OS X El Capitan 10.11.4 Update

I have been testing the 10.11.4 update in beta for a few months now. It seemed to work pretty well. It was quite snappy on my Late 2012 iMac 27″. There are lots of fixes in this update, although, people with older Macs (2010 Vintage?) are having trouble installing it.


The Install

For some reason I just went ahead and installed the “Delta” updater, just downloaded it in the App Store, let it install and restarted. That is not my usual OS X update procedure, but I just got lazy. Everything went pretty well, overall. Here are the fixes and improvements in this update as listed by Apple:

OS X El Capitan 10.11.4 Update

The OS X El Capitan 10.11.4 update improves the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac, and is recommended for all OS X El Capitan users.

This update:

• Adds the ability to passcode-protect notes containing personal data in Notes
• Adds the ability to sort notes alphabetically, by date created, or date modified in Notes
• Adds the ability to import Evernote files into Notes
• Adds support for sharing Live Photos between iOS and OS X via AirDrop and Messages
• Addresses an issue that may cause RAW images to open slowly in Photos
• Adds the ability for iBooks to store PDFs in iCloud, making them available across all your devices
• Fixes an issue that prevented loading Twitter t.co links in Safari
• Prevents JavaScript dialogs from blocking access to other webpages in Safari
• Fixes an issue that prevented the VIPs mailbox from working with Gmail accounts
• Fixes an issue that caused USB audio devices to disconnect
• Improves the compatibility and reliability of Apple USB-C Multiport Adapters

My advice, based on the fixes and improvements, would be to install this update, but don’t use the Delta updater, use the Combo Updater (see below). However, if you are using an older Mac you might want to wait a bit. People using older Macs are having some issues, Apple is supposed to be working on this by the way.

Initial Observations

After installing 10.11.4 Delta updater I just did not think things were as snappy as they were in the beta. They were not working as quickly. So, I re-did the install the way I usually do it. I downloaded the Combo Updater, restarted into Safe Boot mode (holding down the Shift Key ⇧ during a Restart), installed the Combo Updater and restarted. The difference was noticeable. Things were more snappy, they just worked better.

Speaking of initial observations I have a few, besides the snappiness. One of the fixes was the way RAW photos are handled in the Photos App. I shoot a lot of RAW photos, until now Photos handled them somewhat slowly. Now, much faster, a real help in my opinion. The improvements to the Notes App are good even though I do not use Notes. I much prefer the very powerful Devonthink Pro from Devontechnologies. The ability of the iBooks App to store PDF’s in the cloud is a welcome improvement. See my article on that next week.

I highly recommend installing this update, there probably won’t be too many more for El Capitan. If you have an “older” Mac and/or are having trouble installing 10.11.4 then you might wait a bit or try my method listed above. By the way, I have seen people’s comments on other Mac blogs that had trouble with 10.11.4 on older machines who had success using the above Combo Update procedure for installing.


El Capitan 10.11.4 is a worthwhile upgrade. I recommend installing it with the above caveats in mind. I have tons of software on my iMac and it is running well on 10.11.4.