How to fix Monterey problems

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10 min read

Apple’s macOS 12 Monterey public beta is finally here, and out team mutually agreed on its awesomeness. Except one designer who upgraded only to try Universal Control and found out it’s not there yet. To avoid such unpleasant revelations, let’s look at Monterey problems.

We explain how to solve macOS Monterey downloading/installing/not booting problems, as well as how to deal with Mac misbehavior after the upgrade.

How to solve common macOS Monterey issues

If you’ve landed here, we assume you’ve already installed Monterey. If not and you’re here to learn about the potential issues — great for you! Here’s a detailed guide on how to install macOS Monterey.

Now, let’s dive into all macOS Monterey issues I personally experienced after upgrading. Plus the collective wisdom of MacRumors, Apple forum, and Google itself — we’ve looked for reports related to the early issues literally everywhere. So here’s what we know.

macOS Monterey download fail

To get the new macOS on your Mac, you should download it from About This Mac > Software Update. If it’s a beta, enroll your Mac in the beta program first: go to Apple Beta Software Program page > enter your Apple ID > Enroll Your Devices > macOS > download and run the installer.

The very first blocker you might experience is macOS Monterey downloading problems. When trying to download Monterey from Software Update, you could see an error that reads “Installation could not continue” or something like that. A few possible solutions:

Check device compatibility

macOS Monterey leaves a few older Mac models behind, so the chances are it simply won’t work on your Mac. Here’s a full list of Macs compatible with macOS 12:

  • MacBook Air (early 2015 and later)
  • MacBook Pro (early 2015 and later)
  • MacBook (early 2016 and later)
  • Mac mini (late 2014 and later)
  • Mac Pro (late 2013 and later)
  • iMac (late 2015 and later)
  • iMac Pro (2017 and later).

Fix Wi-Fi

Network connection is crucial when installing software updates. If your Wi-Fi is poor, installation errors could occur. To find out if it’s the case, you need WiFi Explorer. Just open the app and click on your network connection to check signal strength and noise level. If you have a few network spots available, WiFi Explorer will tell you which one is best to connect to.

Maybe, you need more storage

According to early reports, macOS Monterey takes around 20GB of space to download and install successfully. If you don’t have that amount of storage on your drive, go ahead and delete some clutter from your Mac.

CleanMyMac X is the quickest and most reliable tool to free up storage on Mac. Run a Smart Scan to identify any system clutter, duplicates, old caches — all the stuff that should be deleted. Then remove it in a click. From experience, CleanMyMac X frees up around 10GB of space every month for me. And if you haven’t cleaned up for a while, you’ll get even more.

CleanMyMac X Smart Scan

macOS Monterey won’t install

Maybe you’ve got through the download process but can’t move any further because macOS 12 won’t install. Bummer. Usually, some kind of compatibility or verification issue is at fault.

Here are a few fixes for macOS Monterey installing problems. We suggest you try them one by one, in the same order as presented below:

  • Reboot your Mac in Safe Mode: Apple menu > Shut down > Hold down Shift when restarting your Mac > release Shift once you see the login window. Then, try installing Monterey once again.
  • Reset NVRAM: Shut down your Mac > hold down Option + Command + P + R for 20 seconds > release the keys and wait for your Mac to boot normally. Install Monterey.
  • Reset SMC: This will help if the installation issue has to do with temperature, power management, fans, and things like that. Honestly, it’s very rare, so we don’t recommend resetting SMC unless you’ve tried the previous two.
  • MacBooks with T2 chip: Shut down your Mac > Hold down the Power button for 10 seconds > Turn on your Mac > Install Monterey.
  • MacBooks without T2 chip (removable battery): Shut down your Mac > Disconnect the power cord > Remove the battery > Hold down the Power button for a few seconds > Release the power button and put the battery in > Connect the power cord > Turn on your Mac > Install Monterey.
  • MacBooks without T2 chip (non-removable battery): Shut down your Mac > Disconnect the power cord > Press and hold Shift + Option + Control + the power button for 10 seconds > Release the keys and connect the power cord > Turn on your Mac > Install Monterey.
  • Desktop Macs: Shut down your Mac > Disconnect the power cord for 15 seconds > Connect the power cord > Turn on your Mac > Install Monterey.

