Though macOS is quite a strong operating system, hiccups may occur while you are performing a system update. Mostly, macOS is capable of resolving these issues graciously, but there are times when the Mac locks up halfway through the process of updating. Some users complained that they cannot update their Mac to the latest macOS version. The update process never passes the screen that says “Checking for updates”. You may sometimes notice that the update screen of your device is frozen. At times, you can also view an image of a spinning wheel that indicates that the update is not retorting. Often, when you try the process of updating again, you will face the macOS update issue again.
You need not panic if your Mac encounters difficulty downloading and installing the recent release. It is worth saying that in most cases, macOS update runs quite smoothly and usually takes several minutes. This process comes as follows: Your device checks for the system updates, downloads the updates from the App servers, installs new software, and you will see that your Mac is restarting. Once it is restarted, you can enjoy new improvements in the recent macOS. Here we have tried to share tips that can help you fix the macOS update issue or your frozen Mac and get your device on track.
Some possible reasons for the macOS update issue:
There might be various possible problems that may cause the error “checking for updates…” loop. Few among those can be:-
- Unstable or slow internet connection
- Limited space on your Mac
- Unresponsive apple update servers
- An already existing issue that is interfering with the update
- Software conflict
Check your internet connection: A poor internet connection might cause this problem. When there is a problem with the connection, Mac will not be able to reach for the update. This is because the updated files have to be downloaded first. When you see any issue, try restarting your modem or router by unplugging and then re-plugging the power cord. Even after following this, if the problem does not solve, you can restart the network setting on your device. Antivirus might be an issue. If your device contains any antivirus, try disabling it temporarily and then try again. Software that might prevent updates includes cleaning type or security type third-party apps.
Check your storage: The mac updates are normally quite big, particularly for the major updates. As the updates will be first downloaded to your device, the update might fail when insufficient space is available. For this, you need to navigate to the Apple menu and then select About this Mac and then click on Storage. When you need to, you can free up the device’s storage space. If you see there is still much space available, then you need not worry about this right now.
Before performing any system-level update, you must ensure that you have backed up all your necessary data. This will ensure that you get something for restoration if you face any problems during the update. There is a probability that your data will stay intact. But make sure you are not updating your macOS when the space on your hard drive runs out. We would recommend you to keep a minimum of 30GB free.
Solutions to fix your macOS update issue
1. Disable FileVault
A security feature that helps in preventing unauthorized access to data on the startup disk of a Mac is referred to as FileVault. However, occasionally it may interfere with the macOS update. It can enter a loop whereby it may try to apply the encryption to your updated OS.
While updating macOS, it might help in disabling FileVault:
- In your menu bar on Mac, select the Apple logo
- Move to System Preferences and then select FileVault under Security and Privacy
- You will now be able to select Turn off FileVault
Disabling FileVault might help you in updating macOS without any difficulty. Now, if you wish the security advantages of full-disk encryption, you may reactivate FileVault when the update is complete.
2. Boot to Safe Mode
When macOS stands mid-update, there is a possibility that a third-party application or a corrupted component must be blocking the process of update. Safe mode is the best way of starting up your Mac with a smaller number of items necessary for it to run. When you strip macOS down into its essentials, the obstacles can be removed that are interfering in the process of updating. You must power your Mac down as normal to boot to the Safe Mode. Then you may boot your Mac when holding the Shift key. A few moments later, you will see that the macOS is booting to Safe Mode. Now, you are free to perform the update of macOS as normal. Hoping that it turns out without any hitch now.
3. Check the status page of the Apple System
If you are still struggling to download your macOS installer, there is a probability that the server of Apple can be blamed. When Apple releases any new version of the macOS, they typically get an influx of people interested in downloading the update. This may put servers of Apple under pressure.
On Apple’s official system status page, you may check the status of various services of Apple. When you struggle to update macOS, you need to scroll on to the section of macOS software update. If you see the accompanying icon is green, this indicates that there is no issue with the server of Apple, and your problem may lie somewhere else. If you see the red or yellow icon, then hurray, you have located the source of your problem. But unfortunately, you can do nothing much until the servers of Apple are back to normal.
4. Wait for a while
You must be aware of the truth that the macOS software updates take time, especially when you are using a slow internet connection. Remember that just because the progress bar of your update window has not recently moved, it does not mean that it will not move again. Some users of macOS have been reporting that their update takes more than 10 hours.
