It appears macOS Big Sur 11.1 is causing random reboots for Apple Silicon MacBook Air owners.
The issue is affecting our M1 MacBook Air and happens spontaneously at times. The display will flash pink and then reboot. It’s hard to isolate what is causing the reboot but most of the time it happens when trying to connect to an external monitor or USB-C hub.
The problem also started back with macOS 11.1 beta, according to users on Reddit, and it has not gone away.
“Brand new MacBook Air here, had it since last Tuesday and immediately updated to 11.1 [beta]. Over the course of the day I’m experiencing lockups and reboots which is not exactly making me love this machine at times. I could restore back to 11.0.1 but I was wondering if anybody running 11.1 [beta] on M1 was experiencing the same reboots first,” said user ‘thereantg’.
The issue was also noted in the MacRumors forums by numerous users.
“I’ve hit this issue a few times with my M1 [MacBook Air] on the latest Big Sur where randomly the screensaver will turn on. Then, tapping the touch ID will just toggle between the screensaver and the login screen, but the touch ID will ever unlock the computer. Even if I type my password, it will just go from the login back to the screensaver. The only fix is to close the screen and reopen it and then it will work. Has anyone seen this? I haven’t run into this issue on my 2017 [MacBook Pro] with the same Big Sur version,” explained ‘bobbba’.
The problem is not isolated to the M1 MacBook Air, as others with an M1 MacBook Pro and M1 Mac mini also experienced the issue. Some users with older Macs such as a 2018 Mac mini and 2017 MacBook Pro also noted the issue affected them. But the majority of users affected by these reboots are new M1 MacBook Air owners.
Our M1 MacBook Air is the 8-core CPU/GPU with 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD. Aside from this reboot problem happening after the macOS Big Sur 11.1 update, the MacBook Air has performed pretty much flawlessly.
Are you experiencing random reboots back to the login screen with your M1 MacBook Air and macOS Big Sur 1.1? We’ll update this post if we find a fix, but for now it appears we’ll have to wait for the next macOS update.