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macOS 10.15 Catalina Post Install Frequently Asked Questions FAQ

Article ID = 227
Article Title = macOS 10.15 Catalina Post Install Frequently Asked Questions FAQ
Article Author(s) = Graham Needham (BH)
Article Created On = 25th June 2019
Article Last Updated = 10th September 2019
Article URL = https://www.macstrategy.com/article.php?227

Article Brief Description:
Frequently asked questions after installing macOS 1015 Catalina

macOS 10.15 Catalina Post Install Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Which version of macOS / OS X / Mac OS X did you upgrade from? Click on the relevant link below and read everything from that point onwards.

After Upgrading From Mac OS X 10.6

Q. Scrolling appears to be the wrong way round. Can I change it?
A. Yes. Go to Apple menu > System Preferences >
  • (for mice) click on the Mouse icon and untick the "Move content in the direction of finger movement when scrolling or navigating" option.
  • (for trackpads) click on the Trackpad icon > Scroll & Zoom tab and use/don't use the "Scroll Direction: natural" option.
Q. I don't like the system "Resume" feature. Can I switch it off?
A. Yes. Go to Apple menu > System Preferences > General and tick the "Close windows when quitting an app" option. Alternatively if you like the feature for some applications but not others, in those that you don't want the feature you can alt-Command-Quit (Quit and Discard Windows).
Q. I don't like the new system wide text "Auto-Correct" feature. Can I switch it off?
A. Yes. Go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Keyboard > Text tab > untick the "Correct spelling automatically" option in the top right.
Q. I don't like the new Apple System Information view. Can I get the original view back?
A. Yes. System Profiler has been renamed System Information and it opens from the new simplified window. To see the old style view, go to File menu > Overview tab > System Report… button or alternatively hold down alt and select "System Information…" from the Apple menu.
Q. My Finder windows used to show the number of selected items, disk space left and/or the path for selected items at the bottom. Can I get this information back?
A. Yes - Catalina switches these off by default. In Finder go to the View menu and select "Show Path Bar" and/or "Show Status Bar" as required.
Q. I have a NAS drive but although I can connect to it I can no longer use it as a Time Machine backup destination. What's wrong?
Q. I have a NAS drive but can no longer connect to it using the AFP protocol. What's wrong?
Q. I have a very old AppleShare IP (ASIP) server but can no longer connect to it using the AFP protocol. What's wrong?
A. AFP servers must support the Netatalk v2.2 protocol or later to work with Catalina.
  • Apple has disabled AFP support for the Diffie-Hellman Key Exchange (DHX) Protocol ("DHCAST128"). DHCAST128 is often used by NAS boxes, mainly because it has fewer overheads. DHCAST128 is deprecated and replaced by Diffie-Hellman Key Exchange 2 (DHX2). The minimum size of the prime is increased to 512 bits to improve resistance to numerical methods of attack.
  • You should contact your NAS provider for an update to the NAS software.
  • For a list of potential NAS products affected with information, links and software updates see this article.
  • Apple has now officially stated a workaround in this technical support article.
Q. Where has Front Row gone?
A. Front Row is no longer included with Catalina. Alternatives include:
Q. Where has iSync gone?
A. iSync is no longer included with Catalina. It has been replaced by iCloud.
Q. I'm trying to open an application but Catalina keeps popping up the message "You can't open the application your application name here because PowerPC applications are no longer supported". What's wrong?
A. Catalina no longer supports PowerPC applications/the Rosetta environment. See this article.
Q. I'm trying to move an application out of the Applications folder but it just creates an alias. What am I doing wrong?
A. Nothing. Catalina has changed the permissions on the Applications folder. To move an application out of the folder you now need to "copy" it (by dragging and holding the alt key down) first. Then you can delete the original from the Applications folder.
Q. I'd really like to use the original QuickTime 7 Pro. Can I still do this?
A. No. QuickTime 7 Pro is 32-bit and 32-bit software is no longer supported in Catalina.
Q. When I copy files from one place to another that has files with the same name the new dialogue window does not have the "Don't Replace" option/button. What do I do now?
A. Catalina works differently to previous OSes and there is a new dialogue window for such instances including a "Keep Both Files" option. Basically Catalina copies/moves all unique files first (unlike older OSes) and then gives you the dialogue window for the files with the same name with the following options:
  • Keep Both Files: this will keep both files with the same name, it will add "copy" to the filename of the items you are moving/copying
  • Stop: this is now the equivalent of the old "Don't Replace" option
  • Replace: this is the same as before where it will replace the items with the same name with the items you are moving/copying
Q. I'm trying to browse web sites but all the texts are coming up with the letter A in a square. What's wrong?
A. You have a font problem. Try these:
  1. If you are using a third party font manager e.g. FontExplorer or Suitcase Fusion check for updated software.
  2. If you are using a third party font manager e.g. FontExplorer or Suitcase Fusion check you have not enabled fonts that will "conflict" or "override" the System fonts.
    • FontExplorer: Go to the "Tools" menu and make sure "System Font Protection" is unticked.
    • Suitcase Fusion: Go to Suitcase Fusion > Preferences > Activation tab and make sure "Allow Suitcase Fusion to override System Fonts" is unticked.
    • FontAgent Pro: Go to FontAgent Pro > Preferences > and make sure "Manage System Fonts" is unticked.
  3. Make sure your (required) fonts are stored in the correct macOS locations:
    • Macintosh HD > Library > Fonts folder.
    • Macintosh HD > System > Library > Fonts folder.
    • Macintosh HD > Users > ~your home directory > Library > Fonts folder.
  4. Reboot to your normal boot disk in Safe Boot Mode to clear (font) caches.
  5. Nuke your font caches.
  6. Go to Macintosh HD > Applications > Font Book and Select All (Command+A) fonts. Then try each of the following:
    • File menu > Validate Fonts.
    • Edit menu > Resolve Duplicates.
    • File menu > Restore Standard Fonts.


