Frustration and time wasting: Upgrading to macOS High Sierra; why/why not and issues!

Answer? DON’T.

Why not? It is very buggy. The list of things broken from Sierra to High Sierra suggests that High Sierra was not ready for release and still isn’t.

Normally I update MacOS after the first major release update (in this case on the release of 13.1), but I held back after looking at all the issues. So when 13.2 came out I thought that it should be safe to update. How wrong can you get!!

It is surprising that in many of Apple’s OS releases, iOS for Phones, iPads, Apple TV and MacOS, bugs in two versions back eg iOS 9 are fixed in iOS 10, but the same bug in iOS 9 reappears with iOS 11. There are many examples of this: slow connectivity and playing when streaming movies and TV shows from iTunes on a computer to iPhones and iPads (but no problems with Apple TV). Admittedly iOS 11 on the Apple TV gave the visual interface when reviewing movies and TV shows steaming from iTunes on a local network but this has taken a few years (previously nearly a Dos listing interface!!). On the Mac, Preview in MacOS 10.11 was a real mess including saving annotations. This was fixed in 10.12 but the bug came back in 10:13 (Update: appears fixed in 10:13.3 Beta). An infamous one was Calculator on iOS that when pressing the buttons quickly gave an incorrect calculation. This was fixed in an update, but all points to real problems in Apple’s QC procedures.

Other bugs in 10:13?

  1. Download versions of MacOS High Sierra in early January would fail on their installation (Four separate computers: two MacBook Airs, two Mac Minis) and re-downloaded install file (yes, it could just be the slow download that corrupted the file but it is supposed to do a checksum before installing!!). This was just catastrophic as the SSDs were converted to APFS and reverting back to Sierra took two days as the SSDs needed to be reformatted, the recovery replaced to the non-APFS version etc. What a mess as I lost a week over this. The latest version to download seems to have this fixed.
  2. Preview is broken: can’t save annotations NOR even print them!! (Update: appears to be fixed in 10.13.3 Beta version 4);
  3. Messages (touted as a NEW FEATURE in High Sierra) won’t sync messages from the iPhone to the Mac (the Sync button seen in early versions located with the “Account” is now removed (Jan 2018). (Update 1: Doesn’t appear to affect everyone. Update 2: appears fixed in 10.13.3 Beta version 4 but still can’t sync old messages from the iPhone.)
  4. All notifications are very slow to appear and you hear the sound but the message appears a few seconds later (Update: appears fixed in 10.13.3 Beta version 4);
  5. Syncing with iCloud is very inconsistent. When looking to open the files on iCloud in the Finder some directories and files just don’t appear. Some will appear the next day but still some are missing, yet they are still on iCloud and you can access them on other non-High Sierra computers and iOS devices. (Update: appears partly fixed in 10.13.3 Beta version 4 but not fully – some files still not downloading from iCloud);
  6. Syncing Photos from iCloud to the Mac is very slow and after a few days the latest photos (from the iPhone to iCloud) have still not downloaded.
  7. Thunderbolt Display speakers not connecting when docking MacBook air. Restart (PRAM reset) required while MacBook Air is connected to the Thunderbolt Display.
  8. MS Word 2017 appears to be a little odd on opening where the initial screen to select a format to open normally disappears if you select a file to open from the pulldown menu, this now doesn’t disappear.
  9. SuperDuper takes at least 50 seconds to be functional – spinning ball. Not clear why and no mention on Shirt-Pocket’s website. No apparent problems with CCC.
  10. Copying files to external media. This was supposed to be quicker, and is on the boot SSD) but now it takes a long time to check to confirm the copy before copying.

Things improved?

  1. Most apps appear to open more quickly.
  2. MS Word 2014 appears to still be working despite earlier reports that it was broken.
  3. APFS supports snapshots of you hard drive.


Check out all the issues with High Sierra on Apple’s Discussions.