If not, just search for the Catalina installation file on your Mac’s drive and double click it to begin your journey to your Mac’s dark side. How to fix MacOS Catalina Sidecar problems. For example, if your Mac came with macOS Big Sur, it will not accept installation of macOS Catalina or earlier. If a macOS can't be used on your Mac, the App Store or installer will let you know. For example, it might say that it's not compatible with this device or is too old to be opened on this version of macOS.
- Catalina Not Installing On Macbook Air
- Catalina Update Not Installing
- Catalina 10.15.5 Not Installing
- Why Is My Macos Catalina Not Installing
- Mac Os Catalina Not Installing
- Mac Os Catalina Not Installing
Apple’s latest macOS, Catalina, has just been released to the public last October 7, 2019 and you can now install it on your Mac, as long as your device meets the hardware requirements. First revealed during the WWDC 2019 conference in San Jose, California, macOS Catalina introduces some new exciting features and functionalities.
As we say goodbye to iTunes, macOS Catalina brings in new apps and features to the table, including Apple Music, Podcasts Books, and TV. Another major feature is Sidecar, which can turn your iPad into another display. For ordinary users, this means getting a secondary display for free. For developers, on the other hand, this secondary screen can be used as a drawing tablet using supported apps.
With the release of macOS Catalina 10.15, a lot of Mac users are enthusiastic to install the newest Mac operating system. Just like the previous versions of macOS, some were able to upgrade without a hitch, but several users encountered various issues during downloading and installation of the update.
Some users experienced slow downloading of the update, while others got error messages when installing Catalina, including:
Pro Tip: Scan your Mac for performance issues, junk files, harmful apps, and security threats
that can cause system issues or slow performance.
- Storage system verify or repair failed
- This copy of the Install application can’t be verified. It may have been corrupted or tampered with during downloading.
- An error occurred while preparing the installation. Try running again.
- Copy of install macOS application is damaged and can’t be used to install macOS.
- There is not enough free space on the selected volume.
This guide will give you a detailed rundown of the most common macOS Catalina installation and update errors encountered by Mac users when upgrading or installing macOS Catalina, along with the instructions on how to deal with these hiccups.
Why macOS Catalina Won’t Install
Various problems can occur during the installation of macOS Catalina. If the installation won’t start, seems to freeze midway , or never seems to complete, then it means that there must be something wrong somewhere.
The first main reason why users can’t install macOS Catalina is compatibility problem. If your Mac doesn’t support macOS Catalina, you won’t be able to proceed with the installation. You need a fairly recent Mac to be able to run macOS Catalina. Here are the Mac models that support the newest macOS:
- MacBook (2015) and later
- MacBook Air (2012) and later
- MacBook Pro (2012) and later
- Mac Mini (2012) and later
- iMac (2012) and later
- iMac Pro (2017) and later
- Mac Pro (2013) and later
If your device is not on this list, then you’re sure to run into problems when installing Catalina.
Another thing you need to check before installation is your available storage space. You will need around 6.5 GB just to download the installer. Once you’ve downloaded it, the amount of space you will need during the installation depends on whether you’re doing a clean install or an upgrade.
A clean install will eat up around 20 GB of storage. On top of that, you have to make room for apps, user data, and user updates. An upgrade install, on the other hand, will only take up 6.5 GB of space for the installer, plus some installation files that the installer will copy to your startup drive.
If you’re tight on storage space, you should consider removing unneeded apps and files on your Mac. You can uninstall the apps one by one, and delete cache files and data using Mac repair app. Make sure you have at least 25 GB of free space to be able to install macOS Catalina successfully.
Aside from compatibility issues and insufficient storage, poor internet connection, incomplete or corrupted installation files, hard disk problems, and faulty software can also cause issues during the installation of macOS Catalina.
Installation Checklist for macOS Catalina
Before proceeding with the installation, it is necessary to spend some time ticking off the checklist below. These steps will not only prevent errors from happening, but also ensure that your data remains safe in case something goes wrong.
- Back up your Mac, especially your iTunes media library since Catalina will no longer have iTunes.
- Take note of the 32-bit apps on your Mac . You will need to update them to the 64-bit version after upgrading, or find an alternative for them.
