back to article Apple promises third, no, fourth, er, fifth time's a charm when it comes to macOS Catalina: 10.15.5 now out

Apple has released the fifth version of macOS Catalina, and fixed yet another stability issue that saw machines crash during large file transfers; the latest in a long series of problems with version 10.15 of the operating system. The “good” news is that macOS 10.15.5 includes a new battery management feature that Apple says …

  1. John Robson Silver badge


    I’ve had no issues with Cat.

    Glad someone is finally taking the “always docked” laptop seriously. If I’m going somewhere I just hope there is an option for “brimming” the battery.

    I’d be quite happy if mine sat at about 40% all day if that kept it alive longer. Shame it can’t be taken out of the circuit if you have a PSU (or a power supplying eGPU) plugged in.

    1. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge

      Re: Bizzarely

      What's odd is that this isn't "news" that the battery charge algorithm should have about 10% hysteresis in it. Even Microsoft figured that out long time ago.

    2. Tim99 Silver badge

      Re: Bizzarely

      I've not had any problems either. I'm an old fart who uses it as a zsh and GUI Desktop system on an iMac. My battery is a nice big UPS. If I need to go away from the desk I use an iPad Pro - I drank the special beverage and bought two expensive toys...

    3. Totally not a Cylon

      Re: Bizzarely

      Another one with no problems, maybe it's because my Mac is an old 2013 MacBook Pro?

      But then I don't have issues with Windows 10 releases either......

      Or perhaps it's the Pi-Hole sitting on my network blocking all the iffy DNS requests?

      (Or the dancing round a bonfire at Full Moon???)

  2. RM Myers Silver badge

    But.. but..It just works!

    Except when it doesn't. Similar to my iphoney.

    1. RM Myers Silver badge

      Re: But.. but..It just works!

      Ah, we seem to have some sensitive iphone fanbois. I've had my iphone 11 less than 2 months, in which time it has had 3 OS revisions, each fixing the problem with calls not showing in the call log (yes, I now know the reboot is actually fixing the problem, not the update). The updates which I have had to apply manually each time, since auto update has taken a short lay down. And don't even get me started on the problems with some of the built in apps and the continual attempt to upsell me to the "pro" version.

      The hardware is great - the software, not so great!

      1. 45RPM Silver badge

        Re: But.. but..It just works!

        If anyone can claim to have seen software that works correctly all the time, even software from Apple, then I've got some primo quality snake oil to sell them that will cure all known diseases, both real and imaginary.

  3. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    It's UNIX

    You can apply fixes from the open source community while waiting for Apple, right?

    1. J. Cook Silver badge

      Re: It's UNIX

      uh... no.

      MacOS only vaguely resembles the FreeBSD kernel that it was based on those many, many years ago.

      Unless you mean "wipe the storage and install an Open source OS" on it, in which case I wish you the best of luck.

      1. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

        Re: It's UNIX

        Is the "Spawn of Satan" icon not showing on my post?

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: It's UNIX

      If you use something like MacPorts you can, indeed, replace a lot of components that Apple only updates with new releases. But much of the code, and all of the GUI, is Apple's own and it is frankly pretty shoddy. For the last three months I've been trying to confirm my Apple ID so that I can use FaceTime to chat with my nephew: no dice. How about replacing it? Again, no dice.

      MacOS is for many people and many tasks a great OS, but it has definitely suffered from Apple's recent attempts to turn it into an extension of IOS.

      1. 45RPM Silver badge

        Re: It's UNIX

        I pulled out my old Mac recently (SE/30) and it still works perfectly. In fact, and much as I like macOS X, there are some things that the Classic Mac OS did better. Installing the OS on MacOS up to and including 9 is far superior for example, as is the experience of multi-booting (dual boot? pah!) where multiple versions of MacOS can even be installed on the same partition. There are all kinds of little conveniences that make it a pleasant experience to use, even today but…

        …Yes, multitasking is almost non-existent (co-operative only), it really will need rebooting regularly (thanks to a lack of memory protection), and the network stack and internet support is now antediluvian.

