How to fix MacOS installation failed an error occurred [Easy Guide]

What is ‘Installation failed an error occurred’ on MacOS?

If you are facing ‘MacOS installation failed an error occurred’ error while trying to download/install MacOS software updates in your Mac computer, then you are in right place for the solution. Here, you will be guided with easy steps/methods to resolve the issue. Let’s starts the discussion.

‘Installation failed an error occurred’ error on Mac: It is common MacOS issue considered as MacOS software update error. This error is usually appeared when you try to download and install MacOS update in your Mac computer. This error indicates that MacOS update couldn’t complete for some reasons. Let’s take a look at error message.

“Installation failed, an error occurred while installing the selected updates”

Several users reported about this MacOS software update installation error and explained that this error is appeared in Software Update window of System Preference panel when MacOS update failed to install. This issue is occurred with most of MacOS versions including MacOS Big Sur, Catalina, and MacOS Mojave. This MacOS installation failed error prevents you from installing MacOS software update in computer.

The possible reason behind this error can be software conflict issues, server issues, internet connection issues, issues with MacOS update installation files and components, malware or viruses infection in Mac and other reasons. You should make sure you have stable internet connection and speed, and there is no issue with internet connection. If any, fix network/internet problem and then retry updating or downloading/installing MacOS software update and check if it works for you.

This error can also be occurred if Apple’s server is currently under maintenance or unavailable for some reasons, or Apple’s server may be overloaded due to number of users trying to download/install new MacOS update. In such case, you can wait for few hours or until the Apple’s server is available to you if you want to download/install MacOS update without any error. Let’s go for the solution.

How to fix MacOS installation failed an error occurred?

Method 1: Check Apple Server Status

Before troubleshooting the error, you should at first check if Apple Server is active at this moment or not because you can’t get the update if there is some problem with Apple’s Server. To check Apple Server Status, you need to open your browser and visit ‘Apple System Status’ page or ‘’ page and check if Apple Server is available to you. If the page shows Apple Server is unavailable at the moment for some reasons, then you will need to wait until the Apple’s servers are available for you.

Method 2: Restart Mac computer

Sometimes, this error can be occurred due to some temporary glitch in your Mac computer. Restarting Mac computer will resolve any temporary glitch in Mac and some software related issues. After system restart, retry downloading/installing MacOS update and check if the error is resolved.

Method 3: Check your internet connection

Issue with your network/internet connection could be another possible reason behind this error. You should make sure that there is no issue with your internet connection. To check internet connection working or not, you can open your browser and try visiting some WebPages and this way, you can check your internet connection speed also.

You can fix internet connection issue by restarting/resetting networking equipments like router, modem or others. You can also perform power cycle your router and Mac computer both in order to fix communication issue with your Mac computer and router. Once done, please check if you can download/install MacOS update in Mac computer without any issue.

Method 4: Check if MacOS is not enrolled in BETA Updates

Another possible reason behind this issue can be BETA version of MacOS you have enrolled. Make sure your MacOS is not enrolled in MacOS BETA version updates. In such case, you can un-enroll from BETA version of MacOS in order to fix the error.

Step 1: On Mac, click on ‘Apple’ menu at top of window and select ‘System Preferences’

Step 2: In ‘System Preferences’ window, find and select ‘Software Update’ icon

Step 3: Click on ‘Details…’ button below the text ‘This Mac is enrolled in Apple Beta Software Program’

Step 4: In the confirmation dialog box, select ‘Restore Defaults’ to un-enroll from receiving Mac Beta updates.

Step 5: Once done, retry downloading/install MacOS update and check if the error is resolved.

Method 5: Download and Install MacOS update directly from Apple App Store

If the error is still persist, then you can try to download and install MacOS software update directly from official sources. To do so, you need to open your browser and visit ‘Apple App Store’ page or using direct link from Apple Support (Official) page or ‘’ page. The official Apple Support Page will show you the links for older versions of MacOS as well as new versions like MacOS Big Sur.

Method 6: Download full MacOS installer directly using Terminal Command Line on Mac

You can also try to download a full MacOS installer directly using Terminal Command Line.

Step 1: Click on ‘LaunchPad’ icon in Dock on Mac computer and type ‘Terminal’ in search field, and click ‘Terminal’ from search results appear

Step 2: In ‘Terminal’ command line window opened, type the following command and hit ‘Enter’ or ‘Return’ key to execute. Here, **.**.** is MacOS version you want to download means you need to replace **.**.** with your MacOS version. For example, You can change it to 10.15 to get MacOS Catalina.

softwareupdate –fetch-full-installer –full-installer-version **.**.*

Step 3: This will install the MacOS update version you entered through command line. Wait to finish the process. Once done, restart your Mac to see the changes.

Method 7: Enable Content Caching on Mac

Some users reported that enabling Content Caching feature on Mac can resolve the error. Let’s try.

Step 1: Click on ‘Apple’ menu at top of Mac and select ‘System Preferences’

Step 2: In ‘System Preferences’ window, find and click on ‘Sharing’ icon

Step 3: In ‘Sharing’ window, in left pane, find and check the ‘Content Caching’ checkbox if it is not checked and in right pane, select ‘All Content’ option from ‘Cache’ dropdown

Step 4: Once done, retry downloading/install MacOS update and check if the error is resolved.

Method 8: Download and update MacOS in Safe Mode

Booting Mac computer in Safe Mode will allow only essential files and components to load and to function in computer. You can boot your Mac in Safe Mode in order to download and update MacOS without any issue.

Step 1: Click on ‘Apple’ LOGO icon at top-left on Mac and select ‘Restart’ option to restart

Step 2: When restart initiates, press & hold ‘Shift’ key on keyboard and keep holding the key until your Mac is boot into Safe Mode

Step 3: Once you are in Safe Mode on Mac, open ‘Mac App Store’ and download/install MacOS update like MacOS Catalina Update

Method 9: Download and install MacOS upgrade using Bootloader Installer

You can also install MacOS Catalina from USB Installer but before that you will need to download the MacOS upgrade/update first.

Step 1: Open ‘Mac App Store’ in your Mac computer and download MacOS Catalina upgrade or the update you want to install.

Step 2: Plug a USB drive having 16GB or more capacity into your Mac computer

Step 3: Now, you need to create bootable Installer for MacOS you downloaded. You can try ‘Disk Creator’ to create installer. To get this tool, you can visit ‘’ page.

Step 4: Now, restart your Mac Computer and press & hold option to select your USB installer from the list to install MacOS update. Follow on-screen instructions to finish update and restart your computer again to see the changes.


I am sure this post helped you on How to fix MacOS installation failed an error occurred with several easy steps/methods. You can read & follow our instructions to do so. That’s all. For any suggestions or queries, please write on comment box below.