Your computer can support the official macOS release update for 2-3 years. However, once you reach the time limit of a particular MacOS version, Apple will never force you to go for an upgrade.
But if you want to try the MacOS Big Sur, you probably will face some issues.
The Big Sur Mac update issues are taking the Apple forum by storm. If you are one of the complainers, worry no more. This guide will help you solve the MacOS Big Sur update step by step.
But before we jump into the solutions, let’s learn a bit about the MacOS Big Sur.
macOS Big Sur
On November 12, 2020, Apple released its 17th MacOS upgrade by the name of Big Sur with version number 11.0.1. As you know that Apple doesn’t stop on a single operating system, you have to be ready all the time for the expected MacOS update.
The following features make the MacOS Big Sur unique in all Apple’s OS releases:
- More translucency
- More consistency
- Prominent content display
- Redesigned toolbars
- Sidebars are full height
You haven’t seen such major revamping after the MacOS X. Check for the availability of Big Sur from the Apple Menu > System Preferences.
If you plan to go for the MacOS Big Sur download, go through the following issues and their relevant solutions. That way, you will mentally prepare yourself on how to fix a problem as MacOS update stuck.
What to Do if My Mac is Stuck Updating on Apple Logo?
Here are some solutions:
Yes, just wait. You install macOS Big Sur, and that’s not something you do regularly. So, be patient because it will take longer than you expected. I
n fact, a progress bar shows the status of the macOS installation.
Therefore, the best thing is to leave your Mac to complete the installation of macOS Big Sur. Then, go and do something else. Then, come back after an hour or two to check the status of the progress bar. If you feel that nothing’s changed, this means that you are stuck on the Big Sur OS update.
It’s time to take action. So, what are you going to do?
You are stuck because you can’t do anything; you can’t log in, and you can’t use anything on your Mac. So, move on to the following solutions.
The second option is to force reboot your Mac. You know how to do that, right? No need to worry if you don’t; just press the power button until your Mac restarts.
By doing this, many Mac users said that their computers started with the Big Sur OS. Besides, that could be big news for you too because if you reboot your Mac, you might also get the same results. Boom! Problem solved.
But what if you see the same screen even after the reboot? That could be a third-party application.
Try booting your computer in safe mode to verify if it’s a third-party application meddling with the Big Sur OS update.
Reboot in Safe Mode
When you restart your Mac and bring it back to life in safe mode, you disable all third-party applications, kernel extensions, launch daemons, and all other services. Thus, you get to Mac’s most basic operating system level in safe mode with your files.
If you successfully enter the OS menu after rebooting in safe mode, it proves that it’s one of those applications, kernel extension, or launch daemons that are creating the macOS Big Sur problems.
Therefore, you have to decide whether to remove all of those apps and begin from scratch. Besides, you can check the problem by eliminating those apps and services one by one until you complete the OS update.
But that’s not it. You might not be willing to remove all those apps because that’s another headache to download and install them again.
What if Your Machine Becomes Unresponsive?
When you reboot your computer and come back on the same boring black screen with probably an Apple logo testing your patience, you might try other troubleshooting procedures like holding Command + R for Recovery or doing PRAM, SMC, and everything you know.
But unfortunately, all those procedures won’t make your Mac respond.
Moreover, the black screen might make you think that your Mac is powered off. But no. You will see a bit of brightness at the back that shows your Mac is still on but has gone unresponsive.
You can power on & off the Mac again, but the result is not going to bring anything new. What do you think might have happened there?
Since a few Apple users complained about this issue, it’s probably due to the firmware update waiting inside your Mac. Following machines became the victim of this problem:
- 13″ MacBook 2013 & 2014
- 12″ MacBook 2015
Now, what are you going to do? Since there are not many options available to solve this, you have to wait or contact Apple support. Even though you wanted to install macOS Big Sur, it’s not your fault that your machine has gone unresponsive.
Your Mac’s manufacturer launches the firmware update, and because of that update, your Mac goes dead.
Try This Fix at Your Risk
One Mac user stated that during a macOS update, their machine went dead. So, they tried all the possible fixes, but nothing happened. But then they took a big risk and made tweaks to the hardware section.
They opened the back of the Mac, disconnected the input/output board (the I/O board), and powered on the machine.
Guess what? The Mac started to work properly again. Moreover, they got a new board later.
But here’s the thing, this fix is not recommended at all, especially if you are new to the world of Mac.
How to Fix a Mac Stuck Installing a MacOS Big Sur Update?
Here is what you can do:
Press the Power Button
If you are stuck with the Big Sur installation, try pressing the power button for almost 10 seconds. What is it going to do?
Your Mac will completely shut down without an automatic restart. Now quickly press the power button again to restart your Mac. Of course, your Mac will start working again, but the update problem might get fixed this time.
Besides, the quick force shutdown and power back again give your Mac time to reboot its OS settings. Therefore, when you apply this technique, you might see your Mac starting with Big Sur installed.
But this step doesn’t need to solve the issue ultimately. So we’ll move on to the next step.
Unplug all Accessories While Installing macOS Big Sur
If you have connected multiple accessories to your Mac, you might have to unplug them. The company has recommended that an external disk, mouse, keyboard, and other devices can interfere with the macOS Big Sur update.