- Delete old Install macOS files from your Applications folder. These old macOS installation files may cause error during the upgrade.
- Remove all external drives and accessories.
- Plug in your Mac’s power adapter.
- Connect to a stable Wi-Fi network.
Once you’ve completed these steps, you can now proceed with the upgrade.
How to Upgrade to macOS Catalina
The easiest way to download and install macOS Catalina is through the App Store on your Mac. Just open the App Store and search for macOS Catalina. Click the install button to start downloading, then click Continue.
You can also visit the macOS Catalina website and download the installer from there. The installer will be downloaded to the Applications folder on your Mac. Once downloaded, the installer will open by itself. Just follow the onscreen instructions to proceed with the installation. You might be asked to log in using your admin username and password during the process.
As long as your device is compatible with Catalina and you’ve followed the instructions, you’ll be able to successfully install the new macOS on your Mac. But if you encounter any error during the download or installation, refer to our guide below to sort out the issue.
How to Fix Common Download Errors for macOS Catalina
Downloading the installer is the first step of the installation process. The installer takes up 6.5GB of storage, but you will need more space to be able to run the new macOS smoothly. If you have Automatic Updates enabled, the installer might already be downloaded on your device.
If the installer has not yet been downloaded, go to the Apple menu > System Preferences > Software Update to download Catalina.
If the downloading process gets stuck or is taking a long time to complete, here’s what you can do:
- Go to the Apple Server status website and check if the macOS Software Update‘s button is green. If not, then there’s probably some issues with the website, so you might need to try upgrading some other time.
- If the macOS Software Update is green, but you’re still having download problems, check your internet connection. Consider switching to a wired internet connection if possible.
- If the download is stuck for a long time, cancel it by clicking the X button.
- Switch to a different DNS server and retry the download again.
It might take a few attempts for the downloading to be successful, especially in the early days of the release of the update.
How to Fix Errors When Preparing for the Installation of macOS Catalina
Once you have successfully downloaded the installer to your device, the system then prepares your Mac for the installation process. There are users who encountered errors during this stage and came across the Error occurred preparing the installation. Try running the applicationagain message.
The first thing you need to do when you encounter this error is to reboot your Mac. You might need to restart your system a couple of times to deal with this problem. If the error doesn’t go away after rebooting, here are some steps you can try:
Check Your Mac’s System Date and Time.
An incorrect system time usually gets in the way of a lot of system processes, including updates. To make sure your Mac’s date and time are correct, follow the instructions below:
- Go to the Apple menu > System Preferences > Date & Time.
- Tick off Set Date and Time Automatically.
- If the option is already checked, uncheck it then reboot your Mac.
- Go back to the Date and Time panel and check the option again.
- Next, try re-installing macOS Catalina.
Re-Download the Installer.
If the step above did not work, you might have to delete the macOS Catalina installer on your Applications folder. Find the Install macOS file in the Applications folder and move it to the Trash. Empty the Trash and reboot. Once your Mac restarts, try downloading the installer and then run the install process again.
Delete the Installinfo.plist File.
If you encounter the Copy of install macOS application is damaged and cant be used to install macOS error during the preparation of the installation, the best workaround is to delete the installinfo.plist from the installer package, then try re-installing.
To delete the installinfo.plist file, check out the steps below:
- Go to the Applications folder and look for the installer package for macOS Catalina. It is usually named Install macOS.
- Right-click on the file and select Show Package Contents.
- Click on Contents > SharedSupport.
- Delete the Installlnfo.plist inside the folder.
- Type in your admin password to confirm the action.
- Click on the installer to run it again.
How to Fix Catalina Installation Errors on Mac
After preparing your Mac, the system then proceeds to the installation process. There are different errors you might encounter at this stage, so you need to take note of the error message and at which stage it happened.
Here are some of the errors you may encounter during the installation process.
Stuck at Setting Up Screen
When you’ve been stuck with the Setting up your Mac message for several hours or you encounter the dreaded spinning wheel, the best way to deal with this is to restart your device. Press the power button to shut down your Mac, then press it again to reboot.
Storage Space Problems
If you failed to optimize your storage space before the installation, you might come across errors related to insufficient storage space. You might see the macOS Could not be installed, the target disk is too small message or the There is not enough free space on the selected volume error.
