macOS installation couldn’t be completed? Try these fixes

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Windows & Software Expert
Milan has been enthusiastic about PCs ever since his childhood days, and this led him to take interest in all PC-related technologies. Before joining WindowsReport, he worked as a front-end web developer. Read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Keeping your macOS up to date is important, especially if you want to stay safe.
  • Many users reported that macOS installation couldn’t be completed, and today we’ll show you how to deal with this issue.
  • We show you how to update from Safe Mode, alternative ways of reinstalling as well as a clean install guide.
macos installation couldn't be completed
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macOS is a solid operating system, but every operating system can encounter issues. Speaking of which, many users reported that macOS installation couldn’t be completed on their Mac.

This can be a problem and leave your system out of date and potentially vulnerable, but today we’re going to show you how to fix this issue for good.

What can I do if macOS installation couldn’t be completed?

1. Try to update from Safe Mode

  1. Restart your Mac.
  2. Press and hold the Shift key while the device boots.
  3. Release the Shift key once the login window appears and enter your credentials.
  4. After entering the Safe Mode, open App Store and try to install the update again.

2. Use the Terminal

  1. Open the Terminal.
  2. Now run the following commands one by one:
    • cd /
    • csrutil disable
    • rm -rf macOS\ Install\ Data/– if the command won’t run due to lack of permissions, be sure to add sudo before the command
    • csrutil enable
    • reboot

Try to install the update again.

3. Reinstall macOS from the recovery mode

  1. Turn off your Mac and start it again.
  2. Press and hold Command + R until you see the Apple logo or any other startup screen.
  3. When the macOS Utilities window appears, select Reinstall macOS and click on Continue.
    Reinstall macOS macos installation couldn't be completed
  4. Follow the instructions to complete the reinstallation process.

After doing that, try to upgrade your macOS again. Several users reported that this method worked, so you might want to try it out.

4. Create a bootable USB and perform a clean install

  1. Download the macOS installation. If the installer starts automatically, disable it.
  2. Go to the Applications folder and you should see an app called Install macOS (version name).
  3. Connect a USB flash drive to your Mac. You need a drive with at least 12GB of storage and formatted as Mac OS Extended.
  4. Open Terminal from the Applications folder.
    terminal macos installation couldn't be completed
  5. Run the following command:
    • sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ --volume /Volumes/Name_of_your_USB_drive
      Note: This example is for macOS Catalina, it will be different if you’re trying to install another version of macOS.
      Also, be sure to replace the Name_of_your_USB_drive with the actual name of your flash drive.
  6. Enter your administrator password when and press Y to confirm that you want to erase the volume.

To boot from the drive, do the following:

  1. Back up your important files.
  2. Make sure that your USB drive is connected.
  3. Restart your Mac.
  4. While the device boots, hold the Option key until the Startup Manager appears.
  5. Select your USB flash drive.
  6. Select Install macOS and click Continue.
  7. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the process.

If macOS installation couldn’t be completed, the problem is most likely a glitch with your system, and you should be able to fix it using our solutions.

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