macOS Sonoma 14.4: Reasons Not to Upgrade [Updated]

Update: Apple has released macOS 14.4.1, which fixes three bugs mentioned in this article. Click the link to learn what they are.


Since Apple unveiled macOS Sonoma 14.4 on March 7, the transition to the latest software update has not been entirely smooth for everyone, and a number of issues have been reported by users that significantly impact their daily workflow.

Reasons to Not Upgrade to macOS Sonoma 14
This article lists the most prominent challenges users have faced since updating to macOS Sonoma 14.4, and offers potential solutions where available.

USB Hub and Monitor Ports

Lost Connectivity

Some users have experienced connectivity issues with USB hubs and monitors with USB ports since updating to macOS 14.4, with several reports of mice, keyboards, and other peripherals no longer being detected. While Apple works on a fix, a handful of users have had some success by changing the setting "Allow accessories to connect" to "Ask for new accessories" under the Security section of System Settings ➝ Privacy & Security.

Java Processes

Unexpected Terminations

Oracle last week warned that the macOS 14.4 update can cause Java processes to "terminate unexpectedly" on Macs. The issue affects all Java versions from Java 8 to the early access builds of JDK 22, and there is no workaround available. Affected users might be unable to return to a stable configuration unless they have a complete backup of their systems prior to the OS update.

Printer Operation

Removed or Corrupted Drivers

The update may remove or corrupt printer drivers. Specifically, the core CUPS software for printing operations over a network seems to be removed. HP printers in particular appear to be affected, but the exact commonalities between the reports, such as the use of Microsoft Defender or JAMF mobile device management software, are not entirely clear. Some users have found a workaround by granting Full Disk Access to certain processes in System Settings ➝ Privacy & Security. Despite these attempts, a comprehensive solution has not yet been found.

PACE/iLok Protections

Audio Unit Plugins Crash

There have been reports of compatibility issues with PACE products, including the iLok License Manager, connected to Apple silicon Macs running macOS 14.4. The problem specifically impacts plugins from various manufacturers that are safeguarded by PACE/iLok, including those made by Universal Audio, when used with host DAWs such as Logic Pro. Temporarily setting a DAW and the iLok License Manager application to run in Rosetta mode appears to circumvent the issue.

iCloud Drive

Destroys Saved Versions

Users running macOS 14.4 that have "Optimize Mac Storage" enabled should be aware that they are at risk of losing all previously saved versions of a file if they opt to remove it from iCloud Drive local storage. Versions are normally created automatically when users save files using apps that work with the version system in macOS. If you have already updated, either do not save files to iCloud Drive at all, or turning off Optimize Mac Storage. To perform the latter in System Settings, click your Apple ID, select iCloud, and then toggle off the switch next to "Optimize Mac Storage."

Consider Not Updating

If you anticipate that any of these problems could significantly impact your daily operations or productivity, it may be prudent to delay updating to the latest version of macOS Sonoma until Apple addresses these concerns with a subsequent fix. Have you identified any other issues since updating? Let us know in the comments and we might include them here if they turn out to be commonplace.

Related Roundup: macOS Sonoma
Related Forum: macOS Sonoma

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