What To Do If Your Mac Won't Download A Software Update

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You should install the most recent OS available for your computer. A late 2009 iMac runs macOS 10.13.6 maximum, which means you should download the High Sierra. You may also consider upgrading the. The basis for downloading update software is your network connection. Before updating software, please be sure that you have connected to a stable WIFI or other network channels to set a solid foundation for your next steps. And then go to General Tap on Reset and then follow the instruction.

What to do if the macOS Big Sur download is stuck. Check Apple’s System Status page for information about possible server issues on Apple’s end. Check your internet connection. Try to download it from the Mac App Store if your first attempt was through Software Update. If your first attempt was in the App Store, try Software Update. Open System Preferences (you can click on the Apple logo in the menu to find it). Click on Software Update. Your computer will check for updates, and show that an update is available for your Mac. I’m unable to download any new apps or put data onto my computer from my iPhone; because iTunes isn’t up to date. I’ve even tried going to the apple site & downloading it that way, but it just doesn’t give me the option to download the latest software. I currently have Software OS X Version 10.8.5. Please help 😩 I’m dying here.

Summary: This post is about how to fix when Mac won't boot after macOS update. If macOS Big Sur or macOS Catalina update makes your Mac not booting up, you'll know why and how to fix it quickly and easily.

Apple releases macOS and software updates periodically for better user experience. However, it backfires when your Mac won't boot after macOS update. Especially for some Mac newbies, Mac not turning on would drive them crazy.

Hence, this post will walk you through this problem. Then, you'll know what to do when Mac gets stuck on the Apple logo.

All right. Let's begin with why your Mac is not booting up after the macOS update.

Why is the Mac not turning on after macOS update?

Why won't Mac update successfully? It's fair enough to say, most of the time, Mac won't turn on after macOS update because of software incompatibility and bugs.

As we all know, technology inspires new programs and hardware to be released constantly. So, your Mac needs to update to work with most software and hardware. Sometimes, it's an overall macOS update. And sometimes, it's a tiny patch like this.

In detail, a macOS update could involve those activities.

  1. Upgrade certain necessary drivers. Sometimes, it simply installs patches to fix bugs. But sometimes, it will replace the whole driver structure to better use hard drives, keyboard, mouse, microphone, camera, etc.
  2. Upgrade the Kernel programs. Such updates will improve the security, accessibility, and management of core data.
  3. Redesign or update certain built-in applications. Utilities like Disk Utility, Safari, and Mail come along with the operating system. So, it could be updated for a better user experience.
  4. Other updates like operating system structure, file system, user interface, etc.

These updates are usually for a better user experience. Or they are for better supporting most of the latest hardware and software. However, as it is pointed out, the updated macOS can only work 'most' of them.

For example, Nvidia GTX 750 Ti can't work with Mac OS X earlier than Yosemite. After such a software update, Mac is not worknig, or the Mac or MacBook gets stuck on a loading bar after update. Once the third-party software and hardware on your Mac won't work with the latest macOS, your Mac won't turn on.

Common boot problems after macOS update

macOS is an improved range of Mac operating systems after Mac OS X. Up to now, there are three macOS systems available: macOS High Sierra, macOS Mojave, and macOS Catalina. Nevertheless, updating to each of them could cause problems.

1. Mac won't turn on after macOS Big Sur update

The newest major release of Mac operating system is macOS 11 Big Sur, which now is in beta version. Up to now, known boot issues of macOS Big Sur Beta include the following, or more.

  • If you updated to macOS Big Sur 11.0 but not the newest vesion that has fixed existing bugs.
  • You choose a wrong startup disk after installing macOS Big Sur 11.

A Complete List of macOS Catalina Problems and Solutions

It talks about macOS 11 Big Sur update problems including downloading, installing, apps not working, not booting, battery issues and so on. Read more >>

2. Mac won't boot after macOS Catalina update

Then it comes to macOS Catalina. Even though it should be better than the previous two, (In some aspects, it is.) Catalina update problems like Mac won't boot after macOS update still occur.

