Why won't my Mac update? (2023)

Installing the latest macOS update is usually a straightforward and hassle-free task, but if you found yourself here, you must be one of the many people wondering, "Why isn't my Mac updated?"

Since the launch of macOS Ventura in October 2022, many users have reported download and installation issues. So rest assured that you are not alone and the good news is that we have plenty of troubleshooting tips. .

Why can't you update your Mac?

Are you bothered by the following alerts?

  • There was an error installing the selected updates.

  • macOS installation could not be completed.

Or are you experiencing freezes, crashes, or crashes while downloading? No worries; We have the reasons and tricks to help you update your Mac smoothly.

Here are some common reasons why a Mac won't update:

  • Your Mac is not supported.With each major release of macOS, Apple also provides a list of compatible Mac computers. The problem is that if your Mac model isn't on the official list, you can't update your Mac. Even if it's present, problems can still arise when trying to install the macOS Software Update on older Macs.

  • You don't have enough disk space.Typically, Mac users think they need as much disk space as the installation package is big. This is a common mistake. So if you don't have enough disk space, your Mac won't install software updates.

  • Bad WiFi connection.To update your Mac, you need a stable internet connection. Without it, you cannot download the software update from the Mac App Store. Also, your device cannot connect to the update servers and install the macOS update.

  • Problems with Apple servers.Like any other company, Apple can experience problems with its servers. The good news is that this problem is temporary, although it does prevent Mac users from downloading and installing macOS updates whenever they want.

Luckily, we have all the troubleshooting tips you need when you encounter crashes, crashes, or freezes while downloading and updating macOS software.

So let's get started: What is the first step?

Advice:Before installing major updates, it's a good idea to back up your Mac, just in case. To do this, you have three options: an external hard drive with Time Machine and Disk Utility, iCloud, and third-party apps. Read more about these optionsHere.

Here's how to fix the problem when your Mac won't update

1. Are you Mac compatible?

If you're trying to install macOS Ventura as a starting point, you should verify that your Mac is actually compatible.

Here is a useful list ofthrowshowing which devices are supported.

(Video) What To Do If Your Mac Is Failing to Update

Alternatively, if you want to install a different version of macOS, use the Search tab on Apple's website to find the list of supported devices.

2. Make sure you have enough space

The most common reason why your Mac won't update is lack of disk space. For example, if you're upgrading from macOS Monterey to macOS Ventura, that upgrade will require 25GB, but if you're upgrading from a much older version, you'll need even more available disk space to ensure a successful software upgrade.

To check available disk space:

  1. Choose Apple menu > About This Mac > More Info > Storage Preferences.

  2. Once the bar loads, you'll get a quick overview of your available storage space.

If you already have macOS Ventura installed and are trying to install a minor software update, follow these steps to check your available storage space: Apple menu > About This Mac > More Info > Storage tab.

Why won't my Mac update? (1)

The problem is that sometimes your Mac will say no, even if you think you have the required amount of storage space. So what can you do? The easiest way is to free up more disk space.

You can spend hours messing around with your Mac, digging up old folders and removing apps, or you can use a handy tool likeClean my Mac X.

They have a special module for large and old files that allows you to quickly find old files that you haven't opened in months and quickly choose what to delete. Bonus points, CleanMyMac X is Apple certified.

Here's an easy way to free up disk space:

Why won't my Mac update? (2)

  1. Abra CleanMyMac X:Download the free version here.

  2. On the left sidebar, click Large and old files > Scan.

  3. Scroll through the lists, select the items you want to remove, and click Remove.

Congratulations! You've just saved a ton of time, not to mention space.

(Video) How To Update Mac OS Software When No Updates Showing - Apple Mac Support (100th Sub Special)

3. What to do if the download takes too long

If you try to download a new version of the operating system on launch day, you may experience a long wait as Apple's servers are overloaded. It's a good idea to check this outApple-SystemstatusKnown Issues Page.

Why won't my Mac update? (3)

If there are no known issues, verify that your internet connection is stable and consider using an Ethernet cable.

If your internet is working properly, try optimizing your content cache to reduce bandwidth usage and speed up installations. To do this on macOS Monterey and all earlier versions of macOS:

  1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences > Sharing. Or you can go directly to System Preferences > Sharing.

  2. Select Content Cache and from the drop-down menu select All Content.

  3. Restart your Mac and try again.

On macOS Ventura, navigate to System Preferences > General > Sharing and follow the steps above.

Why won't my Mac update? (4)

Still no luck? Continue reading.

