What to do if your Mac with M1 “does not see” the macOS 12.1 update

The solution is simple, but not at all obvious.

What to do if your Mac with M1

There are more and more complaints from Mac users with processors on the Web M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Pro Max that can't update to the new macOS Monterey 12.1. The update prompt just doesn't appear when you go to About This Mac → Software Update.

What to do if your M1 Mac doesn't

Downloading the Monterey installer from the App Store isn't helping everyone either, with several users complaining on Twitter that the download gets stuck at the same “52 minutes left” mark.

Apple has yet to come up with a fix for this problem. Initially, it was believed that the only way to update was to put the Mac into recovery mode and reinstall the system. In this mode, the computer will automatically download the latest version of the OS, but after rebooting, the user will have to restore their data.

In the meantime, users have found an unusual but working solution.

  1. Open System Preferences → Software Update. Make sure you are not prompted to upgrade to macOS 12.1 and leave this window open.
  2. In the list of applications, find Utilities → System Monitor. Open the application.
  3. From the View menu, select the All Processes display mode.
  4. Search for com.apple.NRD.UpdateBrainService. If there is no such option, check com.apple.MobileSoftwareUpdate.UpdateBrainService. Double-click on the found process and click “End” in the window that appears.
  5. After that, a new version should appear in the “Software Update”. Click Update Now.
  6. If the update fails to download, complete the process from step 4 again and the problem should be gone.

If this method doesn't work, stay Just a system reset. However, you can also wait until the next version is released – chances are good that the problem will have been fixed by that time.