Except for APFS conversion, the macOS Catalina update will automatically divide your hard drive into two volumes. One is the read-only Macintosh HD system volume, and the other is Macintosh HD - Data for saving your files. But if there is not enough free space for an update, your Mac will get stuck on a update loop.Whta's worse, you might see the Mac folder with question mark at startup because macOS Catalina update is not found.

What's more, the 'Full Disk Access' permission might be a lion in the way for some unauthorized applications. For instance, you have a program that requires certain Kernel extensions. But after updating to macOS Catalina, this program can't access the Kernel resource anymore. It doesn't have permission. As a result, your Mac will be frozen at the loading bar because this program keeps asking for resource permission.

A Complete List of macOS Catalina Problems and Solutions

It talks about macOS Catalina problems including downloading, installing, apps not working, not booting, battery issues and so on. Read more >>

3. Mac won't restart after macOS Mojave update

macOS 10.14 Mojave is coming after 10.13 High Sierra. Thus, the same boot problems on macOS High Sierra could also happen to macOS Mojave. As you might know, Apple introduced the System Integrity Protection (SIP) feature since OS X EI Capitan. It was originally introduced to keep system security. But once this feature was disabled previously before you update to macOS Mojave, it could cause boot problems.

For example, the Google software update on September 23, 2019, was shipped with a bug. This flaw damages the macOS file system on computers where System Integrity Protection is disabled. Many video professionals reported that their Mac crashed due to this.

So, just think about it, even Google can't avoid such software conflict, how about other third-party software? That's one of the reasons why many users who disabled SIP previously get Mac crashed after installing macOS Mojave.

4. Mac won't boot after macOS High Sierra update

One of the major updates in macOS High Sierra is the introduction of the Apple File System (APFS). As a part of the upgrade process, the macOS High Sierra installer will automatically convert the SSD to the APFS file system.

Even though Apple claims that the conversion process is supposed to be risk-free, many Mac users still meet problems. And disk corruption during the update is one of them. In this case, it's sure that the Mac won't restart after update. Mac will stop loading after update for such corruption.

Except for hard drive corruption, hardware or software incompatibility is another major reason. As your computer needs to work with so much hardware and software, the in-between conflict is inevitable. Those incompatibilities could slow your Mac down. They could make your Mac not responsive. Or, the Mac won't let you log in with right password. Also, the Mac could freeze on a black or Mac white screen of death.

What to do if Mac can't turn on after macOS update?

Having discussed why Mac won't boot after macOS update, you may find that it's tricky to hit the point. But don't worry, here are some inspirations so that you can troubleshoot this issue step by step:

  • 1. Check if the Mac hard drive is corrupted
  • 2. Check if any program is not compatible with your macOS
  • 3. Check for a hardware incompatibility

Step 1: Check and repair the Mac hard drive in macOS Recovery mode

If your Mac refuses to boot after the update, you should check the Mac hard drive. Chances are that your MacBook ran out of power and the APFS reformatting process was interrupted. Or the hard drive is corrupted for bad sectors.

In this case, you can try to repair the hard drive with Disk Utility under Recovery Mode. Disk Utility helps Mac boot up in some ways sicne it's the built-in free disk repair tool on your Mac.

Learn how to run First Aid on the startup disk and repair the file system or disk errors.


If no disk error was found by Disk Utility, then the hard drive should not be responsible for this issue. To find out why you can't turn on your Mac after macOS update, you can try Safe Mode.

Step 2: Boot your Mac into Safe Mode

You may be wondering 'why should I do this in Safe Mode?' The reason is that Safe Mode will only launch some basic necessary programs at startup. It’s easier to isolate incompatibility software that makes your Mac unbootable.

Make sense, right? Then let's dive into details on how to do this.

  • 1. Press and hold the power button until the Mac forcibly shuts down.
  • 2. To start the Mac up in Safe Mode, restart this Mac with Shift key pressed and held.
  • 3. Release the key when you see the progress bar.

If you boot into Safe Mode successfully, you'll see Safe Boot at the right top. At least, it indicates that the macOS update is not failed. Then, it should be third-party software incompatibility.

But to figure out exactly which program makes your Mac unbootable, you need to reboot into Verbose Mode. Verbose mode allows you to see what's happening when macOS is starting up.