You should also read the After Upgrading From OS X 10.7 FAQ below

After Upgrading From OS X 10.7 or earlier

Q. I keep getting banners and alerts in the top right of my screen. How do I change this behaviour/stop them appearing?
A. Go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Notifications and configure them accordingly.
Q. The system "Resume" feature has changed since 10.7. What can I do?
A. Whereas before you unticked an option in System preferences you must now go to Apple menu > System Preferences > General and TICK the "Close windows when quitting an app" option.
Q. I went to System Preferences > Sharing and "Web sharing" is missing. What happened to it?
Q. I went to System Preferences > Sharing and "Xgrid sharing" is missing. What happened to it?
Q. I want to use X11 but it's not installed. What should I do?
A. Catalina no longer includes X11 or web/Xgrid sharing, see our Catalina FAQ for more information/alternatives.
Q. I'm trying to run a software application but Catalina says it can't be opened because it's from an unidentified developer. What's wrong?
Q. I'm trying to install some software but Catalina says it can't be installed because it's from an unidentified developer. What's wrong?
A. Probably nothing but make sure the software you want to run/install is legitimate and is not malware. Catalina includes an enhanced security featured called Gatekeeper. Check out our article all about it.
Q. I've heard Catalina supports using more than one Time Machine backup device. How do I get this to work?
A. You can "add" additional devices in the Time Machine preferences or select the option when connecting another drive.
Q. Safari doesn't appear to have an RSS facility or the activity monitor window. Are there alternatives?
A. The Activity monitor within the Safari application (not the general application in Utilities) is gone - it's not likely to come back. If you still want RSS feeds you could use a different web browser that does support them or use a dedicated RSS software application:
Q. Safari appears to have lost the ability to change the default font and size (used to be Appearance in Preferences), block pop-up windows and empty its cache (latter two used to be on the Safari menu). Are there alternatives?
A. "Block pop-up windows" is now in Safari menu > Preferences > Security tab.
A. Minimum font size is now in Safari menu > Preferences > Advanced tab
A. "Empty cache" is now available only when you have enabled the "Develop" menu (go to Safari menu > Preferences > Advanced tab > Show Develop menu in menu bar).
Q. Where's iChat gone?
A. It's been replaced with the Messages application.

