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Having hangs and crashes since updating to macOS 10.15.4? Me too!

macOS Catalina
macOS Catalina (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple released macOS 10.15.4 to the public earlier today.
  • I've been having issues since, including Finder refusing to work and full system lockups.
  • It's not just me and I can't decide if that's good or bad.

Apple released macOS 10.15.4 to the public earlier this week and I've been running it on my 2018 Mac mini and 2015 MacBook Pro ever since. It's largely been fine, too. Except when it hasn't. And when it hasn't, it's really gone to town.

The first time I had a Finder window freeze I put it down to being one of those things. Then it did it again. Then it took an age to open a shared folder. I put it all down to strange little bugs and got on with my life. After all, we've unfortunately come to expect those every-so-often. Especially when it comes to macOS.

Then things got real when my whole machine ground to a halt yesterday. I had a few apps open – no more than usual – when my mouse pointer stopped moving. It eventually moved a bit and then stopped again. That pattern then repeated a few times. Sometimes just working enough for me to try to get everything working again.

It was more than a little irritating because I was in the middle of work that I hadn't saved, obviously But that's on me.

Eventually, the only way I could get anything working again was to restart the whole machine. Force-quitting Finder didn't do enough to wake everything up because it never re-loaded. I was dead in the water after that.

A restart fixed everything, for now. And I assumed it was all just one of those things. And then I spotted this comment from Stephen Hacket – of fame – on Twitter.

Why yes, Stephen. Since you ask, I am. Not only am I not alone, but there were also plenty of responses to Hacket's tweet, too.

So now I'm handing it over to you. Are you having problems with a Mac doing strange things and just generally being rubbish since updating to macOS 10.15.4? Answers on a postcard, please. Or in the comments below. Whichever you prefer.

Oliver Haslam
Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.

  • No issues on newer Mac Mini, MacBook Air or 2012 iMac.
  • Not had any issues on an old Mac Pro and MacBook Pro 2019
  • I've had the weirdest thing happened twice since updating to macOS 10.15.4. The screen becomes black, I have to force power down the machine, then it refuses to boot. I've had to restore from Time Machine because nothing else worked. Safe Mode, reinstalling the OS on top of the current installation, First Aid with Disk Utility all failed. This is a 2019 iMac, so is a year old. I don't think there is a hardware problem (the self diagnostic came back OK). It is a relief for me (sort of) that I'm not the only one having problems. Hopefully Apple will address this soon.
  • I had that same issue on my Macbook pro 2017, it certainly became black.
  • Hey there! I do not have that problems atm, but as far as I remember Finder problems are nothing new regarding Catalina updates. Search for the and copy it into the downloads folder or elsewhere as a backup. Then delete the original file and reboot. In most cases that should fix your Finder problems.
  • Had the same issue on my 2017 iMac, randomly hanging every now and then for under a minute or so at a time. I thought it could’ve been a RAM issue but for me the problem was narrowed down to Google Drive. Uninstalling it was only part of the solution however as it appears some system files remain after uninstalling so the problems would persist. I did a system recovery and found everything worked perfect until I installed Google Drive again, so will now have to go without Drive for the time being.
  • I've been having hangs with save/print dialog boxes since this upgrade. Finder hangs, but seems to be specific to . After 15-20 sec, it completes (or not). no issues until this. Reboot or reinstall haven't worked yet. Also running Default folder - not sure if that is interfering or not. MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2016).
  • Check the system logs as there may be a hint what is causing those freezes in the save as dialogue ...
  • I have been seeing issues with Intego crashing Macs on Catalina. Like full stop crashes almost like a Virus but doesn’t wipe your data. Huge OS corruption. Won’t startup.
  • Anyone having problem with xcode? I just upgraded my OS yesterday and since then my xcode isn’t working at all. Anyone else also facing this problem? I'm using Macbook Pro 2018 model
  • Xcode often gets updated at the same time as the OS, check the Mac App Store for any updates
  • Yes, crashes, finder freezing. Brand new whiz-bang macbook pro. :/
  • My 12” MacBook (2017) was fine with the Beta but was unusable with the release version. It would kernel panic within a minute. It wouldn’t even go into Internet Recovery at first. Finally I was able to reinstall it and it seems to be OK. My 2019 13” MacBook Pro has kernel panicked twice now.
  • MBP 15" 2019 here. I've been using beta versions and with the latest upgrade, OneDrive works like a charm. No issues noticed. Wifi, Bluetooth (4 devices) all are working fine. External 4K display working fine. Remote folders, NAS devices and HDD devices working fine.
    One trick i use is to reboot once the update is completed.
  • Mac Mini 8,1 rebooting while asleep, after varying periods of time from ten seconds to a few hours. I think the processor is running though active napping is off, and since the fan doesn't run while asleep, it overheats and reboots. Lots of people reporting this on the Apple site. Mini 8,1 is a pretty unreliable bit of hardware in a few ways - BlueTooth kicks off TB3 storage, video issues, and such. This doesn't help and I really regret not returning it during the warranty period.
  • My MacBook Pro (2015) is crashing as well after upgrade.
    It happens randomly, no matter what app is open. It appears the beach ball and then nothing works, after few minutes the background turns black and the beach ball continues to roll. Every time I have to force a turn off with CTRL-CMD-PWR BTN I’m getting tired of this. I will look if is there a way to Get rid of this upgrade.
  • After installing macOS 10.15.4 my iMac crashed 4 times! Then every day since it either crashes or is totally non responsive. This has never happened before but since 10.15.4
  • I've had two complete freeze-ups since loading 10.15.4 a week or so ago. Both times I was in Safari with only couple of other inactive apps open (mail, messages, notes). Scrolling using 2 fingers on trackpad stopped working and scroll bar disappeared from window. Cursor moved but could not activate anything. Cmd-Opt-Esc showed no issue, but I was unable to make anything 'force quit'. Hard restart needed. All on a 2018 Macbook Air.
  • Anyone have any success reverting back to 10.15.3? My MacBook Pro is running fine on 10.15.4 but my Mac Pro which I need for editing keeps having random Finder hangs and freezes. Right in the middle of a FCPX project fml...
  • iMac 27" i7 16GB late 2015 - became very unstable after the update. Had to do a clean install to get it up again. Since then it runs much faster but still there freezes - usually after unlocking the screen - requiring a reboot.
    I'm now rebooting the computer before starting to work just in case.