You can hold Command + V at startup. Then you'll see a live report when your Mac is booting up. Once you find out the culprit, you can simply uninstall the software in Safe Mode

But if you fail to boot into Safe Mode, it means it's a macOS update failure. The system data is damaged or broken. You need to reinsall the macOS in macOS Recovery mode. You can simply boot into macOS Recovery Mode and choose Reinstall macOS. If you don't want to update macOS anymore, you can try your luck with using APFS snapshot to recover your system.

The point is that macOS reinstallation will risk your data on the Mac. Thus, you should first check your backups. Or you can recover data from unbootable Mac first.


Learn how to get your important files off the startup disk when your Mac won't boot.

Tips: You can prevent APFS conversion with start to install this time if you want to avoid unnecessary problems. But you are not advised to unless you are a Mac command geek.

Step 3: Ask Apple repair store for help

What To Do If Your Mac Won't Download A Software Updates

The toughest thing is that your hard drive is fine. And there is no software incompatibility noticed in Verbose Mode. In this case, you should check the hardware inside your Mac.

The reason is that macOS updates are always for better supporting the latest software and hardware. So, the hardware or drivers on your Mac may be too outdated to work with the newer OS.

In this case, you can ask help from the Apple repair store and reset the Mac. If it's the Mac machine itself is too old, you should replace it with a newer Mac model. Or you simply don't allow automatically update the macOS.

How to avoid macOS update failure?

Every time there is a new macOS update available, you'll receive a notification. It asks 'Do you want to restart to install these updates now or try tonight?'. However, it's not safe to update directly because your Mac could get stuck on update or even lose important files. In case the Mac won’t boot after macOS Big Sur or Catalina update, you surely can do some preparations in advance.

  • Read several reviews from tech enthusiasts to learn problems when a new macOS beta is released.
  • Make sure your Mac model and its hardware work with the updated macOS.
  • Read macOS update instructions carefully when you are up to update your system.
  • Back up your files, photos, documents, etc.
  • Make sure there is enough free disk space for macOS update.
  • Make sure your Mac is connected to power to avoid the black screen of death during macOS update.

So, you'd better do these preparations before you update to any operating system. But if your Mac can't boot up already, you should calm down and follow this guide to fix this issue. If you have any more any feasible solution to enrich this article, kindly drop us a hint at [email protected]

Have you ever wanted to download iPhone iOS updates over cellular data only to find that you can not do so? However, here is a workaround using which you can download software updates on your iPhone using mobile data. You do not require any third party app for this.

Before you begin, it is understandable that Wi-Fi is currently everywhere, and thus it is easy to download iOS updates using it. As a result, this guide is for a tiny percentage of users who do not have access to Wi-Fi, plus they own a Mac. So, if you satisfy these conditions, here is a step by step guide on how to download software updates on the iPhone using mobile data.

How to Download and Install iOS update on iPhone using Cellular Data

What you Need

  • A Mac
  • A Lightning Cable to connect to Mac
  • Sufficient Mobile Data

Before you Begin

  • On your Mac: Disconnect it from any Wi-Fi network it is connected to. To do this, press and hold the Option key and click on the Wi-Fi icon in menu bar. You will see a Disconnect from Wi-Fi name. Click on that
  • On your iPhone: Turn on Mobile Data. Also, make sure you have ample or unlimited mobile data allowance

What we’ll Do

  • We will share iPhone’s mobile data via USB to Mac
  • Mac will share this mobile data as Wi-Fi Hotspot
  • We’ll connect the same iPhone to the Hotspot that the Mac creates

How to Download Software Update on iPhone Using Mobile Data

Step #1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone and completely switch off Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Personal Hotspot. Do not use Control Centre for this.

Step #2. Connect your iPhone to the Mac via proper cable.

Step #3. Inside the Settings app on iPhone, tap on Personal Hotspot.

Step #4. Turn on the toggle for Allow Others to Join. From the pop-up, select USB Only.

Note: If it asks Trust or Don’t Trust. Choose Trust and enter your iPhone’s password.

Turbotax home & business. Step #5. Now on your Mac, click on the Apple logo from top left and then click on System Preferences…

Step #6. Click on Sharing and then click on Internet Sharing.Do not click on the small box before Internet Sharing.