Although this sounds irrelevant, sometimes the external connections meddle with your Mac’s internal affairs and disrupt the MacOS update process.
Therefore, unplug all accessories and try to restart your Mac once again. Moreover, there’s a low chance that the mouse and the keyboard are causing this problem. If you are curious, your external hard drive might be responsible for making you stuck in the macOS update process.
The constant restart loop will end, and you will stop seeing the Apple logo with a progress bar.
Now, if this step also didn’t help you, let’s try the next step to get rid of Mac stuck installing Big Sur OS.
This step requires you to have the Recovery mode. Now, what does this mode do?
As the name suggests, you can recover your Mac by using this software tool. Its specialty is that it can load before the macOS begins to work. Therefore, you can go into this mode and fix problems with your Mac like the macOS update.
Also, you can reinstall the Mac operating system by applying this technique. Since it’s available on all Mac computers, you should know what processor your Mac uses and how to go to Recovery.
Intel Processor Mac
If you have an Intel Mac, make sure it’s using a stable internet connection. Turn off your Mac because we want to go to the macOS Recovery. Now turn on the Mac and quickly press and hold Command + R. Keep holding the two buttons until you see any image or Apple logo appears.
This process sends the Intel Macs into Recovery.
After turning off your Mac, press and hold the power button; after doing that, you will have a startup options window. Next, click on the Options icon displaying a gear-like icon. Once done, click Continue.
So these processes are different depending on what Mac you are using. For example, in 2021 and later, Macs (MacBook, MacBook Air, Mac Pro, and MacBook Pro ) are using Apple Silicon technology, while the former used Intel chips and designs.
Now, in the Recovery menu, you will see a box giving you multiple options. Since your Mac’s operating system is not working, you can interact with your Mac’s internal settings.
You can first try the “Disk Repair” option. By doing that, you can repair your computer’s disks and fix major storage space issues on your Mac. Sometimes, the OS update problems are solved just by repairing your Mac’s disk.
If you remember, the disk utility tool in your Mac runs a scan to identify potential threats and defects in your machine’s storage.
Moreover, if you are using a Mac mini, you can access that utility tool by following these steps.
Disk Utility in Mac Mini
- Turn off your machine and wait.
- Reboot your Mac and hold Command + R while it restarts. You will see the Recovery window.
- From there, run the Disk Utility option and fix your Mac’s storage issues.
Reinstall macOS Big Sur
You can reinstall the macOS Big Sur if you think that you are stuck with the macOS update. However, any MacOS installation process requires storage and time. Therefore, make sure you have enough space on your Mac and ample time to go for this option.
Additionally, you can follow these steps to get the Big Sur installer from the Mac app store:
- First of all, back up your Mac by using the Time Machine option from the Recovery window.
- Open App Store and go to the Big Sur page.
- In the Mac app store, click “Get” to download the installer.
- Once the download is complete, the installer will open automatically.
- Install macOS Big Sur from the Mac app store by following the Apple prompt.
In the re-installation process, you might see that your computer is having issues while downloading Big Sur. No doubt, the download action depends on the network connectivity.
Therefore, follow these steps if you think that you have downloaded macOS Big Sur twice and now your machine’s storage is in danger.
- Restart your Mac.
- Restart your network device (modem/router etc.)
- Disconnect all external devices (external hard drives, mouse, keyboard, etc.)
- Delete the old installer before downloading it again. You can delete it from Applications in the finder window. Drag the installer to Trash. Also, search the installer in LaunchPad. Now click and hold the app until it shakes.
When selecting the backup option, make sure you don’t erase your data either by choosing Time Machine or Disk Repair. Moreover, your Mac might offer you two choices to store the backup:
- Macintosh HD
- Macintosh HD – Data
Go for the first option. Now once you are ready to prepare a backup, remember that your Mac will go on restart automatically several times. With that, you will see the black screen for minutes longer than you expect.
Therefore, never put your Mac to sleep mode or close its lid. Instead, just be patient and keep checking the progress bar.
Why Won’t Mac Do the Big Sur Update?
You should check the compatibility of your Mac machine before taking any significant steps. The following Mac models are compatible with Big Sur OS:
- MacBook 2015 or Later
- MacBook Air 2013 or Later
- MacBook Pro Late 2013 or Later
How Long Should Mac Big Sur Update Take?
Generally, the Big Sur update takes around 30 to 40 minutes to install. However, a lot of Mac users complained about the delay they faced while installing Big Sur. Not only that, some users said that they waited for hours, but in the end, the installation failed.
This might happen due to two reasons:
- The overloaded Apple servers because of the traffic they are facing. Apple launches its OS updates, and in peak hours, you might experience an intense delay.
- Your internet connection might not be stable. The poor network connectivity is another reason you feel stuck in the MacOS download.
If you want to update your Mac to Big Sur, first check the availability from the Apple Menu > System Preferences. You can easily download Big Sur from there. However, you might face the issues mentioned above while installing the latest operating system.
If you believe that your Mac has some hardware problems, don’t try anything yourself. Instead, contact Apple support and wait till they reply to your concern.