Cannot type into first window after Monterey upgrade

“If it ain’t broke, don’t upgrade it.” I should have stuck to my mantra. I’ve had our two Macs on Mojave since it just works. However, with it being obsolete, I figured I would give it a go and upgrade to Monterey.

My wife’s 2015 MacBook Air is lightly loaded; she hasn’t nearly filled the 256GB of storage. It should be a slam dunk. I ran TechTool Pro on it, no problems. I did a safe boot, downloaded the installer, and ran it. It took over an hour with no apparent glitches, then displayed the window asking for her AppleID password.

I used the mouse to try to position the cursor in the field. I cannot do it. The field is locked. I had my Apple Extended Keyboard attached via USB. I pressed a key. The Mac went ding-a-ling. It’s a sound I’ve never heard from it. Each press, ding-a-ling. I tried the Air’s keyboard. Ding-a-ling. I can click the “Forgot Password?” link to get to the next screen, but the keyboard does the same thing. I click the link to go back. I unplug the keyboard and turn it off. Press a key. Ding-a-ling.

There is also an external monitor attached to the Air. I can’t imagine it’s the problem, but I disconnected it. Ding-a-ling. Nothing else is attached other than the power cord.

Let’s see. A .5 release on a pretty clean Mac, and it fails right out of the gate.

It’s now sitting and staring at me. What should I do? Reboot? Restore from the backup? Switch to Linux?

Random thoughts.

Did you run the Monterey upgrader while in booted in Safe Boot? That’s not the usual state to run an upgrade.
I assume you rebooted and perhaps reset NVram and the SMC?

Reboot would be my first step.

Belated thanks to both of you for responding. It is only today that I got back to working on it. I did reboot and it started normally and was working fine. I was able to enter the Apple ID password in System Preferences, which seemed to make it happy.

Then I decided to do the update to 12.5.1. This took nearly a half hour, which seems like a lot, but it finished and rebooted … to the same screen I got after the Monterey update. It asks for the Apple ID password “to set up iCloud” but doesn’t allow any data entry. I rebooted, again it came up fine, and again I entered the password in Preferences. Something definitely wrong with the Apple ID system (which is nothing new).

Just as a data point, I never enter my Apple ID password in the “Set up iCloud” screen on the first boot after a macOS update. I always just click the “Set Up Later” in the lower left corner and continue on with the process. Usually I never have to enter my Apple ID credentials at all, since upon fully booting the System Preferences Apple ID login data loads and macOS is satisfied with that.

My reason for not entering the Apple ID credentials in that window is simple: my password is a 24-character long completely random set of all types of letters, numbers and symbols I can’t possibly remember. I don’t have it written down in my office, because that would obviously negate any security benefit I would get from having such a complex password.

When I was setting up a brand new Mac recently, I used Migration Assistant upon first boot, which also transferred over my Apple ID login data. I really don’t know the utility the “Set up iCloud” window provides under any circumstances, actually. There doesn’t seem to be any reason why that Apple ID info must be entered so early in the set up process anyway. But Apple displays that window after every macOS update, so they must know of a situation I haven’t discovered.

The biggest reason for not entering the AppleID credentials as part of first boot after update is that Apple has changed their definition of ‘setup’ over the decade. Later entry avoids inadvertent changes to your iCloud setup.

I am pretty sure the option “Set up later” was not available, otherwise I would have been happy to click it. But thanks for the suggestion. I have another Mac to upgrade, and if the same thing happens, I’ll be sure to look for that option.

Care to elaborate? What kind of bad stuff can happen to my iCloud data if I sign in early in the macOS setup process?

A couple of decades with OS X and macOS trained me to not trust apples default configuration choices to be consistent or stable. I have not kept a diary.

As requested by Simon, here is an example (from another source) of Apple arbitrarily changing iCloud preferences. The particular change noted has, in the past, required extreme measures to restore iCloud function for users not subscribed to large iCloud storage.

“Note: Even though I had Documents and Desktop turned off in all previous versions of macOS and never agreed to enable it, I found it turned on automatically when I upgraded to the Ventura beta.”

Excerpt From

Take Control of Ventura (1.0)
Joe Kissell
This material may be protected by copyright.

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Thank you, @james.cutler. I’m glad I asked because this is interesting.

The behavior you quote is of course bad, but I have to wonder if this couldn’t also happen if I’d first decline to set up iCloud but then later turn it on. Isn’t it possible Apple overrides prior settings with whatever they’re trying to peddle regardless of when exactly you turn iCloud back on?

I have experienced this too way back with a lot of users I supported. Since then I never log in to iCloud in the installer. When I am up and running, I log in. And the immediately check Documents and Desktop. If it then is enabled, I disable it.


That’s been my practice for quite some time after any update that asks me to sign in to iCloud, large or small. I always defer. Interestingly, now that I think about it, I can’t remember a time where after the update completed, I wasn’t signed in to iCloud automatically anyway, despite deferring during the update.

I think you might be right. I am not sure, but I think my experience with login is from installing on a newly formatted drive. Because of my former work, I have done that a lot more than a regular user. The check I do regardless of type of installation.