Step #7. Click the toggle dropdown menu for Share your connection from: and select iPhone USB. (If you do not see iPhone USB here, look for the solution at the end of these steps.)

Step #8. For To computer using: tick the box before Wi-Fi to select it.

Step #9. Now, on the left side, click on Internet Sharing and then click inside the small box before it. A pop-up will appear from top of the window.

In the pop-up, the default values are perfect. See image above. In the password section, input any password. This is the Wi-Fi password of your Mac’s hotspot. Click OK → Click Start to confirm.


You will see an upward-facing arrow in the Wi-Fi icon of your Mac. Your Mac is now using your iPhone’s mobile data and sharing it as Wi-Fi.

Note: If you do not see an option to set a password in Step #9 and only see Start, this means you have used this feature in the past. To set a password, click on the small box before Internet Sharing to turn OFF internet sharing. Next, from bottom right, click on Wi-Fi Options… and set your password. Finally, click inside the small Internet Sharing box to start sharing your iPhone Mobile Data Hotspot via Wi-Fi.

Now let us connect the iPhone with this hotspot and install the iOS update.

Step #10. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone and tap Wi-Fi.

Step #11. Turn on the toggle for Wi-Fi and let it search. When you see your Mac’s name, tap on it, and enter the password you created in Step #9 above. After a successful connection, you will see the Wi-Fi logo at the top of the screen on your iPhone.

Step #12. Now head over to GeneralSoftware Update, and download and install the pending iOS update.

Do not See iPhone USB in Step #7?

Most likely, you will see the option, but if you do not see iPhone USB in Step #7 follow this trick.

Turn on Personal Hotspot on iPhone, connect it to Mac, and click on Network in Mac’s System Preferences.

Click on the plus (+) icon at the bottom left. Click on Interface and click on iPhone USB from the list. Now click on Create. Finally, click Apply from the bottom right and try from Step #7 again.

Interesting Observation related to Downloading iPhone Software Update over Mobile Data

It is like a full circle. Your iPhone’s mobile data is going inside your Mac, and then from there is comes out as Wi-Fi to which you connect the same iPhone. Interesting. Isn’t it!

I discovered and used this trick in my early days when the mobile network provider I switched to gave 4GB 4G data every day.

Some Points to Note When You Download iOS Update over Cellular Data

  • Most likely, this Wi-Fi would be slower than your mobile data
  • If pending updates or some download are running on Mac, it might utilize this iPhone USB data in the background. It may quickly exhaust your limit. So make sure apps or files are not downloading or updating in the background on your Mac. This would also ensure faster speed for you to download your iOS update
  • Use this technique only to download small iOS updates, and for significant iOS updates, try finding proper Wi-Fi
  • You can not use AirDrop on Mac as long as you are sharing the internet from it. This is similar to the iPhone, where you can not use AirDrop when you have devices connected to its Personal Hotspot

Why Apple Does Not Allow iOS Updates on iPhone Over Cellular Data

Apple Update Won't Install

When the iPhone was launched in 2007, it was available only on AT&T. Also, even when future models were available on other carriers, the mobile data was expensive, and going over the limit would exponentially skyrocket the bill.

Maybe this was the reason Apple had restrictions even on the size of the App you could download over mobile data. Just recently, Apple has allowed downloading apps over 200 MB in size from the App Store.

If there are no limitations or too much work on the fundamental level of iOS, then in the future, we may be allowed to download software updates straightforwardly using Cellular data. As of now, the above trick is there for you.

Wrapping up…

This was how to download an iOS software update on the iPhone using Mobile Data. Now it was a workaround, and I hope you enjoyed reading this.

Finally, you can follow this know-how even if you have a Windows 10 device. I will make a guide on that, too, and update it here. However, as of now, I have faced multiple issues with the version of Windows 10 I have on a spare computer.

You may also like to read…

What are your thoughts regarding this, and are you going to give this method a go, even if it is just for fun? Share with us in the comments down below.

Suraj is a digital marketing expert on the iGB's team. He contributes to the social media section along with tips and tricks for iPhone, Apple Watch. Apart from blogging, he likes to work out as much as he can in his gym and love to listening to retro music.

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