Fix Mac Software Update Stuck Installing

The best part about owning a MacBook is the regular macOS updates that make the system more efficient. These updates improve the security patches and bring in advanced features, keeping the user in touch with newer technology. However, sometimes you may face some issues updating the latest macOS such as Mac stuck on the loading bar or Mac stuck on Apple logo. Nevertheless, this article will explain ways to fix Mac software update stuck installing issue.

Fix Mac Software Update Stuck Installing

How to Fix Mac Software Update stuck installing 

Your MacBook won’t update to the latest macOS version when the update process gets interrupted, somehow. Then, you might find your Mac stuck on loading bar or Mac stuck on Apple logo. Some possible causes for this interruption are as follows:

  • Battery issues: If your MacBook is not charged properly, the installer might not get downloaded as your laptop may switch off midway.
  • Lack of Storage: Another reason why Mac software update stuck installing is that there might be lesser space on your system than what is required for the update.
  • Internet Issues: It is always recommended to download a new update at night, when there is less traffic on the Wi-Fi network. At this time, the Apple servers are also not crowded, and you can quickly download the latest version.
  • Kernel Panic: This is a very common problem where your computer may get stuck in a loop of booting and crashing. If the laptop does not boot properly, the operating system won’t get updated successfully. It happens if your drivers are outdated and/or keep conflicting with your plug-ins, causing Mac stuck on Apple logo and Mac stuck on loading bar errors.

Now that you know about a few reasons why your Mac won’t update to the latest macOS, let us take a look at how to update macOS.

How to Update macOS?

You can check for available updates on your Mac device as follows:

1. Click on the System Preferences in the Apple menu.

2. Here, click on Software Update, as depicted.

software update. Fix Mac Software Update Stuck Installing

3. Select Update Now, as shown.

Note: If your Mac device is older than five years or more, it is probably best to leave it with the current OS and not overburden the system with a fresh update.

Update now | Fix Mac Software Update Stuck Installing

How to Check macOS Compatibility?

It is quite evident from the heading itself that the update you are trying to install should be compatible with the device model you are using for it to run properly. Here’s how you can check as well as download it from the App store:

1. Launch the App Store on your device.

2. Search for the relevant update, for example, Big Sur or Sierra.

3. Scroll down and click on Compatibility to check for it

4A. If you get this message: Works on your Mac, the said update is compatible with your Mac device. Click on Get to begin the installation.

4B. If the desired update isn’t compatible then, it is useless trying to download it as it can cause your device to crash. Or, your Mac stuck on loading bar or Mac stuck on Apple logo issue might appear.

Method 1: Try Installing After Some Time

This might sound like a vague idea, but giving some time to the system to fix its issues might solve Mac software update stuck installing issue. When you use your computer for a significant amount of time, background applications keep draining your battery and keep using network bandwidth. Once these get disabled, your macOS may update normally. Also, if there are issues from the Apple server end, it will be resolved as well. Therefore, we recommend you to wait 24 to 48 hours before attempting to install the latest macOS once again.

Method 2: Clear Storage Space

Installing new updates usually entails large storage space being taken up on your device. Thus, it is essential to ensure your system has the requisite space to download and install a new update. Here’s how to check for storage space on your Mac:

1. Click on the Apple menu on your home screen.

2. Click About This Mac, as shown.

about this mac

3. Navigate to Storage, as depicted below.

navigate to storage

4. If your Mac does not have enough storage space for an OS update, make sure to free up space by removing unwanted, unnecessary content.

Method 3: Ensure Internet Connectivity

You must have access to a strong, stable internet connection with good speed for macOS updates. Losing internet connectivity halfway through the update process could lead to Kernel panic. You can check the speed of your internet through speedtest webpage. If the test shows your internet to be slow, then restart your router to fix the issue. If the problem persists, contact your internet service provider.

Also Read: Slow Internet Connection? 10 Ways to Speed up your Internet!

Method 4: Restart your Mac

The easiest way to troubleshoot the Mac software update stuck installing issue is by restarting your device.

Note: Sometimes, updating the latest macOS requires a lot of time. So, it may seem stuck, but in reality, the computer is installing the new update. Any hindrance in the installation process may lead to the Kernel error as described earlier. Hence, it is wise to let the computer update all night before rebooting it.

Now, if you see that your updating window has been stuck i.e. Mac stuck on Apple logo or Mac stuck on loading bar, try this:

1. Press the power button and hold it for 10 seconds.

2. Then, wait for the computer to restart.

3. Begin the update once again.

Run a Power Cycle on Macbook

Method 5: Remove External Devices

Being connected to external hardware such as hard drives, USB, etc., can cause Mac software update stuck installing issue. Hence, disconnect all unrequired external hardware before attempting to update it to the latest version.

