A few days with OS X 10.11 El Capitan [Updated]

03. October 2015 Just an update 1

I mentioned in a previous post I had high hopes for El Capitan. After installing it on September 30th, I am not disappointed. My system is fast, scrolling through large directories is smooth, Finder does not choke up when working with lots of folders open, Mail is no longer freaking out because my Mail folder is 22GB. I am very happy with this upgrade.

One issue I did have though is my Messages app refused to sign in. The account worked before the upgrade, it works on my iPhone but after the El Capitan install it no longer worked on my Mac. It became clear very soon that a lot of people are having this problem. For me it was not a dealbreaker as I can use iMessage on my phone or iPad but for some it might be a bigger deal. Luckily there is a fix.
– Shut down your Mac.
– Power on your Mac and immediately hold the Option(or Alt)+Command+P+R keys. Keep holding them until your Mac sounds the boot chime. Keep holding them but when you hear the boot chime for the second time…
– Immediately let go of the above mentioned keys and hold down the shift key instead.
– Let go of the shift key when you see the Apple logo and progress bar.

This boots your Mac into safe mode. Boot time will be much longer than usual so be patient. You might also see slow display refresh rates or other glitches, just ignore those. Once your Mac is booted, open the Messages app and sign in. It will let you sign in without issues if all goes well. Do the same for FaceTime if that gave you problems before too. Quit the apps and restart your Mac.

Now your Messages should work.

Another issue that seems to be the hot topic after every new OS X release is Mail. The most common complaint after the El Capitan upgrade is mail disappearing and certain accounts being unable to send mail. I have not experienced this myself on my machines or any of the others I have upgraded but the message boards are full of reports about this. As of yet I have not seen a solution. Some people have had luck rebuilding the affected mailboxes, for others it did no good. To rebuild your mailbox, select it in the mailboxes list and select “Rebuild” from the Mailbox menu. Depending on the amount of mail this can take a while.

Something I did experience is that Apple Remote Desktop stopped working. On my end, the administrator, all of the client computers were grayed out even though I knew they were online. The fix was simple; in System Preferences > Sharing (on the client machines), turn off Remote Management, then turn it on again. This solved the issue for me with roughly 48 Macs. I think this problem is caused by the client computer but I have also heard people say this is a problem on the admin side. Either way it’s a quick fix. If you do not have access to the remote machine, hold off on upgrading to El Capitan on both sides, just to be safe. In some cases the Screen Sharing app or Finder buttons still worked but this was random.

Finally, an issue I hear a lot of people mention is that Outlook no longer works or works poorly. This has been a reported issue since El Capitan went into beta and seems to affect Outlook for Office 2011 only. If you rely on Outlook (any version), make sure others report it works well on El Capitan or contact Microsoft to ask if an update will be released soon to address these issues. No issues were reported with the other Office applications like Word and Excel. Microsoft is working on a fix. Microsoft has released an update that fixes the problem.

These are the highlights of El Capitan issues as far as I can tell. Message boards are flooded with people damning El Capitan to hell, it broke my stuff, nothing works, Apple failed us all… etc etc. This is the same stuff I read every year after a new OS X version is released and this will most likely never change. Despite the few glitches I have seen myself, those mentioned above, I am very happy with this upgrade.

If you are not sure if El Capitan is right for you or worth the risk just backup your data and give it a try. If something goes wrong or if you experience bugs you can not live with, your old system is just a restore away 🙂 You can also clone your system to an external drive, boot up from that and then run the upgrade. If it does not work out just boot up from your internal drive again and you’ll be set.

I have mentioned a few backup options in my “Get ready for OS X 10.11 El Capitan” article.

You can also play it safe and wait for Apple to release the 10.11.1 update which usually follows soon after the initial release of a new system. Either way El Capitan is worth the upgrade as it offers many improvements to security, stability and usability. So upgrade now or wait for some of the bugs to be squashed and upgrade later but definitely consider upgrading.

As new bugs are discovered I will report them here. This will only cover the bugs that are widespread and/or I have been able to confirm myself.

Keychain Access
When running Keychain First Aid, the user is unable to enter a password.
Solution: Apple removed the ability to check or repair keychains completely in 10.11.2.

Disk Utility RAID configuration
As this is not a feature I use every day I had not discovered this in the beta builds. Apple has removed the ability to create or edit RAID configurations in Disk Utility.
Solution: Use the terminal diskutil command. Instructions can be found here.

When browsing a folder that has a scroll bar, open one of the folders and then go back. You will notice the previous window does not remember the scroll position like it did in previous OS X versions. When scrolling through large directories especially this is very annoying.
Solution: Fixed with 10.11.2 update.

1 thought on “A few days with OS X 10.11 El Capitan [Updated]”

  • 1
    JP Hansen on October 26, 2015 Reply

    Have the same issue with keychain access and password field missing.. Hope someone find a solution soon.. Feel like it’s not only the field that is messed up in keychain.. Have lots of access problems..

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