How to Report Bugs to Apple So They Get Fixed

Feedback Assistant is relatively new. For years the Bug Reporter web site was how 3rd party developers to report bugs to Apple. There wasn’t really a single, coordinated way for users to report bugs. Apple does track calls to AppleCare and Genius Bar visits, to see what users are having trouble with.

The categories you see as outsider reporting a bug are not the same categories Apple uses in Radar. Radar has thousands of categories and subcategories, too many for outsiders to wade through, and many for secret, unreleased products.

If there’s no obvious category for the bug you’re seeing, you’ll pick one that seems close. The category in your bug report is mapped to a category in Radar, which is owned by an engineering team, which reads your bug report. But it might be mapped to the wrong team for that feature, there’s really no way for you to know. Hopefully the team that gets your bug will reassign it to the right team, but sometimes people get busy, and bug reports fall through the cracks.

If it’s not fixed in the next beta release, don’t be afraid to write a new bug report, and perhaps try a different area, if that seems applicable.

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Unfortunately, I’d say reporting 3rd party bugs to Apple is probably a waste of time. I worked at Apple before Feedback Assistant, but AFAIK bugs reported in 3rd party apps were almost never passed on to those 3rd parties.

For small companies, I’d try contacting them directly. Often there’s just a couple of tech support people, who can pass concise, reproducible bug reports on to their engineers.

Crash reports are collected automatically by the OS, and are available for developers to read in their Apple Connect account. Many developers also use 3rd party crash reporting libraries.

I don’t think that’s true, most developers I know definitely test on beta OS releases, they want to be ready when the new OS ships. But Apple won’t let them ship updates for a beta OS, or even mention it in their release notes, because betas are still officially unreleased software. That’s why when the new OS finally ships, there’s a crush of developers trying to ship updates.

If it’s an important app like Photoshop, Apple will definitely alert them about problems. Sometimes Apple even changes the OS to work around the problem. But most 3rd party developers don’t get this personal attention.

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The purpose of this category is to determine whether or not the issue is due to a bug introduced by Apple in the beta or a problem that the developer needs to adapt to. If the former, then Apple should try to fix there bug. If it’s the result of something that Apple intentionally changed or deprecated, then they may get with the developer to let them know, but that’s a big MAY. I suspect that if the developer is a big enough partner such as Microsoft or Adobe then there will be some communication between the two, since the bigger developers generally are already running betas and they have corporate engineering representatives that routinely communicate such things. None of the small developers that I know have ever told me that they received such communications from Apple.

As far as beta testers are concerned, the NDA does not allow those users to contact developers about issues they have with macOS betas, which is designed to give Apple the first opportunity to fix any issue that is their bug so that developers don’t waste time trying to fix something that will be resolved before macOS release. But I’ve seen that restriction widely violated by testers. I’ve also know Apple to occasionally direct testers to contact the developer about an issue.

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Thanks for the answer.

Can you please describe what happens to CRASH REPORTS that are generated for all crashes, not just public beta testers?

Does anyone actually read them! Are they routinely also coied to the developer? Are they tallied or countedsoan app that crashes 100 times gets moreattention that an app that crashes 5 times?

Is all that information about the different threads and the list of instructions and what crrashed of practical use to the developer? They are gibberish to me.

You might find this interesting:

Technical Note TN2151: Understanding and Analyzing Application Crash Reports.

Developers can get crash reports. As @das wrote, Apple collects them on a server. Developers are notified about new crash reports and can download them for analysis.

When used in conjunction with an application’s source code (originally used to build the app) and its debug information (generated by the compiler alongside the app), the crash report includes a list of system exceptions (describing why the OS killed the app) and a stack trace for every thread in the application at the time it crashed. It also includes the contents of the CPU registers for every thread.

This information is all critical information for any developer trying to identify and fix a non-trivial problem.

The only thing more useful would be a full core dump containing the complete contents of the app’s memory at the time of the crash. Core dumps can allow the developer to perform post-mortem debugging, where they re-create the app’s (crashed) state in memory so debugging tools can be used to view it.

Apple doesn’t provide core dumps with crash reports because they can be very big (potentially gigabytes of data) and there can be serious privacy issues (since they contain all of the app’s data, including stuff you may not want the developers to know about).

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In this case, your best bet is to call Apple support and work through them. Reporting bugs is only useful if you (and thus Apple) can reproduce the problem at will. Particularly in a situation like this, there are simply too many variables for an engineer to be able to track down the problem.

Crash reports are generated automatically, if you agree to send analytics info to Apple when you set up your device.

Crash reports are taken very seriously at Apple. Crash reports for Apple software is assigned to the team that owns that software. There’s a list of the top crashing bugs for each team, and they’re expected to fix them. Crashes that happen more often are ranked higher.

As @Shamino said, crash reports for 3rd party apps are made available to developers in their developer account, it’s up to developers to read those and fix them.

All that gibberish really is important info, and very helpful in tracking down a crash. The tech note @Shamino linked to has a good explanation of what’s in a crash report, if you want to learn about it.


Although this is certainly true for regular users, Apple support (both AppleCare and Genius Bars) are instructed not to deal with beta OS issues. That includes troubleshoot a Mac with a beta OS installed. I’m sure there have been exceptions, but that is what has been put out.