You should also read the After Upgrading From OS X 10.8 FAQ below

After Upgrading From OS X 10.8 or earlier

Q. The Network Utility application (previously in Macintosh HD > Applications > Utilities) has gone. Is it still available?
A. Yes, but it has moved. You can access it in one of three ways:
  1. Go to the Apple menu > About This Mac > Overview tab > System Report… button (opens the System Information application) > select "Network Utility" from the Window menu.
  2. Go to Macintosh HD > Applications > Utilities > open System Information application > select "Network Utility" from the Window menu.
  3. Go to Macintosh HD > System > Library > CoreServices > Applications > open Network Utility.
Q. I can access Wireless Diagnostics from the Wireless menu (using the Option key) but where is the actual application located on the hard disk?
A. Yes. There is a Wireless Diagnostics application found in Macintosh HD > System > Library > CoreServices > Applications.
Q. I used to be able to turn off text smoothing for font sizes below a certain size in System Preferences > General but I can't find that option now. Is it still available?
A. No. It's been removed from Catalina.
Q. If I held the Command key down when opening a folder in the Finder it would open in a new Window but now it opens in a new Tab. Can this be changed?
A. The Catalina Finder has changed (with the Finder Tabs feature) so the default preference is to open new Finder windows in a new tab. You can change this setting back by going to (Finder) Preferences > General and UNTICK "Open folders in tabs instead of new windows".
Q. I had the Finder set to "Always open folders in a new window" but this no longer works. Why?
A. The Catalina Finder has changed (with the Finder Tabs feature) so this preference has been removed and is no longer available, sorry.
Q. I have lots of Finder windows open. Is there an easy way to turn them into a tabbed Finder window?
A. Yes. Go to Window menu > and select "Merge All Windows".
Q. When I browse web sites using Safari I keep getting asked whether to allow a plug-in to work. What's that about?
A. Safari now has plug-in control on a per website basis. You can manage which websites can load plug-ins e.g. Adobe Flash by going to Safari Preferences > Websites. You can see all the browser plug-ins installed in the bottom left. Select one and you can either configure settings for the individual website or set the "When visiting other websites:" option - there are three options: Ask, Off or On.
Q. I've heard Safari can now save credit card details using the new iCloud Keychain feature. Is there a way to stop this?
A. The iCloud Keychain is an optional feature. However, if you have switched it on/are using it and don't want to store credit card details you can turn just those off by going to Safari Preferences > AutoFill > and UNTICK "Credit cards".
Q. The directions in the new Maps application are in kilometers. Can I switch this to miles?
A. Yes. Go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Language & Region and change "Region" as required and also click "Advanced…" > General tab and set "Measurement units" as required.
Q. The new Notification Center is really annoying. Can I switch it off?
A. Not totally but here's a handy tip: Go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Notification Center. There is a new "Turn on Do Not Disturb" option. Set this to a small timeframe while you are usually asleep e.g. from 04:00 to 03:45 i.e. notifications will only show between 03:45 and 14:00 in the morning. However, note that Catalina does use Notifications for some important system notices like software updates so use this feature wisely.
Q. I'm having problems file sharing to a Windows computer/connecting to a Windows server. Is the new SMB2 protocol in Catalina causing issues?
A. Probably. You can control which protocol is used to connect to file servers in the Finder > Go menu > Connect to Server… dialogue box by using:
  • cifs://server.name.or.ipaddress = SMB1
  • smb://server.name.or.ipaddress = SMB2
  • afp://server.name.or.ipaddress = AFP
Q. I have multiple monitors but it all works differently in Catalina e.g. the Dock and menu bar are available on all screens. How do I get Catalina to work like the old versions of OS X?
A. Go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Mission Control > Displays section at the top > UNTICK "Displays have separate spaces".
Q. The Dock is supposed to be available on multiple monitors but I can't see it. What's wrong?
A. Nothing. To save space and confusion it only appears when you try and drag something to the bottom of your screen - then it appears.
Q. Some of the new power saving options sound great. What should I do to enhance my battery life?
A. Go to the Battery menu item and it now shows applications that are using significant power - go to each application that is listed and quit it when not in use.
A. App Nap can be disabled/enabled for individual applications by Get Info on the application icon and ticking the "Prevent App Nap" option (if the developer supports App Nap for their application).
Q. I really like the Dictation feature of macOS but it requires the internet. Is there any way to use this feature offline?
A. Yes! Go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Keyboard > Dictation tab > TICK "Use Enhanced Dictation" (Dictation needs to be switched on for this option to be available).
NOTE: After you switch this feature on macOS will download and install the local Dictation services to your computer. The files/data can be quite large (~500MB+) so make sure you have a speedy connection to the internet or you are prepared to wait for the files to download!
Q. My computer is set to sleep after a certain amount of time but if I am near the computer it won't go to sleep. Is my iSight camera/computer watching me?
A. No! Catalina uses the ambient light sensors to sense movement in the near vicinity of the computer. If it senses movements it will delay the computer going to sleep.
NOTE: This could be a security risk if you normally let your computer sleep after a short period of time. If you are security conscious you should setup and use a sleep "corner" in System Preferences or if you have a laptop close the lid before stepping away from your computer.
Q. Most Apple computers include a built-in (iSight) camera. Can this be blocked using Parental Controls?
A. Yes. Parental Controls now includes the ability to disable the built-in camera.
Q. I used to use the Finder's QuickLook feature to preview videos but it's no longer working with some videos or there is a huge pause before it previews. What's wrong?
A. QuickLook now only works with MPEG4/mp4 video files and even then, only those with certain CODECs - see legacy media formats are no longer supported. Some types of files will be converted on the fly to mp4 prior for playback (hence the pause) or they won't preview at all. You can still use a third party video application e.g. VLC to playback non-mp4 files.
Q. I use Finder Labels to colour code my files and folders but now the colours have disappeared. What's wrong?
A. Labels have been replaced by Finder "Tags". You can still tag files and folders (with colours) but they no longer highlight in full colour - instead there is a Finder window column for tags which are identified by coloured dots. Tags can be added in save dialogue boxes/sheets or via the Finder - use the File menu > Tags, or right/control click on a file/folder, or drag the item to the required tag on the sidebar. To delete tags go to Finder Preferences > Tags pane > right/control click on the tag in the list that you want to delete > select "Delete Tag" from the contextual menu.
Q. I don't like the new Finder "Tags". Can I go back to Labels?
A. No.
Q. I use Time Machine to backup my computer but when Time Machine is backing up the menu bar clock icon no longer spins. Is there something wrong?
A. No. In an effort to help save battery life the icon is now static. However, an extra arrowhead now appears on the clock icon when a backup is in progress.
Q. I use special characters a lot like the Emoji font but invoking the Special Characters option or opening the Character Viewer is a real pain. Is there an easier way?
A. Yes. In Catalina the "Special Characters…" option in the Edit menu now has a keyboard shortcut which is command-control-space. Triggering it opens a special window at the current text insertion point with access to special characters. You can even drag this window off to create a floating palette.
Q. I use special characters a lot but the Input menu in the top right is missing and there are no text options in System Preferences anymore. Can I still access these features?
A. Yes. They've just moved in Catalina. Go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Keyboard > Text and Input Sources tabs. The "Show Input menu in meny bar" option is now under the Input Sources tab.
Q. I use to store my books in iTunes but iTunes has gone. Where are my Books?
A. Catalina has a new Books application (in Macintosh HD > Applications) where all your digital books are now stored and viewed.
Q: When I first used Catalina and Books some of my audiobooks didn't get transferred to Books. How can I get these books back?
A. Restart your computer, then open Books and go to File menu > Move Audiobooks from iTunes to transfer all your books correctly.

