Apple’s latest operating system, macOS 12 Monterey, only arrived in October 2021, but it’s already in its fourth beta. In this article, we’ll give you everything you need to know about the latest release, gather all the news about the latest iteration of Apple’s latest desktop operating system, as well as discuss the issues people are having with the new operating system, including reports that macOS Monterey bricked some Intel-powered Macs and some users had USB connectivity issues after the update.
Note: The next version of macOS will be Ventura. Read all about macOS Ventura in our explainer.
What is the latest version of macOS Monterey?
Apple made macOS Monterey (macOS 12) available for download (as long as you have a compatible Mac) on Monday, October 25, 2021, around 10:00 a.m. PT (6:00 p.m. UK time). Read all about Monterey and its features in our Monterey Superguide. You might also like to read our Monterey vs Big Sur comparison.
However, since Monterey’s release, Apple has continued to update it, adding new features and fixing (and sometimes adding) bugs and vulnerabilities. The latest version is macOS 12.5, which was released on July 20. According to Apple, it includes “improvements, bug fixes and security updates”. There’s also the new option to restart a live sports game already in progress and pause, rewind or fast forward. And a problem with Safari tabs is also fixed. There are also a number of security updates.
Prior to macOS 12.5, macOS 12.4 was released on May 16, 2022. It includes updates to the Podcasts app, Studio Display Fireware 15.5 update, and bug fixes. Apple released macOS 12.3.1 on March 31, 2022. This update followed the major release of macOS 12.3 on March 14, which brought the long-awaited Universal Controls feature that lets you share a mouse and keyboard between Macs. and iPads.
Prior to that, macOS Monterey 12.2 was released on January 26, 2022. This update mainly consisted of bug fixes. Version 12.2 followed the release of macOS 12.1 on December 13, 2021, which introduced SharePlay, Apple Music Voice Plan, Digital Legacy, changes to Memories in Photos, and some bug fixes.
What’s the latest macOS Monterey beta?
We don’t expect there to be another Monterey beta, although Apple may be alerted to other security issues. Apple is highly unlikely to update Monterey for any other reason, but now that Ventura is on the horizon.
Apple has been running an Apple Beta software program for Monterey since it was first announced in June 2021. The beta program allows developers and public beta testers to try out new software before it is released to the public. If you want to access beta versions of macOS, read how to install macOS beta. Be warned though, beta software can be buggy and cause issues with your Mac.
Beta releases usually refine and fix features, and sometimes introduce issues that are fixed in later updates. This is why Apple does not recommend installing a beta version on the Mac you are using as your primary machine. The biggest changes in the beta so far have included changes to the layout of the address bar and tabs in Safari.
Which Macs are running macOS Monterey?
Here is an overview of Macs that can run Monterey:
2016 or later MacBook models
2015 or later MacBook Air models
2015 or later MacBook Pro models
Mac mini models from Fall 2014 or later
iMac models from Fall 2015 or later
iMac Pro (all models)
2013 or later Mac Pro models
Mac Studio (all models)
However, just because your Mac can run Monterey doesn’t mean you’ll get all the features. Some features require an M1-powered Mac, eg. Read: What Monterey Features Run on My Mac to find out which Monterey features are supported by your Mac.
Here we run through all Macs compatible with Monterey: macOS Monterey compatibility.
What are the known issues with Monterey?
While this is usually the case when Apple releases a new version of macOS, we see various complaints from people suffering from issues following the update.
For that reason, it might be worth waiting for Apple to release the first Monterey update – probably macOS 12.1, in which case the biggest issues will hopefully have been resolved.
If this warning is too late for you, check out the information below to see if your issue is being experienced by others and what’s the best way to resolve the issue.
Monterey will not download or install
If you’re having trouble installing or downloading Monterey, see macOS Monterey won’t install: Fixes for help.
Battery life issues
Unfortunately, there have been reports that users are seeing their MacBook battery level drop following macOS 12.2. This appears to be related to a Bluetooth issue in macOS 12.2.
