Yosemite Fixes For Distorted Video in Adobe, Safari Performance Issues and More

[singlepic id=449 w= h= float=none]The have been a rash of problems with Apple’s new Yosemite upgrade. These will eventually get ironed out with software updates or with recommended workarounds. We will be going over the most common problems that some Mac users who have recently upgraded to Yosemite are experiencing. Additionally we will go over some fixes to these Mac OS problems.



Yosemite Software Update



Graphical Issues in Yosemite


Mac Graphics Autoswitch


Some Mac owners who have upgraded to OS X Yosemite have noticed problems with their computers now showing regular graphical anomalies when using their systems. When the problems occur, users will see abnormal flashes when the Mac switches from using the onboard graphics processors to the dedicated ones in order to accommodate the graphics demands. Additionally, these video distortions cause the windows on your Mac to look jumbled, or have enlarged buttons and cause field to overlap and going outside of the window boundaries.

When this happens you can refresh the window by quitting and re-launching the application, or just closing and re-opening the window; however, to prevent this from happening again you can change a few settings as a workaround:

Disable Transparency Effects OS X Yosemite

  1. Reduce transparencies by going to System Preferences then the display section under the Accessibility option, and here you can choose the option to “Reduce transparency”.


  1. Disable the GPU switching setting in the Energy Saver section of System Preferences by unchecking the option for automatic graphics switching.


These problems may be related to the OS X Window Server process. As the name implies, Window Server is a background OS X process responsible for drawing and handling window elements on screen. Considering this, one can expect to use more CPU power when performing tasks like creating, resizing, moving windows, or manipulating contents within them. Some of these “manipulations” include: playing videos, scrolling contents, or drawing items in various graphics programs. Any of these actions utilizing Window Server are expected to increase CPU usage and may cause or exacerbate the graphical issues for your system.



WindowServer in Yosemite



Investigations and testing also found that this Window Server process was affected by the new transparency settings in Yosemite. Also potentially associated with these graphical issues is the GPU switching option for Mac systems with dual graphics processors. Apple should resolve these issues in Yosemite via software updates that patch the Window Server and other related processes.



Photoshop and Premier Pro Graphical Problems



Premier Pro and Yosemite Video Problems




Many Mac users that also use Adobe Photoshop or Premier Pro have reported graphical glitches and issues after upgrading to Yosemite. These issues mainly pertain to the system identifying the wrong graphics card leading to weird colors and shapes appearing on screen.

A Creative COW forum posting from Douglas Morse offers a few different options that may be a solution to the Mac users experiencing these video distortions in Adobe Photoshop or Premier Pro.



OS X Yosemite CUDA Update





  Douglas Morse on Nov 17, 2014 at 3:24:49 pm

1.    Options to Try:

Upgrade CUDA drivers:



2.    Make sure to have the latest NVIDIA driver installed. The following thread from Mac Rumors has the latest information and instructions on the best way to install this driver.




Someone will usually share a link on this thread to the modified file that skips the system compatibility check allowing you to use the driver. If this information is not provided you will need to do modify the file manually.   Here are the steps:


1.     Download the driver:



2.    Copy this package to the desktop.


3.    Expand the .pkg from the Terminal using the following command:

pkgutil –expand ~/Desktop/WebDriver-WebDriver-343.01.01f01 ~/Desktop/WebDriver


4.    Copy and paste this code on a Text Edit document then you will be able to edit the ~/Desktop/WebDriver/Distribution file.


5.    Find the line containing the code:
var found_hardware = 0

And change it to:

var found_hardware = 1


6.    Next, delete the previous .pkg and run this modified command:

Here is how you will be able to run this .pkg from Terminal:
pkgutil –flatten ~/Desktop/WebDriver ~/Desktop/WebDriver-343.01.01f01.pkg

*** If the web driver updates to a more current version, you will need to reference the appropriate new information. ***


7.    Now you should be able to double click on this file, however you may not be able to install it without one more step.


8.    Open System Preferences, next the Security option, and in the window that pops up there will be a box that says ‘install anyway’, check this option.

You can try installing a free application such as GFX Card Status to keep your Mac from switching graphics cards.


You can also do this from the system control panel:

In Yosemite, go to System Preferences next go to Energy Saver, then at the top of the pop up window there will be a check box with the option:

“Automatic graphics switching”
When this option is disabled, it will prevent your Mac from switching between the GPUs and always use high-performance graphics. This will also unfortunately decrease the battery life your laptop.

***If your Mac only has options for “Improved battery life” or “Graphic performance” then there could be two things going on:

(1) You might not be using Yosemite, but a previous version of the OS

(2) Your Mac may not have a separate graphics card. ***



Safari Problems in Yosemite


Mac users on Yosemite are experiencing various bugs with Safari, ranging from sluggish performance to the app refusing to load up at all. Also, specifically in Netflix, some users get a HDCP compliant error message when attempting to stream videos from this website.




Netflix Safari HTML5 Video



Some possible solutions to this problem include switching to Silverlight rather than using HTML5 or you can try unplugging any external displays. A simple fix is to switch browsers until either Apple or Netflix release updates to fix the bug.



Settings in Safari For Yosemite



In regards to the overall slow performance in Safari, you can try deleting the cookies, cache and extension data that Safari has accumulated during its searches.


Some users experiencing performance issues have had some success with fixing this by turning off various Safari features:

  • JavaScript (SafariAdvanced in Settings)
  • iCloud (iCloudSafari in Settings)

If you choose this option make sure to delete all the locally stored data. The purpose of this step is to erase any corrupted or problematic files that might be causing any problems (and you can always re-sync Safari with iCloud again in the future).

There is again the easy option of installing and using a different browser app as an alternative to Safari. This may not be an ideal situation for you, but this at least provides a temporary fix until Apple resolves this problem.

Handoff Problems


Handoff Feature in Yosemite


Handoff is a feature in OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 that uses iCloud to match your mobile device to your Mac and also the other way around. Some accounts require a little extra work to get it all synced up correctly. Here are some steps to follow to make sure the syncing between devices via iCloud is seamless:


  1. Make sure your computer and mobile deviceare compatible with the Handoff feature.
  2. Turn off Bluetooth on all of your devices.
  3. Sign out of iCloud on all of your devices and then sign back in.

If the SMS functionality does not work, you can try disabling then re-enabling the text forwarding feature. Resetting different features such as Bluetooth and iCloud means the connection between the mobile device and computer will be freshly established from scratch making sure any strange corruption is not attached to these functions.

The above issues along with those described in a previous blog post make up the bulk of the common problems that Mac users have experienced after upgrading to Yosemite as well as the associated fixes. You can see the post here:




Fast Happy Mac in Yosemite