Sibelius, Finale, and Mac OS X Yosemite


yosemiteIt seems like only yesterday that Apple released OS X Mavericks, but it was, in fact, nearly a year ago. Today Apple’s Craig Federighi gave consumers a demonstration of its newest operating system, OS X Yosemite (10.10), and announced its availability today, as a free update from the Mac App Store.

If you use Sibelius or Finale, here’s what you need to know.


Sibelius users interested in upgrading to Yosemite should note the following information, which was provided to me by Avid’s Sam Butler and Joe Pearson:

  • Sibelius 7 and Sibelius 7.5 are fully supported by Avid, and qualified by the testing team.
  • Sibelius 6 is not officially supported, but should work. However, in early beta versions of Yosemite, there were serious issues, so it is not advised to upgrade to Yosemite if you intend to remain working in Sibelius 6.
  • Sibelius 5 and earlier do not work in Yosemite.

It’s also worth noting that Apple has changed their system font and other subtleties (such as radio buttons and check boxes). Sibelius respects these changes and updates the UI accordingly. However, this does mean that the font in the Ribbon and dialogs has changed from its pre-Yosemite appearance:




Thanks to A. Eric Heukeshoven for providing the screenshots!

You can find Avid’s official Yosemite compatibility page for Sibelius and other products at their knowledge base.


Yesterday MakeMusic’s Scott Yoho provided an update on Finale’s performance on Yosemite. He says “Finale 2014 runs well. We are tracking a few issues, including performance of pinch zoom gestures, but overall things look very promising.”

This official support article says that Finale 2014, PrintMusic 2014, and NotePad 2012 are all supported in Yosemite, with the following caveats:

  • Pinch to zoom can be slow (especially in Scroll View).
  • When changing between tools which cause an additional dedicated top-level menu to appear (like the Staff Tool or Expression Tool), the menu bar may not update right away. Redrawing the screen (Cmd+D) will fix this.
  • Users may encounter a warning that Java Runtime must be installed when launching notation programs for the first time. Java will be automatically downloaded to your computer and the program should open correctly afterwards.

However, earlier versions of Finale have a problem with Human Playback and new file creation causing crashes on Yosemite:

Finale 2012, 2011, PrintMusic 2011 and SongWriter 2012 can crash if Human Playback is enabled. In Finale 2012 and SongWriter 2012, this crash can occur when pressing “play” or exporting to an audio file. In Finale 2011 and PrintMusic 2011, we have also seen crashes occur after creating a new file with the Setup Wizard.

Changing HP to “none” can prevent the crash in Finale 2012 and SongWriter 2012, and in Finale 2012 the “Apply Human Playback” plugin can be used as an alternative to HP.

This crash is NOT present in Finale 2014, PrintMusic 2014, or NotePad 2012.

Users working with Finale 2011 and 2012 are advised to not upgrade to Yosemite until more information is available, or at the very least, turn off Human Playback. To turn off Human Playback, go to Window > Playback Controls. Under Human Playback Style, choose None. Here is the official support article for this issue.

Using Yosemite? Let us know about your experience working with Sibelius or Finale.

Updated October 17 and October 18 with additional information about Finale, and with links to the Finale support articles.


  1. Jorge Silvestrini

    I’ll be updating hopefully this weekend and will test with Finale 2014 to see if there’s something good/bad/great/horrible…

  2. Stephen Taylor

    Thanks! Is “Sibelius users interested in upgrading to Mavericks” above a typo? They mean “Yosemite,” right?

    1. Philip Rothman

      Stephen: Yes – fixed. Thanks!

  3. Bob


    Per your post, Sam Butler and Joe Pearson say Sibelius 7.5 is ‘supported’ and ‘qualified’ with Yosemite, but Avid’s web site says:

    ‘Yosemite is not supported at this time. Please do not install OS X 10.10, if you’re using Sibelius.’

    So…which is it?!

    1. Philip Rothman

      Bob: I would go with Sam & Joe’s information, which is more current than what is on the Avid page at the moment.

