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El Capitan Problems & Fixes: Office, Mail & More

The new OS for Macs OS X 10.11 El Capitan has been released but don’t upgrade yet if you use Office 2016, Office 2011 or the following apps.

Oct 21 Update: Apple has now released the first OS X 10.11.1 update for El Capitan which claims to have fixed various problems including with Office 2016 and Mail. We strongly recommend updating via the Mac App Store and selecting “Updates” from the top.

If you’re having major problems with Office 2016 crashing in El Capitan then you’ll find some solutions here. Although most users should have few problems with El Capitan, nowadays there are always compatibility issues with new releases of OS X and certain software so our advice is wait a while to be really sure before upgrading to a new version of OS X. At the moment, the biggest El Capitan problems mainly relate to Office 2016 crashes and instability, Office 2011 crashes and freezes but also a lot of music production software, most notably Native Instruments, Logic X and Finale. Apple Mail also is not working in OS X 10.11 for some users and you find full details on how to fix Mail crashing in El Capitan here. There will surely be other applications affected too as users start to install OS X 10.11 over the next few days. If you use professional music production or music composition software on your Mac, double check with the developer or vendor if it definitely works with El Capitan as there will probably be others not on this list that don’t work. If you use one of the following apps or software including Office 2016, we strongly advise waiting to upgrade until the El Capitan issues are fixed by the developers. Where possible, we’ve also included instructions on how to fix known problems.

El Capitan Problems: Incompatible Software With OS X 10.11

These are the most notable apps and software that have issues with El Capitan. There will be more that emerge over the next few days and if you notice any, let us know in the comments.

Office 2016 Crashes in El Capitan

The problems with Office 2016 and Office 2011 have been so bad that we’ve dealt with fixes to problems with Office 2016 crashes in El Capitan here. If it doesn’t work for you and you’re desperate for your Outlook mail, remember you can still use the web version of Outlook and Office 365.

outlook 2016 el capitan crashes

Outlook 2011 Crashes in El Capitan

Oct 7 Update: Microsoft has now released a fix for Office 2011 crashing in El Capitan (Update 14.5.6). You can download it from Microsoft directly or use Microsoft AutoUpdate in Office to update it automatically. If the update does not work for you, the fixes below are still worth trying.

Oct 20 Update: Microsoft has released a second update for Office 2011 (Update 14.5.7) which some users are reporting breaks Office again! For some of those that have installed it, Outlook keeps crashing again. For others, the update hangs and never installs properly. We strongly recommend not installing update 14.5.7 until Microsoft has resolved the issue.

The biggest problem with Office 2011 and El Capitan are hangs or crashes during account syncing. Microsoft is aware of this problem which it describes as:

Shortly after you start Microsoft Outlook for Mac 2011 on Mac OS X El Capitan (version 10.11), Outlook hangs when it tries to sync with the server. The Spinning Wait cursor is displayed, and the application status is displayed as “Not Responding.” Note Outlook for Mac 2011 does not hang when you’re working offline or when no accounts are added. This issue occurs only when Outlook tries to sync an account with the server.

Some of the crashes are related to Spotlight and you may be able to fix them by stopping Spotlight in El Capitan crawling Office 2011:

  • Make sure you’re not using Spotlight (for new Mac users, that’s the magnifying glass in the top right corner of your desktop)

Go to System Preferences > Spotlight > and then uncheck Mail & Messages, Documents, and Contacts. If you see “Other” you can also disable that too. In short, make sure you disable anything that you think might be connected with Outlook.outlook 2011 crashing mac fix

Another bummer for Office 2011 users is that the much lauded “Split View” feature in El Capitan does not work with Office 2011. If you try to click on the green maximize button to activate Split View in Office 2011, the windows appear in the bottom of your desktop with the error message: “Not available in full screen” so bear that in mind if you’re thinking of upgrading now.

Native Instruments

Native Instruments currently warns all users against upgrading to OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) due to major compatibility issues concerning KOMPLETE, MASCHINE and TRAKTOR products. The following two major issues have been identified:

  • Kernel Panic when Using Legacy Native Instruments Devices – There are Native Instrument beta drivers now available to fix this issue.
  • Validation of AU (Audio Units) Plug-ins Fails in Logic Pro X – There is a manual fix for this now available.

