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Why isn’t my Mac updating to macOS Monterey? Try this.

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Before you start: After installing the new macOS, maybe your Mac will go slower. And that’s why a tool to free up RAM and fix performance problems can come in handy.

So, here’s our tip: download a free version of CleanMyMac X, an Apple-certified app for macOS Monterey. It will help you run maintenance scripts, optimize storage, and regain speed on your Mac.

 The features described in this article refer to the version of CleanMyMac X available on the MacPaw site.

macOS 12 Monterey is available as a Public Beta. It might contain und discovered errors, but it’s not the reason why the installation often stops suddenly. The system itself seems to be relatively stable if we rely on the Mac forums, so the reasons for this error have to do with the configuration of your Mac. Below, we list the common reasons why your Mac may not upgrade to Monterey.

Why isn’t my Mac upgrading to Monterey? It depends on the type of error you receive.

  • Could not install macOS on your computer.
  • There is not enough free space on the selected volume.
  • The macOS installation cannot continue.

Now let’s analyze some of these errors.

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macOS Monterey download gets stuck in progress bar

The update window will often say that “11.73 GB of 11.73 GB have been downloaded” or something similar. It may make you believe that the download is still in progress. But the truth is that it’s over, and chances are your Mac is now checking the multiple download file.

Give it some more time and repeat

Wait a little longer, about 15 minutes or so. Then, go to your Apps and check if the installation file is among the apps.

Not enough space to install macOS Monterey

The typical message, in this case, would be: “There is not enough free space on the selected volume to update the OS.” Does MacOS Monterey need that much storage?

If it’s true that the installation file takes up 11.73 GB, you’ll need more than 35 GB more free space to accommodate the system itself. During the first stage of installation, your Mac will check the available space and, in many cases, cancel the installation.

Free up space by removing system junk

CleanMyMac X, a popular Mac cleaning app, will give you ideas to optimize your disk space. You can get started with the accessible version of CleanMyMac and use its System Junk tool.

You can download the free edition of this tool here. In my case, I can free up about 10 GB of useless caches, which should allow macOS Monterey to complete the installation on my computer.

Or use Optimize Storage.

Optimizing Storage, a built-in storage management tool, could offer another solution. The difference between this tool and CleanMyMac X is that the primarily latter displays junk files. At the same time, Optimize Storage shows heavy personal files that you have to delete or move on your own.

Go to the Apple menu > About This Mac > Storage.

Click Manage…

Combining these two methods can quickly free up space when macOS Monterey is not installed for lack of it.

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Could not install macOS on computer

Sometimes, you’ll see a message that says “macOS installation couldn’t be completed” or similar.

Check your Internet connection

A bad internet connection is one of the reasons for this problem. Bring your Mac closer to the Wi-Fi router — an uninterrupted connection is needed to download large file libraries.

Also, the Economizer could be forcing your Mac into sleep mode for not being active. Go to System Preferences > Battery and temporarily change the setting from “Turn off the screen after” to Never.

macOS Monterey download fails

If you’re reading this after the official release of macOS Monterey, you can find the update on the Mac App Store. Another option is to go to About This Mac > Overview > Software Update.

Download from the Mac App Store

Type macOS Monterey into the search bar. The screenshot is for Big Sur, but it’s still the same.

Didn’t it work?

Try repeating the steps in Safe Mode.

Safe Mode disables some default processes that may interfere with the installation.

Turn off your Mac and wait 10 seconds.

Press the Power button and hold down the Shift key.

Release the keys when the login window appears.

In Safe Mode, go to the Mac App Store and try downloading the update again.

Other error messages during macOS Monterey installation

  • macOS Monterey can be installed on Macintosh HD.
  • The software update could not be customized. Please try again.

Messages of this type can appear for several reasons:

  • Your Mac prevents booting from an external drive.
  • You have erased your Mac’s startup disk.
  • Your bootable drive is maln formatted.

Run macOS Recovery

On an Intel-based

Mac, click the Apple logo menu and tap Restart.

Press and hold Command+R when your Mac is restarting.

Wait until you see the macOS utility window.

On a Mac M1

Click the Apple logo and tap Shut down your computer.

Press and hold the power button until “Loading Home Options” appears. Choose Options > Continue.

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If you click Reinstall macOS, your Mac will load the last functional operating system you had on this Mac.

Other options you have in this Menu:

If you can’t charge your system from an external drive

If you’re trying to install macOS from a bootable USB stick and this fails, check the Utility section in the top menu bar.

There you will find the Boot Security Utility. Turn on “Allow booting from external support.” Then restart your Mac in Recovery Mode with the bootable USB connected.

If you receive the “customize” error message

In the previous menu, you also have access to Terminal. Use this command-line tool to reset your password. The problem seems to be at the level of your account. This solution requires resetting the system password.

  • Open Terminal.
  • Writes resetpassword
  • Press Enter
  • From Disk Utility you can erase your Mac if you are trying to do a clean installation. Just in case, we remind you to back up all your data.


When you erase your Mac, keep the APFS format

Why are there always problems with my Mac?

If you often realize that you do nothing but solve problems with your Mac, with your programs, storage, etc., here is a tool that you may want to install.

CleanMyMac X from MacPaw is a universal troubleshooter for Mac. This app is certified by Apple. The app allows you to:

  • Free up space occupied by junk files.
  • Remove viruses from apps and browsers.
  • Optimize memory.

In total, it has 49 modules to fix the problems that generally occur on Macs. Try it, download a free version from the developer’s site.

Here we end with our troubleshooting guide for all the situations where your Mac is not updating to Monterey. Remember that you can always go back to the previous version of macOS using the macOS Recovery Utility. We have explained how to use it above. Have fun with the new macOS Monterey!


Shubham is a prolific writer who has contributed many detailed tutorials for A tech enthusiast and avid Apple fan, Shubham has shared his knowledgeable work with other many popular tech sites like Business Magazine, Thrive Global etc.

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