Apple facing widespread outages affecting macOS Big Sur updates and more

Apple earlier today unleashed its major macOS 11 Big Sur release. While downloads are often slow with the large file and many Mac users trying to get the software at the same time, today download times are noticeably slow and are even failing in many cases. Apple has been working on the outages for most of the day.

macOS Big Sur, unveiled at WWDC20, introduces a beautiful redesign and new features in Safari, Messages, and Maps.
macOS 11 Big Sur introduces a beautiful redesign and new features in Safari, Messages, and Maps.

Michael Potuck for 9to5Mac:

If you’re seeing your Mac that’s running Catalina experiencing major slowdowns and apps not opening, you’re not alone. It looks like an issue with an Apple server connection.

Apple has confirmed the issue with downloading macOS Big Sur on its System Status page saying “Users may not be able to download macOS Software Updates on Mac computers. The issue is currently being investigated.”

Even after Apple sharing the macOS software update problem has been fixed, users are still seeing an error after Big Sur is downloaded preventing it from being installed. It looks like it will take more time before this is fully ironed out.

MacDailyNews Take: There are a record number of Mac users on the planet today and it looks like Apple wasn’t quite ready for the onslaught, hence the server outages.

Patience, Padawans. Try again a bit later when the rush finally dies down.


  1. Maybe it’s delaying the Safari 14 Mac update to fix the the problems they created with the original release. Come on Apple you created the problem and it sure doesn’t work at the moment. The Brave browser doesn’t play friendly with Keychain but other than that it just works.

    1. If you don’t like the truth about how Apple stuffed up Safari then don’t click. Apple well and truly killed Javascript and I can’t load sites from my bank through to eBay. Now I’ve been a loyal Apple user since 1993 and Apple quietly released Safari 14 and then when the problem surfaced they then quietly removed it. Is there a downgrade option? No, absolutely not! Well maybe they fixed it for Big Sur but what about Mojave? Nothing, nada and zilch! And for the record I’m a Mojave user.

      So you think I’m some Windows user? No, absolutely not. I’m a loyal Apple user who has been stiffed by Apple and I’m royally pissed off. For crying out loud Apple just fix the problem and stop treating your users like Beta testers. And for the record I’m going to keep throwing these grenades until Apple does right thing and I’ll do this without fear or favour.

      1. Apple has finally released Safari 14.01 (and it took over a month) and I’m happy to say that the problem has been fixed. Was somebody listening and why did it take so long?

        In all events the problem has been fixed. I tested it on eBay and the page properly loaded so no more hand grenades.

        Just an aside there was a poster a while back who said I was pushing the Australian telco Telstra. Absolutely not! I’m actually paying homage to a MDN poster from the past who used to take the piss out of a lot of posters which subtle humour. Some of us old MDN contributors know who I’m talking about but I’m not going to give it away but my moniker is a huge hint. Long live…well, somebody!

      2. Don’t understand your issue, I ONLY EVER use Safari, eBay works just fine, as does every other (properly built) website.

        Just tick Enable JavaScript under Security…?

        (Loyal Apple user since 1981, a Europlus ll running Esclamp mostly 😉 )

        1. Safari didn’t work until the update. Also the evidence that there was a problem was that Apple quietly withdrew Safari 14 after the release. You don’t do that if everything is fine.

            1. Or, the update (Safari 14.01) fixed the problem. For the record I just upgraded to Mojave one week prior to the Safari update. I also ran Disk Utility after the OS update. I also ran Disk Utility after the Safari update as well. No, this was an Apple stuff up because my number one piece of evidence is that the 14.01 Safari update fixed the problem. Game, set and match!

              Just because everything was OK for you doesn’t mean it was OK for everyone. And I repeat, the 14.01 update fixed the problem. Got it!

  2. I’m pretty critical of Apple sometimes, but I can’t get worked up around this one. It’s a big download, so there is a rush that will go away in a couple of days. So wait, big deal.

  3. I suffered like everyone else, but it’s working just fine now. In the future, I resolve to contain myself for a few hours, until Apple has their servers up again after ten trillion fanboys crash them, trying to download the same file five minutes after it is released.

  4. Definitely a combination of Apple’s huge download and the Internet being already stressed with Zoom and other video calls going on with schools and work from home.
    I had 7 separate Mac clients call or text me within 10 minutes of each other with just about the same symptoms. Sluggish Macs, apps not launching, getting the “bonk” sound when clicking on the Dock. Checked with others and myself and we were fine.

    Other large websites also had issues.

  5. I get why this happened and I get why verifying apps is important. But this is also why a failsafe infrastructure is critically important. Thom from OSNews put it well:

    What a brave new world – some server goes down, and you can’t use your applications anymore.

  6. Waited until Saturday and the only problem I had was after upgrading my Mac mini couldn’t see both monitors. Powered down, disconnected the monitor it did see and powered back up. Came up fine with the previous not seen monitor. Powered down again and hooked both monitors back up and everything is fine now. Things are definitely running faster. Seems great so far

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