Weekly Poll: How Would You Rate Lion in Terms of Bugs?

Now that Lion has been out for a while, many of us have downloaded it on our primary computers and are now using the operating system full-time. As far as stability goes, the reports that we’re receiving are a bit scattered.

For my part, Lion roars along nicely. I upgraded the day it launched and apart from an initial slowdown while Spotlight finished indexing, I can’t say that I’ve run into a single major issue that couldn’t be addressed in a few minutes or less (even on my ancient 2007 MacBook).

However, I’ve heard several people, including some of our own writers, describe OS X Lion as an “extremely buggy” and all around unstable release. Given the variety of different Mac setups that exist, there are bound to be some pretty disparate experiences from users. Today we want to know what you think. Is Lion solid as a rock or one big, buggy mess?

Cast your vote in the poll and then leave a comment below telling us about some of the persistent problems you’ve run into and what machine you’re running.


  • Eric Durbrow

    1. Problems reconnecting to network/wifi after sleep.
    2. Problems sending PDF attachments in mail
    3. Safari 5.1 uses a great deal of system resources and eventually slows things down. (I have 8 GB of RAM)

    Does anyone else have these problems?

    • Augustine

      I’ve had the reconnect problem.
      Safari is also a resource hog.

      Not exactly a bug, but Resume should be a preference within Safari. It defaults to your last use, overriding your home page. Very irritating.

  • http://jshawl.com Jesse Shawl

    I can’t enter time machine, and messing around with my hhtpd.conf file has rendered my webserver useless.

    My only option at this point is to do a fresh install of snow leopard, then download lion, then install lion, hope it will enter time machine, then hopefully restore from a backup.

  • http://www.deerme.net/ Sheryl

    Huh, I haven’t noticed any bugs with Lion.

  • http://www.perezfox.com Prescott Perez-Fox

    In terms of actual bugs, I would say I’ve only discovered one: Launchpad. On my system, it’s a mess from top to bottom. I won’t even elaborate, but it’s so bad I literally am not even trying to use it until there’s an update/fix. So buggy.

    However, the number of new “features” have crossed to the point of being bugs. Too many interface aspects are mandated, where they should be features, able to be turned on and off. The most glaring of this is the Finder sidebar menu which is now monochrome-only. In Safari, the Tabs behaviour is unacceptable and needs to have an option for where new tabs open. Animation windows in apps like TextEdit and Safari should be easily switched off.

    I also personally can’t stand the new iCal and Address Book, which have both been redesigned drastically. Not only is the paper-and-leather graphic scheme a little puzzling, but they changed the way the app functions, removing a column and the easy-access and organizational ability it brought me. I hope both of these apps quickly receive a “classic” option.

    So the question is, how many should-be options equal a bug? In any case, I’ve got loads.

    • eric durbrow

      I too find the Address Book annoying. In fact, it is a step backwards from Snow Leopard because of the lack of a 3 pane view. Does anyone know if I can reinstall the Address Book from Snow Leopard (e.g. copy it over) and use it in Lion. I assume this is risking very bad luck.

  • Alec

    I’ve been using Lion on my MB Pro for about 2 weeks now, and for the most part, I’ve found it to be a huge improvement. I LOVE Gestures & Mission Control, and the full screen apps all look stunning. However, I’ve encountered a wide array of bugs: when I wake my computer from sleep, 1 out of 5 times, it’ll have lost Wi-Fi connection, sometimes the keyboard freezes and I can’t type anything for 5 minutes, and sometimes, Mission Control wacks out and I can’t switch between spaces. However, I’m still happy I made the purchase and I’m confident that Apple will sort everything out in the next couple of patches.

    • 5starsM

      Weird. On my side I obviously dont really like Mission Control. It comes from a good idea but it’s completely a mess. Actually I would rather use exposé, but the problem is, on Lion, exposé just show windows from the application you are currently using. Something i find, for my case, 95% of time useless.
      I did a clean install of Lion and i just came across two bugs;
      - My MBP (mid 2010, intel core 2 duo, 4gb) is running hotter than he was on SL. (10°C higher on normal use and about 15°C on heavy). something I really dont like
      - mission contro; randomly put the windows am on; in full screen covering all the others

      From now i got back to SL, waiting for some updates

      • Tobias

        How do i get back to SL? Lion s**ks, my iMac 16GB ram, 2.93GHz i7 boots like my windows pc – 40+ seconds – it was 15seconds on SL … i have to restart my iMac pretty often because it won’t work properly, i.e. google chrome is not able to start anymore – the icon keeps jumping on the dock – itunes, same thing… never had things like that with SL – i wanna go back to SL it was faster and it never got stucked ;/ I switched to mac like half a year ago and if i had bought it with lion, not knowing how it was with SL i wouldnt be so sure if i would keep my iMac….