You should also read the After Upgrading From OS X 10.9 FAQ below

After Upgrading From OS X 10.9 or earlier

Q. I have multiple partitions on my hard disk and I installed Catalina but now my Boot Camp Windows installation doesn't work/I cannot boot to Windows. What's wrong?
A. Windows requires that Boot Camp is within the first four partitions on your hard disk. Unfortunately a Mac running Catalina has TWO additional invisible partitions on the hard disk (EFI and Recovery HD) so if you have more partitions than just your normal macOS and Windows, Windows may not work. The standard setup (Boot Camp will work):
  1. [hidden] EFI
  2. [hidden] Recovery HD
  3. macOS 10.15 Catalina
  4. Boot Camp and Windows
An example non-standard setup (Boot Camp may not work):
  1. [hidden] EFI
  2. [hidden] Recovery HD
  3. macOS 10.13 High Sierra (dual boot)
  4. macOS 10.15 Catalina (dual boot)
  5. Boot Camp and Windows
NOTE: This is a limitation of Windows and it's partitioning scheme, not the Mac or macOS.
Q. Catalina has translucent windows. Can I turn this "feature" off?
Q. My menu bar has become transparent again. I used to be able to turn menu bar transparency off but that option has disappeared. What can I do?
A. You can't turn it off completely but you can reduce it's effect by going to System Preferences > Accessibility > Display (on the left) and tick "Reduce Transparency".
Q. I don't like the way Catalina looks. Can I change it back to look like my previous OS?
A. Most of the new look and feel cannot be changed. However, if you find the new transparency feature/muted effects annoying you can reduce those effects by going to Apple menu > System Preferences > Accessibility > select Display on the left and tick "Reduce transparency" plus you can also try ticking "Increase contrast" too for a different look and feel.
Q. In some applications when I click the green traffic light button (in the top left of the window) it no longer toggles the window size but makes the current window go full screen. Can I get the old way back?
A. No you can't get the old way back permanently. In Catalina the green traffic light button now toggles between full-screen mode for applications that support full-screen mode. However, for those applications you can hold the Option (Alt) key down while clicking the green traffic light to trigger the old behaviour.
Q. I use the "Reader/Reading List" features in Safari a lot but can't add items to it now. How does it work in Catalina?
A. Reader and Reading List are still in Catalina but Apple have simplified how they work. The Reader icon is now to the left of the search field and shown as a series of horizontal lines. Click the icon to go into Reader mode. Hover over the icon and you will see a plus button to the right that when clicked will add that page to the Reading List. The Bookmarks (where your Reading List is) icon has been changed to a "Sidebar" icon in the top left of the main bar at the top of the window.
Q. The simplified URL field only shows the primary web site domain name I am visiting. How do I see/get the full URL?
A. Just click into the URL field and the full URL will be shown.
Q. I don't like the new simplified URL field in Safari - is there anything I can do?
A. Yes. Go to Safari > Preferences > Advanced and tick "Show full website address" for 'Smart Search Field' to switch this feature off.
Q. I've heard you can initiate a Personal Hotspot on your iPhone/iPad directly from your Mac. How do you do that?
A. On your Mac, just go to the Wi-Fi menu in the menu bar (top right) and your iPhone/iPad's (hotspot) will appear as an option in the list of available networks. However, your iOS device must be running iOS 8.1 or later.
Q. In OS X 10.9 Mavericks Apple changed the way system software updates are installed. Is there anything new/different with Catalina?
A. Yes. Go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Software Update > click the "Advanced…" button - as part of the automatic check for updates you now have the specific option for "Install macOS updates". In addition you should note that the Apple Menu > Software Updates option has gone.
Q. I can't find AppleScript Editor in Applications > Utilities. What's happened to it?
A. It's been renamed to "Script Editor" and is in the same location (Utilities folder) but it now also supports JavaScript.
Q. I've heard there's new information about a Wi-Fi connection available but I can't find it - where is it??
A. Option (alt) click the Wi-Fi menu bar item and you now get an additional four items at the top of the menu (the interface name, MAC address, the ability to open "Wireless Diagnostics" or to switch on "Wi-Fi Logging") and you get dedicated information about the current wireless network you are connected to.
Q. Spotlight is now supposed to search the internet but it's not working. What could be wrong?
A. Go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Spotlight > Search Results tab > and make sure "Spotlight Suggestions" is TICKED.
NOTE: the order of the search categories can be dragged into your preferred order and you can disable/enable specific search options here. Unticking "Spotlight Suggestions" will actually prevent Spotlight searching the web which some of you may consider a good thing - see our privacy article.
Q. Now that Spotlight can search the internet I'm concerned about privacy. What are my options?
A. Go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Spotlight and click on the "About Spotlight Suggestions & Privacy" button. This will give you details about what Apple does and exactly how to disable any "phone home" functions.
Q. I've installed iOS 8.1 or later on my iPhone/iPad but I cannot get iMessage, SMS and MMS messages all combined on my Mac. What's wrong?
A. First try signing out of and then back into iMessage on your iPhone/iPad - go to Settings > Messages and switch "iMessage" OFF. Then switch it back ON. If that doesn't work try enabling your Apple ID email address in iMessage - go to Settings > Messages > Send & Receive and make sure your Apple ID email address is TICKED. You should then receive a code on your iPhone/iPad when using Messages on your Mac.
Q. After upgrading iPhoto won't open and it says I need an update from the App Store for compatibility with Catalina/Mojave/High Sierra/Sierra/El Capitan/Yosemite but when I go to the App Store it says the app is not available. What can I do?
Q. Where has iPhoto gone/Can I use iPhoto with Catalina?
A. See our Photos FAQ.

You should also read the After Upgrading From OS X 10.10 FAQ below

After Upgrading From OS X 10.10

Q. Catalina has a new, primary "system font". Can I change this?
A. Catalina uses San Francisco as the system font. You can't change this. Well, not officially. There are third party "hacks" out there to accomplish the job - do so at your own risk - An internet search engine is your friend.
Q. I'm trying to install some software but Catalina says it can't be installed. What's wrong?
Q. I'm trying to access/modify "/bin", "/sbin", "/usr", "/System" or "/Applications/Utilities" but I can't. What's wrong?
A. Catalina includes a new low-level security technology called System Integrity Protection (SIP) which prevents the modification or removal of certain system files. See our separate article all about System Integrity Protection (SIP).
Q. I use the Secure Empty Trash feature but it appears to be no longer an option. What's wrong?
A. The Secure Empty Trash feature has been removed from the Finder (it's not necessarily needed any more with SSDs/Flash storage which is what the majority of new Apple Mac computers now ship with). There are alternatives/workarounds:
  • Use the Terminal command "rm" with the flags "r" for recursive deletion of folders, and "P" for overwriting of the removed files e.g.
  • rm -rP /path/to/file_or_folder
  • Use the more secure Terminal command "srm" with the flags "r" for recursive deletion of folders, "f" for force confirmation, "v" for verbose showing of information, and an additional flag of "-s" for secure deletion e.g.
  • srm -rfv -s /path/to/file_or_folder NOTE: the additional "-s" flag performs a single-pass erase but can be replaced with "-m" for a 7-pass erase instead, or "-z" for overwriting with zeros, or with no additional flag at all it will perform a 35-pass erase!
  • Use a third party utility that offers the feature of securely deleting files e.g.
Q. I used to use Disk Utility to "Erase Free Space". How do I do that in the new Disk Utility?
A. This feature has been removed from Disk Utility (it's not necessarily needed with SSDs/Flash storage which it was what the majority of new Apple Macs now ship with). The feature is still available from the diskutil command in Terminal: diskutil secureErase freespace ERASE_TYPE /Volumes/NAME_OF_DRIVE NOTE: change ERASE_TYPE with a number between 0 and 4:
  • 0 = single pass with zero data
  • 1 = single pass with random numbers
  • 2 = 7-pass
  • 3 = 35-pass
  • 4 = 3-pass
NOTE: change NAME_OF_DRIVE with the name of the mounted drive (put the name in standard quote marks if it contains spaces or any punctuation).
Q. I used to use Disk Utility to Repair Permissions. How do I do that in the new Disk Utility?
A. This feature has been removed from Disk Utility. We recommend using the free Onyx application that now supports repairing permissions on Catalina or later.
Q. I used to use Disk Utility to burn CDR/DVDR discs but can't see that feature any more. How do I do that in the new Disk Utility?
A. This feature has been removed from Disk Utility. You can burn discs from the Finder or there are third party optical disc burning software products but you should make sure they are Catalina compatible before purchasing:
  • Roxio Toast Titanium 17 Buy it now at Amazon UK Buy it now at Amazon USA
  • Roxio Toast Titanium 16 - 32-bit software so not compatible with macOS 10.15 or later! Buy it now at Amazon UK
  • Roxio Toast Titanium 15 - 32-bit software so not compatible with macOS 10.15 or later! Buy it now at Amazon UK
  • Roxio Toast Titanium 11 - 32-bit software so not compatible with macOS 10.15 or later! Buy it now at Amazon UK
  • Corel Toast Burn (£19.99) Buy it now on the Mac App Store
  • NTI Dragon Burn (£30.99) Buy it now on the Mac App Store
  • NCH Express Burn (FREE for home use or US$34.99)
  • Disco (FREE) - 32-bit software so not compatible with macOS 10.15 or later!
  • SimplyBurns (FREE) - 32-bit software so not compatible with macOS 10.15 or later!


