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macOS 12 Monterey Frequently Asked Questions FAQ

Article ID = 260
Article Title = macOS 12 Monterey Frequently Asked Questions FAQ
Article Author(s) = Graham Needham (BH)
Article Created On = 6th July 2021
Article Last Updated = 19th October 2021 • updated 5 days ago
Article URL = https://www.macstrategy.com/article.php?260

Article Brief Description:
Frequently Asked Questions about macOS 12 Monterey

WARNINGS!

  • Monterey's Notes have the option of tagging and mentions - if you use either of these new features, Notes including them will be hidden on devices not running iOS 14.5 or later | macOS 11.3 or later
  • Monterey has an OS version of 12.x instead of 10.x or 11.x - this could affect some older software installers and scripts if they check the OS version in the wrong way
  • Older Mail application "plug-ins" are now deprecated and will stop functioning in a future version of macOS
  • Just like Big Sur, Monterey:
    • does not support 32-Bit Applications
    • does not support legacy media formats
    • does not support legacy System/Kernel Extensions (KEXTs)
    • no longer trusts TLS certificates signed with the SHA-1 hash algorithm
    • has a Signed System Volume - this means if you install it in the same APFS "container" as another version of macOS you will have issues booting. If you wish to install macOS Monterey on the same storage device as older versions of macOS (such as a dual boot configuration) you must create a new "container" (partition) for macOS Monterey and install it to that separate container/partition!
    • has a dedicated system volume - third party backup/cloning/disk repair software should be checked and updated/upgraded if necessary to work with this version of macOS
    • VPN connections via L2TP over IPSec now require "HMAC-SHA-256" security at the third-party server end - make sure your VPN server is compatible!
    • does not support Apple's hardware RAID and Apple's RAID Utility has been removed
    • does not support installing on and booting from FireWire storage
    • splits iTunes into separate applications but also removes support for Playlist XML files - many popular DJ applications no longer work in Monterey and will need to be upgraded
    • has removed the Dashboard feature - it is no longer available in the Mission Control System Preferences
    • disables legacy smart card support that uses TokenD
    • changes the default shell to Zsh (from Bash)
    • no longer includes Python (2.7) - use Python 3 instead
  • PHP is deprecated and will be removed from a future version of macOS
  • Safari no longer supports any legacy NPAPI browser plug-ins including Adobe Flash
  • Safari no longer supports .safariextz packaged Safari Extensions
  • macOS 10.15 and later have an upgraded version of the Reminders app - when using Reminders - if you choose to upgrade to the new format, Reminders will only synchronise with iOS 13 or later | macOS 10.15 or later
  • OS X 10.10 and later have a newer Notes format - if you choose to upgrade to the new format, Notes will only synchronise with iOS 9 or later | OS X 10.10.5 or later

