PSA: ScanSnap Users Should Not Upgrade to macOS Sierra [Updated with Fujitsu Statement]

| Product News

[Update September 20th, 1:35AM EDT] Fujitsu notified TMO of new information on this issue. In a blog post, the company iterated its position that ScanSnap users should not upgrade to macOS Sierra. Fujitsu said that the issues, “are related to the PDF engine embedded in macOS.” There’s no workaround yet, but the company told TMO this problem was its “highest priority.” – Editor]

Fujitsu issues a major warning about ScanSnap compatibility in macOS Sierra. The take away is that if you use ScanSnap to create PDFs, don’t upgrade to Sierra. As of this writing, Fujitsu PDFs generated by ScanSnap could become blank if opened in Sierra.

Apple will release macOS Sierra on Tuesday, September 20th [corrected].

ScanSnap Bug

Fujitsu issued a support document titled: ScanSnap Compatibility with macOS Sierra

Here’s the full text of that document (emphasis added):

Problems regarding the compatibility with macOS Sierra have been found. Please do not use ScanSnap applications on macOS Sierra. Also, before upgrading your OS to macOS Sierra, please be sure to make a backup copy of the PDF files created by using ScanSnap applications.

We will provide you the solution to these issues as soon as available.

  1. Units concerned
    All ScanSnap scanners including ScanSnap Evernote Edition

  2. Problems found by our investigation

    1. Some pages of the PDF files that have been generated with ScanSnap applications may become blank pages when they are edited or converted to searchable PDF files on macOS Sierra. Also, B&W pages are saved as color pages on the OS, and accordingly the size of the files becomes larger.
    2. Some pages of the PDF files that are created with ScanSnap applications on macOS Sierra may be saved as blank pages. Also, the size of B&W pages becomes larger than it should be because they are saved as color pages on the OS.
    3. When images are exported to an application through Quick Menu on macOS Sierra, the images may be displayed as blank pages on the preview screen of the application.
    4. Some pages may be deleted when Merge Pages of ScanSnap Organizer is carried out on macOS Sierra.
    5. When duplex scanning is carried out on macOS Sierra, data on the back side of the scanned cards are not imported to CardMinder.

Those are serious issues. If you use ScanSnap—especially if you rely on it—you should wait until Fujitsu has this problem solved.

17 Comments Add a comment

  1. John Kheit

    This is pretty horrific. What I can’t tell from their warning is, does this mean:

    A) if i SCAN a new document after upgrading to sierra there is a chance the document will be messed up.


    B) even if I do not scan any new documents, just any PDF that I created, maybe YEARS AGO that were scanned by the snapscan, if opened under Sierra, will get destroyed.

    If A) well, not so big. If B), then that is beyond horrific. I mean how do we even remember/know what we scanned years ago.

    Hopefully I’m just being extra paranoid, and it’s just A, but would love confirmation that we don’t have to worry about B.

    As always, make your backups people!

  2. Bryan Chaffin

    The text, as written by Futjitsu, says that articles generated by ScanSnap in the past could be b0rked if opened in Sierra. I’ve got a note out to Fujitsu for clarification and will update if they respond.

  3. This is catastrophic news to receive, especially ONE DAY BEFORE Sierra drops.

    This huge incompatibility/bug, as described, can delete existing PDFs or pages therein, simply by opening/editing/working with them. The way Evernote (and ScanSnap) is set up on the organizations I manage, these PDFs are shared across many offices and many people. Now I’ve got to tell every single user to avoid Sierra, for fear of losing any/all of this data? And it’s all catalogued in shared Evernote notebooks. Sure, those are synced through the cloud, and are backed up regularly. But recreating an Evernote notebook, replacing damaged PDFs files individually as we come across them, doesn’t sound like a fun job at all.

    My gut tells me that this fix will require Apple’s cooperation. Let’s hope Fujitsu forces the issue and gets it fixed… pronto. What a whopper of an incompatibility. Sheesh!

  4. So I got the notice from Fujitsu last Friday. Just who dropped the ball here. macOS Sierra was released to developers at the end of June. Now three days before macOS Sierra drops a problem is found. It appears that someone didn’t do any testing. This is a major problem for ScanSnap users.

  5. I’ve been using macOS Sierra since beta 1 and now GM1 (16A320) with my ScanSnap S1300i, and I have experienced zero problems with the Fujitsu software, scans and OCR.

    Is this only a problem for a clean install of macOS Sierra? (I have upgraded my El Capitan installation.)

  6. I’ve run a few tests- both with prior scans and new scans. While I’m sure ScanSnap’s warning is valid, I’ve experienced no issues up to this point.

    I upgraded to Sierra from El Capitan- mot sure whether that may make a difference.

  7. I updated my MBP with a clean install of the Sierra GM. I installed the most recent version of the ScanSnap software and have not seen the scanning issue. I’ve opened past scans and they opened fine with no data missing through Preview.

    Just a thought, how would it be a Fujitsu software issue if it’s a completed past Scansnap scan and is opened in Preview? Sounds to me that would be an internal Apple PDF issue since the Scansnap software hasn’t touched the file and isn’t involved in any after process.

  8. jmfrankel

    Bummer. I just acquired a S1300i last week and really like it. The ScanSnap ordinarily sits tethered to my iMac. What I plan to do is update my Macbook Air to Sierra first, as a test machine, and see if I experience any issues when scanning from the Air, or opening any PDFs created by the ScanSnap software.

  9. Bryan et al:

    This sounds like a related issue relevant to Thomson’s warning not to upgrade for users of their Endnotes product, saying that the just-discovered incompatibility was related specifically to pdf rendering. Perhaps Thomson Reuters uses the same pdf engine.

    As most of my Endnote library contains embedded pdf references, the last thing I want to do is potentially bugger my library irreparably.

    Perversely, I’m pleased to have company in the non-Sierra macOSverse.

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