MacBook Pro with El Capitan home screen

How I Fixed My Mac After El Capitan

I bought my MacBook Pro just before starting my third year of university in the autumn of 2010. After 5 years, a bit of regular maintenance, and an 8GB RAM upgrade, I still love my computer. Then I installed OS X 10.11. This is how I fixed my Mac after El Capitan.

The 2015 OS X upgrade, OS X El Capitan (10.11), was released to the public September 29, and I was eager to download and install. I should have paid attention to the red flags the moment I clicked ‘Download’ in the App Store.

The installation took 4 tries and the first three would hang when about 80% complete. I needed to revert back to Yosemite with Recovery Mode and my Time Machine backups to have a computer that worked.

It took me a solid week of trying to install El Capitan before it seemed to take.

Imagine my frustration when I discovered that Mail.app, OS X’s email client, would cause my entire computer to grind to a painfully slow halt.

In Terminal, I quickly discovered ‘sudo’ didn’t work and returned an error message about file permissions and locations. Turns out, these are a very common issues with installations of El Capitan and Beta-Testers had reported these problems before the public release. I am confused why Apple would release such bug-ridden software to the public when it obviously should have stayed with the engineers a little longer.

How I Fixed My Mac After El Capitan

I installed OS X 10.11.1, released October 21, 2015. The update claimed to take care of several of the reported problems, such as installer reliability; improved Microsoft Office 2016 compatibility; Mail fixes; etc.

No dice. My problems with El Capitan were still there. According conversations on the Apple community support forums, they were still there for a lot of other people as well.

I decided to try something I have never had to do in the 5 years I’ve had my MacBook Pro.

I reinstalled the OS from Recovery Mode.

First, I made a Time Machine backup of my computer, you know, just in case. Then I restarted in Recovery Mode (restart the computer and when you hear the start-up chime, press and hold Command+R until the Apple logo appears on the screen, and release (it might take a while, keep holding the keys).

MacBook Pro with El Capitan home screen

I CHOSE ‘REINSTALL OS X.’

The file downloaded and installed faster than the first time, taking only about 1 ½ hours.

I seem to have control of my computer again and Mail.app is working. I can ‘sudo’ in Terminal till my heart’s content, and I do have to admit, the system animations do seem snappier.

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