What to do if your Mac with the M1 “doesn’t see” the macOS 12.1 update

There are more and more complaints on the web from Mac users with M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Pro Max processors who can’t update to the new macOS Monterey 12.1. The offer to update simply doesn’t appear when you go to About This Mac → Software Update.

Downloading the Monterey installer from the App Store doesn’t help everyone, either: several users have complained on Twitter that the download freezes at the same “52 minutes left” mark.

Apple has not yet offered a solution to this problem. Initially, it was thought that to update you can only put the Mac into recovery mode and reinstall the system. In this mode, the computer will automatically download the newest version of the OS, but after rebooting the user will have to restore their data.

Meanwhile, users have found an unusual but workable solution.

  1. Open “System Preferences” → “Software Update”. Make sure there is no prompt to update to macOS 12.1, and leave this window open.
  2. In the list of applications, find Utilities → System Monitoring. Open the application.
  3. From the “View” menu, select the “All Processes” display mode.
  4. In the search, type com.apple.NRD.UpdateBrainService. If there is no such option, check com.apple.MobileSoftwareUpdate.UpdateBrainService. Double-click on the process found and click “Finish” in the window that appears.
  5. After that, the new version should appear in “Update Software”. Click “Update Now.”
  6. If the update fails to load, complete the process again from step 4 and the problem should go away.

    If this method doesn’t work, the only thing left is to reinstall the system. However, you can also wait for the next version – chances are good that the problem will be fixed by then.