How To Fix Software Update Stuck While Installing On Mac

One of the pluses of having a Mac is that you get regular macOS updates. Apart from that, the inherent applications too get regular updates. These updates are essential as they keep macOS and applications bug-free and introduce new features that enhance performance and overall experience. However, there have been instances where users received an update, but as soon as they tried to update the macOS or software, it got stuck. For example, clicking on System Preferences > Software Update got stuck at Checking for updates. A similar situation has been reported when trying to update apps on the App store.

Why Is The Software Update Stuck on Installing?

Before we look at the possible ways to resolve the issue, let’s have a look at some of the possible causes leading to the issue –

  • Unstable internet connection
  • Insufficient battery
  • Insufficient storage space on Mac
  • Outdated drivers that may cause Kernel panic
  • Mac disk issues
  • Conflicting or incompatible software

If you are in a situation where software update is stuck on Mac, here are certain things you can do –

How To Fix Mac Software Update Stuck While Installing

1. Restart Mac

Often, even the hardest of issues on Mac can be resolved with a mere restart. So, if a software update is stuck on your Mac, all you have to do is give your Mac a quick restart. For that –

  1. Click on the Apple.
  2. Click on Restart.

Under extreme cases, you can try this – press and hold down the power button until your Mac shuts off. After a moment or so, press the power button to start your Mac again.

2. Check Internet Connection

An unstable internet connection could be the culprit behind the stuck software update on your Mac. That’s because, in this case, your Mac won’t be able to establish a connection with the update servers and won’t be able to download update files as well. You can wait for your internet connection to become stable or try restarting your router.

3. Check Disk Storage

macOS updates or application updates on Mac can acquire ample storage space. This means if you have insufficient storage on Mac, you won’t be able to install the update, and subsequently, the software update will be stuck. Now, if your sole purpose is to clean your Mac, you can take the help of a third-party tool. One such tool is Disk Clean Pro which is often regarded as one of the best cleanup tools for Mac. In a nutshell, Disk Clean Pro can free up space on your hard drive, clean trash, remove unwanted system log files, clean cache files and do a lot of other stuff. Let’s look at a few ways; you can use Disk Clean Pro to free up disk storage –

  • One-Click Cleaning –


This module cleans junk, logs, crash reports, and even partial downloads with one click. 

  • Find and Remove Duplicates –


Get rid of duplicate files using the Duplicate Finder module and free up tons of space.

  • Get Rid of Old Downloads-


Remove unwanted download files that are consuming space for no reason.

4. Wait Patiently

You might be wondering what kind of troubleshooting trick is this? Here you can wait for a couple of minutes or maybe a few hours (if you have time on your hands and patience left). It could be that the update is stuck and not frozen. You can validate that your Mac is still updating by pressing command + L, which will tell you the estimated time left for installing the update.

If you have been waiting for ages for the software installation to complete and yet it is stuck, you may want to cancel it and retry installing it.

5. Reset PRAM

We have already covered an in-depth post on what PRAM is and how you can reset it. It is a great way to resolve any issues on Mac, and it can work wonders in case a software update is stuck on your Mac. Let’s quickly see how you can reset PRAM on Mac

  1. Shut down your Mac.
  2. Power on your Mac and immediately press Option + Command + P + R key combination for a time duration of 20 seconds.


3. Release the keys soon after Mac finishes rebooting.

6. Install The Software Update In Safe Mode:

If a software update is stuck on installing, you can try installing it in Safe Mode. Booting your Mac in Safe Mode works with bare essentials to keep it operational. Apart from making your Mac work with basic settings, it repairs any directory-related errors, removes cache files, and detects and authenticates the startup driver. To boot your Mac in Safe Mode –

  1. Start your Mac.
  2. Press and hold the Shift key until you see the login screen.
  3. Log in to your Mac. You might be asked to log in once again.
  4. You will now be able to see Safe Boot on the first or second login window.

Once you have booted your Mac in Safe Mode, try installing the update.

7. Remove External Devices

Frequently, external peripherals may interfere with software updates. If you have noticed issues after unplugging in an external device, you should unplug it, restart your Mac and reinstall the update.

8. Set Date and Time Automatically

An incorrect date and time can be a reason why your macOS update is stuck on installing, or you may receive an Update not found.  For this –

  1. Tap on the Apple icon that you can see at the top menu bar and then select System Preferences.
  2. Select Date & Time
  3. Tap on the lock icon that you can see at the bottom
  4. Click on the checkbox that says Set date and time automatically.

Now try installing the stuck software update again.

Wrapping Up

Hope you have been able to fix the software stuck on installing on the Mac issue. If you have, let us know which of the above methods worked for you. And, if you found the post helpful, share it with your friends, family, colleagues, and everyone you care for.

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