The Apple News app seems to have a flaw in macOS Big Sur that’s causing very large background downloads for some users. While Apple hasn’t issued a patch to the app itself, there is another way to fix the Apple News download bug that’s causing background downloads of up to 60GB+ a day.
The Apple News download bug was raised on the Apple support forums at the end of December by user paulfromminnetonka (h/t Nate). Paul noticed that on macOS Big Sur, an Apple News app process called newsd was downloading huge amounts of data in the background.
I was notified by my ISP that I was close to using my monthly allocated download limits in just the first few days of the month. Looking at my router’s activity monitor I noticed that both my 2017 5K iMac and 2020 MacBook Air (M1) had significant amounts of unexplained network activity.
So I installed Little Snitch on both machines to monitor traffic and in just a couple days the newsd process on the iMac downloaded 375GB and the Mini downloaded 130GB.
And specifically the downloaded traffic occurred with hostnames apple.news and c.apple.news. Both have valid signed certificates by Apple according to Little Snitch.
Several dozen other users have chimed in that they’re seeing the problem too with another person noting they’re seeing around 60GB of downloads daily from the same Apple News process.
Notably, even for users who have cable or fiber internet, ISPs often cap data and usage this big is pushing people over their limits and causing overage fees.
Another important point is that this bug could be affecting a lot more people than it appears since there’s nothing that would tip you off to go looking for it unless you’ve hit your data cap or regularly monitor your download/upload activity. If you’re not sure if you’re Mac is affected, you can keep an eye on Activity Monitor or use a third-party app like Little Snitch to find out.
How to fix Apple News download bug in macOS Big Sur
While it doesn’t appear that Apple has released an update to solve this problem at this point, several Apple Support reps found a way to fix the issue in the short term.
- On you Mac, open System Preferences
- Click Apple ID in the top right corner
- Choose iCloud in the left sidebar
- Scroll down and uncheck News to turn off iCloud syncing
- You can choose to keep iCloud News data on your Mac or delete it during the process
- If you do delete it, iCloud News data will stay on your iPhone, iPad, other devices
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