        Which is all a long winded way of saying, you can't make progress without going backwards sometimes.

    3. Paradroid

      Re: It's UNIX

      Have an upvote for your attempt at humour thay went over the heads of a few people!!

  4. IGotOut Silver badge

    People complain about MS updates...

    ...but they have to support millions of combinations of hardware.

    Mac...what a few hundred?

  5. GraXXoR

    I will be first to admit, Catalina has been a bit rough on a few of my machines so I’ve had to roll them back to Mojave.

    But the ones I had issues with were admittedly Core 2 Duo machines using DOSDUDE1’s patch that bypasses Apples hamstringing and lets you install 2 or 3 versions later OSes than Apple allow natively with a few caveats.

    Mojave is definitely the current Windows 7 of the Mac world. It has all the features with none of the drawbacks.

    Catalina, stripping 32bit compatibility has caused lots of problems for users.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    They seem to be getting worse with every release

    This is why my MacBook is still on High Sierra and my next laptop will be a System76 running Pop!_OS 20.04 LTS.

  7. cb7

    Catalina broke Google Drive too.

    And yes I've gone into Security settings and turned on full drive access for it already.

    Apple and Google support were "about as useful as a chocolate teapot".

    I don't even understand Apple's desire to rush out an OS update full of bugs. It's not like it's going to bring in additional revenue or something.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Marketing has forced them into a yearly major upgrade cycle.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        It's time somebody went to Marketing and applied a vigorous slap to the face.

        With generosity.

    2. John Robson Silver badge

      Google drive, or file stream as I believe they now call it, works fine for me.

      Not saying you're holding it wrong, but it's not a complete break (i.e. it is broken for you, not everyone).

  8. Dan 55 Silver badge

    It'll still be buggy and it still won't run 32-bit software. So no, I still won't upgrade.

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      So what version are you on that has no bugs?

      I didn't think they'd released MacOS Unicorn yet.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        There is no version that has no bugs, but some releases are lemons which are best avoided (Lion, Sierra, Catalina).

        And Catalina is the gift that keeps on giving:

        APFS Bug in macOS 10.15.5 Catalina Impacts the Creation of Bootable Backups

  9. coconuthead

    the login screen says it all

    There it confronts you, an aerial shot of the eponymous rocky island - as if taken from the cockpit of a plane about to crash into it.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Peripherals like mice, keyboards and printers stopped working" - my Samsung printer stopped printing double-sided, so I tried to upgrade the Samsung drivers. They would not install, as HP (who now own Samsung's printer arm and provide "support") had not signed them. Only option was to disable the kernel mode security protection and install that way (or deal with a string of security warnings during installation and first use of the printer). However, even that didn't help as one part of the driver just crashed when printing. HP finally fixed this about 2 days ago. I don't see this as an Apple issue.

    "Users were constantly harassed by login requests" - do you mean the additional security messages like "LibreOffice would like to access your documents" the first time you ran a non-Apple app after the upgrade? If so, it's hardly "constant" - just once for each protected area for each app. Sure, it would be nice for "trusted" third-party apps not to have to go through this, but it's hardly "harassment" and, personally, I like the fact that any malware that gets on the machine is going to find it hard to access any of my content.

    "updates didn’t update" - I've never seen that.

    Sure, it's not perfect and there were some silly little things that should not have got out the door. However, overall I like the changes that have allowed tighter interaction between the various systems that I have.

  11. Gerard Krupa

    The bricking supplemental update

    I haven't see any response from Apple on the claims that the 10.15.4 supplemental update supposedly corrupted the firmware for the T2 chips for some users requiring either a second Mac or an RTB to recover it. They haven't even tried to address the possibility it was due to user error.

  12. 45RPM Silver badge

    To be fair, I’ve had no problems with Catalina either - other than the niggle that it took some hacking to get it onto my 2009 Mac Pro. The specification says ‘Go’ but Apple artificially says ‘No’. I get that they want to sell me a new computer, and 11 years of being up to date is pretty good run, but until they make an affordable version of the Mac Pro (sub £2k) that I can update to give it a similarly long life span, I ain’t buyin’. That said, Catalina has run without problem on my old beast.

