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Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Dan Moren

Stuck on macOS 10.14? Here’s the fix to get to 10.14.1

Note: This story has not been updated for several years.

I’ve been participating in Apple’s Public Beta programs for both iOS and macOS for the last couple years, and generally it’s been a pretty smooth experience. But there’s often some trickiness when it comes to getting off the beta–and this year, that’s where I hit a speed bump.

When macOS 10.14.1 arrived yesterday, I fired up Software Update–newly relocated in Mojave to a pane in System Preferences–to install it on my MacBook Air. Lo and behold, however, Software Update insisted that my current version of macOS Mojave 10.14 was the most recent, and no updates would be forthcoming, thank you very much.

I’ve heard of issues like this in the past, so I cast about to find a download link to the standalone updater, which was graciously provided by Twitter follower Paul. Problem solved!

Or so I thought. See, when I opened up the installer, I was met with another roadblock: an error message telling me that my Air “does not meet the requirements for this update,” with no further information. More and more puzzling.


I was fairly confident that the root of the issue here was something to do with having been in the Public Beta program. I’ve heard of others being stuck with dead-end builds of an OS and a tweet from Eric Holtam seemed to confirm that the build I was using, 18a389, wasn’t eligible for the update. I tried re-enrolling in the Public Beta program, restarting my Mac, then unenrolling and restarting again to see if it would point me towards the right update, but no dice.

So, what’s a guy to do? I contacted Apple Support, whose less than helpful suggestions were either a) roll back to a Time Machine backup from before I enrolled in the Public Beta and then install the update (less than ideal, since I would lose any files created after that backup or modifications to other files), or b) do a full restore and start from there.1

Neither of those were terribly appealing options, so I went for door number three: download the macOS Mojave installer from the App Store. I figured I would download it, reinstall Mojave to the shipping build of 10.14, and then install the 10.14.1 update on top of it.

In fact, it worked better than expected–downloading the Mojave installer kicked me back to the Software Update pane and informed me that I’d be downloading and installing the official build of 10.14.1. And half an hour and several progress bars later, here I am, on the latest update, safe and sound. And hopefully on a stable build that won’t run into this problem in the future.

So, if you’re likewise suffering from a case of no-update-itis, get thee to the Mac App Store post haste and try the Mojave installer. It sure beats restoring from a backup.

  1. When I expressed some frustration about this, I was reminded that I shouldn’t be installing the Public Beta on a mission-critical machine. Fair enough. I’m not sure why some builds get dead-ended like this, but if it’s just an oversight on Apple’s part, seems like something that could be fixed. 

[Dan Moren is the East Coast Bureau Chief of Six Colors. You can find him on Mastodon at or reach him by email at His latest novel, the supernatural detective story All Souls Lost, is out now.]

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