Issues After Upgrading to Big Sur - Internet Useless
July 15, 2021 5:37 AM   Subscribe

I've tried searching Mac help forums, but the answers there all don't help. I've had two problems crop up since a required update on my work computer to Big Sur and I am being driven absolutely bonkers. IT is nice but not incredibly helpful as I am remote. Please help.

1. BIGGEST ISSUE - the computer just decides the internet doesn't exist on my wifi every so often - like 3-5x/day. The ONLY remedy is to restart the entire computer. Possibly relevant: I am running sophos endpoint (required and I cannot turn it off, even tho I am in my own home, not at an office). *All my other devices are fine* -- my google home will play music, my phone is on the wifi, it's all working as expected -- except this one Mac. I never had this problem pre-Big Sur.

2. FAN RUNNING all the time. It's not as bad as the wifi issue but it's loud and annoying. The last time the fan ran hard, I pulled up Activity Monitor and I didn't see anything that looked untoward (something like 80% resources free).

As I said above, IT is nice, but they are in NYC, and I am in ATL, so I'm a bit on my own. I've tried searching about this problem on Mac help forums, but I'm not finding anything super useful (perhaps because I don't really know what search terms to use to turn up useful information). Is this just a thing with Big Sur when you have something like Sophos running?

Computer Info:
MacBook Pro 15-inch, 2019
2.3 GHz 8-Core Intel Core i9
Running Big Sur Version 11.4
posted by Medieval Maven to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
Re #2 -- when you upgrade MacOS it reindexes your disk for spotlight searches. This uses a lot of CPU and SSD access, and can lead to the fan running (as well as lack of responsiveness). If you've had constant fan for a week, 8 hours a day, it is probably something else. But if it's just a few hours for a day or two you could put it down to Spotlight.

To check what is using a lot of CPU, run the Activity Monitor app. That could give you an additional hint.

Also -- have you checked into whether you need to upgrade your version of Sophos for Big Sur?
posted by Winnie the Proust at 5:42 AM on July 15, 2021

I just went through the same thing with my MBP 13" 2017. I gave it about a week to see if the Spotlight indexing settled down. I used App Tamer to see what was using the CPU. I had Macs Fan Control to fine tune the fan. It didn't get better with time. The computer was uncomfortably hot to the touch, constantly.

It's not easy to downgrade back to Catalina, but I grit my teeth and did it and now it's so much better. It is quiet, cool, and functional.
posted by dum spiro spero at 6:34 AM on July 15, 2021

I told Spotlight to stop indexing. *shrug* I know where my stuff is, and I hate the noise & heat.

As for your networking problem, I really agree that checking Sophos for an upgrade is important. Then again, they have a tech note for Big Sur explaining that there is a conflict between two networking commands in macOS which can conflict -- and they say that Apple needs to fix it.
posted by wenestvedt at 6:51 AM on July 15, 2021

Also, free up some disk space. If your hard disk is near full, the deleted system process will run constantly in the background. As wenestvedt said, it helps (even in Catalina) to turn off Spotlight. I used the "mrutil -a -i off" method.
posted by dum spiro spero at 6:57 AM on July 15, 2021

Re: fan running. Do you have an external monitor plugged in? Try unplugging it and see if the fan cools down after a few minutes. My work Mac overheats when an external monitor is connected; it’s so bad I’ve just convinced them to replace the laptop.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 8:35 AM on July 15, 2021 [1 favorite]

Yeah, the extra demands of an external monitor often requires that the dedicated GPU runs -- instead of the lesser, onboard graphics controller, which is sized for the laptop's main display.

My older MBP does this, and now when it's docked and driving two big displays, I aim a small, quiet desk fan at the thing so it doesn't have to rev up its internal fans!
posted by wenestvedt at 10:54 AM on July 15, 2021

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