Some M1 Macs Have a Screen Saver Bug That Prevents Users From Resuming Desktop Mode Again

Omar Sohail

Soon after Apple’s M1 Macs were said to receive a fix for Bluetooth issues, a screen saver bug starts affecting some users. With macOS Big Sur, the company introduced something called Fast User Switching. This feature allows users to quickly switch between accounts without logging out, saving time as a result. Unfortunately, performing this can sometimes trigger a screen saver, which shows up on the new M1 Macs.

When users attempt to dismiss the screen saver, which is done with a key tap or a trackpad click under normal circumstances, nothing happens. The mouse pointer can still be seen, and you can move it in any direction. However, nothing happens, and you’re completely locked out. To remedy the problem, M1 Mac owners have to either close the lid, open it again, press the Touch ID key, or use the Alt-Command-Q key combination to reaccess the lock screen, as explained by MacRumors.

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According to pelthree on Apple Community forums is experiencing the same scenario.

“I just purchased the baseline M1 MacBook Air and I’m having trouble with the screensaver taking over the computer. It will come on even while using the device and then there’s no way to dismiss the screensaver. I have to switch users, log out, and/or restart the machine to get the screensaver to go away. At this point I’ve disabled the screensaver (which for me is fine) but I’m hoping there’s a fix out there somewhere.”

u/BraveTransportation2 on Reddit describes a similar problem.

“I have a brand new M1 MacBook Pro running macOS 11.1 and I'm having a small yet annoying issue. At random times, while in the middle of working, my machine will suddenly activate the screensaver. I cannot click out of it, and my keyboard does nothing. The only fix I've found is to close the MacBook for 4-5 seconds, then open it and upon reloading in, it fixes itself.

This happens randomly....sometimes once a day, sometimes 5+ times a day.

I also have my screensaver setting set to "Never" and it shows a screensaver different than the one I have selected.

Is this a known issue? Is there any known fix?”

A MacRumors forums member dawideksl even posted a video below to show that the issue is real and his workspace is rendered unusable. Looking at the severity of the problem, it looks like Apple will be aware of this bug and will likely issue an update shortly. Until then, it’s advised not to use the Fast User Switching option for the time being.

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