This happens because you do not have enough space on your Mac. Free up some storage first before proceeding with the installation. You might need around 20GB to 25GB of space for macOS Catalina to run efficiently on your Mac.
Network Access Error
If you see a Code=551 error anytime during the installation process, you need to check your network settings. This error happens to devices with overactive firewall or those installed with third-party security software, such as VPN and antivirus. If this happens, disable this software first before trying to reinstall macOS Catalina.
Installation Doesn’t Complete
Sometimes, your Mac gets stuck with the x minutes remaining screen during the installation. When you encounter this problem, click the X button to exit the installation process and check your console logs. It is possible that your user account is corrupted, preventing your system from completing the installation process.
The only way to deal with this is to create another admin user account and install macOS Catalina using that account.
Mac Fails to Start After Update
You might think that everything is over once you finish the installation process and your Mac restarts. But sometimes, errors can still happen even after the installation has been completed. Some users reported getting stuck with a black screen, while others encounter the spinning wheel during the restart following the update.
This error is usually caused by incompatible or corrupted kext files. Kext or Kernel Extension files are the drivers for macOS. To check whether kext files are causing the error, move all of them out of your Extensions folder before rebooting your Mac.
To move your kext files, follow the steps below:
- Boot your Mac into Safe Mode by holding down the Shift key until you see the Apple logo.
- Open Terminal under the Utilities folder, then copy-paste the following command:
mkdir ~/Extensions-Backup && sudo mv /Library/Extensions/* ~/Extensions-Backup/
Once done, restart your Mac in normal mode and see if it goes through.
If All Else Fails, Do a Fresh Install.
If you’re still having issues despite following the guide above, you may need to do a fresh install of macOS Catalina. To do this:
- Shut down your Mac.
- Press Power + Command + R keys to bring up the macOS Utilities screen .
- Click Reinstall macOS.
- Select Disk Utility > Erase HDD.
- Install the macOS Catalina from here.
Remember that erasing your HDD will delete all of your files and settings, so make sure you have a backup before doing a fresh install. This should hopefully take care of common macOS Catalina installation problems.
Make your Mac invincible
After summer comes macOS. This long-standing tradition started by Apple is the most exciting moment of the year — seeing your Macs improve and gain new bells and whistles. In 2019, we're welcoming Catalina, the 10.15 version of macOS named after Catalina island in California. Apparently, it's hot.
The operating system boasts a whole lot of new macOS features like Sidecar, iOS apps porting, and major Photos update. To try the features right away, you can install Catalina from the Software Update tab.
However, be prepared for some troubleshooting. The acquaintance with the new macOS doesn't always go smooth — and with macOS 10.15 deeming support for lots of software, many things will not go smooth. We've collected the key macOS Catalina issues you may encounter, along with the ways to fix them.
macOS 10.15 Catalina problems and their fixes
Giving up Catalina is a decision you can choose to make. But before rolling back, ensure you use every bit of advice as to how you can fix the common problems. Sometimes, a quick fix can solve your concerns.
Get macOS problem fixes on Setapp
Beta or not, you can safely install any version of the new macOS. Setapp and its 150+ apps will solve every Mac concern you have.
Problems with macOS Catalina you can solve:
macOS 10.15 Catalina won't install
This is the classic problem that arises with every macOS release: The installation won't start or you face the 'Catalina installation stuck' problem — when it freezes and you see no progress on the install. No matter how many times you start over, you keep getting an error trying to install Catalina.'
How to fix:
- Apple recommends to reset SMC. Shut down your Mac, and hold Shift + Ctrl + Option + Power button for about 10 seconds, with your cable plugged in. Click on the power button and wait for your Mac to start up.
- Try resetting NVRAM or PRAM. Shut down your Mac, and hold Option + Command + P + R for about 20 seconds. Wait for your computer to restart.
- Reinstall from macOS recovery. Hold Option + Command + R to reinstall. Once you see the startup screen, start the installation again.
- Some users reported they were prompted to enter administrator password several times to complete the installation. So it might be something for you to try as well.
- In most cases, macOS Catalina cannot be installed on Macintosh HD, because it doesn't have enough disk space. If you install Catalina on top of your current operating system, the computer will keep all the files and still need free space for Catalina. So the easiest fix would be to clean up your system with CleanMyMac X before upgrading. All the system junk, app leftovers, and unneeded files will go away in a minute.
