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macOS 14 Sonoma Frequently Asked Questions FAQ

Article ID = 300
Article Title = macOS 14 Sonoma Frequently Asked Questions FAQ
Article Author(s) = Graham Needham (BH)
Article Created On = 5th June 2023
Article Last Updated = 18th September 2023
Article URL = https://www.macstrategy.com/article.php?300

Article Brief Description:
Frequently Asked Questions about macOS 14 Sonoma

WARNINGS!

  • Sonoma removes support for older Mail application "plug-ins"
  • Sonoma has an OS version of 14.x instead of 10.x, 11.x, 12.x or 13.x - this could affect some older software installers and scripts if they check the OS version in the wrong way
  • Just like Ventura, Sonoma:
    • System Preferences are changed to System Settings which are stylised more like iOS/iPadOS
    • removes support for PostScript and Encapsulated PostScript files in Finder Preview
    • 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
    • removes support for kernel extensions used by online storage services such as Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, Box, and Dropbox - if you use any of these applications update to the latest versions before installing Sonoma. Microsoft has in-depth information on the new "Files On-Demand" feature and TidBits has great coverage in their Apple's File Provider Forces Mac Cloud Storage Changes article.
    • removes Python 2.x - use Python 3 instead (once macOS 14 is installed, run the stub /usr/bin/python3 in Terminal which will prompt you to install the latest Xcode developer tools that includes Python 3.x)
    • removes PHP - use Homebrew to install it or install via a third party software stack such as MAMP/MAMP PRO
    • 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 Sonoma 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 Sonoma 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 may 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)
  • 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 14 Sonoma Frequently Asked Questions

