Fix the most common macOS Monterey problems with this guide

macOS Monterey is a great new update we all have been very excited about. This version introduced many cool features, including the Shortcuts app, Universal Control, redesigned Safari, improvements to FaceTime, and other major changes. But, the new updates rarely run flawlessly, and sadly, macOS Monterey is no exception. Luckily, there is a fix for almost every problem you may encounter — in this article, we’ll break down common macOS Monterey problems and fixes.

macOS Monterey: problems & solutions

We’ll shed some light on common problems and issues you may face with macOS Monterey. If you’d like to fix a particular problem, jump up to the section that interests you:

  1. macOS Monterey won’t install
  2. Time Machine is stuck on backup
  3. Mac is slow after the update
  4. Mouse/Trackpad input is laggy
  5. Wi-Fi not working
  6. VPN apps not working correctly
  7. Bluetooth not working
  8. Apps crashing on macOS Monterey

1. macOS Monterey won’t install

If you were in the middle of updating your Mac, but the macOS Monterey installation failed, here are a few things you could try:

Make sure you have enough space.

    Apple recommends having around 20GBs of free hard drive space to install new OS update. To check how much free space you have, go to the Apple menu > About This Mac. Select the Storage tab and let it calculate how your storage space is allocated. If there are less than 20GBs available, click Manage, and follow the tips to optimize your hard drive.

    macOS storage bar

    Check your Wi-Fi connection

    A problem with the internet connection may be the reason why the macOS Monterey update gets stuck. Change the network if you can, or switch to an ethernet cable to avoid Wi-Fi connectivity issues.

    Check Apple System status

    When Apple Servers are down, all Mac users can experience issues with the update. To check the current server status, visit the System Status page. Look for a green status indicator next to “macOS Software Update.” If there is a problem, it will say "Outage" alongside a red dot.

    2. Time Machine is stuck on backup

    If the last time you’ve backed up your Mac was some time ago, it may take longer for Time Machine to prepare a backup. Giving it more time should fix the issue. But, if it’s been stuck for a while, try stopping the backup in progress. Then, uncheck the “Back Up Automatically” box.

    Now, exclude the large files you don’t need from the backup: click Options and press “+” to add files.

    How to exclude an item from backup

    Before starting the backup over, make sure your antivirus software doesn’t interfere with Time Machine: exclude the external drive from the antivirus scans or quit the antivirus altogether while you’re backing up your data.

    3. Mac is slow after the update

    Some users reported having performance issues after updating their Macs to macOS Monterey. If that’s the case with your MacBook, there is an app that can fix that. CleanMyMac X is a Mac cleaner and optimization tool that runs useful optimizations and speeds things up on your computer. It disables background processes, frees up RAM, and shows exactly what’s slowing down your Mac.

    CleanMyMac X - Login items

    • Download CleanMyMac X here — it’s free to try it out.
    • Install and launch the app.
    • Go to Optimization.
    • Select the Login Items and Launch Agents that you want to disable.
    • Click Remove.

    Now, move to the Maintenance tab, and run some optimizations here.

    Free up Mac RAM with CleanMyMacX

    CleanMyMac X saves the time you’d spent running all those commands in Terminal. So, if you’re looking for a safe and quick way to fix your slow Mac, try CleanMyMac X — it’s notarized by Apple.

    Tip

    If your Mac became particularly slow with the update, check out our article on how to speed up macOS Monterey.

    4. Mouse/Trackpad input is laggy

    Some of the early adopters of the macOS Monterey reported an input delay that happened every five minutes and lasted for 5 to 20 seconds a time. Unfortunately, Apple still has no fix, but we expect the solution will arrive with the next update. In the meantime, you can try the following:

    Disable conflicting apps

      Some programs can conflict with each other causing your trackpad or mouse to lag. Quit all the active apps (you can do that using the Force Quit menu: just press Option-Command-Esc to launch it) and see if the issue persists. Reopen apps one by one to identify the culprit.

      Downgrade to macOS Big Sur

        If it’s impossible for you to use your Mac normally, consider downgrading to the previous macOS. Here are our detailed instructions on how to roll back from macOS Monterey to Big Sur.

