Don’t Upgrade to macOS Mojave… Yet. [u]

NOTE: Apple released a significant dot upgrade to Mojave this morning (10.14.1). See my update note at the end of this article.

Within the next few weeks Apple will release the latest version of the operating system: Mojave (v. 10.14). My strong suggestion is that you not upgrade any systems that you depend upon when the new OS is released.

Apple, and its legion of beta testers, have worked very hard to provide a stable version with all kinds of new features. The problem is, that we don’t know FOR SURE that they have been successful. It won’t hurt to wait for a while after the initial release to make sure everything is working OK, or, if there are problems, for developers to update their software.

Keep in mind that no client ever has hired you to edit using a certain version of macOS. They have hired you to tell a story, on time, on budget, with great quality. Not upgrading will not affect your client relationship. Not delivering a project because your software, plugins or codecs are not compatible with an update, will.


If you depend upon a 32-bit program, such as Final Cut Pro 7, do NOT upgrade. Ever. Apple has already said that 32-bit applications will not be supported in future operating systems.

If you need to run FCP 7, either plan on never upgrading your editing computer, or create a dual-boot disk where you can revert back to an earlier OS for editing. Ideally, FCP 7 should run on Sierra (macOS 10.12) or earlier.

If you depend upon DVD Studio Pro, never upgrade. DVD Studio Pro runs best on macOS 10.6.8. It can run on Mavericks (macOS 10.11), but nothing later.


In an effort to keep all its systems on the latest version of macOS, Apple created an auto-update feature. This can cause media creators all kinds of problems if you don’t turn it off.

Here’s an article that explains what this is an how to turn it off.

Additionally, here are other articles you will find useful:


If you have a system you use for testing, feel free to upgrade immediately. That’s what testing systems are designed for.

However, if you are upgrading a system you need for daily production or editing, here are my suggestions:

Read the various blogs and support sites. Discover the problems, see if they pertain to you. When your current project is done and you’ve got time, upgrade. Don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself to upgrade before you are ready.

Personally, I upgrade my testing system immediately upon format release; I no longer get involved in beta testing. All my other editing systems wait a few months before I upgrade them. This makes it easy to go back when necessary.

NOTE: Here’s an article that discusses when to update in more detail.


New releases are always exciting – there are so many new features to explore.

However, we need to balance the new features against the risk of something breaking in a current project that prevents us from delivering on time.

Waiting won’t hurt. Upgrading too soon just might.

UPDATE – Oct. 30, 2018

Apple released a “dot One” update to Mojave a few minutes ago (v. 10.14.1). This was the maintenance release I was looking for before upgrading my system. So, to be safe, I’m going to wait a couple more days, in case something broke at the last minute. Then I’ll upgrade my production Macs to Mojave.

As with all updates, please remember to upgrade between projects; especially if you are close to finishing. Wrap your project, then upgrade. The upgrade will take about three hours.

UPDATE – Nov. 4, 2018

After I upgraded, I discovered that Ambrosia Software Snapz Pro no longer works. I needed to replace it.  I also had issues that prevented Adobe applications like Premiere, Photoshop and Audition from opening. This may involve a call to Adobe Support to resolve, if it occurs to you. I was able to trash an old Adobe Application Manager app to get them working.

I’m seeing that Mojave tends to run slower than High Sierra on older (2013 – 2014) iMacs. I’m also running into FCP X hanging and needing to be force quit periodically. I can’t tell, yet, if this is unique to my system or a conflict between software.

As with all updates, allow time for things to go wrong and get fixed. Don’t update just before a deadline.

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30 Responses to Don’t Upgrade to macOS Mojave… Yet. [u]

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  1. Ramanda says:


    I contacted Apple less than a week ago to check and confirm the upgrade to Mojave 10.14 would be a smooth transition with FCPX. I upgraded yesterday and began working on a new project, but like others before mentioned, I have experienced FCPX freezing up completely 3 times on a 15 minute project. I also installed the most recent upgrades for FCPX at the same time. Any ideas regarding what else I can do to get past this? Target date for project is this Friday…


  2. Lydia Robertson says:

    Hi Larry,
    I wasn’t exactly updating. I have an iMac, and iMac pro and a Macbook pro all running high sierra and an iMac running Yosemite (for legacy applications, particularly FCP7).

    My 2013 Macbook pro was getting S L O W so I upgraded to a new soupy MacBook Pro wei a 4TB drive and 32 RAM (whoopy!) The fear of course is this new Macbook pro came with Mojave.

    I am on lining a feature documentary using the latest FCPX and I am happy to report my project, which is on an external drive, moved from high Sierra on the other computers to Mojave and back without incident and with all the plugins intact. The key plugins in use are Neat video, Color Finale, Color Grade, Coremelt Slicex and Lawnroad. I have not yet needed to apply other plugins but will let you know when I do and how those plugins fare.

