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. Philip Snyder says:

    I recently read an article (don’t remember where) that said that Mojave will NOT run an iMacs older than 2012. Mine is mid-2011. Have you heard this in regard to age of computers?

    • Larry says:


      This is true of all updates – Apple phases out support for older systems.

      I’m not sure which year systems will be supported, but Apple will make that clear when the update is released.


    • Terrence Macinterry says:

      Yes this is true, Mojave will NOT run on any Mac older then 2012, oh and even i wait until about the 3rd update before i install the newest OS.

      ACMT (Apple Certified Macintosh Technician)

  2. Mike Janowski says:

    …another solution to the “never upgrade” quandry is, simply, to purchase new hardware.

    It may sound dilletante-tish (sp?), but it’s a SURE way to keep perfect compatibility with older, but stilll vital and necessary, systems.

    At my home office, I have kept two Mac Pro towers, in the state that they were in when they were being used to produce the big bucks. I have a G5 running 10.4.x and FCP6 (that’s currently being employed in the “analogue transfer suite” as a capture device), and another tower running SnowLep (10.6.8) and FCP7.

    Neither machine needs to be online with my main iMac/PPro CC system (save for the standard network connection), and neither machine requires much in the way of media storage, as they’re basically used to open old projects (which I can then XML export/import into CC if need be). There’s no cost (the machines have been paid for for years), save the electricity. And these towers are built like boat anchors, and seem as if they’ll work forever!

    This practice extends to my major client’s workspace as well. When we upgraded to PPro here two years ago, the EiC and I made sure to keep one Snow Lep tower up and running, so I could access the wealth of older shows we edited on FCP.

  3. erikgraham says:

    Sound advice considering Final Cut freezes in Mojave (on my machine). I decided to upgrade a 2018 MacBook to Mojave and test out Finak Cut. As of today 9/26/2018 I can definitely report there are some issues on my specific system configuration (see below). By far the biggest “issue” is a complete and total system freeze that can only be resolved by a hard reboot. Even the mouse freezes in place and the keyboard is inactive. There’s no way to switch to the Finder (or any other app) or Force Quit Final Cut. The only solution is to hold down the power button to force a reboot.

    Now, my specific configuration may be the problem. I had 2 external GPUs connected, an older Thunderbolt Apple display, and a Thunderbolt 2 RAID, as well as some other portable disks. Another possibility is that I may have a corrupt Final Cut Library. I did have time to clear PRAM, reset Final Cut Prefs, and run a disk repair. I also copied some clips to a new library. And I tried turning “prefer GPU” on and off in get info for Final Cut. I did NOT try running without the external GPUs connected (because i would have to reword my cables and had to to get some work done in Resolve that required the GPUs).

    So. Yeah. Probably not a good time to update a production machine to Mojave. (Resolve seems pretty solid though).

  4. Tom Slater says:

    After 24 hours (lterally) of trying to re-install Mojave, multiple Disk Utility repairs in safe mode, etc. I emphatically say DO NOT upgrade yet!!! I’ve spent hours in the phone with some very nice people at Mac Support, and they’re all stumped. Mohave is a disaster on my late 2013 iMac, and I’ve finally resorted to restoring my hard drive via time machine. I’m going to be a nervous wreck for next 3 hours while time macine chugs away.

    I’m assured by Mac people that I’ll have no problems with restore, but then, they assureed me that Mojave update was going to be a breeze!!!

  5. Charles Mezo says:

    I just updated to Mojave , now all my exports from fcp x 10.4 has black video when I export though I don’t have gaps in my edit.

  6. Gerald Webb says:

    Upgraded two machines to Mojave and completed a few jobs this past week.
    All great here.
    Never had an upgrade go so smoothly. Im stoked.

  7. Eleanor says:

    I’ve been running FCP10.4.3 on High Sierra 10.13.6 when it repeatedly crashed with a notice ‘run out of application memory’ when I was on a 12000km filming journey. The 2014 MBP has 16GB RAM. Have taken it to Applestore ‘Genius’ bar, did a clean installl to Mojave on 29 October 2018; downloaded latest FCP from Appstore and it still froze and had to be rebooted. All the hardware tested OK.The crash happens when the SWAP MEMORY builds up to about 50GB. Could the graphics card be the issue?
    The MBP has a NVIDIAGeForce GT 750M 2048 MB graphics card??

    So frustrating.

    I even did a clean install back to El Capitan and FCP 10.3.4 and all is well and no swap memory operates BUT of course now the more recent FCP libraries will not open.

    How do we solve this swap memory issue?

    • Larry says:


      At a guess, I don’t think this is a swap error or a hardware problem – especially if a Genius bar tested it and it is OK. Instead, I think your Library is too big. FCP X has a rough limit of 3,500 clips per library. As well, this limit varies depending upon the frame size of your media.

      Try reducing the size of your library by moving clips from this library into a new one. See if that helps. If you still have problems, contact Apple Support and ask to talk with a Tier 2 FCP X support rep.


  8. Brendan says:

    Just updated my iMac to Mojave. It has now blocked FCP 10.3 and I cannot access or finish a project. I’ve downloaded Da Vinci Resolve 15, but it can’t import to timeline

    • Larry says:


      To get the timeline into DaVinci Resolve, you’ll need to export it from FCP X 10.3 as an XML file.

      I’m sorry that Mojave blocked FCP X – I was not aware that it did so.


  9. Abe says:

    Thanks for the insights. I have mid 2010 MBPro & early 2014 MBAir. Both still running Siera. I really want to try out FCPX 10.4 but the horror stories about apps crashing on High Sierra have kept me from upgrade. Now still unsure about Mojave. Most of us still running FCPX 10.2.3 on Sierra. Gonna wait for sure.

    • Larry says:


      Well…. I haven’t heard my horror stories lately – but. You are running on very old gear for which Mojave was never designed. I would not update your old Mac Pro.

      The MacBook Air is supported, but has a very weak graphics card. As FCP X becomes more and more oriented toward the GPU, the Air will run it more and more slowly.


  10. R Kowalczyk says:

    Mojave upgrade and 10.4.4 update on the same day. Total misfire. FCPX is lagging. I can not get any work done. I’m running iMac Pro 2017
    Regret updating.

    • Larry says:


      Sigh… I’m sorry. Contact Apple Support – this may be fixable. What I suspect is going on is interference from older apps that is slowing everything down.

      I noticed the slow-downs myself, but they seem to have gone away. Mostly.


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