  • https://www.twitter.com/#!/mc_razza mc_razza

    1. My biggest gripe is Finder. Lion fails to remember each folder’s settings. It’s constantly a war of attrition arranging and rearranging files and folders.

    2. Remotely graphic-intensive processes/animations is visibly slow. I try not to invoke Launchpad. Folders in Launchpad open and close slow in a jittery framerate. The same goes for clicking on apps in Launchpad too.

    3. Time Machine is unusable. The system slows down when using Time Machine. Going through previous backups is a pain because the thing slows down. It used to be smooth under Snow Leopard. In Lion it’s terrible.

    4. Preview is slower. Not by much but (at least for me) Preview is visibly slower compared to its previous versions in Leopard and Snow Leopard.

    5. Sometimes the CPU fan rises from its base speed of 1200rpm to 1600rpm but I don’t know why sometimes. It could be from Safari. FTR I use ClickToFlash and YouTube 5 to limit flash usage in-browser. I’ve also noticed that programs that weren’t CPU intensive under Snow Leopard such as View NX2 (a photo-editing app from Nikon) are now CPU intensive. It runs at normal speed but I can hear the CPU fan roar when it hits above 1600rpm. To be fair I immediately noticed a hike in CPU fan noise after upgrading from Leopard to Snow Leopard but I think that’s to do with the new OpenCL feature in the OS whereby newer Macs could use the power of the GPU for other processes rather than purely for games and graphics. Unfortunately my Mac and its graphics card (ATI 2600 PRO) is not supported which meant that the CPU has to take up the slack. They must’ve rewrote something because a number of things were just that little bit slower under Snow leopard. Playing games wasn’t as silent as under Leopard. The system would slow down too. Never had those problems under Leopard.

    There are more things about Lion I wont go into both big and small. The transition from Leopard to Snow Leopard was painless and IIRC I had very little issues if none. I can’t say the same about the transition from Snow Leopard to Lion.

    * I use an early 2008 iMac 24″ 4GB RAM 500GB HDD
    ** For CPU fan speeds and system temperatures I use iStat Pro widget. It’s the only widget I use. The others are unnecessary system processes.

    • Renato

      I couldn’t agree anymore. If I had bought my first Mac with Lion, I wouldn’t be so sure how Mac OS would be so much better than the (arghhh) Vista. It takes a life to start and my folder’s preferences were not “remembered”. It’s a mess every time I turn my two monitors iMac on. Expóse was more “functional”than Mission Control and more efficient. Address book is horrible. Only thing I like is the new mail even with its 200 bugs.

  • https://www.twitter.com/#!/mc_razza mc_razza

    One more thing: add Quick Look to the list. You’d think flicking through a bunch of photos full screen in Quick Look wouldn’t be CPU-intensive. Well, I can tell you it is in OS X Lion. Never had that happen to me in Snow Leopard. I just hope these problems will be rectified in 10.7.1.

    *crosses fingers*

  • Auroch

    Everything is beyond awesome, ‘cept the Safari memory leak. And Lion seems to use a lot more memory overall. Or maybe we’ve just moved into the “everyone should have 8 gigs of ram” era and I’ve been left behind with a meager 4gb.

  • Connor Turnbull

    I haven’t had any problems at all. I just wish there was an option for me in this poll.

  • http://www.about.me/sonalk sonal khodiyar

    I am absolutely loving each and every moment I am spending on LION. Its the most beautiful, brilliant and near perfect OS I have ever used. My system performance has increased actually.
    I am using MacBook Pro late-2009 model. 2.26Ghz/4G Ram/ 160G Hdd/ 256Mb Nvidia Graphics Card.

    The apps which are not configured for LION create irritation and that too very rarely. I have experienced only one problem and that too with only one app. Insomniac. Once activated, I am not able to disable it. And thats probably because it is not built for LION.

