macOS Ventura problems: how to fix the most common problems on your Mac

MacOS Ventura from Apple is the latest and greatest operating system to land on the Mac and it comes with a number of great features for a wide variety of use cases. But that doesn’t mean it always runs smoothly. Indeed, it can have its fair share of frustrating problems and glitchy mishaps.

Fortunately, there’s often a fix at hand. In this guide, we’ve rounded up some of the most common problems you may encounter in macOS Ventura and paired them with the often simple solutions that can set things right again. If you’re having trouble with your Mac, try this guide.

macOS Ventura will not download

Aside from that, you should check if you have enough disk space for the macOS update installer download. The installer is around 12GB, but you need it around 25GB backup for the operating system itself. If that doesn’t work, find the macOS installation file (it will be in your Downloads or Applications folders) and drag it to the Trash, then try downloading it again.

When you want to upgrade to macOS Ventura, it can be frustrating when you run into download issues. If this happens to you, the first thing to do is check your internet connection. If everything works fine, try it Apple’s system status page (opens in a new tab) to check if the “macOS Software Update” service is down.

macOS Ventura installation failed

While the download may not be the problem, there may be other reasons why the macOS Ventura installation failed. First, check that your Mac is compatible with macOS Ventura turned on Apple support page (opens in a new tab).

If so, try restarting your Mac in Safe Mode and restarting Setup. If you have a silicon Apple Mac (with an M1 or M2 chip), shut down the Mac, then press and hold the power button until “Loading boot options” is displayed. Click on a volume, then hold Shift and click “Continue in safe mode”. For a Mac with an Intel chip, simply restart your Mac, then immediately hold down the Shift key until the login window appears. Now try installing macOS Ventura in safe mode.

If you still have problems, try resetting the NVRAM. Restart your Mac and then immediately press and hold the Command, Option, P, and R keys right away. Release when you hear the startup chime a second time or see the Apple logo.

Unable to sign in to macOS after update

These commands tell your Mac that you are loading macOS for the first time. You will be prompted to create a new administrator user account, after which your login issues should be resolved.

Occasionally, you may experience problems signing in after upgrading macOS. If it does, restart your Mac and hold down the Command and S keys. This loads a command prompt window. log into /sbin/mount -uw / and press Enter, then type rm /var/db/.applesetupdone and press Enter again.

AirDrop doesn’t work

The AirDrop options menu in macOS Ventura.

(Image credit: Future)

Having trouble with AirDrop? Sometimes it’s as simple as turning it off and on again. From the System Settings app, turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, then turn them both back on. That might be all you need to fix AirDrop.

If not, you can also try adjusting your AirDrop settings. Open Finder, then click Go > AirDrop from the menu bar. Next to “Allow me to be discovered by,” choose Everyone and try sending or receiving the file again. If that works, it’s likely that you previously set AirDrop to only accept files from contacts (or from none), and the sender wasn’t in your contact list.

WiFi doesn’t work

The network settings panel in macOS Ventura, with an option to forget the current network displayed.

(Image credit: Future)

Wi-Fi out of control? Try restarting your Mac in safe mode. If your internet connection comes back, it suggests that an app or extension is at fault.

Also, try forgetting your current network settings and then reconnecting to Wi-Fi. To do this, open System Settings and click Wi-Fi in the sidebar. Under Known Networks, click next to the network you’re currently connected to (it will have a check next to it) and click Forget this network > Remove. Then try to rejoin from the list of other networks. You’ll need your Wi-Fi password for the last step, so make sure you have it handy.

Battery life is too short

The battery settings panel in macOS Ventura, with an option to enable Low Power mode displayed.

(Image credit: Future)

When you first upgrade to macOS Ventura, you may find that your battery drains faster than expected. This could simply be because macOS is setting things up in the background – once it does, battery performance may return to normal.

You can also try changing the battery settings. Open System Settings and click Battery in the sidebar. You can enable Low Power Mode or click Options to optimize video streaming while running on battery power.

