely below the surface.

High Sierra is a sort of recommitment to macOS. Past upgrades found the company hedging closer to iOS and had many wondering if this was all leading to a convergence of the company’s two operating systems. With 10.13, the company brings the first new file system since the Mac’s earliest days, a new video compression technology for 4K and the arrival of Metal 2, the latest version of the company’s graphics API.

Many of the upgrades are about futureproofing the OS. High Sierra marks Apple’s first real commitment to virtual reality support, for instance. As such, the absence of day to day changes is going to be pretty negligible for many users. When it comes to things like graphical enhancements, the difference may actually be greater on older systems — the good news there is that, like its predecessor, High Sierra is compatible with systems dating as far back as 2009.

For these reasons, it would perhaps be misleading to call this a “review.” And besides, as with the last several macOS upgrades, High Sierra is completely free — given the lack of visible features, it would be a harder sell if it wasn’t. As it stands now, there’s little reason not to take the leap. Though, given all of the big upgrades on the backend, you’re going to want to make sure you set aside a significant chunk of time to install this one.

High Sierra officially hits the Mac App Store today. Here’s what you can expect.

HFS++

The biggest update to macOS is one you won’t notice. Crazy to think, but HFS+ is a legacy system that’s been an underlying technology of Apple operating systems for around 30 years. It’s hard come up with too many consumer electronics technologies with that kind of staying power, and it was long overdue for an upgrade.

The straightforwardly named Apple File System (APFS) was first unleashed on the world in iOS 10.3. At the time, the update’s most immediate impact on the end user was the fact that it might free up some storage space — something that’s obviously at much more of a premium on a mobile device than a PC.

Here, the company is promising more stability. The new file system, which is being rolled out across Apple’s various lines, is optimized for flash storage (and won’t be available for Fusion Drives right away). The new file system has native encryption built in for added security, encrypting each file individually. The new crash protection records data in multiple locations for added protection against loss of data, and document saves have been improved to protect against system failures like loss of power.

There’s a smattering of other improvements, like faster Time Machine saves and generally more responsiveness across the system. The big thing here, however, is the idea of futureproofing the system, including the ability to handle a huge number of files on a system. It’s also about delivering a long overdue update to a system that was having trouble keeping up with advances in current technologies.

Graphics and video

Metal 2 brings the biggest changes from a graphics perspective — but as with the file system, most won’t be immediately apparent on installation. Apple is promising smoother animations on this end, but testing the final build on a brand new MacBook Pro, I didn’t really pick up on much of a difference. This is likely another spot where the difference will be more pronounced on an older device that can benefit more from additional from better GPU usage on the low end.

Most of the latest Metal’s benefits will come over time, as developers tap into Apple’s new API. The update pushes Apple a step closer to offer true gaming machines — a category that has been entirely dominated by PCs over the last several decades. The new version brings increased machine learning to the GPU and promises more robust graphics. It also adds support for virtual reality rendering and support for external GPUs, so Mac users can offload some of that heavy lifting to peripherals.

On the video side, built-in support for High Efficiency Video Coding (HVEC) maintains the theme of freeing up extra space. The compression technology is the successor to H.264, lowering bit rates, while supporting higher quality 4K video. According to Apple’s numbers, the new standard occupies upwards of 40-percent less space.

Photos

Photos gets the most visible changes this time out. Up front, you get a new, persistent sidebar that includes a history of photos you’ve imported, along with media organized by category: Live Photos, panoramas, selfies, and animated GIFs. That last one is newly supported by Photos, with Apple having prioritized its own proprietary Live Photos technology in the past.

The toolbar up top now includes tabs for further filtering by Photos, Moments, Collections and Years and photos can now be organized by dragging and dropping. They can also be exported by being dragged onto the desktop — a dead simple feature Apple really ought to have included several updates ago.

The most important upgrades to photos are in editing. In fact, Apple is slowly turning Photos into a solid editor — a change over past versions where it was most a preview/gallery application. I spent some time playing around with Live Photo editing tools and was impressed by what you’re able to do here with a number of filters, simple effects and a timeline.