You should also read the After Upgrading From OS X 10.11 FAQ below

After Upgrading From OS X 10.11 or earlier

Q. I have a third-party/the Apple USB Modem but under Catalina I cannot get it to work. What's wrong?
Q. I use to use my Mac as a fax machine. This option seems to have disappeared from System Preferences. Can I use my computer for faxes?
A. Faxing is no longer supported from directly within macOS (even though Apple says you can - you actually can't) because Apple removed the underlying software (Ed Casas' open source "efax" package). You used to be able to use an external USB modem for faxing but this is no longer possible - there are manual workarounds:
Q. I can't find my User Library? Where is it?
Q. Is my User Library folder still hidden?
Q. Why doesn't Finder > Go menu (while holding the "alt" key down) > Library work any more?
A. Your User Library has not gone and it is in fact in the same place, but in Sierra, by default, it is invisible. You can now make it permanantely visible again - just go to Finder > Go menu > Home and then select "Show View Options" from the 'View' menu > TICK "Show Library Folder". However, if you do this you will not be able to access it quickly via the Finder > Go menu (while holding the "alt" key down). If you choose not to view it permanently in the Finder > Go menu (while holding the "alt" key down) > Library still works.
Q. I've heard Catalina now includes Siri. Is Siri switched on and listening all the time?
A. When you first install Catalina you will be asked whether you want to switch Siri on or off as part of the install/upgrade process. Once Catalina is installed you have control over Siri:
  • Go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Siri to enable (tick) or disable (untick) Siri
  • Go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Siri to turn on/off "Show Siri in the menu bar"
  • If you don't want Siri in your Dock click and drag Siri's icon off of the Dock and wait a few seconds, the Remove option will appear and you can let go of the mouse button
Q. Where have my Desktop and Documents folders gone?
A. By default they will be in the same place but it is now possible to save and synchronise them to iCloud - this feature is OFF by deafult. If you turn this feature on your Desktop and Documents folders will be in your iCloud Drive. There are two places in Catalina where you can choose to turn this feature on:
  1. Apple menu > System Preferences > iCloud > (sign-in if necessary) > iCloud Drive > Options > "Desktop & Documents Folders" TICKED
  2. Optimized Storage via Apple menu > About This Mac > Storage tab > Manage… > Recommendations > Store in iCloud > Store files from Desktop and Documents in iCloud Drive
Q. I use to have a PPTP VPN configured but it's disappeared. Where has it gone?
A. Catalina does not support PPTP VPN connections as they are inherently insecure.
Q. I've heard something about a new "Apple Pay on the Web" feature. Does my Mac support this new feature?
A. Catalina does indeed have this feature but not all Macs/iPhones support this feature - so basically older hardware won't support this feature. Macs that officially support "Apple Pay on the Web" are:
  • MacBook (Early 2015 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro 13" (2012 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro 15" (2012 or newer)
  • MacBook Air (2012 or newer)
  • Mac mini (2012 or newer)
  • iMac (2012 or newer)
  • Mac Pro (Late 2013 or newer)
NOTE: Apple Pay on the Web requires an iPhone 6 or later with iOS 10 or later or an Apple Watch with watchOS 3.
Q. I've heard about features like Handoff, Instant Hotspot, and Universal Clipboard. Does my Mac support these new features?
A. Catalina does indeed have this features but not all Macs/iOS devices support these features. Macs that officially support Handoff, Instant Hotspot, and Universal Clipboard are:
  • MacBook (Early 2015 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro 13" (2012 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro 15" (2012 or newer)
  • MacBook Air (2012 or newer)
  • Mac mini (2012 or newer)
  • iMac (2012 or newer)
  • Mac Pro (Late 2013 or newer)
NOTE: No MacBook Pro 17" model supports these features.
NOTE: Handoff requires an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with a Lightning connector and iOS 8 or later. Instant Hotspot requires an iPhone or iPad with cellular connectivity with a Lightning connector and iOS 8.1 or later. Requires Personal Hotspot service through your carrier.
Q. I've heard something about a new "Auto Unlock" feature. Does my Mac support this new feature?
A. All 2013 models or later support it - it also requires an Apple Watch with watchOS 3 and an iPhone 5 or later to work.
Q. I've heard something about a low-power wake mode (sharing resources without the need to turn on the monitor or attached USB devices) called "Power Nap". I can't find this in the Preferences anywhere. How do I utilise this mode?
A. Catalina does indeed have this feature. Simply go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Energy Saver and make sure "Enable Power Nap" is ticked. However, not all Macs support this feature as it is dependent on the hardware in your computer - so basically older computers won't support this feature. Macs that officially support "Power Nap" are:
  • MacBook (Early 2015 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro 13" with Retina display (Mid 2012 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro 15" with Retina display (Mid 2012 or newer)
  • Mac mini (Late 2012 or newer)
  • iMac (Late 2012 or newer)
  • Mac Pro (Late 2013 or newer)
Q. I've heard Catalina has AirPlay video mirroring to an Apple TV. How do I get this to work?
A. Your Apple TV must be up-to-date (2nd/3rd generation / 4th generation). Only certain Mac models support AirPlay video mirroring, they are:
  • MacBook (Early 2015 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro 13" (Early 2011 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro 15" (Early 2011 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro 17" (Early 2011 or newer)
  • Mac mini (Mid 2011 or newer)
  • iMac (Mid 2011 or newer)
  • Mac Pro (Late 2013 or newer)
NOTE: AirPlay for web video requires an Apple TV (2nd generation or later). Peer-to-peer AirPlay requires a Mac (2012 or later) with OS X Yosemite or later and an Apple TV (3rd generation rev A, model A1469 or later) with Apple TV software 7.0 or later.
If you have a compatible Mac go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Displays > click the "AirPlay Mirroring" option near the bottom and select "Apple TV". Alternatively, when a compatible Mac with Catalina detects an Apple TV on the same network, the AirPlay Mirroring menu item appears in the menu bar (top right) and this can be used to turn the feature on. In addition audio can be streamed on its own - audio from your Mac is wirelessly sent to your Apple TV. You can use this feature independent of AirPlay Mirroring by selecting your Apple TV in the Sound pane of System Preferences.