  • Sebastiaan

    I run Lion on an iMac and a hackintosh. The install on the iMac was flawless, no problems nothing, just a simple upgrade in 30 minutes time.

    On the hack it was a little more difficult because the update didn’t work so i had to do a clean install. Easiest hack-install i have EVER done.

    The best part is that it runs as smooth on my hack as it does on my iMac. However, there is a problem with the Mac Appstore, it didn’t want to sign me in (worked fine in iTunes though) which seemed to be related to the ethernet adapter. Even though i only had this problem on my hack, i did find an awful lot of genuine macs experiencing the same problems starting with 10.6.8 (so not specific to lion or hacks).

  • Kerwin

    1. Double click on my Intuos3 tablet fails, but this has to be fixed by Wacom
    2. Folders don’t ‘refresh’, downloaded files down show up in Finder
    3. Preview is slow, and i think the new design is to intrusive compared to the ‘old’ black version.

  • Assaf

    There’s been some bugs while using photoshop CS5, wich is really bad, because its the application I use the most on my mac

  • Adam

    I absolutely love OS X Lion. It is the greatest thing since the iPhone, iPod an even the first release of Mac OS X. However, there are a few bugs that I have found, but I was able to work around them until they are fixed.

    1. My 3G USB modem won’t work in Lion (stupid Dodo), although it did perfectly in Snow Leopard. Where I live I apparently can’t get ADSL, even though out neighbors next door can. So for a while I was unable to connect, when I thought of a solution. I partitioned my Mac so that I had a new 50gb drive. I then got out my Snow Leopard discs and installed snow leopard on this new drive. I am able to connect to the Internet on it fine, however the setup isn’t perfect and hopefully Dodo (or Apple) resolves this.

    2. Natural scrolling looks unrefined.

    3. Dock magnification looks unrefined.

    4. When moving a window to a different space through mission control, any windows attatched will stay behind e.g. The inspector and pages.app.

    I have found a few more, but they are very minor and aren’t worth mentioning.

    Overall, Lion is excellent, however it definitely needs a few major bug fixes.

  • http://kmwallio.com kmw

    Launchpad is glitchy. It doesn’t know the difference between aliases and actual apps, so I had duplicates of the same app showing up. On the older Macs, it doesn’t draw correctly from time to time.

    Finder doesn’t remember anything about preferences. I open it, and the viewing mode constantly changes.

    Safari is a resource hog.

    Overall the system is more bloated than Snow Leopard. Snow Leopard was a really smooth experience, where Lion is laggy and uses much more resources. I have a mid-2007 macBook and mid-2009 iMac.

  • Siamak Hejazi

    1 – I can’t see some MOV files on Preview App.
    2 – iTunes has problem on fullscreen situation. It does not fit the screen after a while.
    3 – Dock and spaces motion are not smoothy enough.

  • http://nataliav.me Natalia Ventre

    I haven’t found any bugs, I’m just dissappointed with Reeder and Sparrow that are not Lion ready (the gestures don’t work). Sparrow is specially unusable. I thought that apps on the MAS were obliged to fix that kind of problems.

  • Jake

    Two major bugs I’m experiencing, although oddly both have cropped up after about a week of use.

    1. Can’t copy text from Safari, Stickies or TextEdit. Possibly other applications as well; those are just the ones I’ve noticed.
    2. The typeface for the file browser (not the sidebar) in Finder inexplicably changed from Lucida Grande to Helvetica Neue. I suppose this doesn’t actually hinder me, but it’s still weird.

  • Black

    Lion is great! Found some bugs with the finder. Safari makes Lion really slow! But otherwise runs well on my iMac end 2006 with 2GB of ram :)

  • http://www.moosedesign.com MooseDesign

    Anyone have any issues with Adobe’s Creative Suite(s) or with font management software? I’m waiting a while to see how stable those sorts of things are before making the leap…

  • Return true;

    At least 5 freeze a day, using a 2011 iMac 27″ i5 with a AMD 6970M 2GB. Some graphical bugs too. I’m considering a downgrade to Snow Leopard.

  • Jason Kaiser

    I cannot attribute much to the bugs of Lion, however, I can say that there has been a remarkable startup speed in Adobe Photoshop CS3.

  • http://www.metzener.com/ Dave M.

    I’ve had some serious issues with Finder. It’s crashed several times and I feel like I’m at the beach with the frequency of the beach ball cursor in the Finder.

