Mac users couldn’t launch apps this afternoon after Apple verification server issue

Apple Beef Up app updated with darkish mode and a new UI

Many Mac users reported that their computers have been running slower than usual on Thursday — including a number of Verge staffers — with apps launching slowly or not at all, alongside other Apple service issues.

It appears that the problem is due to many people rushing to download macOS Big Sur, which was officially released today, which in turn seems to have crashed Apple’s OCSP (online certificate status protocol) service — which is used for several key aspects of macOS, including validating digital certificates for both Apple and third-party software on the Mac, as Ars Technica reports.

Hey Apple users:

If you’re now experiencing hangs launching apps on the Mac, I figured out the problem using Little Snitch.

It’s trustd connecting to

Denying that connection fixes it, because OCSP is a soft failure.

(Disconnect internet also fixes.)

— Jeff Johnson (@lapcatsoftware) November 12, 2020

Apple’s status site notes that the company had resolved an issue earlier today that may have prevented users from downloading macOS software updates, although it hasn’t been confirmed that the Big Sur update was the cause of the outage. The company also reported issues with iMessage and full-blown outages with Maps routing and navigation as well as its traffic tracking, which may have been related to the OSCP failure, too.

Mac and iOS developer Panic reports corroborates the reports, noting that the downed service had disabled Apple’s Gatekeeper technology, which checks validity of apps when you try to launch them. Panic also reports that the issue appears to be resolved, but it’s not clear if things have totally cleared up for everyone yet.

Looks like, when apps are launched, Gatekeeper is unable to check their validity over the internet, due to overwhelmed Apple servers. So, uh, let’s all hang in there! You got this, Apple devops!

— Panic (@panic) November 12, 2020

Apple didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.

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