Fix AirPlay problems in macOS Monterey

With macOS Monterey, Apple added the opportunity to stream from Mac to Mac (or any iOS device to Mac) via AirPlay 2, an improved version of the native content streaming tool. As we all rushed into trying it out, many people reported problems. AirPlay freezing, working painfully slow, or not working at all. We don’t know the reason, but we know a few fixes you could try.

Check Firewall settings on Mac

  1. Access System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Firewall
  2. Choose Firewall Options
  3. Deselect “Block all incoming connections” and select “Automatically allow built-in software to receive incoming connections.”

Reset NVRAM

  1. Shut down your Mac
  2. Press and hold down Option + Command + P + R for about 20 seconds
  3. Wait until your Mac starts booting, then release the keys

Please note that resetting NVRAM also resets many settings, including display resolution and volume. So you might want to tweak them after restarting your Mac.

Fix Apple TV AirPlay not working

If the problem only arises when you try to stream to Apple TV, the first thing to do is to bring your Mac closer to Apple TV. Doesn’t work? Make sure they are both connected to the same network. Maybe one of the devices accidentally connected to another Wi-Fi spot, and so now you’re stuck because of this trivial issue.

Once you’ve fixed network and proximity but the problem persists, try updating Apple TV. Go to the Apple TV Settings > System > Software Updates > Update Software. If there’s an update available, download and install it. Then, try reconnecting via AirPlay.

Install Beamer on Mac

The universal fix is to use Beamer instead of AirPlay. This great app lets you stream any video to Apple TV (and any other TV device with Google Cast). Remote control, subtitles, playlists, you get all the ordinary perks. Unlike other streaming apps, Beamer natively streams content instead of mirroring screen, so you can expect the best quality.

Battery life issues after installing macOS Monterey

Noticed you can’t work in the park as long as before? Maybe that’s Monterey putting pressure on your battery. Here we suggest the best tips to extend battery life:

Install battery controller

iStat Menus is an app that controls your Mac’s overall performance. It offers different modules for monitoring CPU, sensors, battery, and more. We recommend installing all because they all help keep your Mac in good shape. But most importantly, battery. It will let you see which apps use significant energy, track battery’s health, how fast it drains, and so on.

Upon checking the insights, you can make decisions as to uninstalling specific apps or quitting some processes to make your battery life better.

Update or uninstall apps

Since it’s a new macOS we’re talking about, chances are some apps haven’t been optimized for it yet. Or, some of them need to be updated to work properly. Anything that relates to app performance could affect your battery life. CleanMyMac X has two great tools — Updater and Uninstaller that can solve these problems instantly.

Switch to Safari

Every “Why I switched from Chrome to Safari” article highlights this — Safari does much better job in terms of battery life. Especially with Monterey improvements for Safari, it makes total sense to make it your default browser. The new tab groups are amazing.

Turn on energy saving mode

The best way to make the most of your battery is to install Endurance, an app that automatically extends battery life by 20%. You don’t have to do anything, just enable energy saving. Endurance is very clever in terms of adapting to your flow. It can dim lights, snooze apps, and reduce processing speed based on what you do.

You can also optimize power consumption using the native option: System Preferences > Battery > Low power mode. This will reduce display brightness and system clock speed.

Monterey overheating issue

Loud fan noise and Mac heat are annoying. And certainly bad for your productivity, because a Mac tends to slow down when it’s overheating. Here are the working solutions we’ve tried.

Adjust fan settings

iStat Menus has a cool controller for sensors, which lets you adjust fan settings to reduce the heat. Once you’ve installed it in your menu bar, click Sensors > Fans > Select “Medium” or “Edit fan rules” to adjust fan speeds as you like (reducing the speed should reduce the heat).

Reset SMC

The next thing to try is to reset SMC. While SMC controls fans and temperature on your Mac, this should help solve overheating. Find a detailed guide on how to reset SMC in the “macOS won’t install” section.

Tip: Many people deal with Mac overheating, and it’s not always related to software updates. A very common reason is apps hogging your CPU (especially those that work in the background). This causes fan noise, excessive heat, and slow Mac. To deal with this, we recommend App Tamer, an app that slows down or stops those abusive apps.

Mac slowing down on Monterey

The “Monterey slow” issue has become very common since the beta went public. This is not new and happens with betas all the time. Some apps are not updated, some things still need to be perfected by Apple, and so on. However, you can improve the situation.