macOS 12 Monterey Frequently Asked Questions

Q. When will macOS 12 Monterey be released?
A. Monterey was officially announced at Apple's WWDC online virtual event on 7th June 2021. The first Developer Preview was made available on 7th June 2021. The first Public Beta was made available on 1st July 2021. The consumer edition of macOS 12 will be made available on Monday 25th October 2021.
Q. How much does macOS 12 Monterey cost?
A. It will be free (as in, a free download via the internet) with a total download size of around ~12.5GB.
Q. In our family/household/business the different Macs have different iTunes / App Store accounts on them. Do I have to download Monterey multiple times?
A. No. You can have more than one iTunes / App Store authorisation on a single machine. Use one of the iTunes / App Store accounts to authorise each computer in the family/household/business in turn to download and install Monterey (in the App Store application click on the "Purchases" tab).
NOTE: Mac App Store authorisations (for consumers) are different to iTunes authorisations. Mac App Store authorisations are unlimited whereas the iTunes authorisation limit is 10.
Q. How do I install Monterey on multiple computers?
A. Option 1: Download Monterey individually on each computer at ~12.5GB in size each time.
A. Option 2: Download the Monterey installer on one computer (at ~12.5GB in size), quit the installer and copy the installer to each computer's Applications folder that you want to install Monterey on.
A. Option 3: Download the Monterey installer on one computer (at ~12.5GB in size) and create an external installation device to boot and use on each computer that you want to install Monterey on.
Q. Which Macs can I install Monterey on?
A. Apple has officially confirmed that the following Macs are compatible with Monterey:
  • MacBook (Early 2016 or newer)
  • MacBook Air (Early 2015 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro 13"/15" (Early 2015 or newer)
  • Mac mini (Late 2014 or newer)
  • iMac (Late 2015 or newer)
  • iMac Pro (2017 or newer)
  • Mac Pro (Late 2013 or newer)
Q. How can I check what specifications my computer has or graphics capability it has?
Q. Which Mac do I have?
A. You can check "Processor", "Memory" and macOS/OS X/Mac OS X "Version" by going to Apple menu > About This Mac > Overview tab if necessary (hint - clicking on the version number will give you the "build" number).
A. To check your Mac's "Model Name" go to Apple menu > About This Mac > Overview tab if necessary > check for the computer name in the top line e.g. "MacBook Pro" (this can only be checked with OS X 10.7 or later)
A. To check your Mac's model date version go to Apple menu > About This Mac > Overview tab if necessary > check the details after the Model Name e.g. "Early 2015" (this can only be checked with OS X 10.7 or later) - to be more specific and exact you can check what "Model Identifier" your Mac has by:
  • If you are running Mac OS X 10.6 or earlier go to Apple menu > About This Mac > click the "More Info…" button > (the System Profiler application will open) select "Hardware" in the top left > check what it says for 'Model Identifier' on the right.
  • If you are running OS X 10.7 or OS X 10.8 go to Apple menu > About This Mac > click the "More Info…" button > (the System Information application will open) select "Hardware" in the top left > check what it says for 'Model Identifier' on the right under 'Hardware Overview'.
  • If you are running OS X 10.9 or later go to Apple menu > About This Mac > click the "Overview" tab in the top left > click the "System Report…" button > (the System Information application will open) select "Hardware" in the top left > check what it says for 'Model Identifier' on the right under 'Hardware Overview'.
A. To check what graphics capability your Mac has:
  • If you are running Mac OS X 10.6 or earlier go to Apple menu > About This Mac > click the "More Info…" button > (the System Profiler application will open) select "Graphics/Displays" under 'Hardware' in the top left (click the triangle down if necessary) > click on the 'Video Card' on the right to see the technical information below.
  • If you are running OS X 10.7 or OS X 10.8 go to Apple menu > About This Mac > click the "More Info…" button > (the System Information application will open) select "Graphics/Displays" under 'Hardware' in the top left (click the triangle down if necessary) > click on the 'Video Card' on the right to see the technical information below.
  • If you are running OS X 10.9 or later go to Apple menu > About This Mac > click the "Overview" tab in the top left > click the "System Report…" button > (the System Information application will open) select "Graphics/Displays" under 'Hardware' in the top left (click the triangle down if necessary) > click on the 'Video Card' on the right to see the technical information below. With OS X 10.11 or later here you will also find whether your GPU supports "Metal".