      1. Bob

        Thanks, Philip.

        Have you tried Yosemite yet?

  4. Gordon

    Just installed Yosemite and checked out many apps for compatibility. So far, only my Sibelius 7.0 is not working at the moment.

  5. Thijs

    Have been working with Sibelius 7.5 since Yosemite beta 1, and only had an issue with the Finder window showing up very slowly the first time I want to save something.

    Other from that, there are no problems (as far as I know)

  6. Sam Butler

    We’ve updated the KB article and Sibelius 7.5 is running well on Yosemite here.

    @Gordon: You are advised to upgrade to Sibelius 7.1.3 for free, here:

    The support team can help you get up and running soon:


  7. Al Damlund

    I just updated to Yosemite and now Sibilius can´t find my Edirol PC-50, I had no problems before I updated, can anyone help? I´m working with Sibelius 7.1.3.

  8. Stephen Taylor

    I just updated to Yosemite and 7.5 is working great. Thanks for the tips!

  9. Usi

    Hello, anybody has tried to run Sibelius 6 or Finale 2010 with Yosemite? I would like to upgrade the SO, but I´m afraid that they don´t work.

    Thank you very much in advance and best regards.

  10. Al Damlund

    I downloaded the 10.9. driver from Roland, and now everything works :-)

  11. Brock

    I disabled human playback and Finale (2011) I still get a “Unhanded exception caught” message and then it crashes. I’m pretty disappointed right now.

  12. pandelis k

    Sibelius 6 seemed to be working fine with Yosemite but I couldn’t use it because my M-Audio’s Midiman Midsport 2×2 was not recognized at all, apparently new drivers need to be made available. Anyone else with a similar problem?

  13. Matt W

    Finale 2012 on Yosemite here…printing causes a crash, every time. Worked around by exporting as a graphic. But super annoying.

    Playing back is also causing crashing.

  14. Crystal T.

    I updated to Yosemite and PrintMusic 2011 crashes at playback and export to audio. If you turn off the human playback it will allow the functions to happen without crashing. Creating new documents causes crashing.

  15. Björn Malmehed

    I use Sibelius 7.1 under Yosemite. I have found a problem when I try to export audio from a score. Before Yosemite, the export was silent, now Sibelius plays the score out loud. The export results are useless, being just a few kilobytes in size.
    Is this problem undocumented?

    1. Philip Rothman

      Björn: I’m not running Yosemite yet, so I can’t test this myself. Can you post to the Sibelius chat page and see if others have this problem?

      1. Björn Malmehed

        Thanks! I’ll try that.

  16. Matthew Voogt

    We were able to successfully open Sibelius 6 if you did a migration to Yosemite from an earlier OSX version. However, if you do a clean install (or buy a new computer) we cannot register Sibelius 6. I have called support and they are unable to help. Any ideas?

    1. Philip Rothman

      Matthew: Did you try registering via your web browser instead, as described here:

  17. Matthew Voogt

    Philip: If you do a fresh install of Yosemite and install Sibelius 6.2.0 (Build 88) the application will not open at all. This is not true of computers that migrated to Yosemite.

    I have screen shared with two people at Avid and neither one could figure out a way to successfully get Sibelius 6 to register on a fresh install of Yosemite.

    The one thing we did try is copying the folder “Macintosh HD > Library > Application Support > Sibelius Software > Sibelius 6” from my Mavericks machine (where Sib 6 works fine)… and moved it to the Yosemite machine. THEN Sibelius will open (however unregistered). Then when you go to register Sib 6, it has the computer number of my Mavericks machine and of course cannot go further. Sibelius is never able to register (or save files, etc).

    This explains why Sibelius 6 works in a migration to Yosemite… because the computer number never changes in that situation.

    1. Philip Rothman

      Matthew: Thanks for letting us know about this unfortunate outcome. Avid does say that Sibelius 6 is officially unsupported on Yosemite. I wonder what changed between Mavericks and Yosemite that causes this to happen, as I did a fresh install of Sibelius 6 on a new Mac Pro running Mavericks earlier this year.