1. Disable System Inegrity Protection by rebooting into recovery partition. Then open Utilities-> Terminal (Shell comand window)
type in “csrutil disable”, without the “” and press enter
to restart your mac type in “reboot” and press enter

2. Download old version of auvaltool, for example from here: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4081659?tstart=0

3. Open Finder, click on Go To -> Got to folder and type in “/usr/bin” (without the “”)

4. Search for the file auvaltool and make a copy of it to your desktop (if something wents wrong)

5. replace auvaltool in the /usr/bin folder with the one you downloaded in step 2

6. Restart Logic, Open empty project, Go to Settings-> Plugin-Manager. Select not validated plugins ant click on rescan

Logic Pro X

There are various bugs and issues that have cropped up with Logic Pro X during beta testing of El Capitan and there will surely be more when the final version is released. Although there is no official statement, Logic Pro Mac users are advised not to upgrade yet. Note that Logic Pro 9 has however disappeared from the “Purchased” section of the App Store if you’ve got it installed on your Mac meaning you can no longer re-download it onto El Capitan. The same has happened with older versions of OS X Server suggesting older versions of Logic Pro are no longer compatible with El Capitan OS X 10.11.

Steven Slate Drums

Steven Slate Drums users have been contacted by the developer with the following warning not to upgrade to OS X 10.11 Capitan yet:

As many of you know, Apple will release their new operating system tomorrow, September 30th, called OS X 10.11 El Capitan. Our team has thoroughly tested the Virtual Mix Rack on El Capitan, and due to compatibility issues, we must strongly advise against upgrading at this time. We are working closely with Apple to resolve these issues and will release a compatible update as soon as possible.

The support site also carries a warning not to upgrade.


There are several Focuswrite products which are not compatible with El Capitan at the moment mainly the RedNet, Midnight and Scarlett plug-in suites.


IZotop has warned that its software won’t validate in Logic Pro X or Final Cut Pro X due to changes made by Apple within root-level OS X files. However, it has issued the following fix:

  1. Quit all running applications.

  2. With Mac OS X Finder open and in focus, please click the Go > Go To Folder menu at the top of the screen…

  3. Type in /usr/lib/ and press enter.

  4. Locate and select “libxml2.2.dylib”, and hit Cmd+C to copy this file.

  5. Again at the top of the screen use the Go > Go To Folder option and type /usr/local.

  6. There most likely will be nothing in this folder. Create a new folder called “lib”. You can do this using the Shift+Cmd+N shortcut.

  7. Open the lib folder you just created and hit Cmd+V to paste the file there.

  8. Our products should now work in Logic and Final Cut, though you may need to rescan the plug-ins from the Plug-in Manager.


Steinberg has released a statement advising users not to upgrade to El Capitan:

On September 30 Apple will release the new OS X version El Capitan. Our first tests show that different issues occur when running Steinberg products under OS X 10.11. We therefore cannot recommend our customers to update to El Capitan.

Detailed information regarding product compatibility will be published from October 23, 2015, after completing all compatibility tests. However, we can inform you today that Cubase 8.0.30, Nuendo 7.0.30 and the MR Tools and UR drivers are not compatible with El Capitan and advise you not to update your operating system until we provide compatible versions.


Arturia has released a statement warning users not to upgrade to El Capitan.

Apple is about to release a new version of its operating system, Mac OS X 10.11, El Capitan. Our testing team is still working on the compatibility of the Arturia software instruments with the new Mac OS X 10.11, El Capitan. At that point, from what we see, this update may affect operations of these instruments when in Audio Unit or standalone mode.

We are working with Apple to solve some issues. Indeed some of them could need a release either from Arturia or Apple. For this reason, if you want to make sure your Arturia software keeps working properly, we recommend that you postpone the update of Mac OS to “El Capitan” until compatibility issues are resolved.

We will keep you informed about the evolution of this situation. All our apologies for this inconvenience.