A. To check your Mac's "Model Number" it is usually printed/engraved on the outside of the computer somewhere (it usually begins with the letter A or M).
Q. What new features does Monterey have?
A. See Apple's official macOS 12 Monterey preview web page. MacStrategy's recommended features to note are:
  • Live Text from images - automatic text recognition with images + searchable via Spotlight (originally required a Mac with Apple's own processor in it e.g., the M1) but Developer Beta 4 released on 26th July 2021 introduced the feature to Intel Macs (however, it remains to be confirmed whether all Intel Macs will support this feature or whether there will be a minimum hardware requirement - we will update this article when we know more).
  • Erase all contents and settings - System Preferences now offers an option to erase all user data and user-installed apps from the system, while maintaining the operating system currently installed. Because storage is always encrypted on Mac systems with Apple silicon or the T2 chip, the system is instantly and securely "erased" by destroying the encryption keys. (Requires a Mac with a T2 chip or a Mac with Apple's own processor in it e.g., the M1.)
  • Low Power Mode - Reduces system clock speed and display brightness to extend battery life [requires MacBook (Early 2016 or newer) or MacBook Pro (Early 2016 or newer) model].
  • System-wide translation
  • Apple ID - Account Recovery Contacts: Choose one or more people you trust to become an Account Recovery Contact to help you reset your password and regain access to your account.
  • Apple ID - Digital Legacy program: The Digital Legacy program allows you to designate people as Legacy Contacts so they can access your account and personal information in the event of your death.
  • Find My - Live locations for family and friends: See your family and friends' locations with continuous streaming updates. This provides an immediate sense of direction, speed, and progress when viewing people's locations.
  • Dictation - on-device dictation for new languages including UK English, French, German, and Italian + continuous dictation (previously limited to 60 seconds) [requires a Mac with Apple's own processor in it e.g., the M1]
  • Temporary iCloud storage to transfer your data - Now when you buy a new device you can use iCloud Backup to move your data to your new device, even if you’re low on storage. iCloud will grant you as much storage as you need to complete a temporary backup, free of charge, for up to three weeks. This allows you to get all your apps, data, and settings onto your device automatically.
  • FaceTime enhancements:
    • Spatial audio - requires a 2018 model Mac or newer
    • Voice isolation mode
    • Wide spectrum mode
    • Group FaceTime grid view
    • Portrait mode (background blur) - requires a Mac with Apple's own processor in it e.g., the M1
    • FaceTime links - invite your friends into a FaceTime call using a web link you can share anywhere including calendar integration
    • Join FaceTime on the web - invite anyone to join you in a FaceTime call, even friends who don't have an Apple device via a web browser (Chrome or Edge), including Windows and Android users
    • SharePlay - share Music/Apple TV/screen across Apple devices (limited to certain Apple/3rd party apps)
  • Focus mode:
    • Focus for work/personal/sleep/custom setup + automatically sets across all compatible Apple devices
    • Allowed interruptions + urgent messages
    • Status messages + auto-reply
  • Universal Control:
    • Use your keyboard, mouse, and trackpad across Mac and iPad
    • No setup required
    • Optional continuous setup
    • Support for multiple devices - Universal Control works with up to three devices
    • Drag and drop content between devices
    NOTE: Universal Control compatible devices must be signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID using two-factor authentication. To use wirelessly, both devices must have Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Handoff turned on and must be within 10 meters (30 feet) of each other. iPad and Mac must not be sharing a cellular and internet connection.
  • AirPlay to Mac:
    • AirPlay content to your Mac
    • Mirror or extend the display
    • Use as AirPlay 2 speaker
    • Send wired or wirelessly
  • Shortcuts:
    • New Shortcuts application
    • Updated Gallery
    • Cross-device management
    • System-wide shortcuts
    • Run iPhone and iPad shortcuts on Mac
    • Improved sharing
    • Smarter Shortcuts editor
    • Automator compatibility
    • Advanced scripting
  • Passwords:
    • New "Passwords" pane in System Preferences
