The macOS 14.4 update seems to interrupt the functionality of USB hubs, printers, and Java.

The macOS 14.4 update seems to interrupt the functionality of USB hubs, printers, and Java.## USB Hubs, Printers, and Java Functionality Affected by macOS 14.4 Update

Apple’s recent update, macOS Sonoma 14.4 has been causing alarm due to some compatibility issues noticed by both individual users and companies. The problems are largely related to malfunctioning external accessories such as USB hubs and printers, and extend to some software like Java.

Complaints about Malfunctioning USB Hubs

These problem came to light with complaints about malfunctioning USB hubs from users across different online platforms like Reddit and the Apple Support Communities forums. Users noted that USB hubs incorporated into multiple displays ceased to work for Mac users following the 14.4 update.

Printer Driver Failures and Unexpected App Crashes

Further complications emerged in the days following the initial complaints. These included broken printer driver episodes, unexpected crashes of Java apps for some users, and challenges launching apps dependent on the PACE anti-piracy software and iLok hardware dongles for validation.

Problems Specific to Apple Silicon Macs

Interestingly, some difficulties seem to be specific to Apple Silicon Macs. iLok, a firm specializing in software licensing solutions, suggests running digital audio software in Rosetta mode as a provisional solution while Apple develops a fix. iLok says that Apple has recognized this particular bug and is working on an update, although no timeline has been given.

Potential Link to USB Security Prompts

The problem with USB hubs may be associated with the USB security prompts that Apple integrated in macOS 13 Ventura. These prompts question users when they want to connect to USB-C accessories that are being attached to their Mac for the first time. Some individuals have managed to restore their USB hub functionality after the 14.4 update by having macOS ask for permission to connect to the accessory each time it’s plugged in.

Cause still Unclear

Perusing Apple’s release notes or security update statements for the update doesn’t provide any solid causes, but a number of the security bug did get fixes such as “improved checks” and “improved access permissions.” There are chances that these changes may have disrupted some authentic accessories and software. The Oracle blog post about Java-related problems refers to memory access problems that could be causing the crashes, but it isn’t certain whether this explains the difficulties being faced with external accessories.

Final Thoughts

Although the problems are not universal among users, those affected are eagerly awaiting a solution from Apple. If you haven’t yet updated, it might be prudent to wait until Apple releases solutions for some or all of these issues, even if you don’t anticipate being affected.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Which devices are most impacted by the macOS 14.4 update?
A: The update mostly impacts USB hubs and printers, but also affects some software like Java.

Q: Are all Mac users facing these problems?
A: No, not every Mac user is facing these problems. Nonetheless, those who are affected are dealing with significant disruptions.

Q: How is Apple addressing these issues?
A: Apple has acknowledged several of the bugs and is apparently addressing these issues through an update. However, they have not shared any timeline for the release of this update.

Q: Is there an interim fix for these problems?
A: A section of the users managed to reactivate their USB hubs by having macOS ask for authorization to connect the accessory each time it is plugged in. Moreover, iLok has suggested using the Rosetta mode to run digital audio software as a temporary fix while Apple develops a solution.