Method 6: Put Date and Time to Set Automatically

While trying to update your macOS to the latest version, you may receive an error notification stating Update not found. This can be due to incorrect date and time settings on your device. In this case, follow the given steps:

1. Click on the Apple icon at the top left corner of your screen. 

2. The Apple Menu will now appear.

3. Select System Preferences > Date and Time

date and time | Fix Mac Software Update Stuck Installing

4. Check the box titled Set date and time automatically, as highlighted below.

set date and time automatically. Fix Mac Software Update Stuck Installing

Also Read: 6 Ways to Fix MacBook Slow Startup

Method 7: Boot Mac in Safe Mode

Fortunately, Safe Mode can be attained in both Windows and macOS. This is a diagnostic mode in which all the background applications and data is blocked, and one can figure out why certain function won’t take place properly. Therefore, you can also check the status of the updates in this mode. The steps to open safe mode on a macOS are as follows:

1. If your computer is switched on, click on the Apple icon at the top left corner of the screen and select Restart. 

restart mac

2. While it restarts, press and hold the Shift key

3. Once the Apple icon appears again, release the Shift key. 

4. Now, confirm if you have logged in to Safe mode by clicking on the Apple icon.

5. Select System Report in About this Mac window.

6. Click on Software, as shown.

Click on Software and here you will see Safe under the Boot Mode

7. Here, you will see Safe under the Boot Mode.

Note: If you do not see Safe under the Boot Mode, then follow the steps from the start again.

Once your Mac is in Safe mode, you can try installing the update once again.

Method 8: Boot Mac in Recovery Mode

If none of the above-mentioned methods works for you, then try reinstalling the update in Recovery Mode. Updating your operating system in the recovery mode does two things:

  • It makes sure that none of your files gets lost during the chaotic download. 
  • It helps to rescue the installer which you are utilizing for your update.

Using the Recovery Mode is also a very good alternative since it allows connecting to the Internet. Follow the given steps to switch on your laptop in Recovery Mode:

1. Click on the Apple icon at the top left corner of your screen. 

2. Select Restart from this menu, as shown.

restart mac

3. While your MacBook restarts, press and hold the Command + R keys on the keyboard. 

4. Wait for about 20 seconds or until you see the Apple logo on your screen.

5. Type your username and password, if and when prompted.

6. Now, the macOS utilities window will appear. Here, select Reinstall macOS, as depicted.

reinstall macOS

Also Read: How to Use Utilities Folder on Mac

Method 9: Reset PRAM

Resetting the PRAM settings is a great alternative to troubleshoot any issues on the Mac operating system.

1. Switch off the MacBook. 

2. Immediately, turn the system ON.

3. Press Command + Option + P + R keys on the keyboard. 

4. Release the keys after you see the Apple icon reappear for the second time.

Note: You will see the Apple logo appear and disappear thrice during the process. After this, the MacBook should reboot normally. 

5. Open System Preferences in the Apple menu.

system preferences | Fix Mac Software Update Stuck Installing

6. Reset the settings such as Date & Time, Display resolution, etc.

You may now try updating your latest macOS once again as Mac software update stuck installing problem should be fixed, by now.

Method 10: Restore Mac to Factory Settings

Restoring a MacBook to factory or default settings automatically reinstalls Mac operating system. Therefore, it is also capable of removing any bugs or corrupt files which may have later crept into your system.

Note: However, before resetting your MacBook, make sure that you have a backup of all your data since the factory reset will delete all the data from the system.

Follow these steps to restore Mac to Factory Settings:

1. Restart your Mac in Recovery Mode as explained in Method 8.

2. Open Disk Utility from the Mac Utilities folder.

3. Select the startup disk, For example: Macintosh HD-Data.

4. Now, click Erase from the top menu bar.

Disk Utility User Guide for Mac - Apple Support

5. Choose MacOS Extended (Journaled), then click Erase.

6. Next, open the Disk Utility Menu by selecting View on the top left corner.

7. Select Quit Disk Utility.

8. Finally, click on Reinstall MacOS in the macOS Utilities folder.

Method 11: Visit Apple Store

If none of the above-mentioned methods worked for you, it is wise to contact an Apple store near you. You can also communicate your issue on the Apple website through chat. Make sure to keep your purchase receipts and warranty card handy. You can easily Check Apple Warranty Status.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q1. Why Can’t I Update My Mac?

Your Mac may not update because of the following reasons: Slow Wi-Fi connection, Low storage space on the computer, Outdated device drivers, and Battery issues.

Q2. How do I upgrade my Mac to the latest version?

To upgrade your Mac to the latest version, follow the given steps:

  • Tap on the Apple icon at the top left corner of your screen and select System Preferences
  • Select Software Update from this menu.
  • You will now be able to see if any update is available. In case it is, click on Update Now.


We hope all these methods were able to help you fix Mac software update stuck installing issue. In case you have any further queries, don’t hesitate to put them down in the comment section below, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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