4. Try installing your update in safe mode

Occasionally, corrupt login items, startup agents, or extensions that load when your Mac starts up can cause problems when you try to install macOS updates. Luckily, you can boot into Safe Mode and test your update from there. The process depends on the Mac model you are using.

To boot into Safe Mode for Intel Mac:

  • Shut down your Mac and wait 10 seconds before turning it back on.
  • After the Mac starts up, press the Shift key.
  • Release the Shift key when you see the Apple logo.

For a Mac with Apple Silicone, you can boot into Safe Mode as follows:

  • Shut down your Mac and wait 10 seconds.
  • Press and hold the power button until the boot options window appears.
  • Choose a startup disk.
  • Hold down the Shift key and click Continue in Safe Mode.
  • Release the Shift key.

Try your update again. If that doesn't help and you still can't update your macOS, read on.

5. Try resetting your NVRAM

If safe mode doesn't help, clearing your NVRAM could be the answer. NVRAM stands for Non-Volatile Random Access Memory and stores certain preferences and settings while your Mac is off. Some example settings include boot drive selection, screen resolution, and kernel panic information.

Occasionally, a registry error can cause problems. Luckily, wiping your NVRAM is pretty easy.

(Video) How to Upgrade an Old MacBook to latest version supported (FIXED 2022)

Here's how it works on an Intel Mac:

  1. Restart your Mac and hold Cmd + Option + P + R.

  2. Try the update again after restarting the Mac.

On a Mac with Apple silicon, no action is required on your part. The Mac computer will restart automatically when memory problem occurs.

If your problem isn't that the download is taking too long, but that your Mac is stuck updating, continue to the next step.

What to do if your update is still stuck

If your download starts but freezes or crashes after a while, there could be several reasons. Let's go through these tips to try and start the download.

6. Disconnect from your WiFi network

Turn Wi-Fi on and off. Once connected, check again for a macOS update and press the update button.

Sometimes a quick connection update can help. If not, continue to the next step.

7. Restart your Mac

Please restart your Mac and try again; sometimes that's all it takes.

Still no luck? Go to the next step.

8. Try a blended upgrade

A mixed update contains everything you need to keep your Mac up-to-date with the latest version of macOS and, in some cases, can fix failed updates.

Why won't my Mac update? (5)

OrApple-Support-WebsiteTo access the Combo Updater, locate the update you are looking for and click Download.

If that doesn't work, read on.

9. Reboot into recovery mode and reinstall macOS

To start your Intel Mac in recovery mode, hold down Command + R during startup until you see the Apple logo.

(Video) How to Upgrade Old MacBook to Latest MacOS Version: Mavericks to Big Sur

For a Mac with Apple silicon, do the following:

  • Hold down the power button while turning on your Mac.
  • Hold it down until you see Boot Options.
  • Click the gear icon (options) and press Next.
  • You may be prompted to select a user and enter their admin password. Follow the on-screen instructions and press Next after each action.

Now select Reinstall macOS and follow the on-screen instructions.

When the reinstallation is complete, your Mac will have replaced all the system files and replaced the problematic ones that might have caused the software update issues.

What to do if you keep getting error messages during installation?

If you're able to download your update but still get an error message during installation, you're not alone.

From "An error occurred during installation" message to "Not enough disk space," these alerts are enough to drive anyone crazy. So what can we do?

10. Clean your system of junk

As I mentioned earlier in this article, available disk space and free disk space are important factors when your Mac is not updated. Now it's time to clean up your system junk, cache, temporary and corrupt files to give your Mac an extra hand.

You can spend hours clearing browser cache, shrinking login items and removing apps, or you can use the app mentioned above.Clean my Mac Xto do all the hard work for you. That's how it goes:

Why won't my Mac update? (6)

  1. Start the app.

  2. Select System Junk in the left sidebar and click Scan.

  3. Wait for the scan to finish and click Clean.

Start installing macOS again.

If cleaning up all system junk doesn't work, continue to the next step.

11. Perform a clean install

If you're still plagued by disk space error messages no matter how much disk space you reclaim, it's time to consider a fresh install.

A clean install basically removes your current Mac OS, Mac apps, and user files during the installation process, making your OS run faster and eliminating issues.

(Video) Upgrade older Mac to the newest OS (2011 and later)

If you're trying to update to macOS Ventura, I recommend this comprehensive guide:The detailed guide to clean install macOS Ventura.

There's nothing more frustrating when your Mac won't update. Hopefully one of these tips was the magic ticket you needed to fix the problem.


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