According to reports, the battery level of the affected MacBook devices drops rapidly after a few hours in sleep mode. Details here: macOS 12.2 “Bluetooth problem” drains battery in sleep mode. Version 12.2.1 seems to fix the battery drain issue, so if you are still using macOS 12.2, this may be the cause of your battery life issue.
The display does not work
Some Mac users – including at least one Macworld publisher – have found that external displays no longer work after installing macOS 12.3.
Apple’s macOS 12.3.1 update fixed an issue where “USB-C or Thunderbolt external display won’t turn on when connected to Mac mini (2018) as a second display”. So it looks like the issue is now resolved.
Game controller issues
Apparently there is also an issue with game controllers introduced in macOS 12.3, this issue may also be related to Bluetooth.
Following the introduction of Monterey in 2021, there were disturbing reports that some Macs were being bricked while installing Monterey. The issue seems to affect older Intel-based models – it seems to affect Macs with T1 and T2, with the T1 seeming to be more affected than the T2. (The T1 and T2 are chips that drive the System Management Controller (SMC) and Touch ID sensors of some Intel Macs).
The reason for the failure after the update may be the new firmware that comes with the update. If something goes wrong during installation, such as the Mac being disconnected from power or some other process interfering with the firmware update, it can lead to a total operating system crash.
One solution was to roll back the Mac’s firmware, Apple explains how to do this here. The rescue procedure for T2 Macs, as shown in this Apple document, requires a second Intel Mac, from which you can supply damaged computers with new firmware for the T2 processor via Apple Configurator 2. All data on internal storage (hard disk or SSD) must be retained.
Luckily, Apple has released a bridgeOS firmware update to fix the problem, at least for T2-equipped Mac owners.
In A declaration Apple said, “We have identified and fixed an issue with the Apple T2 Security Chip firmware that prevented a very small number of users from starting their Mac after updating macOS. Updated firmware is now included with existing macOS updates. All users affected by this issue can contact Apple Support for assistance. More here: Apple releases major Monterey patch for Macs with T2 chip.
However, if you want to update the firmware for a Mac T1, you may need to visit an Apple Store. Any user who was affected by the bug before the update arrived is urged to contact Apple Customer Service.
The T2 chip is a feature of the following Macs, which may be affected:
27-inch iMac (Retina 5K, 2020)
Mac Pro (2019)
Mac Pro (rack model, 2019)
Mac mini (2018)
13-inch MacBook Air (Retina, 2020)
13-inch MacBook Air (Retina, 2019)
13-inch MacBook Air (Retina, 2018)
13-inch MacBook Pro (2020, 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports)
13-inch MacBook Pro (2020, 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports)
16-inch MacBook Pro (2019)
13-inch MacBook Pro (2019, 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports)
15-inch MacBook Pro (2019)
13-inch MacBook Pro (2019, 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports)
15-inch MacBook Pro (2018)
13-inch MacBook Pro (2018, 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports)
Memory management problem
A memory management bug appears to cause some Macs to run out of free memory. You may see the warning: “Your system is out of application memory.”
The bug has appeared on both new and old Macs, so it doesn’t appear to be limited to Apple Silicon or Intel machines.
The recommendation if you encounter the bug is to force quit apps or restart your Mac.
There was a suggestion that the Monterey Memory Bug relates to the cursor. Monterey introduces the ability to change the mouse pointer color (via System Preferences > Accessibility > Display > Pointer). As mentioned on Apple’s support forums, if users reset the slider to default colors, the issue may be resolved.
However, this patch did not fix the problem for everyone. Read more here: macOS Monterey memory leaks blamed on cursor.
Problems with USB hubs have also been reported. It seems that some USB hubs and USB devices do not work properly after the upgrade.
It seems that some USB 3.0 ports no longer work following a Monterey upgrade.
The problem seems to be most common on computers with Apple’s M1 chip, but Intel Macs are also affected. In some cases, some ports work, but not others. For some users, hubs don’t work at all.
Some beta testers had reported USB issues earlier in the beta process. Hopefully the issue will be fixed in macOS Monterey 12.1.
Curious to know what’s coming to macOS in 2022? Read our macOS 13 guide. To see what the company has in store with its hardware in the coming year, check out our guide to the new products Apple will announce in 2022.