Known bugs in El Capitan 10.11.3: an incomplete summary

OS X 10.11.3 has been publicly available for many weeks now, and has declared many of its bugs to us. It is time to build a list of those which we know about.

Finder – incorrect column width

This can occur when using Finder windows which are set to column view. When switching folder in the view, the rightmost column being displayed has excessive width, filling the Finder window, its divider being placed incorrectly at the right edge of that window.


This long-standing but intermittent bug dates back to Mavericks if not earlier, and I have whinged about it here and here, and listed it as present in 10.11.2. The only workaround is to select a different folder, then to select the correct folder again.

Core Foundation library – loss of drag and drop

After a certain period working in El Capitan, attempts to drag and drop or otherwise cut/copy and paste content fail with a Core Foundation error. In the case of drag and drop, this is likely to be the result of a memory leak, or similar. I have discussed this issue here. Once it occurs, the only way to restore normal function seems to be to log off and log back on again (or restart).

I have been troubled less by this in 10.11.3, but it does still occur. I have still been unable to pin down whether it is an errant app or a bug in OS X itself.

Energy Saver pane – inconsistencies in controls

The features available in the Energy Saver pane of System Preferences are inconsistent between Macs, and incomplete, for example not providing a separate control slider for system sleep on some hardware. Further details are here. These remain in 10.11.3 just the same as in 10.11.2.

The only workaround is to use a third-party tool such as MacPilot to edit the preferences instead of the bundled pane.

Power Management – hard drives always put to sleep on system sleep

On some recent iMacs at least, Power Management ignores any setting to not put hard drives to sleep: when system sleep occurs, the hard drive in an internal Fusion Drive is always put to sleep, regardless of the drive sleep setting. This is detailed here.

The only workaround is to set the system sleep time to Never, which also stops hard drives from being put to sleep.

OS X internals – clicking on a window causes it to jump

When switching between apps by clicking on a window, sometimes the selected app comes to the front and its window jumps to a new position on screen. I used to think that this was confined to certain apps such as Tweetbot, but it also affects Apple’s Messages app and others, and persists in 10.11.3.

The workaround is to switch to that other app by clicking on its icon in the Dock.

Trackpad – unexpected shift of text insertion point

This is another long-standing bug, which goes back to the early days of Apple’s Magic Trackpad in about 2010. You are typing along happily, with your hands well clear of the trackpad, and suddenly the text insertion point jumps to a different location in the text which you are editing. This is sporadic and completely unpredictable, but affects a wide range of different apps, and still affects 10.11.3.

There is no workaround.

Disk Utility – failure to change partition size because of “partition (map) too small” error

I don’t know how long this bug has been present, but it can occur in 10.11.3. When using Disk Utility to increase the size of a Mac Extended (HFS+) partition from 3 to 6 TB, on an external hardware RAID drive, Disk Utility performs a full volume check, at the end of which it announces:
MediaKit reports partition (map) too small. If you recently grew your whole-disk, you should run whole-disk repair. Operation failed…


I have detailed this here, with the workaround of resizing the partition using a third-party tool such as Drive Genius 4. It is also possible that using the diskutil command line tool will still work properly; I have not tested that.

Please add your own experiences and I will incorporate as necessary…