- Backup your disk and run a clean install. This will wipe away your current system files, leaving space for macOS Catalina — so yes, this option is for the brave. If you use a solid backup solution, you'll keep your data safe, though. Get Backup Pro is a nice way to do it — unlike Apple's Time Machine, the app allows running bootable backups.
Say you've cleared up and backed up your disk. But your Mac still gets stuck at the installation and shows 'not enough space' error, so you can't get out of the cycle. In this case, there's another fix you can try:
- Reinstall Mojave. No worries, this won't delete your disk. Reboot your Mac and hold Command + R to enter the Recovery Mode. Click Reinstall macOS.
- Restore from your backup. If you have a Time Machine backup, enter the Recovery Mode again and select 'Restore from Time Machine Backup.' Select the backup from the list and restore your files. Check out how to use apple time machine.
Some users also report they tried to reboot into Safe Mode and take the installation from there; the others used a newly created admin user — but most attempts have been unsuccessful.
We must agree that macOS 10.15 is one of the slowest systems in terms of installation. But if you use the hacks described above and have a little patience, you'll be able to get to the 'Catalina installed' point.
Find more information about how to update mac os the right way.
If you can't login after upgrading to Catalina
There's a known problem of failing to login after the installation. Unfortunately, the only way to fix it — at least for now — would be to roll back to Mojave:
- Clean up your Mac with CleanMyMac X and backup your data.
- Save passwords to ensure you don't lose license keys and settings.
- Create a bootable installer of Mojave (after Catalina goes public, you can download Mojave here).
- Delete macOS Catalina: Apple menu > Restart > Command + R > Disk Utility > your startup disk > Erase.
One of the things Mac users are particularly excited about is the new Sidecar feature. It comes as a handy solution for those wanting to expand their workspaces. You can either mirror your Mac's screen to iPad or use your iPad's screen as an extension of a Mac.
If the only reason you're here is because you want Sidecar, we have to warn you it might not work with your new macOS. Reddit is full of user reports about the feature unavailable on macOS Catalina. Most likely, this is the issue of compatibility.
How to fix:
Here are the ways to fix Sidecar problems:
- Get the new iPadOS 13. Unfortunately, macOS Catalina doesn't work with iPadOS 12. So basically, you have to use the recent operating systems if you want to try Sidecar.
- Make sure your Mac is one of the compatible devices. Sidecar works on:
- 2019 Mac Pro
- Late 2018 Mac mini +
- Late 2018 MacBook Air +
- 2017 iMac Pro
- Mid 2016 MacBook Pro +
- Early 2016 MacBook +
- Late 2015 iMac +
- Try connecting your iPad with a cable. With Sidecar, you should be able to connect your iPad wirelessly. If this doesn't work, the cable might solve the issue.
Battery drain on macOS Catalina
Many of the previous macOS releases were known for battery life concerns — greedy apps, Safari and Chrome draining battery, or power-saving not working. There has been no major battery drain issues reported by the Catalina users so far.
How to fix:
Just to make sure you don't encounter the problem as well, here are a few precautions:
- Check for apps that use significant energy. For a quick insight, check Apple's in-built Activity Monitor. It shows the 'Energy impact' for every application — calculated based on CPU, network usage, and other factors.
- Have a solution for battery health monitoring. iStat Menus is a perfect fit if you need detailed analytics on disk activity, CPU usage, battery life, memory load, and much more. The app shows all the data right in your menu bar. Plus, you can customize what's being monitored flexibly.
- Use Screen Time to limit the use of apps. This is the brand-new app on macOS Catalina, which helps you live a healthier Mac user life. Set time limits for the use of specific apps or app categories and schedule downtime. The main goal is to track how much time you spend on the computer, but you can also use it to optimize battery life on Mac.
Apps not working on macOS Catalina
In the attempt to speed up your Mac's performance, Apple is killing 32-bit app architecture with the release of Catalina. This means you have to switch to 64-bit, for good. You might see the messages like this when trying to launch an app:
The chances are it's one of the oldies.