Live Photos still haven’t moved too far from proprietary novelty — animated GIFs are still the far more universal option. But these new tools make the technology far more flexible letting you adjust how photos loop with effects like Bounce. Photo filters have gotten a pretty significant revamp as well, putting the desktop version more on par with what we’ve been accustomed to using on mobile.

Photos now also includes direct access to key editors like Photoshop and Pixelmater, so you can open them directly through Photos and save the changes in the app.

Safari

Apple’s browser gets the other key updates in High Sierra, most focused on privacy and intrusive ads. The browser now stops audio on autoplay ads, one of the key sources of madness in the modern world. Interestingly, Apple will keep the video going — as it notes, its own website uses animations — but if you haven’t started a video yourself, it will pause it and toss a big proprietary play button on top of it. You can also make exceptions for those sites you don’t mind autoplay from.

The browser’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention removes cross site tracking — so if, say, you look at a pair of shoes on Zappos, they won’t follow you around on every page you visit. It doesn’t do away with cookies entirely, though, keeping tracking that’s relevant to the site of origin, so your data isn’t cleared out every time you leave. Safari also offers the ability to choose who can access the computer’s camera, location and microphone on a per site basis and lets users set specific zoom levels for different sites, so it’s the same size each time they visit.

Updates to the JavaScript engine, mean that Safari’s focus on browsing speed gets pushed even farther this time out. But privacy is really the focus — which will likely ruffle the feathers of advertisers who rely on that specific level of tracking.

Odds and ends

  • Mail gets a couple of updates — including improved search results based on senders and how frequently messages are read.
  • There’s also a new full screen view that Splits the display between the inbox and the message you’re currently writing.
  • Oh, and Apple has improved compression, so messages take up to 35 percent less space.
  • As with iOS 11, Siri’s got a new, improved voice.
  • Apple’s assistant also has improved music playback functionality, assuming you have Apple Music — just in time for the HomePod, naturally.
  • Files copied on one Mac can now be pasted on a nearby one with the same log in. It’s a bit like a much more simplified AirDrop.
  • Spotlight now includes flight information status.
  • Notes include tables and pinning to keep a specific message up top.
  • FaceTime lets users take Live Photos on from the other person’s camera — I’ll be honest, this one still weirds me out a bit. But both parties are notified when this occurs, a la Snapchat.

Hi, Sierra

In terms of outward facing features, this is a fairly disappointing upgrade. The tweaks to Safari and Mail are nice, but they’re more the stuff of a smaller point upgrade. High Sierra’s biggest features are those you won’t see right away — and in some cases might not even notice over time.

It’s like a congressional infrastructure bill — it’s important and necessary for the future, but it’s not the kind of thing that gets people excited to tune into CSPAN.

But this upgrade is an important one for keeping macOS relevant and preparing the operating system for the future. It marks the long-awaited end of the company’s long outdated file system and takes steps toward improving Apple’s status in the gaming world. It’s undoubtedly worth the price of admission (free) — just make sure you give yourself sufficient time to install.

Apple’s macOS reveals your encrypted drive’s password in the hint box • The Register

Video Apple on Thursday released a security patch for macOS High Sierra 10.13 to address vulnerabilities in Apple File System (APFS) volumes and its Keychain software.

Matheus Mariano, a developer with Brazil-based Leet Tech, documented the APFS flaw in a blog post a week ago, and it has since been reproduced by another programmer, Felix Schwartz.

The bug (CVE-2017-7149) undoes the protection afforded to encrypted volumes under the new Apple File System (APFS).

The problem becomes apparent when you create an encrypted APFS volume on a Mac with an SSD using Apple’s Disk Utility app. After setting up a password hint, invoking the password hint mechanism during an attempt to remount the volume will display the actual password in plaintext rather than the hint.

Here’s a video demonstrating the programming cockup:

Youtube Video

Apple acknowledged the flaw in its patch release notes: “If a hint was set in Disk Utility when creating an APFS encrypted volume, the password was stored as the hint. This was addressed by clearing hint storage if the hint was the password, and by improving the logic for storing hints.”

