Mac Users: 3rd-Party Kernel Extensions (Kexts) are causing your issues
I recently posted about McAfee Scan Manager causing my company issued Macbook to spin up the fan, overheat, and freeze — handing out the spinning beach ball of death and how I have been able to work-around McAfee Scan Manager freezes.
Yesterday after a recent OS update, my company issued machine (which has many 3rd-Party applications leveraging kernel extensions to operate) completely stopped functioning. Every app freezing on open, even after my hacking away at stopping processes, force-quitting apps, and reboots.
I finally decided to call up our helpful Apple support crew, described my newest issues (wasn’t a “Microsoft for Mac” app this time oddly enough) and they had me open terminal and run:
$ sudo kextstat | grep -i mcafee
The output displayed four lines for McAfee and one in particular:
After downloading a file named ensmswitchmode.sh and running another command:
$ sudo bash /Users/Shared/ensmswitchmode.sh kextless
The MacBook sounds less like an airport and functions more like it should.
This morning I was curious what the fix was and I found multiple articles mentioning kernel extensions becoming unsupported in recent versions of Mac OS:
Last year, with the release of macOS Catalina, Apple introduced a new technology with the intention of replacing kernel extensions (aka “kexts”). This year, with the forthcoming release of macOS Big Sur, Apple have continued the phasing out of kexts and further developed their alternative technologies.
This basically means Mac users with issues are not going crazy (at least not about the overheating fans and spinning beach balls of death).
Here is an article if you want to nerd out a minute: https://www.sentinelone.com/blog/going-kextless-why-we-all-need-to-transition-away-from-kernel-extensions/
Good luck √ Hope this helps + Pass it on
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CR Rollyson is a Digital UX & Web manager for a S&P 500 FinTech company and is the COO of Side Role, a marketing agency partnering with In-house Teams & Agencies, Non-profits, and Start-Ups. Learn more about Side Role here.