Finder broken i Catalina public beta 1, can’t download update

Hi there,

I was reckless and stupid enough to install Catalina public beta 1 on my daily driver. It broke the Finder and most other apps. I thought “oh great” I install beta two after coming back from holidays and the worst will be over. Alas, I can’t install the update, my Mac says it has the newest beta… . It does not.

I am really new to all this. Is there a way to get back to Mohave? What can be done?
None of the stock apps work correctly as far as I can see. I guess it’s a problem with iCloud. Should I disconnect Settings from iCloud?
I’m just clueless what I should do next. I guess me being here is still very aspirational, haha.

Your options are:

  1. Restoring from a backup. You have one?! If you have a Time Machine backup, use the instructions at
    If you did a backup using a tool like Carbon Copy Cloner oder Super Duper, follow the instructions of those software vendors to restore a backup.

  2. Restore your Mac without a backup. You can follow the exact same instructions at The only difference is to choose “Reinstall macOS” instead of “Restore From Time Machine Backup”

  3. Finding a way to “repair” your Catalina installation. I have no idea how to achieve that, though…

With 1) and 2) you will loose data, so if possible, you should try to save your data to an external disk to preserve it.

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Thanks for the help! I can’t turn off “Find my Mac” though and can’t make copies of files. I’m not afraid for my files since it’s on iCloud and I get to everything with my iPad. Will it have terrible consequences for my Mac. All I care for is that I don’t need to throw my macbook into the trash, actually:)

Another question is if a reinstall will kill my desktop files from my Mac on my other units and in the cloud? I could save them all in Dropbox I guess. Will that work?

Before you do anything, start with a backup. Use your iPad for backing up your stuff, if you cannot use your Mac. You talked about Dropbox. If you have a Dropbox account, duplicate your important data from iCloud. Do not place your eggs in one basket. No cloud is safe on its own. You need a backup of your data.

Yes, you can. You should try it on your Mac. If it really does not work:

Follow the instructions starting at “Remove an iOS device, Apple Watch, or Mac you no longer have”. Do this only AFTER you have created a backup of your data.

If you have removed your Mac from iCloud (AFTER you have found a solution to back your stuff up), you can do the restore setting up your Mac as a new device. Then you can sign in into iCloud and everything should repopulate from iCloud. If not, you have your backup.

After you have succeded to restore your Mac, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE :wink: start with doing regular backups. :slight_smile:

Get yourself an external drive and at least turn on Time Machine (and disable optimize Mac storage) so that you have a real backup. If you do not want to use Time Machine and if you want to have a bootable backup, consider using tools like Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper. Given the fact that you only do have one Mac, an external SSD with a bootable clone you have created with Carbon Copy Cloner is a security net really nice to have. Just saying…

And wait for the Fall… The heat will be gone then and Catalina will just work without breaking your Mac. :wink:

And if you still want to jump on a beta again (I would not recommend that given the fact that your Mac is your only Mac), definitely create a backup beforehand to be safe. Because you have experienced it yourself: with betas you need backups to be safe.

Thank for the detailed answer, Christian!!! I’m so glad for the help. I felt really stupid and was quite hesitant to start this topic.

I’m learning so much here:) I had to get into online recovery (option, command, R) to get a version of Mojave. I have not lost any critical files and will make backups from now on.
I had the other public betas (High Sierra and Mohave) and never had any problems. Sometimes I need a little pain to learn. But actually this adventure emboldened me to try more with my Mac as well:)

After having downloaded Mojave though I have two Macintosh HDs:
Macintosh HD and Macintosh HD - data, they divided my hard drive amongst themselves. I don’t need the stuff on Macintosh HD - data, I don’t even know what it is to honest but I havn’t found it in the finder and could not get rid of it. Anyone knows what this means???13

Ok, I found out how to delete the partion with the old things. Is it save to just delete it? Will my Mac be fine or are there things there that are needed.
I guess I’m asking if I can just get rid of it or if I have to be careful??

I am a little confused.

If you follow the steps at, in those instructions at number 4 you delete everything on your hard disk. Be careful to follow those instructions carefully.

To begin, select Disk Utility from the macOS Utilities window in macOS Recovery, then select your startup disk. Be sure you are selecting the entire disk (not the volume name indented beneath it), by selecting View > Show All Devices, then select the disk and choose Partition. If prompted to add a volume to the container or partition the disk, choose Partition.

Disk Utility will present a pane where you can configure your partition. Under Format, choose APFS …

There is nothing left on your hard disk after that!

Then you restart and restore your system from the internet (number 5). At number 6 you go for Reinstall macOS (because you have no backup to restore from).

When everything is done, you will be able to boot into your new, empty system.

Then, you sign into iCloud and enable iCloud Drive.

Hopefully your data will come back following that step.

If not, you will have to recover your data from your Dropbox backup (as I suggested in a previous post in this thread).

Yes, I was very confused about this as well, expecting that all was wiped. Else I could not have gotten Mojave from the web. I went through the process as described in Recovery Mode and got Mojave from the web and was very confused when I had a partition… . I guess I will delete that partition then after saving al the important files in Dropbox just to be sure.

OK, this is getting even weirder. It looks like the partition with Mojave on it is saved inside the old partition… ? OK, no that’s just link.

And when I go to start disk it only shows one disk (the one with Mojave on it). This is strange, I think.

This very interesting and a bit scary. When I open disk utility I get this though:
I guess the other (old) volume/partition is somehow damaged and doesn’t appear on start disk. But why doesn’t the new volume/partition appear in the the finder under locations?

Ok, last try. :wink:

Before you had started anything in this process two days ago, you hopefully began with backing up your data (yesterday or the day before).

In Apple’s instructions how to restore from a beta installation, step 3 wants you to restart your Mac while pressing Command-R and to start Disk Utility. Then you have to delete all partitions and to format your drive. It is important not to format only a container but to partition and to format your whole disk (see steps 3 and 4) like Apple explains in those instructions. If you do it that way, there will be nothing visible left on your disk. No second container, nothing. It will be empty and you will have ONE partition.

After that, you have to restart your Mac once again, again with pressing Command-R while restarting. Then, you choose Reinstall MacOS. You will end up with a clean new Mojave installation on a disk that has one APFS container.

After that, you are done and you have to get your data back. If you are lucky, you will achieve that by simply signing in back into iCloud and enabling iCloud Drive again. If not, you will have to retrieve your data from a backup manually.

That’s it. If you have done exactly that, especially when partitioning and formatting your drive in Disk Utility and you still ended up with this weird volume configuration, I have no idea what happened there. To me, it looks more like if you inadvertently did not reformat the whole drive but only one container and that this is the issue. If so: try the whole process again and you should be fine. It should work.

Maybe, somebody else has more ideas or insights in this matter. I am definitely running out of ideas… :slight_smile:

It’s all good now! Thanks for the patience:) I have removed the partition, lost no data and have a much better understanding of the disk of my Mac. Still don’t know why I had that partition but its gone now and everything shows up where it is supposed to.
You helped me lots, thanks!!!

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