How to fix:
CleanMyMac X can pretty much solve every app problem on macOS Catalina.
Uninstall all 32-bit apps in a click
No more digging through the settings. Download CleanMyMac X and batch uninstall every outdated app on Mac.
- Use Updater to search available app updates. Maybe the app is not working, because it needs upgrading. If you've missed the update notification, you won't know about this. To solve the issue, CleanMyMac X will show you the full list of apps with available updates from developers. The best thing is you can run a batch update right in the app.
- Uninstaller gives you an easy way to reset or get rid of 32-bit apps. The Apple way of checking for 32-bit applications is quite easy: access About This Mac > System report > Applications. However, once you find apps with the outdated architecture, you'll have to go and uninstall each of them separately. The Uninstaller feature in CleanMyMac X simplifies things for you — filter by 32-bit and get rid of each of them.
- If there's no particular reason an app misbehaves, try resetting it. Guess what, CleanMyMac X has it covered too. In Uninstaller, click on the arrow button next to the app and choose Reset. As easy as that.
While app notarization takes time, you can expect many apps being unavailable after the release of Catalina. This doesn't mean they are gone for good, though. Contact developers or follow official developer announcements to find out about compatibility plans.
OneDrive client problems on Catalina
Due to Catalina's new security settings, Microsoft's OneDrive may have a problem accessing your drive — even if you allow a full access. This is because macOS 10.15 comes with two disk volumes by default.
How to fix:
There are no surefire fixes just yet, but you can try to troubleshoot OneDrive by setting it up from the very beginning. This worked for some users, according to the Reddit discussion:
- Unlink your account and quit OneDrive.
- Remove OneDrive client from your Mac and delete the folder.
- Set up OneDrive again and make sure you allow full disk access in Security & Privacy.
iCloud problems on macOS Catalina
The most common issue with iCloud is that users are unable to download their folders. You can try downloading iCloud files separately — but that's going to be a pain if you have an extensive library.
How to fix:
The best fix would be using Forklift app for your file management. The app is Catalina-ready and allows connecting local drives, Dropbox, iCloud, and tons of other storage sites.
If you're setting up iCloud, there might be another issue standing in your way: Not being able to agree to the Terms and Conditions. The window will just keep popping up on your screen. An easy way to fix this would be to access System Preferences > Internet Accounts and then click on the iCloud icon. You'll see a static Terms and Conditions window — click Accept and you're good to go.
Catalina Not Installing On Macbook Air
Replacing iTunes on Catalina
The new macOS 10.15 brought along the end of iTunes and the birth of the new Music app. Basically, it looks the same — but with music-only content. There's a huge difference for people who rely on syncing Apple Music with third-party apps. The new app doesn't support XML file support, which makes playlist syncing impossible across many apps. So if you use Apple Music for DJing, you'll definitely have a problem.
How to fix:
The only fix to suggest here would be to stay away from Catalina if you need your XML apps to work with iTunes.
Music library issues
New Music app keeps freezing
There have been reports about the new music app freezing on Mac. Well, it's the first splitting of iTunes, so it's no wonder it doesn't go smooth. In most cases, your Mac will keep showing the 'library updating' status.
How to fix:
- Create a backup of your entire music library.
- Move your music out of the music folder.
- Go to ~/Library and remove every file related to 'Music' and 'iTunes.'
- Delete music caches in ~/Library/Caches.
- Restart your Mac and try to access the library again. It should be working now.
Memory usage problems with Apple Music app
Another problem you may come across is the Music app eating too much of your space. One user wrote the app used over 30GB of memory on his Mac.
How to fix:
Apparently, the problem is related to the memory management of Album Art. It is getting better, though. According to user reports, memory usage goes back to normal after restarting the app.
Mail search is broken
According to forum posts, your mailbox might get pretty messy after the upgrade — with no search functionality whatsoever. So if you try searching by keywords or recipient/sender name, the app will keep showing the numerical number of results. The reason could be the new Spotlight integration.
How to fix:
- Open System Preferences > Internet accounts and remove your mail account.
- Restart your computer and once again add your mail account to the app.
- Try searching through your emails — it should be working now.
There have also been some early reports about emails missing from the Mail app — so you might want to wait for it to get fixed before upgrading, especially if you rely on Apple Mail.