By pressing the Command + L button, you can check whether your macOS is still updating. If you see that your Mac is running correctly, an estimated installation time must appear on your screen. It may sound painful, but we would recommend you to leave your Mac to sit idle for some hours to verify if it is really frozen. You must ensure that it is connected to the power source. If you think positively, this is a great opportunity to catch up on your life away from the Mac and take a sip of your favorite beverage, run some errands, or do some other work. Hopefully, a few hours later, you will discover that your macOS is successfully updated, and your device is now ready for use.
5. Refresh the update
When you are sure that your MacOS has frozen, you might get a positive outcome if you follow a refresh. For this, you need to:
Keep holding the power button of your Mac and wait for around 30 seconds
Once the Mac OS is powered down, hold and press the power button. You will see that the update has resumed by now.
To check whether the macOS is still installing, you have to press Command + L. An estimated display time will be displayed on your Mac
If you don’t see any change now, it’s time to perform more radical measures.
6. Reset your NVRAM
The NVRAM (Non-Volatile Random-Access Memory) of your Mac is just a small amount of memory dedicated to storing the settings that macOS requires for rapidly accessing. This includes kernel panic information, screen resolution, and speaker volume. When you struggle to update your macOS, you might receive a positive outcome by streaking the information of kernel panic. You have to reset the NVRAM in the following way:
First, you need to shut your computer down. Then wait for some moment to ensure the fans and the hard disk has stopped spinning
Next, you need to find the keys Command + Option +P + R on your keyboard. You are going to use these keys in a while
Immediately you need to power your Mac up after you have heard the startup sound. Without wasting much time, hold the keys that you have located in the previous step
Next, you have to continue holding the keys until you get to hear your Mac’s startup sing for the second time
Finally, release the keys
By now, the NVRAM must have reset. We hope that you can now install the macOS update without facing any further problems.
7. Boot into Recover Mode
After going through the above steps, if your update is still not happening, this step might help you start downloading a fresh copy of your macOS. This needs you to boot into the recovery mode of the macOS.
Firstly, normally turn off your Mac
Then you need to power up your Mac, and the Command + R keys need to be pressed and held immediately. You will see that your Mac has now entered into Recovery Mode
When in Recovery Mode, you need to click the symbol of Wi-Fi situated in the upper-right corner.
You need to ensure that you are connected to a reliable, fast network
Select “Reinstall macOS” in the popup that you see appearing.
Now you can follow the instructions you will view onscreen downloading and installing a fresh and new copy of macOS.
8. Delete macOS Install Data
There might be a requirement to remove your macOS Install folder. The present folder might be causing this issue. You may delete this, restart your device, and try updating it again. Here’s how:
To open the Terminal on your Mac, go to Applications and then navigate to
Then enter the command sudo rm-rf”/macOS Install Data” and then hit the Enter key. Then, put your administrator password
Try restarting your Mac and then try again
9. Reset the preference of Software Update
Your software update preferences might be corrupted and might cause this issue. There might be a requirement to restart them. For this, the plist file has to be deleted first, and then let your device create a new one. Follow the steps to do this:
You need to first open the terminal
Enter the command sudo rm/Library/Preference/com.apple.SoftwareUpdate.plist
Then restart your device and try updating it again
10. Turn off your device and on again
This might sound cliché, but you must perform this. In most cases, this solves the problem. It may prove beneficial in your macOS update stuck issue too. When the update is jammed in the background, restarting will flush the system and might fix your issue. For this, navigate to the Apple menu and then Restart. After you have restarted the device, you have to open the System Preferences and then click on the software update.
The macOS update stuck is a vital issue and very annoying, so it needs to be fixed at the earliest. If your Mac’s model is outdated, your system may not support the latest macOS updates. Apple projects to support the versions of the Mac for three years. We hope that the above-mentioned fixes must have helped you to fix your issue. If not, try seeking help from apple customer support. But before you perform any system-level update, you must ensure that you have backed up all your necessary data. When you find that your device updates keep freezing every time and do not install properly through your Apple and Mac server, we would always recommend you to possess a bootable USB installer accessible so that you will be able to install the recent Mac version as well as its updates with the help of that.
Experiencing difficulties with your Device, check out our “How To” page on how to resolve some of these issues.