The Keychain flaw (CVE-2017-7150) was identified last week by Patrick Wardle, from infosec biz Synack. It allowed unsigned apps to access sensitive data stored in Keychain.

“It becomes clearer every day that Apple shipped #APFS way too early,” wrote Schwartz in a tweet on Thursday.

Other coders have said as much. Shortly after Apple released the High Sierra upgrade, aka macOS 10.13, in late September, Brian Lopez, an engineering manager at GitHub, mused via Twitter, “Legitimately wondering of Apple accidentally shipped a pre-release version of High Sierra. So much of it is unfinished and unpolished.”

Marco Arment, another developer, suggested Apple’s focus on iOS has hurt its quality control elsewhere. “The biggest problem with Apple putting less effort into macOS isn’t that it stagnates — it’s that they make buggier, sloppier updates,” he wrote via Twitter on Thursday.

Asked to comment, an Apple spokesperson directed The Register to its published security update notification and an accompanying knowledge base article. ®

Sponsored:
The Joy and Pain of Buying IT – Have Your Say

Troubleshooting macOS High Sierra Problems

Troubleshooting macOS High Sierra problems

Are you having difficulties with macOS High Sierra? While most Mac users who update to macOS High Sierra have no issues with the system software, there are small groups of users who have experienced a variety of problems with the software update. This tends to happen with every major system software release, either due to compatibility issues, third party apps, bugs, or a variety of other reasons. This article attempts to gather a list of some of the reported macOS High Sierra problems, along with possible troubleshooting solutions to those issues, though by no means is this exhaustive.

There are mixed reports of some Mac users updating to macOS High Sierra and then experiencing a range of problems, from problems installing or downloading the installer, to rapid battery life draining, inability for some apps to open, apps crashing, strange performance problems or overall performance degradation, problems with mounting and reading disks, problems with networking connectivity and wi-fi, issues with graphics or displays, amongst a variety of other issues that can be frustrating. Dive in, and report your own experiences in the comments below.

MacOS High Sierra download fails

Some users report errors trying to download macOS High Sierra from the Mac App Store. If this happens, the first thing you should do is be sure your Mac is connected to the internet and has a functioning internet connection.

Often simply relaunching the App Store is sufficient to remedy a download problem as well.

  1. Quit out of the Mac App Store
  2. Relaunch the Mac App Store and try to download macOS High Sierra again

Rarely, you may need to reboot the Mac as well – this should not be necessary however.

MacOS High Sierra Installer is Incomplete or Unable to Make a USB Drive

Some users report they are unable to download the complete macOS High Sierra installer app, and instead wind up with a small 20mb version that attempts to download the remainder of the installer during the installation itself. This prevents the user from creating a USB installer for MacOS High Sierra.

A workaround for this issue is to use a third party tool to download the complete macOS High Sierra installer as discussed here.

MacOS High Sierra Installation Fails

If installation fails, usually in a very obvious manner with an error message when attempting to install the High Sierra update, the solution is usually to redownload the installer and then reinstall macOS High Sierra.

There are various error messages that may be seen in this including: “The path /System/Installation/Packages/OSInstall.mpkg appears to be missing or damaged.  Quit the installer to restart your computer and try again.” or, rarely, more obscure error messages with “macOS could not be installed on your computer” or “An error occurred while verifying firmware. Quit the installer to restart your computer and try again.”

If you get package missing errors or damaged application errors, delete the “Install macOS High Sierra.app” from the /Applications/ folder on the Mac, then re-download the installer from the Mac App Store.

Reboot the Mac, then attempt to re-install Mac OS High Sierra using the “Install macOS High Sierra.app” app again. This should resolve most issues with failed installation attempts.

MacOS High Sierra cannot be installed, or refuses to install on a Mac

If macOS High Sierra will not proceed with installation on the Mac, usually with a notification along the lines of “macOS High Sierra cannot be installed”, it is likely because the Mac is not compatible with High Sierra.