Disable apps launching at startup

Prevent apps from automatically launching every time you turn on your Mac. In fact, if you look at all the apps that launch at startup, you’ll notice you don’t even use many of them. They just sit there, slowing down your Mac. Here’s how to disable login items:

  1. Go to System Preferences > Users & Groups
  2. Select Login items
  3. Remove some apps from the list and save the changes.

Uninstall some apps

If you notice that a specific app always “uses significant energy” and taming it with App Tamer doesn’t help, maybe it’s time to say goodbye. Uninstall apps with CleanMyMac X — it’s the best way to do it because deleting apps manually usually leaves behind lots of clutter. Just open the app, click Uninstaller, select the app, and hit the Remove button.

Clean up to reduce clutter

Things like system files, old caches, and app leftovers could be the reason for your Mac’s slow performance. If you installed macOS Monterey over your old system and did not clean install it, you might have moved lots of clutter to your new macOS 12. Again, the best way to fix this is with CleanMyMac X. Run a Smart Scan or click System Junk to remove it all.

Bluetooth not showing battery level

When connecting AirPods Pro to Mac, the Bluetooth menu shows battery percentage for both earbuds and the case. Or, at least that’s how it worked for me on macOS Big Sur. Since upgrading to Monterey, the Bluetooth menu has been showing my AirPods connection but not the battery level. Personally, this annoys me, so I’m fixing the problem with ToothFairy.

ToothFairy is a sleek app for Mac, doing just one job really — simplifying your Bluetooth connection flow. I use it to connect and disconnect my AirPods in a click and see the battery level indicator right in the menu bar. It’s possible to connect any Bluetooth device to Mac with TothFairy. You don’t even have to click on it, the visual indicator will stay in your menu bar permanently.

We’ve also seen cases when ToothFairy helps fix Bluetooth connection problems. This happens when the native utility is glitching for some reason. So if Bluetooth doesn’t work, just try connecting your device with ToothFairy.

Can’t access Universal Control on macOS Monterey

That’s because it’s not there. Unfortunately, the public beta of macOS 12 doesn’t feature Universal Control — it will likely be added later. For those who haven’t heard of Universal Control, this is the new feature that lets you control Mac and iPad using the same mouse and keyboard. Built off Continuity and Handoff, Universal Control takes extended workspace to the new level. Once it’s there, promise to give it a try!

Issues with Music on macOS Monterey

Some people report Music acting strangely on the newly updated system. Part of this is new features. Part of this just bugs. Luckily, we’ve learned a few great troubleshooting techniques on MacRumors Forum which might help you:

  • If iTunes Store is missing: Music Preferences > General > Show “iTunes Store”
  • If you can’t access your library on other devices: System Preferences > Media Sharing > Enable Home Sharing (you’ll be prompted to type your Apple ID credentials)
  • If the app always opens in full-screen mode: Quit Music > Open Terminal and run the command defaults delete com.apple.Music > Reopen Music.
  • If you have issues with library: Try rebuilding it from iTunes. When launching Music, press and hold Option > Choose library (itl format) > Music will reload with your selected library automatically.

One collection of apps to tackle Monterey issues

Summing up, macOS Monterey issues revealed nothing critical so far. If you can’t install or download Monterey, it most likely has to do with storage space, network, or device compatibility. Slow Mac, overheating, and battery life problems are pretty common with beta updates. Apart from that, you might experience minor Bluetooth, Music, and AirPlay issues.

Setapp gives you a unified toolkit to fix Monterey problems with apps:

  • CleanMyMax X: delete clutter and uninstall apps to makee your Mac faster
  • iStat Menus: Monitor battery life and fans in real time
  • Get Backup Pro: Back up only essential files before upgrading
  • WiFi Explorer: Fix network issues 
  • App Tamer: Slow down or stop apps that hog CPU
  • ToothFairy: Simplify Bluetooth connection
  • Endurance: Extend battery life
  • Beamer: Stream video from Mac to any TV.

All these apps and 200 more are free to try for 7 days, then $9.99/month. For those starting the update process, Setapp is a huge help.

Finally, if there’s an unexpected issue that hampers your work and can’t be solved with Setapp, submit your feedback in Apple’s Feedback Assistant app and wait for Apple to get back to you. Not quick, but this can help raise awareness about important issues so Apple starts investigating them.

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