macOS Monterey 12.3 Issues

Safari randomly goes back a page, and my external monitors don't work.

Update: macOS 12.3.1, released about 10 days later, fixed the issue.

I updated my 2018 Mac mini to macOS Monterey 12.3 yesterday, and man, I’m having a lot of issues.

Specifically, three issues:

  1. Safari randomly goes back a page after clicking a link
  2. I am unable to use both my monitors
  3. If my Mac goes to sleep, my monitor will not turn back on

Let’s go into the details.

This one has been an issue since Monterey first came out, and it’s taken me months to figure out what was happening, because it happens randomly. The 12.3 upgrade seems to have exaggerated the issue, making it happen much more often.

I’m currently on the latest macOS Safari: 15.4.

Through some searching, I’ve discovered it only happens if you click a link in a tab that is in a Tab Group, while iCloud sync is turned on for Safari.

Once you click a link, there’s a random chance Safari will load the page, let you sit on it for 2-3 seconds, and then suddenly take you back to the previous page. Once there, the title of the tab reflects the page you just visited, and the forward/backward navigation buttons don’t work. Your only option is to click a link again or close the tab.

If you click a link in a tab that is not in a Tab Group, or if you turn off iCloud sync in Settings > Apple ID > iCloud, the issue doesn’t happen at all.

This is, of course, less than ideal for me because Tab Groups have become a huge part of my workflow. The feature has helped me be more focused, without losing windows of tabs I had open. And browser sync is extremely handy.

For now, I’ve opted to not use tabs in Tab Groups, and will instead use them as a sort of temporary bookmark folder thing until the issue is fixed. I sent a message via the Safari feedback form, so fingers crossed.

Here’s a few forum links discussing the issue:

I am unable to use both my monitors

I am using two LG 27UL500-W 27" 4k monitors, hooked up to my Mac mini through USB-C to DisplayPort cables.

After upgrading to 12.3, I can only use one monitor at a time. The other display just goes black and is undetectable in System Preferences.

If I plug in one monitor, and then plug in another monitor, the first monitor will go black and the second monitor will show my desktop. The first monitor will disappear from System preferences.

Disconnecting and reconnecting the first monitor changes nothing.

Fortunately, I’m not too bothered by this. The 2018 Mac mini’s anemic Intel UHD 630 struggles to keep things smooth with both monitors hooked up, so most of the time I’m working on just one monitor in the default 1080p scaling.

For people who depend on a multi-monitor setup though, this is awful.

And here’s a few forum links discussing the issue, it’s apparently been a bug since macOS 12.3 beta:

If my Mac goes to sleep, my monitor will not turn back on

This one is also super annoying, because I’ve had to pull the plug on my Mac 6 times in the last two days, including after it had just upgraded to macOS 12.3 and gone to sleep. Thankfully I didn’t lose any work.

I’ve disabled Sleep for now using the below settings, and will be shutting down more often.

macOS energy saver settings

Here’s a forum thread on the issue:

And now we wait

From reading the forums, it appears Apple is aware of the monitor issues, but this has been a recurring theme ever since I got my Mac: External monitor support has been rocky.

I remember there was a 20-second dance of frantic clicking I had to do to get my monitors to wake from sleep, which I fixed by using a different HDMI port on the monitors. Eventually I switched to the USB-C to DisplayPort cables I use now.

I’m convinced my next Mac will have its own built-in screen and I’m not going to mess with external monitors again. They can’t possibly break that, right? Right?