Music production suite Finale has advised users not to upgrade to El Capitan. They also say that Finale PrintMusic 2014 is also affected and Finale 2014 will not be updated to work with OS X 10.11. Users will be infuriated that a several hundred dollar music composition software as big as Finale has waited until the very last minute to inform users that Finale doesn’t work with El Capitan despite the fact it’s been available in beta for months and the Golden Master for 19 days.

In our testing with the latest beta versions of El Capitan, we’ve discovered some new incompatibilities with Finale 2014d. Specifically, opening certain dialog boxes (involving expressions, articulations, and others) can cause Finale to crash. We are working closely with Apple and hope to resolve the issue soon. While Apple could possibly address this before launch, at this point we advise against upgrading to El Capitan immediately upon its release. If the solution is on our end we will address it with Finale 2014.5, which we plan to release by the end of November 2015.

Regarding other Finale family products:

  • Finale PrintMusic 2014 is similarly impacted.
  • While Finale 2012 and Finale NotePad 2012 are not supported in Yosemite or El Capitan, they do not exhibit additional problems in El Capitan.
  • Finale 2011 and earlier versions are no longer supported.

Please note that only Finale 2014 is likely to be updated for optimal use with El Capitan. Further testing in all current Finale products will occur once the shipping version of the OS is released. Until this can occur – and we can report the results here – we suggest waiting on updating your OS. We will continue our testing with the release version of El Capitan and will notify you as any further developments occur.


Aperture does work on El Capitan although there have been some user reports that it’s slow compared to on Yosemite. Some users have taken to twitter to complain of various glitches and troubles. There was some drama when OS X 10.11 was released on the App Store because Aperture – along with iPhoto, Lion, Mountain Lion and Mavericks disappeared from the Updates tab suggesting it was to be no longer supported but it has now been reinstated by Apple and appears to be compatible with El Capitan. However, we’d recommend waiting before upgrading on this one.

Apple Mail

Some users report problems with Apple Mail crashing in El Capitan. The fix for this is a similar to with Outlook 2016 – just rebuild your Mailbox. If you’re finding that Mail won’t stay open long enough to allow you to rebuild, make sure that Mail is closed and then just delete the Envelope files in the location /Users/<username>/Library/Mail/V3/MailData/Envelope. When you next open Apple Mail, it will automatically rebuild and should work fine in OS X 10.11. Remember that the Library folder is hidden in El Capitan so you need to go to Finder (the smiley Mac icon in the far left corner of your Dock) and select “Go” and then hold down the “Alt” key and the Library folder will appear. If this fix doesn’t work for you, we recommend our more detailed guide on How To Fix Mail Not Working In El Capitan.

How to find Library folder Mac

Adobe Lightroom

Adobe says there are some problems with Adobe Lightroom and El Capitan. Tethered shooting with Lightroom 6 and Lightroom CC isn’t currently working in Adobe Lightroom for Leica and Nikon cameras. Some people are also experiencing Lightroom crashing in El Capitan and Adobe has advised users to go to Preferences > General Tab and then uncheck “Show ‘Add Photos’ Screen” and then to restart Lightroom.


Note that if you want to continue using nasty old Java on your OS X 10.11 Capitan, you’ll have to download this update.

El Capitan Slow Download Problem

If you’ve got none of the above and want to upgrade, you can download OS X 10.11 El Capitan from the Mac App Store for free. However, you may find El Capitan slow to download at the moment because of the high number of users eager to install it. You’ll see the estimated download or install time suddenly jump around with some users waiting well over an hour. There’s nothing much you can do other than wait or try again later when the hype has calmed down a bit and less people are trying to download it from the App Store.

el capitan problems - el capitan download slow

There are various other bugs and glitches that have cropped-up since the release of OS X 10.11. One of the more humorous ones was  spotted by user Chris Bovey who noticed a “drunk El Capitan” problem where El Capitan appears to have problems changing the language from English to German.

If there are any other issues or software not working with El Capitan, let us know in the comments below. We also recommend this thread on MacRumors which lists some of the software that didn’t work on El Capitan during beta testing although many of them will have now been updated for the final release.

And if you simply must upgrade, then make sure you backup your Mac or install El Capitan on an external drive so that you can test it out first before taking the plunge!

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