MacBook Software Update Stuck? Do These

This article will teach you what to do if your MacBook software update got stuck while installing or checking for updates.

Apple is keener on providing security for its users and thus if your using the iMac, iPhone, or any apple related products then be expected to perform regular software updates as they’re been rolled out.

These updates are often large and come in batches and unlike android devices, you’ll have to download each and every package update until you get to the latest one.

However, there are times when checking for updates will get stuck at a spot without making significant progress for hours, or even if the update was found; there’ll be a delay in installing the discovered update.

You’ve to also bear in mind that macOS software updates are exceedingly large making them require more space, data, and patience. The delay could also be a result of the bug registered on the current outdated software.

In this article, we’re going to discuss possible reasons why your MacBook software update will get stuck and how to fix it.

MacBook Software Update Stuck – Reasons

As the popular saying, “there’s no smoke without a fire”; so is the case when your MacBook software update got stuck on a page.

Here are possible reasons why your software update got stuck.

  • No/Poor Internet Connection
  • Low storage space
  • Problem with Apple Server
  • OS related glitches
  • Glitches in the SMC or NVRAM
  • Method of Installation

Listed above are the known causes for a stuck MacBook software update, let’s get started fixing them.

How to Fix a Stuck MacBook Software Update

Most of the fixes to a stuck MacBook OS update revolve around storage, internet, server, and glitches related to the old OS.

Here are some fixes you can lay your hand at to unfreeze your MacBook software update.

1. Check your Internet Connection

Since checking or downloading software updates depends solely on the internet connection, do well to check if you’re still connected to a strong internet connection.

If you’re connected to a VPN, check if the VPN hasn’t blocked your internet access, or you can turn off the VPN and connect to a stronger wifi connection.

Wait some time if the stuck software update continues or head to system preferences > software to check for updates and start the installation afresh.

2. Check if the Apple Server is Available

The problem might not be from you but from apple servers which are responsible for creating a connection between you and the update.

You can go to to check if there’s a current outage on Apple's server. The best option at this time is to wait for it to be resolved.

3. Check your MacBook storage

The MacBook software update requires the storage of between 26GB to 44GB to be successfully installed into an iMac.

If you’ve filled your Mac PC with large files that there isn’t enough space to accommodate the incoming software update then you’ll run into issues.

You can check the space remaining in your storage by clicking on “About this Mac” and selecting “Storage”, it’ll display the total used and available storage.

You can then compare and contrast if the update requirement is met from the data.

Consider deleting unwanted files, uninstalling apps, or moving temporarily unwanted files to your hard drive.

4. Restart your MacBook

A restart action clears a lot of cleared cache and glitches that might have caused the software update to get stuck.

After the restart is completed, try checking, downloading, and installing the software update once again.

5. Update macOS in Safe Mode

If the software update still gets stuck after initiating a restart action, then it’s time to try installing in Safe mode.

Safe mode helps restricts the booting of unwanted apps and programs and you can also install new software from this point.

Follow the below steps to initiate a software update in Safe mode.

  1. Power off your MacBook and wait for some time
  2. Turn it back on and hold the Shift button at the same time
  3. Release the Shift button when you see the login window

While in some MacBooks, use this procedure;

  1. Power off your MacBook and wait for some time
  2. Press and hold the power button until the options icon appear on the screen
  3. Select a start-up disk
  4. Press and hold the Shift button until you get into Safe mode.

You can now check and install the software update while in safe mode before re-starting your laptop to exit safe mode.

6. Download macOS update from Alternative Sources

If the software update isn’t installed from the settings section then you can navigate to and download the latest iOS update.

You can then proceed to install the update manually from the downloaded folder.

You can also check if the update is on the axle play store.

7. Update MacBook using Terminal

The terminal is an iOS utility just like CMD for windows that have the ability to bypass software-related bugs and also assist in the installation by running simple commands on it.

To access the Terminal on your MacBook  follow these steps

  1. Go to Applications > Utilities > Search and open the Terminal
  2. Type and run the following command in the terminal “sudo softwareupdate -l”
  3. Input your password and then press enter again
  4. Now, to install an update, Type in this command “sudo softwareupdate -i 'NAME'”, for example, macOS Big Sur 11.6, macOS Big Sur 11.4-20F71
  5. The update will start downloading and installing right away.

You can check the apple store for the latest MacBook software update.

8. Reset NVRAM and SMC

NVRAM helps in the storage of data that are essential for the booting of your laptop. You can consider resetting these components and see If the issue gets resolved.

9. Reinstall macOS

If the old software becomes too corrupt that it resists any of the above fixes then you’ve no other option than to reinstall the software update.

You’ve to back up your data, boot into recovery mode, and then select the option to reinstall macOS.

This action will clear all the data on your MacBook, so do well to get important files backup before this step.

That’s it.


A stuck MacBook software update can be frustrating especially when your laptop misbehaves due to the presence of a glitch in the older software.

In this article, I’ve shown you 9 actionable tips you can lay your hands on if your MacBook software update got stuck. 

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