    On the plus side, the issue with blurry icons in Snow Leopard seems to be a thing of the past.

    I’ve also seen some glitches with the Save Dialog control placement.

    Over all, Lion is pretty stable, but the Finder crashing is just unheard of and the beach ball showing up all the time is very frustrating.

  • http://elziah.com Paul McDonough

    Had a number of problems with Built in VPN client – it wont work with VPN’s i know it supported in SL.

    Also the Cisco client has to be booted into 32 bit mode to compensate for this (i know this isnt a bug with Lion Per ce )

    Had the network location completely ignore the proxy set in preferences….
    Some applications I have to force close everytime (twitter) which is a new issue in Lion..

    I’ve had no issues with finder but I use totalfinder :)

    The main gripe is the poor network issues and lack of a decent VPN client / support for all vpn configs ( doesnt support udp ipsec which is commonly used by many companies )

  • Ales

    The worst bug I’ve encountered so far was in Terminal when it said that my username does not exist and that I don’t have sufficient privileges. Restart fixed the problem.
    Finder has some quirks not remembering your settings for folders. And even worse problem in Finder is that when items in Finder are displayed as List and you apply sorting (Item Arrangement) the arrows are hidden and navigation with cursor keys are impossible.

    Safari has a new process called Safari Web Content which consumes a lot of memory – together with Safari it uses about 1/3 of memory.

  • Linda

    I’ve had kernel panic after kernel panic in Lion, I have only received one previously in Snow Leopard. I’ve had to restart my computer several times, and I couldn’t get my MBP to go to sleep after shutting the lid (resolved the issue but still), and trouble connecting to Wi-Fi after waking from sleep. I’d except these issues when it’s in Beta but come on this is a consumer release….

  • http://www.makowsky.co.uk Andrew Makowsky

    I do love Lion but these are the bugs I am hating.

    a) Preview will open all previously opened documents after a restart when opening the preview for the first time after reboot for a single document.

    b) Safari opening previous website and not defaulting to home page

    The above happens when I uncheck remember settings upon shutdown/reboot.

  • Sandra

    My wi-fi connection keeps on dropping. This is really annoying !

  • Matti

    I have come across some major problems, unfortunately:
    - Sudden complete freezing of the system, cursor moves, nothing else can be done – requires a hard reset to recover (I later pinpointed this to be a potential issue with MagicPrefs and after I uninstalled it, there hasn’t been those freezes yet)
    - Bluetooth issues – my Magic Mouse doesn’t automatically reconnect anymore and it is a pain in the butt to manually connect it every time it decides to disconnect. Magic Trackpad and Aluminum 3-battery keyboard reconnect fine.

    Smaller issues include:
    -I can’t permanently disable “restore windows after reboot” which is completely useless when I have turned off the window restore option. Now my boot time is extremely long because every app that was open is automatically reopened whether I want them or not. (Hard reset don’t let me untick the option to disable this in cases of freezing)
    - If I open a mounted disk from the desktop, I cannot browse the folder structure in the same window, it opens a new window for every folder I open (really lame!) From the menu I cannot enable sidebar to get the same access as before.
    - Lauchpad is horrible and seems retarded without any options and with my 27″ iMac the icons are oversized.

    Nevertheless, I have survived this far with various workarounds and currently I’m not considering downgrading. The bugs will (eventually) be fixed.

  • http://geekosaur.dreamwidth.org geekosaur

    I have two copies of Finder stuck in the kernel right now, unkillable. Network shares seem to trigger more mundane hangs (option-right-click Finder in the Dock and select Restart works). I would go back to SL, but this is a brand new MacBook Air so there’s nowhere to go.

    I would also call the lack of media and general assumption of always available broadband a major bug as well, considering that the entire reason I’m going through this is that the hard drive on my old iBook (yes, iBook; 2005 vintage) died. I’m headed into my 5th day and *still* trying to restore stuff because I’m on the road and don’t have reliable Internet access.

    Oh, and for the second time in as many boots, this thing just stopped recognizing my USB hub and everything attached to it. After repeatedly unplugging and replugging it, it finally recognized it again.

    All in all, I’m *extremely* unimpressed.

  • Marvin

    1.Sleep does not work!
    2.WiFi connection problems,
    3.NAS servers / backup does not work also,
    etc.