You should also read the After Upgrading From macOS 10.12 FAQ below

After Upgrading From macOS 10.12 or earlier

Q. I clicked straight through the Express Set Up stage of the install. How do I undo that?
A. Go to Apple menu > System Preferences >
  • Security & Privacy > Privacy tab > click 'Location Services' on the left > either UNTICK "Enable Location Services" or set them as required
  • Security & Privacy > Privacy tab > click 'Analytics' on the left > UNTICK all listed options on the right
  • Siri > UNTICK "Enable Siri" (only Macs that support "Siri")
Q. My Finder windows used to open to "All My Files" but now they open to "Recents" (files). What's going on?
A. The "All My Files" feature has been removed. You can set what your new Finder windows open to in Finder > Finder menu > Preferences… > General tab > 'New Finder windows show:' pop-up menu.
Q. I've heard something about new "Airplay 2" streaming. Does my Mac support it?
A. All Macs supported by Catalina support AirPlay 2.

You should also read the After Upgrading From macOS 10.13 FAQ below

After Upgrading From macOS 10.13 or earlier

Q. What has Apple done with Software Update now?
A. It's no longer part of the Mac App Store. Go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Software Update instead.
Q. I'm trying to open an application but I am getting a security access warning. What should I do?
A. Catalina requires explicit permission for applications to access your camera/microphone. Catalina also tries to protect location information, contacts, photos, Safari data, mail database, message history, iTunes device backups, calendar, reminders, time machine backups and cookies so you may get similar access messages for these too. When you get these messages check exactly what the message is asking, which application is requesting access and what permission you will give it.
Q. When I try to order a Photo Book, Photos tells me the service has been discontinued. What can I do?
A. Apple's service has been replaced by third party Photos Project Extensions - see our separate Photos FAQ.
Q. How do I activate the new "Dark Mode"?
A. If you didn't set it as part of the initial "Setup" process after installation, go to Apple menu > System Preferences > General and for 'Appearance:' set it to either "Light" or "Dark.
Q. Where's the Grab application gone?
A. It's been replaced with the new Screenshots feature in Catalina - there's also a new Screenshots application located in Macintosh HD > Applications > Utilities.
Q. Where's the iBooks application gone?
A. It's been renamed to Books.
Q. Where's the Cover Flow view in the Finder gone?
A. It's been replaced with the new Gallery View feature in Catalina.
Q. I use Mail but I can't personalise messages with stationery. What happened?
A. The Mail Stationery feature has been removed.
Q. Can I use third-party messaging services in the Message application?
A. No. Messages now only supports Apple's own iMessage/SMS services. For third-party messaging services use a third-party application e.g.
Q. I use Back To My Mac but it no longer works - why?
A. This feature has been removed - see this Apple support page for more information and alternative options.
Q. I use Proxy Automatic Configuration (PAC) but it no longer works - why?
A. The FTP and File URL schemes for PAC are no longer supported. You must use either HTTP or HTTPS.
Q. I use Safari browser plug-ins but they no longer work - why?
A. Legacy NPAPI browser plug-ins are no longer supported in Safari except for Adobe Flash. As Firefox and Chrome no longer support legacy browser plug-ins, if you need this requirement e.g. for legacy business systems, we suggest setting up a secured and protected virtualised macOS environment with an older browser and plug-in installed just for this access - we plan to put together an article to help with doing this.
Q. I use .safariextz packaged Safari Extensions but they no longer work - why?
A. These legacy Safari Extensions are no longer supported - you should check whether the developer has created a newer/updated "Safari App Extension" version.
Q. I'm trying to add a social media internet account e.g. Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn in System Preferences but there is no option for it - where's it gone?
A. Catalina no longer supports built-in integration with social media internet accounts. Use an official/third-party application, primary web site or sharing extension facility (if available) instead.