Slowing down and overheating macOS Catalina problems
So here's the thing: macOS Catalina should be faster than Mojave. 32-bit architecture was one of the things slowing an operating system down. It's gone, and so are the issues with slow apps. Unfortunately, you can expect your Mac go slow and overheat anyway.
How to fix:
- Too many login items often cause your Mac to go slow. To eliminate the problem, disable apps from launching at startup. Go to System Preferences > Users & Groups > Login Items. Check the apps you don't want to run at startup and click on the minus button.
- Reset SMC. This is a universal fix that helps solve the issues with overheating, battery life, slow Mac, and more. The process is pretty simple and doesn't impose any risks of losing your data. To reset, shut down your Mac, but leave a charger plugged in. Hold Shift + Ctrl + Option + Power button for about 10 seconds. Click on the power button and wait for your Mac to start up.
Dock disappearing on macOS Catalina
On the Apple forum, people mentioned Dock disappearing from their screen after upgrading to Catalina. The nature of this mistake is unknown — some users connect it to PRAM resetting, the others say they had the issue when trying to work across two screens.
How to fix:
Try Option + Command + D. If it doesn't work for you, do the following:
- Go to Settings > Dock
- Change the Dock's size so that it starts flickering
- Change the hide/show settings
- Customize the Dock's position on screen (you can do it randomly).
- Close the window and check whether it's working now.
Internet not working after upgrading to Catalina
If you're putting macOS 10.15 over your current system, you're likely to encounter Internet connection problems.
How to fix:
The radical way would be to clean install macOS Catalina — it's healthier for your Mac and will probably fix the issue. If you're not ready to take a risk, try rebooting your Mac.
There has been a user report saying that Sophos caused the problem of network connection. So uninstalling it may be a fix as well.
Bluetooth not available on macOS Catalina
Catalina Update Not Installing
Well, that's a problem. Definitely a huge one if you use AirPods. Deleting your Bluetooth.plist files might be the way to solve this.
How to fix:
Catalina 10.15.5 Not Installing
- Open Finder > Go > Go to Folder
- Type Library/Preferences
- Find a file with the name 'com.Apple.Bluetooth.plist' and delete it.
Safari extensions not working
While Apple is trying to transition to iOS-compatible extensions, it gradually deems support for many web extensions formats. On Catalina, you'll face the problem with .safariextz files not working.
How to fix:
Just like with 32-bit apps, there's no way to fix the missing extensions. If you can't find a good alternative, you can switch to Chrome or another browser.
Storage filling up too fast
If you notice unusual storage filling up progress, this might mean your Mac captured too many redundant files during the Catalina installation. In most cases, these are APFS files and Time Machine backups.
How to fix:
If you can use a good Time Machine alternative like Get Backup Pro throughout the upgrade, do it. Otherwise, you can remove Time Machine leftovers after installing Catalina with CleanMyMac X. In the Maintenance tab, select 'Time Machine snapshots thinning,' and run a cleanup.
Why Is My Macos Catalina Not Installing
To remove snapshots manually, use the following Terminal commands:
- To view the list of snapshots:
tmutil listlocalsnapshots / tmutil listlocalsnapshots /System/Volumes/Data
- To delete snapshots:
Here's a quick review of all mentioned fixes, which you can take with you:
Mac Os Catalina Not Installing
Is macOS Catalina stable?
The short answer is yes — if you use it right. So before you decide to downgrade back to Mojave, make sure you've done the following things right:
- Backup your Mac with Get Backup Pro or any other reliable tool before running an installation.
- If you still need some of the Mojave functionality that won't be available in Catalina, install the new macOS on partition.
- Make your Mac as clean as possible before upgrading.
- Get iPadOS 13 if you want to use the Sidecar feature.
- Get rid of 32-bit applications, even if this means killing your darlings.
- Backup your Music and then empty the folder along with music-related Library caches. The new Apple Music app is still pretty much unpredictable, so you need to ensure you don't lose your playlist.
- CleanMyMac X is a solution for many Catalina issues, so you need it — badly. To cut the cost, you can get it through Setapp and receive extra tools like Get Backup Pro and Endurance.
If you want to dive more into macOS Catalina bugs fixed, check out the Reddit discussion.