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M1 MacBook Air experiencing random reboots with latest Big Sur update

Macbook Air M1
Macbook Air M1 (Image credit: Daniel Bader / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Some M1 MacBook Air owners are experiencing random reboots.
  • The issue seems to be a bug contained in macOS Big Sur 11.1.

Apple released macOS Big Sur 11.1 to the public earlier this week which included support for the company's new AirPods Max headphones, a new Apple TV+ tab in the TV app, new widgets for Apple News, and the privacy labels for apps on the Mac App Store. It also included a number of bug fixes.

Unfortunately, it appears that macOS Big Sur 11.1 has also added one pesky bug for a number of Mac users. Reported by iPhone in Canada, a number of M1 MacBook Air owners are experiencing random reboots when using their new Apple Silicon Mac. The outlet has found that the reboots seem to occur most often when the Mac is being hooked up to an external display or hub.

Macbook Air M1

Macbook Air M1 (Image credit: Daniel Bader / Android Central)

Users on Reddit have been reporting the issue since the macOS 11.1 beta was released:

"Brand new MacBook Air here, had it since last Tuesday and immediately updated to 11.1 [beta]. Over the course of the day I'm experiencing lockups and reboots which is not exactly making me love this machine at times. I could restore back to 11.0.1 but I was wondering if anybody running 11.1 [beta] on M1 was experiencing the same reboots first," said user 'thereantg'.

The issue has also been reported a number of times in the MacRumors forums:

"I've hit this issue a few times with my M1 [MacBook Air] on the latest Big Sur where randomly the screensaver will turn on. Then, tapping the touch ID will just toggle between the screensaver and the login screen, but the touch ID will ever unlock the computer. Even if I type my password, it will just go from the login back to the screensaver. The only fix is to close the screen and reopen it and then it will work. Has anyone seen this? I haven't run into this issue on my 2017 [MacBook Pro] with the same Big Sur version," explained 'bobbba'.

It appears that the M1 13-inch MacBook Pro and M1 Mac mini are experiencing the issue as well as a handful of non-Apple Silicon Macs, but none seem to be affected by the problem more than the M1 MacBook Air. At this time, there has been no solution as to why the issue is occurring. Hopefully, Apple will address it and provide a fix in the near future.

Joe Wituschek
Contributor

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.

2 Comments
  • Just got our Mini (only on order for ~four weeks), been running it for a couple of days and no problem with the hardware. It's a delight.
    Tip: We bought it now because we had a newish iMac to trade in and wanted to get maximum trade in $$ for that. That would only go down while the price of Mini would essentially stay the same or, over the years, drop less and slower than the trade in for the iMac. In other words, for us, the Mini would never be cheaper net than then. So how could we say no?
  • This is not just 11.1. or Macbook Air. I have a 13" Macbook Pro M1 and it has experienced numerous hard crashes EVERY DAY under 11.0 and 11.1. So is it Big Sur or M1? Good luck guessing, but my advice at this point is to hold off on M1 until it's ready for prime time, which I think is not now. I was totally willing to swallow the lack of 32-bit support and some level of beta. What I can't countenance is so many random hard crashes that interrupt and corrupt my work. This is very un-Mac like, as a long-time Mac user I'm totally unhappy with this purchase.