You can check the compatibility list for Macs that support macOS High Sierra here, generally speaking if the Mac runs Sierra and is reasonably modern, it should work.

“Installation of macOS could not continue” error

Some Mac users are encountering an installation error stating “Installation of macOS could not continue. Installation requires downloading important content. That content can’t be downloaded at this time. Try again later.”

Troubleshooting this issue usually involves multiple easy steps: confirming the Mac has active reliable internet access, and then trying to install macOS High Sierra again.

Sometimes a reboot can be sufficient to remedy this error as well.

macOS High Sierra Installation Freezes, Stuck on Black or White Screen

Very rarely, a macOS High Sierra installation fails and remains stuck on a black screen, or all white screen.

If you see an all black or all white screen, the first thing you should do is wait, since the issue may resolve itself, even if it takes a few hours.

Also, with an all black screen, be sure your screen brightness is turned up on the Mac. There are a few reports of the installer screen dimming for whatever reason, and simply turning up the brightness on the display reveals the normal installer screen.

If the installation has completely frozen on a blank screen, you may need to reinstall macOS High Sierra. Try rebooting the Mac and running the High Sierra installer again, or if you have a macOS High Sierra USB boot installer drive, run the installer from there.

If the installation is truly frozen, you may need to reinstall macOS High Sierra via Recovery Mode, by rebooting the Mac and holding down Command+R and then choosing to reinstall macOS.

High Sierra Installation Failed Completely, Mac OS Won’t Boot

This is rare, but there are some reports the installation of High Sierra fails. If the installation fails and the Mac operating system won’t boot at all, usually getting stuck on a blank gray screen, you may need to reinstall system software on the Mac. But first you should try resetting NVRAM / PRAM on the Mac.

  1. Turn off the Mac, then turn it back on again and immediately hold down the OPTION, COMMAND, P, R keys concurrently
  2. Continue holding COMMAND OPTION P R until you hear the boot sound chime again, it usually takes 15 long seconds or so

If the Mac will not boot up after resetting NVRAM, you likely need to reinstall the system software. You may be able to do this with a High Sierra boot drive if you have one available, otherwise you can use recovery mode to reinstall. You can boot into Recovery Mode by rebooting the Mac and holding down Command + R, then choose to reinstall macOS.

If you are unable to reinstall macOS High Sierra, and the Mac will not boot up normally, you can also reboot the Mac and hold down Command+Shift+Option+R and choose to reinstall macOS over internet recovery, which will reinstall the version of Mac OS that shipped on the Mac instead.

APFS Not Working With Fusion Drives or Normal HDDs

APFS support is not currently implemented for Fusion drives or HDD drives in macOS High Sierra versions, but Fusion and HDD support for APFS is expected to arrive in a future software update version.

If you are currently running macOS High Sierra with a Fusion drive of standard spinning HDD, be sure to update system software when new versions arrive to receive support for APFS when it arrives.

MacOS High Sierra Freezing or Stalls

There are mixed reports of Macs freezing, stalling, or otherwise not responding after installing macOS High Sierra.

Some users report that their cursor and keyboard becomes unresponsive with High Sierra, but music or audio will continue to play. This is often triggered after a video starts playing on the Mac, through YouTube, Facebook, or similar services. In such a scenario, the Mac must be forcefully rebooted to regain functionality of the keyboard and mouse or trackpad again. A workaround to that frustrating issue may be to user an alternative web browser, whether it’s Safari, Safari Tech Preview, Chrome, Firefox, or Opera.

There are other reports of Macs completely freezing up with a stuck cursor or a stuck beachball cursor that does not respond or move as well, also requiring a forced reboot of the Mac to regain functionality. These problems could be the result of a bug or compatibility problem with macOS High Sierra, either in core system software or with a third party app or service in use on the Macs. Updating apps and installing available software updates may remedy the problem. If this situation remains unresolved to the user and becomes unworkable, downgrading macOS High Sierra using a prior Time Machine backup is one workaround, though it will move the user back to a prior version of system software to do so.

