macOS Catalina 10.15.6 - my experience with the update

All information about the macOS 10.15.6 update of macOS Catalina.

The complementary Update to macOS Catalina 10.15.6 came out of Apple yesterday. The notes say that it is supposed to fix crashes that occurred with virtualization software like VMware Fusion or Parallels Desktop. The update also addresses display errors that appeared especially with the 5K iMac from 2020 when it wakes up from sleep and also connection problems that existed with USB trackpads and mice.

In the notes of the installer you can read it like this:

It fixes a stability issue that can occur when running virtualization apps.

It solves an issue where the screen on an iMac (Retina 5K, 27 ″, 2020) can appear pale after it wakes from sleep.

Addresses an issue where certain USB mice and trackpads might lose connectivity

In the macOS updater window, you will be briefly informed about the changes in advance. The details can be found via a link to the Apple Support page.

In the macOS updater window, you will be briefly informed about the changes in advance. The details can be found via a link to the Apple Support page.

But there has been a little more done how to do it here at Apple can read:

Apple News

  • Local news on your Today feed provides a wealth of information on San Francisco, the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Houston and New York City.
  • More articles from local news providers with a subscription to Apple News +
  • Your daily Apple News newsletter can now be personalized with stories that reflect your interests.

The update also includes bug fixes and other improvements.

  • Adds a new option to optimize video streaming on HDR compatible Mac notebooks for longer battery life
  • Fixes an issue that could cause the computer name to change after installing a software update
  • Addresses an issue where certain USB mice and trackpads might lose connectivity

Company content:

  • When using the built-in keyboard with a non-US keyboard layout on certain Mac models, passwords with certain characters are no longer rejected in the Mac login window.
  • Allows command line tools that do not use CFNetwork, such as For example, curl (1) will continue to connect to TLS servers using certificates issued by the recently expired AddTrust External CA Root
  • Important new versions of macOS can be hidden when using the softwareupdate (8) command with the -ignore flag if the Mac is working with Apple School Manager, Apple Business Manager or a MDM with user consent is registered.

Big installer: more changes under the hood?

The size of the update file is almost 3 GB and, in my opinion, is quite extensive. The complete macOS Catalina installer, for example, only has 7,5 GB, so I am very surprised by the capacity of this small upgrade.

You can find software updates for macOS via the system settings in the Finder.

You can find software updates for macOS via the system settings in the Finder.

Manual update to macOS 10.15.6

Most Macs are set to update automatically. But if you want to trigger it manually, the path leads over System settings> Software update.

There you start the update and then have to reboot the Mac. The update ran for a good 15 to 20 minutes before I was able to use my MacBook Pro again.

Parallels Desktop continues to crash

I've had a number of times lately where Parallels Desktop said goodbye in the background. My hope was that the update would fix this, but unfortunately it doesn't. My Parallels Desktop only ran a few minutes and then hung up when I was using other programs in the foreground.

Parallels Desktop has been greeting me with this crash report for about one or two weeks when the software was running in the background for a while and I was working with other programs.

Parallels Desktop has been greeting me with this crash report for about one or two weeks when the software was running in the background for a while and I was working with other programs.

Apparently no complete failures

As I could read in forums, the update to 10.15.4 resulted in a few that macOS could no longer boot. The solution back then was to unplug all USB devices and restart the Mac without any peripherals.

As far as I could read, no such case occurred with the current update to 10.15.6. However, it is always a good idea to make a backup before upgrading your system.

In my case, there were simply no noticeable changes. Parallels Desktop bugs that existed before are still running. ;-)

And Parallels diligently urges me every time I start the software that I should download the new version that is compatible with Big Sur. Sooner or later I'll do that, but the constantly recurring popup is extremely annoying ...

The software update control panel can be found in the system settings, which can be used to manually initiate the update to macOS 10.15.6.

The software update control panel can be found in the system settings, which can be used to manually initiate the update to macOS 10.15.6.

No further update from macOS Big Sur?

The new major update of macOS to version 10.16 "Big Sur" will probably come at the end of September. I think this minor update may be the last update to macOS Catalina before the new system comes out. And I'm really looking forward to Big Sur.

Here you will clearly notice that macOS is switching strongly towards iOS, which I am personally very happy about.

If the update to 10.15.6 caused problems for you, I would be happy if you could leave a little description of the error here as a comment for the other readers. Thanks!

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4 comments

  1. Froyo52 says:

    Parallels ran and works fine for me.

    • sir appleot says:

      Hello Froyo52! That's good ... maybe my system is a bit in a mess and I have to set it up again. I think I'll take the opportunity with Big Sur.

  2. Richy says:

    How do I set up the system again? And then do I have to set up mail as well? Are the keychain passwords still there?

    • sir appleot says:

      Hi Richy! Depends on. If you install Catalina as an "update" over your existing system, all user data will be retained. If you install it "fresh" as a new system on an empty hard drive, you can later use the "Migration Assistant" utility to take over your previous user account from the old hard drive and have all your data again.

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