  • Peter

    Wi Fi drops out after sleep,won’t open safari pages sometimes have to reboot,1password won’t automatically sign in,had to reconfigure optus wireless broadband.

  • http://aveynes.com bndctc

    Right click is slower than before.

  • Darrell

    New poll, (suggestion) How many Mac users upgraded to Lion, only to find yourself formatting your hard drive and going back to Snow Leopard?

  • http://www.lekkergriezelen.nl Bennie Ockels

    Haven’t seen many bugs, but adding gmail to OS X Mail is quite a hassle. Mail keeps downloading hundreds of messages each time I open it. My mailboxes are a total mess. I hope gmail support will be hugely improved with the next software update.

  • http://www.vuzum.com Andrei Potorac

    I don’t even know how to call this bug:
    http://cl.ly/0h2Y0K2m263T0s1o0l0V

    It happens mostly when Flash is playing videos in browser, but not only then. REALLY strange!

  • Pingback: Should You Upgrade To Lion Or Stick With Snow Leopard? | Design City

  • J. Woelich

    I absolutely love everything Lion brought to the table, which makes that I’m currently using SL all the more painful. On my late-2010 15″ MBP, I’m plagued with the same nVidia-related system freezes that I’ve not dealt with since around 10.6.5. The release of 10.7.1 lessened this somewhat, using Lion day-to-day just isn’t an option on this machine.

  • Mark Brierley

    Five main issues that I have are:

    1. Gestures is buggier than SL. I love gestures and find it probably the greatest single improvement to a PC since the invention of the mouse in terms of user interface function. However, it often fails to work in Safari (however, this may be because of Safari itself).

    2. Safari hangs so often and makes CPU usage skyrocket. Despite tweaking it as much as I can (disabling extensions, deleting prefs, disabling flash, updating flash, java etc.) it is now an annoying part of the OS. As soon as another browser has a feature which works as well as Top Sites (I know there are similar but not so well implemented features on some browsers) (which I find indispensable) I will stop using it.

    3. The Finder seems to often become unresponsive. It simply hangs and cannot be forced quitted. Again, the CPU usage of the Finder maxes out. Even relatively simple tasks such as automatically grouping items into a folder on the fly on an external HD causes the Finder to spasm and crash with no way to recover.

    4. The UI has had a overhaul which tends to make it less customisable and the sidebar doesn’t seem to show external disks anymore (I can’t even imagine how visually impaired people cope with the grey items either). These two things are absolute no-brainers. The design of this is probably the worst thing Apple has done to the UI for a very long time.

    5. Wireless networking is fickle. It seems to hang and become unresponsive at times. This can be extremely annoying and often needs a reboot to solve. Again, I’ve been through lots of ways to try to solve this and while some do for a short while (minutes or hours) it’s almost like the WiFi decides to sleep from inactivity (possibly to save energy on my MBP) but doesn’t wake up properly when needed. It never sleeps while active WiFi network transfers are underway, even if these last hours which suggest this to me. (I can keep it up and running for quite a time by tormenting Linux distros and capping the DL speed – but this isn’t exactly a sensible use of bandwidth.)

    Over all, there have been some great tweaks to the system. I love placing different backgrounds to the multiple desktops as I can see how this will help me when I use my computer for distinct tasks. The fact that the dock is customisable for each is also a big step forwards. However, I haven’t figured out how to customise each desktop so different desktop icons appear on each (so that I have different projects on-going on each workspace – which is after all what the desktop is all about as an analogy).
    The signature facility in preview (although quite obscurely documented and a little obtuse to use) is stunning. The recognition of the signature through the camera is outstandingly well done.

    I’m not simply a Mac user. I’ve been working with computers since 1974 and have a vast experience with a variety of systems and my first Mac (to own, not use) was in 1993 – LCII. I’ve been through the system with a fine tooted comb looking for bugs and running repair tools. I really think Apple need to solve the Safari issue big time as well as the finder UI.

    Marks out of 10:

    New implementations 8/10
    Hidden tweaks 10/10
    Finder 6/10
    Safari 4/10

    Overall 6/10 (about 2 marks higher than Vista – which is nothing to really shout about).

  • http://www.avioesavenda.org/ Avioes a Venda

    I cannot browse the folder structure in the same window, it opens a new window for every folder I open. From the menu I cannot enable sidebar to get the same access as before.

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