After Upgrading From macOS 10.14 or earlier

Q. I don't like the new Apple Mail view. Can I get the classic view back?
A. No - the original classic view has now been removed and is no longer settable in Mail's Preferences. Apple calls the new view an "updated classic layout" but you cannot get the original classic view back. You can sort by different columns, but you can't show them all. Will Blume on MacInTouch details a workaround that's close to the original classic view.
Q. Where has the RAID Utility application gone?
A. It has been removed - Apple's hardware RAID is no longer supported.
Q. Where has the System Image Utility application gone?
A. It has been removed - it is no longer supported.
Q. Where has the CoreServices Ticket Viewer application gone?
A. It has been moved to Macintosh HD > System > Library > CoreServices > Applications.
Q. I use Dashboard a lot but can't access it now. Where is the Dashboard?
A. The Dashboard feature has been removed - it's not coming back. Widgets are now available in the Notification Center.
Q. My application displays a no entry symbol over its icon. What's wrong?
A. Catalina no longer supports PowerPC applications/the Rosetta environment. See this article.
A. Catalina no longer supports 32-bit applications. See this article.
Q. I'm trying to open an application but Catalina keeps popping up the message "your application name here needs to be updated. The developer of this app needs to update it to work with this versions of macOS. Contact the developer for more information." What's wrong?
A. Catalina no longer supports 32-bit applications. See this article.
Q. I'm trying to watch a video/view an image/listen to some audio with an Apple application e.g. QuickTime Player or Preview, but it won't work. What's wrong?
A. Most likely, the video/image/audio file is in a legacy format and Catalina no longer supports legacy media formats. You could try third party software to open the media instead. We can recommend:
Q. Where has the iTunes application gone?
A. Apple has split iTunes into three new applications - Apple TV, Music and Podcasts. Apple has now published an official support document with details but you can also continue reading our article here too…
Q. Can I just install an older version of iTunes?
A. No. Catalina won't let you install iTunes.
Q. If iTunes is discontinued/gone where do I buy and download music from the iTunes Store?
A. Yes. The iTunes "Store" is not being discontinued. You will still be able to make purchases from within each of the three new applications. This facility still includes iTunes Gift Cards and iTunes credits.
Q. If iTunes is discontinued/gone can I still play locally stored MP3/AAC/ALAC music on my Mac?
A. Yes. macOS 10.15 Catalina's new Music application still supports locally stored MP3/AAC/ALAC music.
Q. Does the new Music application bring in my old playlists and smart playlists?
A. Yes. Playlists and smart playlists will automatically be imported into the new Music application.
Q. If iTunes is discontinued/gone how do I "burn" a physical audio CD directly from the new Music app?
A. The process is similar to before, but the burning progress feedback is much diminished - you won't see any obvious feedback that anything actually is happening. There is a small "Burning CD" text in very small type in the bottom left corner of the Music app sidebar. Although it's not obvious that "Burning CD" is clickable, it is, and a small window will appear with a small progress wheel and the name of the track currently being burned.
Q. So the new Music application is identical to the music parts of iTunes?
A. Not quite. It's not identical. We'll list any significant differences here and upadte this article as more information/differences become known:
  • There is no Column Browser view
  • When importing a CD there is no progress bar at the top of the window - there is now "Activity in progress…" text in the bottom left of the window which when clicked, gives you an Activity progress window
  • When burning a CD there is no progress bar at the top of the window - there is now "Burning CD…" text in the bottom left of the window which when clicked, gives you an Activity progress window
Q. Where is the Sharing option in the iTunes Preferences gone as it no longer appears in the new Music application?
A. This feature has now moved to the "Sharing" System Preference where there is a new "Media Sharing" option.
Q. I don't want to use an Apple Music subscription. Can you remove/disable the Apple Music visuals?
A. Yes. Go to Music app > Preferences > Restrictions > TICK 'Disable:' "Apple Music" + "Apple Music Profiles"
Q. If iTunes is discontinued/gone how do I synchronise media to my iOS device/check the summary of my iOS device/back it up/update it?
A. If you're using iCloud for the relevant media the synchronisation is automatic via the internet. If you want to synchronise media manually via USB cable/check the summary of your iOS device/back it up/update it, you can still do this via the Sidebar in macOS 10.15 Catalina's Finder - iOS devices appear under the "Locations" heading. Make sure under Finder > Preferences > Sidebar > Locations > "CDs, DVDs and iPods" is TICKED.
Q. If iTunes is discontinued/gone how do I synchronise photos from a folder (not the Photos application) to my iOS device?
A. Unknown at this time. We'll update this article when we get more information.
Q. If iTunes is discontinued/gone how do I synchronise my iOS device over Wi-Fi?
A. Unknown at this time. We'll update this article when we get more information.
Q. If iTunes is discontinued/gone how do I play/buy audiobooks?
A. They are moved to and played via the Books application. You can also now purchase audiobooks via the Books application.
Q. If iTunes is discontinued/gone is all my media still stored in one single location (e.g. "iTunes Media" folder) or is it spread out across separate folders for each of the applications/system areas now?
A. Media is now spread out across separate folders for each of the applications and stored separately:
  • Music/Music Video media files are stored in Macintosh HD > Users > ~your home directory~ > Music > Media
  • Apple TV media files are stored in Macintosh HD > Users > ~your home directory~ > Movies > Apple TV > Media
  • Podcast media files are stored in Macintosh HD > Users > ~your home directory~ > Library > Group Containers > 243LU875E5.groups.com.apple.podcasts > Library > Cache (but they may not have easily recognisable names)
  • Books/Audiobooks media files are stored in Macintosh HD > Users > ~your home directory~ > Library > Containers > com.apple.BKAgentService > Data > Documents > iBooks > Books (but they may not have easily recognisable names)
Q: How do I use the new Voice Control feature?
A. To be confirmed - we'll update this article when we have more information.
Q: How do I use the new Screen Time feature?
A. Go to Apple Menu > System Preferences > Screen Time.
Q: How do I use the new Activation Lock feature?
A. To be confirmed - we'll update this article when we have more information.
Q: How do I use the new Restore from snapshot feature?