    • Import and export passwords
    • Built-in authenticator
    • Manage iCloud Passwords on Windows
    • iCloud Passwords extension for Edge
  • New Mail application "extensions" - compose, actions, content blocking, message security
  • iCloud+ including iCloud Private Relay, Hide My Email, HomeKit Secure Video, Custom email domain
  • Notes - new Tags and Mentions (iOS 14.5 or later | macOS 11.3 or later required to view Notes using either new feature)
  • Enhanced Maps - Interactive globe (requires a Mac with Apple's own processor in it e.g., the M1)
  • Enhanced Maps - new City experience now available for London, United Kingdom (requires a Mac with Apple's own processor in it e.g., the M1) + new Maps now available in United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, Portugal and Italy
  • Enhanced Safari
  • Enhanced Notifications
  • Enhanced Notes including Quick Notes
  • Enhanced Accessibility
  • Enhanced Finder
  • Enhanced Memoji
  • New features for Gaming, Home, Music, Photos, Podcasts, Reminders, TV, Voice memos, and Weather
NOTE: For the minimum system requirements of various new features see the relevant Q&A further down this page. Some features may not be available for all Mac models, in all countries, or in all areas.
Q. How much does the iCloud+ features cost?
A. There is no additional charge for the iCloud+ features as long as you have a paid for iCloud account i.e., not the free 5GB service.
Q. How do I use the new "erase all contents and settings" feature?
A. Go to Apple menu > System Preferences > when System Preferences has opened go to System Preferences menu (in the menu bar, top left) > select "Erase All Content and Settings" > enter an administrator password > the Mac will then erase the content and settings and reboot to the standard setup screen.
Q. Does macOS 12 support all 64-bit applications?
A. No. All components and resources used by the 64-bit application must also be 64-bit (compatible). Apple has stated some things will not work in macOS 10.15 or later:
Q. What's this about Apple moving to its own silicon/processors/chips?
A. Apple officially announced at their WWDC online virtual event on 22nd June 2020 that they were going to transition to using their own hardware processors in their Mac range of computers instead of using Intel processors. We have more information about that here.
Q. Will macOS 12 support virtual machines/environments via Parallels, Fusion and VirtualBox?
A. Yes, but…
  • If your Mac has an Intel processor you should still be able to virtualise macOS, LINUX and Windows as normal.
  • If your Mac has an Apple processor you should be able to virtualise macOS and LINUX but possibly not Windows and you may not be able to virtualise older versions of macOS - we will update this article when we know more.
Q. Will macOS 12 support running iOS/iPadOS apps on a Mac?
A. Yes, but…
  • If your Mac has an Intel processor you cannot run iOS/iPadOS apps on your Mac.
  • If your Mac has an Apple processor you will definitely be able to run iOS/iPadOS apps on your Mac - they will be available to download via the App Store
Q. Monterey appears to rely on iCloud a lot. Do I have to have an iCloud account (Apple ID) to install/use Monterey?
A. You will need an Apple ID to use the Mac App Store to download Monterey in the first place but once it is installed you may not need to use iCloud. An Apple ID can be your iTunes account if you have one.
macOS 12 Monterey - go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Apple ID (at the top - or click "Sign In"). You have control over:
  • Photos†
  • Keychain (in the cloud)†
  • Private Relay
  • Hide my email
  • iCloud Drive (including Shortcuts)
  • iCloud Mail†
  • Contacts
  • Calendars
  • Reminders† - upgraded reminders require iOS 13 or later / iPadOS 13 or later / macOS 10.15 or later
  • Messages - requires iOS 11.4 or later, macOS 10.13.5 or later
  • Notes† - see also the Warnings list at the top of this page
  • Safari†
  • Find My Mac
  • News
  • Stocks
  • Home
  • Siri (if your Mac supports Siri)
† - This information can only be synchronise across multiple iOS devices/Mac computers if you have an iCloud account (Apple ID) - you cannot synchronise these types of data via USB/iTunes.
Q. Which Macs support the Universal Control feature included with macOS 12 and later?
A. It would appear that the following Macs are compatible with the Universal Control feature:
  • MacBook (Early 2016 or newer)
  • MacBook Air (Late 2018 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro 13"/15" (Mid 2016 or newer)
  • Mac mini (Late 2018 or newer)
  • iMac 21.5" (2017 or newer)
  • iMac 5K Retina 27" (Late 2015 or newer)
  • iMac Pro (2017 or newer)
  • Mac Pro (2019 or newer)
Q. Which Macs support the AirPlay to Mac feature included with macOS 12 and later?
