M1 Macs plagued by screensaver bug

Macbook Air M1
Macbook Air M1 (Image credit: Daniel Bader / iMore)

What you need to know

  • Many M1 Mac users are reporting issues with Fast User Switching which leaves them unable to dismiss their screensaver.
  • The only apparent fix so far is to disable the feature.

A new M1 Mac bug is leaving many users unable to dismiss their screensavers when trying to use Fast User Switching.

As reported by MacRumors:

A growing number of user reports online suggest some of Apple's M1 Mac models are susceptible to a Fast User Switching bug that spontaneously activates the screensaver and leaves the user unable to dismiss it.Based on posts in the MacRumors forums, Apple Community forums, and on Reddit, however, a screensaver can sometimes take over the screen of Apple Silicon Macs without notice, rendering the desktop workspace completely unavailable.While the screensaver appears on the screen, the mouse pointer is still on top and moving, but nothing else works, and users have to close and re-open the lid on their MacBook Air or MacBook Pro, or light press the Power/Touch ID key or use the Alt-Command-Q key combination to get back to the login page.

The report highlights forum posts and Apple support threads showing users unable to exit their screensaver whilst using Fast User Switching. As noted, some have found closing and opening the lid of their Mac to work, although one user had to use Remote Access from a different device to get around the issue.

The only sure-fire fix seems to be disabling Fast User Switching, however, this is obviously very inconvenient for users who want to use this feature. The problem has been reported on all three of Apple's M1-based Macs running macOS Big Sur.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9