Have you had your Mac system stuck in the middle of the macOS Catalina update process? Are you seeing a warning stating ‘The macOS installation could not be completed’? You are not the only one facing this problem. A lot of other Mac users have also gone through the same trouble. If you are unable to fix the issue that Mac is stuck when upgrading macOS 10.15 Catalina, this guide is going to help you with that.

update macos catalina

There are basically three situations can be classified. You can just turn to the scenario you have met, specific solutions are listed to help you figure out how to bring your frozen Mac back to normal during upadating macOS Catalina.

1. Mac Gets Stuck When Downloading macOS Catalina

Downloading the new macOS version is the first step of the updating process, many Mac users have been reported that their devices were stuck when downloading the macOS 10.15 Catalina. Let’s find out the reasons and learn how to fix it.

Why Does the Downloading Become Problematic?

If you have a newer version of macOS that you are attempting to download shortly after the release, there is a chance that quite a lot people are accessing the server at the same time, which could slow down the installation and may even freeze the upgrading installtion. Just try installing sometime later and it’ll be good.

However, most other common reasons including poor Wi-Fi connection and insufficient space on Mac should also be blamed for. To ascertain the real cause, it is suggested that running Disk Utility on your system before updating the macOS Catalina.

In order to avoid embarrassing and undesirable problems, it is also advised that running a few checks on your Mac system before trying to update its operating system.

mac stuck downloading macos catalina

How to Fix macOS Catalina Downloading Error

There are numerous solutions to this problem, depending on the reason causing your Mac to get stuck.

1. If the updating process is stuck and you are left with a spinning wheel, restarting your Mac might be an effective way to get rid of the problem. Press the power button, and restart the device to try again. Once restarting the device, your system should be able to update to the macOS 10.15 Catalina.

2. If the restarting doesn’t work, please make sure your WiFi signal is strong and ensure a wired internet connection to finish the downloading process.

2. Mac Gets Stuck When Installing macOS Catalina

Aftet downloading the macOS Catalina, your Mac may get stuck when installing the new OS on your device. Even if after repeated attempts, you are unable to get the Mac updating process back to normal, just follow steps below to fix when Mac is stuck during the installtion of macOS Catalina.

Way 1: Check Your Mac's Compatibility

One of the most important reasons your Mac might be getting stuck is because it is not fully compatible with the requirements of the new macOS Catalina for Mac.

Different versions of the following machines are compatible to support the new macOS Catalina:

  • MacBook (2015 or later)
  • MacBook Air (2012 or later)
  • MacBook Pro (2012 or later)
  • Mac mini (2012 or later)
  • iMac (2012 or later)
  • iMac Pro (2017 or later)
  • Mac Pro (2013 or later)

You need to understand which category your Mac belongs to and then ensure that the version you use is listed in the above models.

Way 2: Check Your Mac's Available Storage Space

Apart from the compatibility, the most common issue faced by Mac users is the lack of sufficient space. It is quite possible that your Mac system doesn’t have the necessary amount of free disk space on the hard drive.

Keep in mind that macOS Catalina is a big software. To work properly, it is going to consume a lot of space. Apple recommends that you need to have at least 20 GB vacant disk space storage on your MacBook to be able to effectively install this new macOS.

How to check your Mac’s available storage space?

Go to the Apple menu and press ‘About This Mac’ option. From there, opt for ‘Storage’, and here you will be able to see how much vacant disk storage you have available on your Mac device, and you can see whether you have 20GB disk space free or not .

check free hard drive space

In case there is less space available, you can proceed to opt for an appropriate way to get more space. For instance, you always have the option to use an automatic Mac cleaning tool for this purpose.

While there are numerous cleaning tools, Umate Mac Cleaner is regarded as the best among them all.

What Is Umate Mac Cleaner?

From its name, we can ses it is an application that allows you to clean up your Mac and get more free space. In case your macOS Catalina installation is not working because of small disk space, using Umate Mac Cleaner is the best thing to do.

This app is capable of releasing space on your Mac by deleting a large number of unneeded files. It can perform powerful features in just simple clicks, and your Mac will get 4X free space after using the app. There is no need to worry about its security, for it only removes the target files you want to delete and never affect those important ones that you want to keep.

Key Features:

  • Delete more than 40 types of junk files.
  • Get rid of large files that are over 50MB.
  • Delete duplicate files completely.
  • Uninstall unwanted apps.
  • Remove unnecessary extensions.

Mac version

How to use the app?

The app is very easy to use by choosing the feature you need and click "Scan" button, then you can preview and select the files you want to remove after scanning. At last, just hit the "Clean" button to get rid of all files you selected.

steps to use the app

Since these files could cause low disk space on your Mac, using Umate Mac Cleaner will help you free up the maximum storage space on the machine. It can help you to remove and delete all of these space-consuming files with just one click. Once you have enough disk space, you can then proceed to install macOS Catalina on your device.

Way 3: Install the macOS Catalina in Safe Mode

If your Mac can not update to macOS Catalina successfully, you can hold down the power button to turn it off, and then hold Shift buttin when turning it on. After this, your Mac will be set to Safe Mode, and now you can try to run the macOS update again.

mac safe mode

Way 4: Reinstall macOS from "macOS Recovery" Option

You can also choose to use macOS recovery to reiterate the OS downloading. For this, follow the steps below.

Use hold+ command+ R for the reinstallation. When you press this, a startup screen will pop up. From this point onward, you can begin the installation again.

reinstall macos

Way 5: Reset NVRAM and SMC

If all the efforts failed, what else can we do if macOS Catalina can't be installed on your device? As a last resort, try resetting NVRAM and SMC.

If either NVRAM or SMC is corrupted, the performance of your MacBook would be adversely affected. Resetting them is believed to be the last resort, but given the circumstances, it is definitely worth it.

Reset NVRAM (or PRAM): Hold Command-Option-P-R for about 20 seconds.

Reset SMC: Hold Shift-Control-Option on the left side of the keyboard, and press the power button at the same time.

reset nvram smc

3. Mac Gets Stuck on the “Setting Up Your Mac” Screen After Installing macOS Catalina

After downloading and installing the macOS Catalina on Mac, some Mac users find the process stuck at the "Setting Up Your Mac..." screen and the device keeps freezing with that message. If you are also encountering an error like that, just don’t worry, you can fix it easily.

How To Fix When Mac Is Stuck on the “Setting Up Your Mac” Screen After Installing

Luckily, there is a simple way to fix this issue. Just turn off your Mac, and then power it back on. After that, your Mac just works again. This way is quite useful to solve this problem for many users.

mac stuck on setting up your mac screen


There is no doubt that new macOS Catalina 10.15 is truly an incredible system to use. However, it requires certain compatibility conditions. In order to work perfectly, you should carefully have a look and ensure that your system meets all the requirements.

Umate Mac Cleaner is an excellent tool to use. With this app, you can free up lots of storage space and optimize your Mac to achieve peak performance, which is helpful when updating the new macOS for your Mac.

Mac version