A. It would appear that the following Macs are compatible with the AirPlay to Mac feature:
  • MacBook Air (Late 2018 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro 13"/15" (2018 or newer)
  • Mac mini (2020 or newer)
  • iMac (2019 or newer)
  • iMac Pro (2017 or newer)
  • Mac Pro (2019 or newer)
NOTE: Older Mac models may share content at a lower resolution to supported Mac models when "Allow AirPlay for" is set to "Everyone" or "Anyone on the same network" in Sharing preferences.
Q. Which Macs support the iPad Sidecar feature included with macOS 10.15 and later?
A. It would appear that the following Macs are compatible with the iPad Sidecar feature:
  • MacBook (Early 2016 or newer)
  • MacBook Air (Late 2018 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro 13"/15" (Mid 2016 or newer)
  • Mac mini (Late 2018 or newer)
  • iMac 21.5" (Late 2015 or newer)
  • iMac 27" (Late 2015 or newer)
  • iMac Pro (2017 or newer)
  • Mac Pro (2019 or newer)
Q: How do I use the 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. Which Macs support the Apple Watch unlocking and WPA3 Wi-Fi encryption features included with macOS 10.15 and later?
A. It would appear that the following Macs are compatible with these new features:
  • MacBook (Early 2015 or newer)
  • MacBook Air (Mid 2013 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro 13"/15" (Early 2013 or newer)
  • Mac mini (Late 2014 or newer)
  • iMac (Late 2013 or newer)
  • iMac Pro (2017 or newer)
  • Mac Pro (Late 2013 or newer)
Q. Which apps support Continuity Camera included with macOS 10.14 and later?
A. According to this Apple technote the following apps do:
  • Finder
  • Keynote v8.2 or later
  • Mail
  • Messages
  • Notes
  • Numbers v5.2 or later
  • Pages v7.2 or later
  • TextEdit
Q. Is AFP (Apple File Protocol) networking still supported?
A. As a client, yes. You can access AFP servers via the Finder > Go menu > Connect to Server…
A. As a server, no. "File Sharing" via AFP is no longer supported.
Q. Does Monterey use Core Storage?
A. Yes. Disk Utility (in Macintosh HD > Applications > Utilities folder) gives you access to some Core Storage features and formatting.
Q. Does Monterey use Apple File System (APFS)?
A. Yes. See our separate Apple File System (APFS) article.
Q. Does Monterey support "Back To My Mac"?
A. No. See this Apple support page for more information and alternative options.
Q. I've heard Monterey includes something called System Integrity Protection (SIP). Will this stop me installing and using older software?
A. Possibly. See our separate article all about System Integrity Protection (SIP).
Q. I've heard Monterey includes something called Gatekeeper. Will this stop me installing and using older software?
A. No. You can configure Gatekeeper in one of two different ways:
  1. Mac App Store = only software downloaded and installed from the Mac App Store will run (highest security)
  2. Mac App Store and identified developers = only software downloaded and installed from the Mac App Store or that have been digitally signed by an authorised developer will run (medium security - default)
Q. Does Monterey have Rosetta? Does it run PowerPC applications/software?
A. Not to be confused with the new Rosetta version 2, just like OS X 10.7 Lion and later, Monterey does not include the original version 1 of Rosetta.
Q. Does Monterey include X11?
A. No. X11 on Monterey now uses install on demand. When you first launch an app that requires X11 libraries, you are directed to a download location for the most up-to-date version of X11 for Mac e.g. XQuartz. However, if you have upgraded to Monterey XQuartz may get moved as part of the upgrade process and stop working. If you've upgraded to Monterey you are recommended to reinstall the software using the latest version e.g. v2.7.11 or later.
Q. Does Monterey include Xgrid Sharing?
A. No. Just like OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion and later it has been removed.
Q. Does Monterey include Java?
A. No. Java is available to download from Oracle - see our Java article for more information and download links to obtain the latest free Java software.
Q. If I install macOS 12 Monterey and don't like it can I easily downgrade back to macOS 11/10.15/10.14/10.13/10.12/10.11/10.10/10.9?
A. Unfortunately, depending on your Mac model it may not be very easy. We're working on an article about that - check back soon.

Article Keywords: macOS 12 Monterey 1200 Frequently Asked Questions FAQ

This article is © MacStrategy » a trading name of Burning Helix. As an Amazon Associate, employees of MacStrategy's holding company (Burning Helix sro) may earn from qualifying purchases. Apple, the Apple logo, and Mac are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc.


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