Every time Apple rolls out a new macOS update, no matter whether a minor version update or a major OS upgrade, some people would like to test it out fast. However, downloading and updating macOS is not always successful. Your Mac could be stuck on downloading the installer or on installing the new update. This article will troubleshoot the error and help you finish the macOS update successfully without any data loss.
The methods mentioned below apply to all macOS update stuck scenarios, but we will focus on a Mac that has a problem updating macOS Monterey. macOS Monterey is not officially released to the public yet, and macOS Monterey in this article represents macOS Montery Developer beta.
macOS Monterey update stuck while downloading
Before you can install and use the newer operating system, you must download an installation file in Software Update tool. If the loading bar seems to stop for a long while, you can try the following methods to fix the frozen downloading process.
Wait it out
The downloading of a operating system is not as fast as we usually expected to download a file from a web page. It can be extremely slow if Internet speed is slow or the installer file is large, especially you update to macOS Monterey from macOS 10.14 or below. Since you have started, we recommend you wait it out for at least one more hour. You probably will luck out to have a successful downloading.
Check system status
However, if you have waited for hours and still are experiencing an unfinished system software downloading, it's highly possible that Apple's services could be to blame. An influx of people would rush to download the update as soon as Apple releases the new macOS, especially the first day or first week. This can put Apple's services under pressure.
You can check the status of Apple's services by heading over to Apple's System Status page. Find the "macOS Software Update" in the list. If the accompanying icon is yellow or red, this indicates that Apple's services are too busy to support a complete update on your Mac now.
It is advisable that you quit the update and wait until next day when macOS update is available again.
Check your Internet
As aforementioned, poor Internet performance can lead to an extremely slow installer downloading. After you confirm everything is alright with Apple's support on macOS update, you can get your hands down to check if it is the slow Internet access stops the installer from downloading. You can check by saving a picture from a browser like Safari.
To speed up the Internet speed, you can:
- Reboot your router.
- Bring your Mac close to the router.
- Disconnect and reconnect to Wi-Fi.
- Use a different Wi-Fi connection.
Check disk space
A minor software update on Mac requires free space from several megabytes to several gigabytes while a major OS upgrade usually requires at least 12 gigabytes free capacity to download the updated macOS. The insufficient free space on Macintosh HD will cause the failure in an updating process.
You need to cancel the update and delete some less-important files on your startup disk to free up more space.
macOS Monterey update stuck while installing
If the installer has been successfully downloaded, but Mac won't install it and is stuck on the loading login screen or won't boot past Apple logo after your click "Upgrade Now". We conclude 6 ways below to help you finish the macOS Monterey installation.
Restart you Mac
Still, you should give the rebooting more time because it takes a while until the new macOS Monterey completely replaces the old one. If the progress bar is frozen for hours while rebooting, you can restart your Mac manually to cancel the installation. Then you can perform the update through Software Update again. The macOS update will usually resume from where you left off. If not, it will start from scratch.
FileVault is a security feature designed to prevent unauthorized access to the data on Mac’s startup disk. However, it can occasionally interfere with your macOS update, as it may apply encryption to your updated OS. You'd better disable FileVault before update macOS.
Step 1: Click the Apple logo > System Preference > Security & Privacy > FileVault
Step 2: Click the lock button at the lower-left corner, then enter an administrator name and password.
Step 3: Click Turn Off FileVault
After the FileVault is turned off, you can try to update your Mac again using the downloaded macOS Monterey installer.
Start your Mac in Safe Mode
If all the methods mentioned above can't help you finish the installation of a new macOS, you need to try some drastic methods. The first practice is to start up your Mac in Safe Mode. In Safe Mode, your Mac runs only the essentials to keep itself operational without loading third-party applications that could include malware causing an unsuccessful macOS update.
Start up an Intel-based Mac in safe mode
Step 1: Shut down your Mac by clicking the Apple logo > Shut Down.
Step 2: Wait for about 10 seconds.
Step 3: Restart your Mac and immediately press and hold Shift key.
Step 4: You can release the Shift key when you see login window.
Start up a Mac with Apple silicon in safe mode
Step 1: Shutdown your Mac by clicking the Apple logo > Shut Down.
Step 2: Wait for about 10 seconds.
Step 3: Press and hold the power button until you see the startup options window.
Step 4: Select a startup disk (Macintosh HD).
Step 5: Press and hold the Shift key. Click Continue in Safe Mode. Then release Shift key.
You can see the red "Safe Boot" on the top-right corner of the screen. Now you can perform the macOS update as normal in Safe Mode.
NVRAM (nonvolatile random-access memory) stores certain temporary settings like display resolution, startup disk selection, and recent kernel panic information. Resetting it will clear up all misconfigurations that could stop new macOS Monterey update from installing.
Step 1: Shut down your Mac and wait for 10 seconds to let the Mac completely turn off.
Step 2: Restart your Mac and immediately press and hold Command + Option + P + R keys.
Step 3: Keep holding these keys for about 20 seconds. You can release the keys when your Mac appears in one of the following situations:
- On Mac that plays startup sound, you can release the key combination after you hear the second startup sound.
- On Mac with T2 chip, you can release the key combination after the Apple logo appears and disappears for the second time.
Boot your Mac to the desktop and update the Mac again.
Mac fails to complete the operating system update is annoying especially when you need to explore the new features or upgrade the macOS to be compatible with updated apps. Sometimes, a macOS update might mess up your current operating system and leave you an unbootable Mac. In this case, you will need to run iBoysoft Mac data recovery software in macOS Recovery to restore your Mac files. Besides, it is also recommended that you do a Time Machine backup before you upgrade to macOS Monterey.
We hope this article can help you install macOS Monterey on your Mac. Enjoy your new system!