        5. Wi-Fi not working

        If you’ve noticed that Wi-Fi stopped working on your Mac after the upgrade, first try forgetting the network:

        How to forget the Wi-fi network
        1. Go to System Preferences > Network.
        2. Select Wi-Fi and click Advanced.
        3. Select the network you want to forget and press the “–” button.
        4. Click Remove to confirm.

        Reconnect to the network and see if it worked. If it didn’t help, updating your Wi-Fi preferences may fix the issue. Here’s how to do that:

        1. Go to Finder.
        2. Click Go > Go to Folder.
        3. Enter this location and press Go: /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/
        4. Locate the following files and delete them:

        com.apple.airport.preferences.plist

        com.apple.network.eapolclient.configuration.plist

        com.apple.wifi.messsage-tracer.plist

        NetworkInterfaces.plist

        preferences.plist

        How to locate .plist files

        Restart your Mac and your Wi-Fi router. The new preference files will be rebuilt, and Wi-Fi should be up and running.

        Another thing with Wi-Fi is that we often use lots of different Wi-Fi networks, forgetting some of them are free and unsecure. Your Mac can reconnect to that unsafe network if it’s nearby, exposing your data to more risks. So, it’s better to remove those networks for good. CleanMyMac X helps you do just that: it shows the list of all open networks you’ve earlier connected to and deletes them.

        CleanMyMac X - open wi-fi networks

        You can explore other Privacy features as well to be more in control of your data and remain secure.

        6. VPN apps not working correctly

        One reason VPN apps are not working correctly after an upgrade to Monterey is a new Apple feature called iCloud Private Relay. This option hides your actual IP address and assigns you a new IP when you connect. And, as some users reported, it can interfere with VPN apps. So, here’s how to disable it:

        How to turn off Private Relay
        1. Go to Apple menu > System Preferences.
        2. Click Apple ID.
        3. In the left-side menu, select iCloud.
        4. Find Private Relay and click Options.
        5. Click Turn off to disable it.

        Hopefully, the issue is gone.

        7. Bluetooth not working

        Bluetooth issues are common on the new OS: it happened on Big Sur, and it happens on Monterey now. If Bluetooth keeps disconnecting or doesn’t connect at all, here are some things you can do:

        How to reset the Bluetooth

        Reset the Bluetooth module

        To reset Bluetooth, press Shift-Option and click the Bluetooth icon. Here, select Reset the Bluetooth module. In the window that appears, click OK.

        Reset PRAM/NVRAM settings

          NVRAM is a type of memory on your Mac that contains certain settings. PRAM, which stands for Parameter RAM, stores similar information. Resetting NVRAM/PRAM can help fix issues with sound, display, Bluetooth, and other preferences. Here’s how to do that:

          • Shut down your Mac.
          • Turn it on and press Option-Command-P-R on Mac’s startup.
          • Hold the keys for 20 seconds, then release.

          When your Mac starts up, go to System Preferences to modify any settings that were altered.

          8. Apps crashing on macOS Monterey

          When the new major macOS update is about to be released, the developers usually optimize their software to make sure they’re compatible with new OS requirements. However, still some programs may freeze or crash after the update.

          If you’re experiencing app crashing on Monterey, try force-quitting the misbehaving program:

          How to force quit an app on Mac
          1. Press Option-Command-Esc to launch the Force-Quit menu.
          2. Select the app.
          3. Click Force Quit.

          Restart the app and see if it worked. If the app keeps crashing, try resetting it. CleanMyMac X can help you with that: it will restore the app to its factory settings without deleting it.

          Safari reset selected in the Uninstaller module in CMMX

          1. Open CleanMyMac X — download CleanMyMac X here if you don’t have it yet.
          2. Go to Uninstaller.
          3. Select the app that’s crashing.
          4. Click the dropdown menu and choose Reset.
          5. Press Reset.

          As quick as that, your app should now be back to its default settings.

          macOS Monterey is a great new update, but things may go out of control when you upgrade your Mac. Follow this guide to fix the issues that may occur during and after you install the new macOS.

          Laptop with CleanMyMac
          CleanMyMac X

          Your Mac. As good as new.