External Displays Not Working with MacOS High Sierra, or Screens Flickering

There are a few reports of some Macs having issues with external displays after updating to macOS High Sierra. Some users repot screens are flickering or blinking various colors at random, or after a Mac has gone into clamshell mode with an external display connected.

If you are experiencing issues with external displays not functioning properly, try resetting the Mac SMC.

WindowServer causing heavy CPU activity

There are mixed reports of unusually high WindowServer processor activity with some setups in High Sierra. High WindowServer CPU usage can sometimes be resolved by disabling transparency effects in Mac OS.

Be sure to update any updates to macOS High Sierra that are available, as well as any third party graphics drivers if applicable.

Display Artifacts or Screen Graphics Distortions

Some Mac users have reported issues with unusual display artifacts and graphical distortions on their screens. This could be related to issues with the new graphics engine in macOS High Sierra and certain hardware components, or it could be related to third party software or drivers installed on the Mac. Graphics issues that relate to the core system software are likely to be resolved in a future software update, whereas graphics issues dependent on third party software or drivers will likely require an update from those manufacturers and/or developers.

Mac Won’t Wake from Sleep with High Sierra

Numerous users on discussions.apple.com report difficulty with a Mac waking from sleep since installing High Sierra.

The typical troubleshooting steps of resetting SMC or VRAM could be a solution to issues with sleep and wake. Apparently Apple Support has told some users in this scenario to simply reinstall macOS via Recovery mode.

One workaround is to restart or shut down the Mac and then boot up again every time the Mac refuses to wake from sleep, but that’s obviously fairly annoying.

MacOS High Sierra 10.13 Wi-Fi Problems

Some users have reported that macOS High Sierra has difficulty connecting to wi-fi networks. Usually this is a simple matter to resolve, often just toggling the service off, restarting, and turning wireless back on again is enough to fix it:

  1. Turn Wi-Fi OFF from the wireless menu in macOS
  2. Reboot the Mac
  3. Turn wi-fi ON from the wireless menu

If that fails, then try the tips to remedy wi-fi problems with macOS High Sierra that worked with Sierra as discussed here, it’s a series of universal wi-fi troubleshooting steps that can help wireless connectivity problems in nearly all versions of macOS system software.

Additionally, there are mixed reports of difficulties connecting to wi-fi networks that are hiding their router name (SSID). If you connect a Mac to a wi-fi router with hidden SSID then a temporary workaround is to unhide the SSID (router name) and make the SSID visible again. This requires logging into the wi-fi router and that process varies per wireless router vendor.

Some apps are not working in macOS High Sierra

Most apps that worked with Sierra should work with High Sierra, but nonetheless some compatibility issues can persist with High Sierra. Examples of apps reported to have problems with macOS High Sierra include some versions of Final Cut Pro, Motion, Indesign, Logic, Compressor, Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop, amongst others. In almost every case, installing the latest version of those apps, along with any other available software updates to macOS, should resolve the problems.

The best approach to this is to update the apps, from the Mac App Store Updates tab, or if the app offers direct software updates, then to install those.

Check with the app developer to see if a new version of the app is available, and to make sure it is compatible with macOS High Sierra.

The Mac feels slow after installing MacOS High Sierra

If you just installed macOS High Sierra on a Mac and it feels slower than usual, it’s likely because of indexing and other maintenance tasks going on in the background pertaining to Spotlight, Siri, Photos app, iCloud, and other system functions.

Simply leaving the Mac turned on and letting it sit idle as it processes necessary background tasks is usually enough to resolve performance problems experienced right after updating macOS system software.

In fact, many Macs may feel faster with macOS High Sierra, particularly with disk related tasks like copying and moving files, due to the new APFS file system. Again, if you have performance issues, simply waiting a while can often resolve the problem.

If performance problems persist, investigating apps or processes using high CPU usage through Activity Monitor is a good starting point. Sometimes an errant process may be running in the background and slowing things down by consuming computing resources.

Additional Troubleshooting Tips for macOS High Sierra

Have you had any issues with macOS High Sierra? If so, were you able to troubleshoot and resolve the problems successfully? Let us know your experiences in the comments below.