A. To be confirmed - we'll update this article when we have more information.
Q: How do I use the new Sidecar feature with an iPad?
NOTE: Sidecar requires a compatible Mac running macOS 10.15 Catalina or later and a compatible iPad running iPadOS 13 or later.
  1. On your Mac, go to the AirPlay menu icon in your menu bar (the square above a triangle icon in the top right of your screen)
  2. NOTE: If you do not have an AirPlay menu icon, go to the Apple menu > System Preferences > Displays > TICK "Show mirroring options in the menu bar when available"
  3. If you have an iPad that's compatible with Sidecar it will show up in the AirPlay menu list with it's name
  4. Select the iPad you want to use as a Sidecar additional display from the AirPlay menu list - the iPad should automatically switch to being an additional display
Some notes about Sidecar:
  • The iPad can be used in Sidecar mode either over Wi-Fi or via a physical USB connection - using a USB connection will power the iPad
  • Most touch gestures on the iPad will be switched off while in Sidecar mode - a few things may still work such as scrolling a window
  • The Apple Pencil can be used on the iPad but it works as a mouse alternative
  • Any keyboard connected to the iPad still works
  • A control sidebar will appear on the iPad while in Sidecar mode - this can be moved or turned on/off via the Sidecar System Preferences pane
  • A Touch Bar will appear on the iPad while in Sidecar mode (this is similar to the Touch Bar found on specific Touch Bar model MacBook Pros) - this can be moved or turned on/off via the Sidecar System Preference pane
  • While an iPad is attached in Sidecar mode you get further options/controls at Apple menu > System Preferences > Sidecar
  • You can arrange the position of the Sidecar display in the normal way via Apple menu > System Preferences > Displays > Arrangement tab
Q. I'm having problems with networking/(slow) Wi-Fi/accessing the internet. What can I do?
A. Sometimes after installing a major upgrade to the Mac operating system your networking configurations can become corrupted - you can try resetting them by following these instructions:
  1. Restart your computer
  2. Quit any automatically running applications
  3. Create a new folder on your Desktop and name it "Old Networking Prefs"
  4. In the Finder go to Go menu > Go to Folder… > type in "/Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/" without the quotemarks
  5. Click "Go"
  6. Locate the following files
    • com.apple.airport.preferences.plist
    • com.apple.network.identification.plist
    • com.apple.wifi.message-tracer.plist
    • NetworkInterfaces.plist
    • preferences.plist
  7. Copy these files to the "Old Networking Prefs" folder on your Desktop
  8. Delete the original files from the "SystemConfiguration" folder
  9. NOTE: This will delete all your current networking preferences and locations - if you do not want to do this or you do not have a backup stop now and close the Finder window!
  10. Restart your computer
  11. Go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Network and reset your networking preferences and locations as required
Q. I'm trying to print to my printer but it's not working properly. What can I do?
A. Printer drivers may need to be reinstalled after upgrading to Catalina or they can become corrupted. If you are having printing problems the first thing to do is reset the macOS printing system:
  1. Go to Apple menu > System Preferences
  2. Click the "Print & Scan" icon
  3. Hold down the Control (ctrl) key on your keyboard (bottom left)
  4. Click on the any printer in your printer list
  5. Select "Reset printing system…" from the contextual menu (in some cases this may take some time)
  6. When the printing system has reset and there are no printers listed in the printer list Restart your computer
  7. If your printer is supported by macOS (see this official Apple list) simply add your printer back in System Preferences (macOS may download and install the latest printer driver for you)
  8. If your printer is not supported by macOS go to your printer manufacturer's web site, check your model of printer is compatible with Catalina and download the latest printer driver for your printer (it is best not to use any install discs that came with your printer as the software is likely to pre-date Catalina!)
Q. I'm trying to install a third party application but the installer says it cannot install because the OS is "earlier than 10.6" or similar. What's wrong?
A. The third party company has coded their installer (incorrectly/badly) to only check for one digit after the "10.". Catalina is 10.15 so the installer sees the OS as "10.1" and fails to install. You will need to contact the third party company for an updated installer.
Q. Is Java included with Catalina?
Q. I'm trying to run a Java application/Java in a web browser but it's not working properly. What can I do?
A. Even if you previously manually installed Java you may need to reinstall it. If you need to, read our macOS Java article for information and links to download it and install it. The Java web browser plug-in for Safari is no longer supported.
Q. Is Adobe Flash included with Catalina?
A. No. If you need it download it from Adobe.
Q. I had Adobe Flash already installed but Catalina says it is out of date and has been disabled. Why is this?
A. You haven't kept your Flash plug-in up-to-date (which is a big security risk). Download the latest version from Adobe and when you install it, it is best to allow Adobe to install (Flash) updates automatically.
Q. I've installed Catalina and I don't like it. Can I downgrade to 10.14/10.13/10.12/10.11/10.10/10.9/10.8?
A. Yes, but not easily. We are currently working on an article all about that - check back soon.
Q. Is there anything else you recommend?
A. Yes.
  • If you want to use the new Dictation feature remember to turn it on - go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Keyboard > Dictation tab and switch 'Dictation' to "On".
  • If you use the Text To Speech function of Catalina you can download additional voices and dialects - go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Keyboard > Dictation tab > 'Language' pop-up menu > Add Language… > select the voices/dialects that you want and download (each voice download can be quite large e.g. 1GB+).
  • Go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Notifications and configure them as required (you can temporarily turn off all notifications by Option clicking the Notifications icon in the top right hand corner of the menu bar - it will go grey - Option click to turn it back on).
  • Go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General tab and make sure Gatekeeper is configured.
  • Go to Macintosh HD > Applications > Safari > Safari menu > Preferences > General tab and untick 'Open "safe" files after downloading'.
  • Use Apple's macOS Recovery Disk Assistant to create an emergency external recovery disk (internet connection required).
  • Create An Emergency Boot Drive For macOS
  • Backup your computer regularly

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