Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

macOS Big Sur has ‘bricked’ some older MacBooks, users claim

A number of Apple MacBook users with older machines are reporting a major issue with the new macOS Big Sur update, claiming installation has rendered their machines unusable.

Apple released the major macOS Big Sur operating system update last week, with compatibility extending as far back as some 2013 models.

However, MacRumors brings word from owners of some MacBook Pro models from late-2013 and mid-2014, who say their laptops have been bricked by the update.

Users on the MacRumors forum, as well as the Apple Support communities and this Reddit thread are highlighting the issue.

Related: Best MacBook 2020

Those affected say after they attempted to install the operating system their display turned black. Attempts to reboot and run through the various SMC, PRAM and NVRAM resets have proven fruitless. Now the machines will not boot, not even in recovery mode.

It’s not clear how many machines have been affected by the issue, but the MacRumors thread features a “significant” number of users reporting the issue.

One MacBook owner, na1577 writes: “It got stuck on a black screen during installation so I restarted my MBP. Now it won’t show boot options, recovery mode, nothing. The backlight comes on and that’s it.”

Behzadsh also points out: “During the installation, my MacBook Pro stuck on a blank black screen. I tried to boot from USB, boot recovery, reset NVRAM, SMC with no luck. Seems like the notebook is bricked. When I press the power button, only the screen turns on and the Apple logo on the lid back. no sound, no Apple logo at screen, nothing.”

Other users say their MacBooks have been stuck on the installation screen for hours on end, with progress stalled at around 95%. Whether there are issues with the installation files or a problem with the operating system itself is not clear.

Apple has not publicly addressed the reported issues. We’ve approached the company for a comment on the matter. In the meantime, we may suggest some caution (and a backup) before attempting to install Big Sur on your primary Mac.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2003, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.

Trusted Reviews Logo

Sign up to our newsletter

Get the best of Trusted Reviews delivered right to your inbox.

This is a test error message with some extra words