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OS X El Capitan: Worst OS Release Yet

OS X El Capitan is giving me worse problems than any OS X release yet. Setting aside the dismemberment of Disk Utility, ElCap is delivering headache after headache, seriously obstructing my work.

On the plus side, I no longer have to turn off one display to get a login prompt. So at least one bug was fixed.

Here are just a few issues I’ve come across. I feel pummeled by new bugs and can’t list them all.

  • Spotlight functionality is seriously damaged. For example, it can no longer find ".java" source files that I used to find in Spotlight every day. But it finds binary files (“.class”) and “.js” files when asked to find files with name “.java”, which is both useless and annoying. That is, it finds incorrectly (for example, “” finds files that do not have “.java” in the name, this used to work perfectly in Yosemite).
  • My MacBook Pro Retina mysteriously hangs on reboot, and a force power on can take 20-30 seconds (black screen, feels like laptop is totally dead). The Mac Pro also hangs on reboot.
  • Holding down the option key no longer presents the recovery partition (only cmd-R works and that seems to hang the machine as per the previous point).
  • Save/open dialogs still have resize bugs and grow to fill the screen just as in OS X Yosemite.

Then in Apple Mail alone, with locally stored email:

  • The last year’s worth of mail for a contact in my VIP list for a key contact has gone missing. Yet those missing emails can be seen in the main mail list. The issue seems to be that even though the email address is identical, Apple mail cannot recognize this and sees a name change (not part of the email address) from for example “Larry” to “Lawrence” as different contacts. And yet the VIP list can deal with only one contact, since it seems to be based on email address. Yet it matches on name also, and thus any other name (same email address) goes missing. Surely morons wrote this code.
  • As in Yosemite, all Smart Mailboxes are empty until Spotlight indexing is done (scary and confusing).
  • Searching for emails won’t find them even when the search terms can be seen right in an email.
  • Apple Mail chews up an entire CPU for minutes at a time for no reason at all that can be told.
  • Rainbow beachball hangs occassionally, requiring a force-quit.
  • Hangs trying to delete a Draft message.
  • At unpredictable times, multi-second delays in opening a simple 1K or so email.
  • Occassionally corrupts PDF files in an email to zero bytes.
  • Rebuilding a mailbox shows no activity in the Activity window and nukes all emails in that mailbox. They reappear sometime later.

Tip of the iceberg. MPG strongly recommends avoiding this unstable OS release.

Given the apparent search bugs, I excluded my main data from Spotlight, then re-included it to force a spotlight (mds) rebuild. I also used “mdutil -E” on several of my data drives in a perhaps vain hope that a rebuild of the spotlight databases will fix the search issues.

Alan G writes:

Just agreeing with you on the “worst release yet”.

But if you think it is bad on your end, you can’t begin to imagine the problems it has introduces with anything to do with audio production, numerous workarounds aside. . . .

MPG: I have a pretty good imagination, but it can be sidelined when it comes to OS X and Apple Core Rot because it takes no effort to contantly run into bug left and right in El Capitan or Yosemite. But indeed I am glad not to be an audio user.

Chris C points out the zdnet article OS X 10.11 El Capitan: Bugs, bugs, and more bugs. It’s a total fiasco: OS X El Crapitan is just that. The latest (for me) is that El Crapitan has destroyed (deleted) all my contacts on the local machine. They are now merged into iCloud, along with dead people from years ago. I am furious. I have deleted those dead people about 10 times now over the past year. What a mess, what damage to my work, and that is only one of many problems.

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