Q. When will macOS 14 Sonoma be released?
A. Sonoma will be released on the 26th September 2023.
Q. How much does macOS 14 Sonoma cost?
A. It will be a FREE download - it has a download size of around ~13GB.
Q. In our family/household/business the different Macs have different iTunes / App Store accounts on them. Do I have to download Sonoma 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 Sonoma (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 Sonoma on multiple computers?
A. Option 1: Download Sonoma individually on each computer at ~13GB in size each time.
A. Option 2: Download the Sonoma installer on one computer (at ~13GB in size), quit the installer and copy the installer to each computer's Applications folder that you want to install Sonoma on.
A. Option 3: Download the Sonoma installer on one computer (at ~13GB in size) and create an external installation device to boot and use on each computer that you want to install Sonoma on.
Q. Which Macs can I install Sonoma on?
A. Apple has officially confirmed that only the following Macs are compatible with Sonoma:
  • MacBook Air (2018 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro (2018 or newer)
  • Mac mini (2018 or newer)
  • Mac Studio (2022 or newer)
  • iMac (2019 or newer)
  • iMac Pro (2017 or newer)
  • Mac Pro (2019 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. My internet connection is slow. Will this be a problem?
A. No, but be warned, the Sonoma installer is ~13GB in size so it may take some time to download.
Q. I don't have a permanent connection to the internet. Will this be a problem?
A. Yes. The Mac App Store download of Sonoma will require an internet connection. See the options listed in answer to the next question.
Q. I have an internet access data cap in place / I cannot download something that is ~13GB in size. What can I do?
A. Sonoma will not be available on optical disc or a USB thumb drive so your options are:
  1. Use a different internet connection to yours that does not have an internet access data cap in place.
  2. Go to an Apple Retail Store where you can install Sonoma from their local server.
Q. If there is no physical Sonoma disc/USB thumb drive and I install Sonoma but run into trouble what can I do?
A. If you downloaded Sonoma from the Mac App Store: A. If your Mac came with macOS 14 Sonoma:
Q. What new features does Sonoma have?
A. See Apple's official macOS 14 Sonoma preview web page. MacStrategy's recommended features to note are:
  • Widgets on the Desktop + access iPhone widgets on your Mac
  • Safari profiles
  • Web apps in the Dock
  • Password and passkey sharing
  • Easily share your location in Messages
  • AutoFill PDFs and forms - coming later in a free update to Sonoma
  • Link related Notes
  • Inline predictions as you type - English only - coming later in a free update to Sonoma
  • Share AirTag or Find My network accessories with up to five other people
  • iCloud Passwords extension for macOS - autofill passwords and verification codes from iCloud Keychain into websites in Chrome and Edge
  • Wallet - Multi-device provisioning - when adding eligible payment cards to your Mac, you will be able to add the cards to your other Apple Pay–capable devices with one easy step
  • Ability to invoke Siri by saying just "Siri" instead of "Hey Siri" (requires an Apple Silicon Mac)
  • New login experience
  • Screen Sharing Presenter Overlay (requires an Apple Silicon Mac)
  • Float over your shared screen
  • Apple ID - sign in with any email address or phone number listed in your account
  • Game Mode (requires an Apple Silicon Mac)
  • Screen Sharing enhanced performance (requires an Apple Silicon Mac)
  • Lockdown Mode
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. Does macOS 14 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. Sonoma appears to rely on iCloud a lot. Do I have to have an iCloud account (Apple ID) to install/use Sonoma?
A. You will need an Apple ID to use the Mac App Store to download Sonoma 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 14 Sonoma - go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Apple ID (at the top - or click "Sign In"). You have control over:
  • Photos†
  • iCloud Drive - with individual control over "Desktop & Documents Folders" + Shortcuts + individual application storage
  • iCloud Mail†
  • Passwords & Keychain (in the cloud)†
  • Click "Show All" to reveal settings for the below items: The following items have now been moved to iCloud+:
    • iCloud Storage
    • Private Relay
    • HomeKit Secure Video
    • Family Sharing
    • Hide my Email
    The following additional configuration items are now also available:
    • Advanced Data Protection - enable end-to-end encryption for some services
    • Access iCloud Data on the Web
† - This information can only be synchronised across multiple iOS devices/Mac computers if you have an iCloud account (Apple ID) - you cannot synchronise these types of data via USB/iTunes.
†† - Messages (in iCloud) has now been moved to the Messages app > Messages menu > Settings… > iMessage > Settings tab - Messages in iCloud requires iOS 11.4 or later, macOS 10.13.5 or later
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)
  • Mac Studio (2022 or newer)
Q. Which Macs support the AirPlay to Mac feature included with macOS 10.12 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)
  • Mac Studio (2022 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)
  • Mac Studio (2022 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: You may need to turn this on in System Preferences / System Settings
  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:
  • Apple has information/instructions for different versions of macOS in their help guide
  • 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 / System Settings
  • 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 / System Settings
  • While an iPad is attached in Sidecar mode you get further options/controls at Apple menu > System Preferences / Settings > Sidecar
  • You can arrange the position of the Sidecar display in the normal way via Apple menu > System Preferences / Settings > Displays > Arrangement tab or the "Arrange…" button
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)
  • Mac Studio (2022 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 Sonoma include PHP?
A. No - PHP has been removed. Use Homebrew to install it or install via a third party software stack such as MAMP/MAMP PRO.
Q. Does Sonoma 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 Sonoma use Apple File System (APFS)?
A. Yes. See our separate Apple File System (APFS) article.
Q. Does Sonoma support "Back To My Mac"?
A. No. See this Apple support page for more information and alternative options.
Q. I've heard Sonoma 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 Sonoma 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 Sonoma have the original 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, Sonoma does not include the original version 1 of Rosetta.
Q. Does Sonoma include X11?
A. No. X11 on Sonoma 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 Sonoma XQuartz may get moved as part of the upgrade process and stop working. If you've upgraded to Sonoma you are recommended to reinstall the software using the latest version e.g. v2.7.11 or later.
Q. Does Sonoma include Xgrid Sharing?
A. No. Just like OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion and later it has been removed.
Q. Does Sonoma 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 14 Sonoma and don't like it can I easily downgrade back to macOS 12/11/10.15/10.14/10.13/10.12?
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 14 Sonoma 1400 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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