Mac Update Issues: Causes and Quick Solutions

Unfortunately, despite the flawless performance and outstanding productivity of Macs, they also experience various issues during updates. Thus, Mac users often report that their update process got stuck in the middle or shut down at the very start. There are numerous reasons why your Mac can’t run the update, but one thing is for sure – you can remedy the situation with a couple of quick checks and adjustments.

Here is a quick guide to addressing the update problems for different iOS versions and user cases.

Big Sur Issues

Big Sur is the newest iOS version for Mac users. Still, together with numerous perks, such as an added security layer and lightning-fast running of Safari, they get many update problems, bugs, and performance bottlenecks.

Users trying to update their Big Sur OSs complain of the long download times and multiple lags. Other troubles include emerging issues with Wi-Fi connection, Bluetooth, and unexpected lockups and crashes of the system.

If you experience issues with installing Big Sur, try switching your Mac off and then restarting it. A check of memory space and stability of the Internet connection may help you ensure that the device has sufficient capacity to complete that update successfully. Besides, if your update takes too long, you may just need to keep patient and wait for it to end – too many users reported that the update takes much time.

Catalina Issues

Those who disliked Big Sur and hastened to downgrade back to macOS Catalina may also experience numerous update issues, as well as common problems with running their Macs. Users who recently updated their Catalina OSs reported the bugs of lost network connection and “installation could not continue” issues.

These issues mainly stem from too much load on Apple’s servers or your network’s bandwidth limitations. In the first case, our recommendation is to try again as many times as you need to get the required connection to the Apple server. Otherwise, you risk staying without an update for much longer than you expected, waiting in line until millions of Mac users get their downloads and reduce their pressure on the servers. In the second case, opting for a conservative connection via an Ethernet cable instead of a more fragile Wi-Fi connection may be a great solution to the problem.

Troubleshooting Steps

Now that you know that each OS behaves in its own way and poses unique update and installation challenges to users, it’s time to cover some quick and dirty tips for troubleshooting your Mac’s update.

#1 Check Free Memory

As a rule, we take only the memory requirements needed for one OS into account once performing a system update. But here’s the catch: to update completely and effectively, your Mac will first download and install all new program files, then proceed to the deletion of old ones. Thus, to run an update, you’ll need twice as much memory on your Mac as your OS regularly needs.

To check whether the memory volume is sufficient, you may go to the Storage section of the Apple menu, which will show how much space is available for use.

#2 Go for a Quick Restart

Some minor, random errors occur when you’re working on a Mac, so a restart can help you rectify the system’s function quickly. Make sure to perform a shutdown and a restart naturally, without emergency turnoffs, so that your Mac reviews its OS and corrects the minor flaws. Once this is done, try to re-run the update once more and see whether it works out this time.

#3 Complete Updates in the Safe Mode

If you have restarted the gadget several times but the update is still unsuccessful, it’s time to go for a safe mode. A safe mode is a feature that allows you to run only the essential software, thus blocking the problematic, ill-working programs and apps. Once this is done, you can try another update and restart your Mac in the usual mode afterward.

#4 Check Connection

At times, problems with the update are much simpler than we think of them, and your Mac’s inability to complete the update process successfully stems from the poor Wi-Fi connection. To check whether this is the reason, you may review the connection speed or switch to an old-school Ethernet cable connection to let your bandwidth increase. After that, the update that lacked Internet speed and power will complete much quicker.

#5 Check Issues on Apple’s Side

Another common problem that Mac users come across, especially during the first days of Mac update availability, is the Apple server downtime. The company’s servers experience too many inquiries for update downloads, so they cannot complete all updates equally effectively. If this is the case, the best variant is to keep patience and try again a bit later. In a week or so, the demand for Apple updates is likely to reduce, and you’ll have a great chance to update your device hassle-free.

To Update or Not to Update?

As you can see, Mac updates often turn into a burdensome activity that requires much patience and a bit of technical skill from you. However, giving up on your update is unwise as iOS tends to perform worse if it’s not updated for a long time. Thus, you need to examine the problem, find its cause, and act accordingly to get that important update for your device.

William Keener

William is a tech writer at Hacktoday. He's been writing how-to guides for about 4 years now and has covered many topics. He loves to cover topics related to Windows, Android, and the latest tricks and tips.

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