  3. Tom Bliss says:

    I’m still running FCP7 in El Cap on a Mid 2015 MBPro. (I have no interest in FCPX)

    Apple keep telling me to update to Mojave and filling my screen with annoying reminders.

    I was resisting on instinct, but the above advises me I was probably right – I assume there’s been no work-around found?

    Also, could/should I upgrade to High Sierra?


    • Larry says:


      If you are focused on running FCP 7, stay with earlier versions of the macOS. High Sierra is OK, but earlier versions of the OS are better. Do a Google search to learn how to turn off the Mojave alerts. These drive me nuts.


  4. shwetal Bhatt says:

    I have some old work on FCP 7 which I need to keep working on so I guess won’t upgrade to Mojave. However my system has become really slow and I am unable to work at a good pace. Is this because it needs an upgrade? if not then what could be the reason. It is slow overall not just while working on FCP7
    thank you in advance

  5. Raphael Sason says:

    Came across this post while struggling with FCPx and Mojave update issues. Here is my story: I’m on a Late 2013 MBP Retina, currently on OS 10.14.5, and FCPx 10.4.6.
    Editing a 2 camera shoot of a stage play that was about 2 hours long. Everything works well in the beginning. I imported all the footage, created multicam clips, started cutting between angles. After about 10 minutes or a handful of edits, FCPx abruptly stops responding to space bar, or Cmd L or J. Nothing moves. I can still click around with the mouse, select clips, change settings, almost anything I want to do, except get the playhead moving – in the timeline or the browser using the keyboard or menu commands. Every now and then the beach-ball appears, makes a few turns, and… nothing.
    Only workaround so far is quitting. I can quit the app normally via Cmd Q, and not Force Quit, since the app does not behave as if it crashed. I restart FCPx, and works perfectly for while, and then stops responding. I logged all the no response events: 10 in 2.5 hours. I got a maximum of 29 mins, and a minimum of 8 mins between quits.
    Here is the odd thing. I edited an almost identical project back in late Jan-Early Feb, with absolutely no problems. Same acquisition sources, similar length, same external drives, same everything, except I was using FCPx 10.4.5, to which I had upgraded on 2019.01.17, and macOS 10.14.2, to which I had upgraded on 2018.12.16.
    That combination worked flawlessly, letting me edit for hours on end, uploading an HD file to Vimeo, even burning multiple DVDs.
    And then on 2019.03.15, (after I finished delivering the previous project to the client), I updated to macOS 10.14.3, followed by upgrade to FCPx 10.4.6 on 2019.03.22. On 2019.04.06, I imported the footage for this project, but did not start editing until a week ago. In the meantime, on 2019.04.25 I upgraded to macOS 10.4.4. And this is when the “stops responding” problem started.
    I’ve been using FCP since v.1.0, all through FCP 7.0 and FCPx since 10.1.1. Been editing since early 80’s on NLEs (remember CMX?). Also, been a Mac user since May 1985, so did all the usual fixes – delete prefs, PRAM, SMC, and trash/reinstall FCPx 10.4.6. I even -gasp!- updated to macOS 10.14.5 on 2019.05.28.
    Same problem persists. I’ve disconnected every peripheral except the drive on which the footage is stored, and went off-line. I am resigned to quit, restart, edit, quit, restart, edit, quit, just to get this project delivered.
    Any suggestions of solutions would be extremely appreciated. Also, where do I go from here, after this project is finished? DaVinci Resolve?
    Thank you for any responses.

  6. Raquel says:

    I have a feature documentary in Legacy Final7.I have been working on it 5 years.
    I was using my imac 2011 with it, and I was about to finish it. Core i7 16Ram SSD. everything worked. But I had issues with the graphic card ( it was a model recognized for having those issues and only solution was reballing the graphic card) which I did twice.

    So when it happeded for third time I went on to buy a new mac (mac mini 2018 to the top i7 6core, same way you recomended 😉
    My idea was to install The captain on an SSD external disk and restart the computer from it. But I am having troubles with it. Anybody knows if this could be possible. They told me that the mac mini was compatible. Now I am not sure.

    • Larry says:


      Hmm… Unless Apple changed the Mac mini’s firmware, it SHOULD be able to boot from an external SSD. The problem is whether the Mac mini supports El Capitan. This is a question you need to ask Apple Support. It may be that that version of the operating system is too early to support the mini.

      Plan B, if the Mac mini won’t work, is to use the Mac mini as your day-to-day computer – because it really is a nice machine – and buy an older, but NOT as old iMac – say 2015 – 2017 – specifically for editing using FCP 7. The folks at OWC ( sell older iMacs and can help you get a system that runs the earlier OS.


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