Other than that, make sure both macOS and your apps are up to date. Developers often fix issues that cause battery drain, so a quick app update could fix the problem. You could also try switching to less taxing apps on your Mac – Google Chrome is a notorious resource hog, which in turn can negatively impact your Mac’s battery life.

Out of storage space

Storage tips in the System Settings app in macOS Ventura.

(Image credit: Future)

When your Mac’s storage disk starts to fill up, you may notice that your computer starts to slow down. The easiest way to free up space, and thus speed up your Mac, is to uninstall great, old apps that you no longer use. Another surefire way to help is to empty your Recycle Bin regularly.

And there is a third way: the Optimize Storage feature in macOS Ventura. Open the System Settings app and navigate to General > Storage. Under Tips, click Optimize storage (if it shows). This automatically deletes things like old movies and email attachments to free up space.

The disk needs to be repaired

Disk Utility in macOS Ventura showing a dialog with an option to run First Aid on an archive disk.

(Image credit: Future)

Sometimes, your Mac may not start up properly. Don’t panic if this happens to you – it can be fixed using Disk Utility. First, restart your Mac. If you have an Apple Silicon Mac, press and hold the power button until “Loading startup options” appears. For Intel Macs, restart your Mac and hold down Command and R until the startup options appear.

Now, click Options > Continuechoose a language, then click Disk Utility > Continue. From the menu bar, click on View > Show All Devices. Now click on the startup disk in the sidebar and click on First Aid > Run. Let First Aid do its thing, then choose Restart from the Apple icon in the menu bar when you’re done.

iCloud problems

Apple’s iCloud is a great way to store your files in the cloud, but it can have its problems. If your iCloud account is failing to sync or is acting up, often the first thing to try is logging out and back in again. In the System Settings app, click your Apple ID in the upper left corner, then scroll down and click Sign Out. After signing out, try signing in again from the same menu.

Have you recently changed your iCloud password? When you do this, you’ll need to sign out of all iCloud services you use (even on other devices) and sign back in, or else you may run into issues with those services. Just log out, then use the new password to log back in.

An app does not close

A context menu in macOS Ventura showing the Force Quit option for the Safari app.

(Image credit: Future)

Occasionally, an app you’re using will crash, freeze, or not close when you want it to. Luckily, there’s a built-in way to close an annoying app, even when it refuses to exit normally.

At times like this, right-click the app icon in the Dock, then hold down the Option key. This will change the Quit command in the context menu to Force Quit. Click that and the app should close, even if it’s unresponsive. Alternatively, you can click the Apple icon in the menu bar and click Forced exit (or press Option, Command, and Esc together), then choose the app from the Force Quit Applications window.

Remove duplicate photos

In 2022, Apple introduced a new feature in iOS 16 that automatically detects and removes duplicate photos, and the same feature is present in macOS Ventura. Better yet, using it is incredibly easy.

First, open the Photos app. In the left sidebar, you may notice an option titled Duplicates. Click on that and you will see all the duplicate images that Photos has found. Scroll through the list and select the duplicated images, then click Merge [number] Duplicate yourself. This will choose the best quality photo for you, ensure all relevant data is present from both images, then remove the unnecessary extra.

Widget data does not update

The Location Services panel in the macOS Ventura System Settings app, showing various apps and whether location data has been enabled for them.

(Image credit: Future)

Notification Center in macOS Ventura lets you view a variety of widgets with helpful information. However, sometimes they may show wrong data or stop updating properly. Often, it’s because there’s a problem with the location data they’re using — you’ll see it in weather widgets or ones that show the time, for example.

To fix this, open System Settings and click Privacy & Security > Location Services. From here, find the app whose widget is having trouble (for example, the Weather app) and turn its location services off, then turn them back on. Alternatively, you can try turning Location Services off entirely from the same menu, then turning the switch back on.