  18. Matthew Voogt

    Philip: Not sure. I did a fresh install of Mavericks as well and no problems (even though Avid said Sib 6 was not supported on Mavericks). The program DOES work on Yosemite…. the problem is in the two seconds it takes to register the application.

    1. Philip Rothman

      Did you unregister Sibelius 6 on your old computer before you tried registering it on the new one?

  19. Matthew Voogt

    That issue is unrelated to this (plus Avid allows Sib to run on up to 2 machines at once). Either way the support from Avid did not mention that as the issue.

  20. Matthew Voogt

    Just a follow up. So after more trial and calls to Avid I was able to get Sibelius 6 installed on Yosemite. There must be some issues running Sibelius 6 on virtual machines however I was able to install it on both of my MacBook Pros.

    Make sure that you DO NOT copy over the Library ▸ Application Support ▸ Sibelius Software folder from your Macintosh HD root folder (this contains your old machine’s “computer number” and will cause Sibelius 6 to not be able to register). You CAN copy over the Library ▸ Application Support ▸ Sibelius Software folder from your user home folder that contains all of the House Styles, plugins, etc.

    1. Philip Rothman

      Matthew: Thanks for this good report.

  21. Jeff DeMello

    I just tried to install Sibelius 7.5.1 on a clean install 10.10 on my MacBook Pro. I downloaded from Avid, mounted the .dmg and ran the installer for 7.5.1, which ran fine.

    I double clicked on the Sibelius icon in my Applications folder and it came up with the expected “Try” window, where I clicked “Activate”. I got the expected OS X request for my password, which I entered. Then … NOTHING. Sibelius went bye-bye.

    I’ve been able to duplicate this behavior on my MacBook Pro, and also on my (latest) iMac.


    1. Adrian

      Hi Jeff,
      Did you get a solution for your problem? I experience the same right now.

  22. Walter van Hauwe

    Can somebody tell me what the best way is to upgrade from Sibelius v7.3.1 Education to v7.5.1 Education? I cannot find this info on the sites of Avid, Sibelius, etc. Thanks for a short reply.
    Walter van Hauwe
    The Netherlands

  23. Mark

    I get all my educational music software from Mike Klinger at MIDI Synthesis workshop. He specializes in the Education Market and knows what’s what.

    1. walter van hauwe

      Dear Mark, Thank you very much for your suggestion. I already bought my update there.
      Great site!

  24. Reg Wood

    How do I install Sibelius 7 on my new iMac from my Microsoft windows version on my older PC. I have disks.

  25. Robert Harvey

    I upgraded my mac book pro to Yosemite and found my Finale 2012 did not work. Crashes on playback.
    I then read the threads and downloaded a Sibelius free trial.
    First clearing Finale off the mac.
    I worked through some of the learning projects and realised that the mac was not picking up the commands with the learning window open.
    When I opened my Mc Keeper to see what was wrong I had graduated from a clean computer to off the scale dirty and 594 problems.

    I cleaned it off and opened Sibelius again, and worked on it for a while.
    Opened Mac Keeper and found another load of rubbish on it.

    My mac does not have a numeric key board which is part of the problem.
    Howevr apart from all of thisI need to Know which, Finale or Sibelius, works with Apple Yosemite.

    A simple non tech answer would be appreciated.


    1. Jorge Silvestrini

      Hi Robert,

      I’ve been using Finale 2014 on my MBP and my Mac at home, both with Yosemite and no problems so far…

  26. F moore

    I have recently switched to mac, and cant seem to activate sibelius 7.5. I have installed it and run it via my admin account, and it works up until the point I authorise it to make changes, at which point it crashes before I can enter the activation id. Does anybody have the same or similar problems?

  27. Heather

    This is so helpful!
    Thanks for taking the time and effort to post this information.
    Best wishes,

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