    As to replacing batteries, well true. Officially you can’t replace the battery - but, unofficially, in my experience, it’s a doddle. A few screws and the top (okay, bottom) was popped off of my MacBook Air, the battery came out easily and the new (NewerTech) one went in without trouble. All in all the work of a few minutes. Hardly onerous. And, actually, it’s so nicely assembled that it was a quicker job than relacing the battery (also fixed in place) in a friend’s Asus Zenbook.

    The battery in my ThinkPad is ever easier of course - one sliding clip and off it pops - but it’s heavier, bulkier, and not as nice to use. So, for all the inconvenience of a few minutes every five years to replace the battery, I’ll go with the Apple. But you choose the tool that works best for you. No point in coming over all religious about it.

    1. Stork Silver badge

      The old model Air should be easy. I spoiled a keyboard trying to unglue the battery on a 2014 Retina

      1. 45RPM Silver badge

        Glue? Okay - that is a pain in the proverbial. Does the glue soften with judicious use of a hair dryer - that's how I overcame the glued battery problem in an iPad (actually, it's how I overcame the glued-everything problem in an iPad)

    2. ThomH Silver badge

      I've had only a single issue, with Photos declining to use a library on an external drive.

      That said, right now I'm on my work laptop and upon reading this article decided to check for a software update. As it turns out, my work laptop still running 10.14 and I hadn't even noticed the difference despite using both routinely.

      So I endorse treating the move to 10.15 as highly optional.

  13. TchmilFan

    I'm still saying no to Catalina on production Macs

    Apart from new kit (obviously), I'm still not taking production Macs any further than Mojave.

    Catalina is another "Sierra", it's needed an, er, "Alto Catalina" jump ever since it was obvious things hadn't quite worked.

  14. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: Rebooting

      My IT department asked me to reboot last week - uptime was sixty something days at that point. Some stupid auditing software that sometimes needs a reboot to kick it into action.

    2. 45RPM Silver badge

      Re: Rebooting

      Really? I've had uptimes of 30 days+ (I do reboot for updates). Are you sure that there isn't something else amiss? Bad storage? Bad memory? Malware?

      And if you're seriously considering Pop Linux I guess that you don't care much for the aesthetics of the UI. I love Linux - well, on the command line anyway. The closest thing that Linux has to an elegant UI, IMO, is KDE - and even that is only elegant by comparison to its Linux brethren.

    3. Paradroid

      Re: Rebooting

      Been thinking the same. Not happy with the direction of Apple or Microsoft operating systems. Plus the new XPS15 is so nice.

  15. Stork Silver badge

    Thanks for the status report

    I sit it out. Anyone know how to update from High Sierra to Mojave?

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Thanks for the status report

      Download it from on a supported Mac that isn't running Catalina.

  16. alimack

    Oh Catalina

    Yes, had failry horrible problems on my son's iMac upgrading from Sierra to Catalina (mainly so I could use Office 365).

    Had to delete iDefrag and all Abobe saoftware and extensions, to get performance at all satisfactory, emails not showing up in seperate window despite showing up in preciew pane - fix was to run a clibration of the display!

    Added an external SSD and finally performance is half decent, putting a 5400 HD in £1k computer and then writing OS that expects SSD is extracting it a bit.

  17. razorfishsl

    Still stuck at 10.13...... this is going to be the last Apple OS I ,or the company I work for run.

    The several hundred staff, will all be migrated from Apple computers, some over to Linux others over to web services.

    Basically Apple has been going down shit street for the last few years, petty little battles with NVIDIA, stupid security chips..

    REALLY REALLY low quality portables that wont run reliably in an Asian summer, where background temps get up to 37 deg. in the large factories....

    Now to top it off... stupidly priced Rigs, that are just beyond what we can afford for the art departments & 3D modelers... (cost as in serviceability, 3rd party upgrades)

    They had the chance to really get Apple computers into the market.. but it seems they are far more interested in their mobiles.

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