macOS Sonoma 14.4.1 released to fix the stuff that the 14.4 update broke

An M3 MacBook Air running macOS Sonoma.
Enlarge / An M3 MacBook Air running macOS Sonoma.

Andrew Cunningham

Apple has just released version 14.4.1 for macOS Sonoma, a small-but-significant patch that claims to fix several issues with third-party software and accessories that cropped up in the 14.4 update. The 14.4.1 release also includes a pair of security fixes.

Apple’s release notes highlight fixes for three major problems:

  • USB hubs connected to external displays may not be recognized
  • Copy protected Audio Unit plug-ins designed for professional music apps may not open or pass validation
  • Apps that include Java may quit unexpectedly

Users and companies began noticing problems shortly after the macOS 14.4 update was released earlier this month. Reports of broken USB hubs cropped up on Reddit, the Apple Support Communities forums, and elsewhere within the first couple of days, and issues with Java and iLok audio software DRM devices were reported later on. Some users also reported broken printer drivers and deleted file revisions in iCloud Drive, though Apple’s release notes don’t mention those problems.

At least some of these bugs reportedly weren’t present in preview builds of the 14.4 update, which could explain why they weren’t discovered during the public beta period.

Both of the security patches are for so-called “clickless” exploits that can allow remote code execution after a system displays a compromised image. Apple has also released macOS Ventura 13.6.6 to patch the security vulnerabilities for Macs that haven’t upgraded to Sonoma (or can’t upgrade to Sonoma).

Apple released other minor updates to iOS, iPadOS, and visionOS last week to patch the same security vulnerabilities. None of those updates listed any specific non-security bug fixes in their release notes beyond the broad “important bug fixes and security updates” boilerplate that accompanies most minor OS updates from Apple.

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