Fix 1: Update your OS. Fix 2: Disconnect peripherals that may be causing the problem. Fix 3: Bypassing startup login items. Fix 4: Reinstalling macOS. “your computer restarted because of a problem press a key or wait a few seconds” loop on Catalina Macbook Pro. Most of our user base has seen this issue on OS Catalina using a Macbook Pro. An existing computer with Windows, Linux, or Mac: This is the computer where you will download and set up Hackintosh Catalina. The computer can run either Windows, Linux, or macOS; any operating system will work. A Hackintosh-compatible computer with an empty hard drive: This is the computer where you will install Hackintosh Catalina.

How to fix macOS 10.15 Catalina problems

Hello, thrill seekers. Looks like you’ve installed macOS Catalina knowing it’s not perfect and despite all warnings ended up here. You are not alone. We’ve rummaged through the internet and collected all macOS Catalina issues known to date. And boy, there’s a lot of wrongs to fix.

1. Can’t install macOS Catalina

You’ve unpacked the installer and now macOS Catalina install stuck on the initial reboot. All you can see is a black screen and even a hard reboot doesn’t help it. Though it’s perfectly normal for an installation to take some time (sometimes up to 10 hours), you can try a few workarounds.

  • Install Catalina in the Safe Mode
  1. Press and hold down the Power key to shut down your computer.
  2. Now, hold down Shift while it’s booting up.
    You will see the Apple logo on a grayish background with a progress bar. After you entered the Safe mode, run the Catalina installer again. Hopefully, it reaches completion this time.

Tip: Press Command + L in the middle of the macOS installation. You will see if it’s still active and the remaining time before completion.

As a Last Resort, Install this Manually: 1. Use Time Machine Backup: Back Up your Mac with Time Machine - Apple Support. Instal Catalina with a USB Bootable Installers: How to Create a Bootable Installer for macOS - Apple Support. Use Migration Assistant to Transfer All Back: How to Move your Content to a New Mac - Apple Support.

  • Do a PRAM and SMC Reset

It’s one of those last-ditch solutions that restore deep system settings including kernel information. It isn’t something you should be doing regularly but in our case, it’s worth trying.

How to reset PRAM
1.Shut down your computer
2. Press the Power key
3. Immediately press Command + Option + P + R keys
4. Hold down the keys until your Mac reboots
5. Let go of the keys

To reset SMC

1. Turn off your Mac
2. Hold down Control + Shift + Option and press power
3. Hold the buttons for 10-15 sec
4. Release the keys and restart your Mac
After you’re done, repeat macOS Catalina installation from scratch.

  • Free up space on your drive

macOS Catalina takes up about 30 GB on your drive. That’s unprecedented in macOS history. When you see the 'macOS Catalina cannot be installed on Macintosh HD' message, this sometimes means that there is not enough disk space for the new macOS. Therefore, you need to free up some space on your Mac.
How to free up space? Move your largest files onto an external drive — will take you about 20 minutes. Or if it looks like too much fuss, free up your storage with CleanMyMac X. It’s a tool that is actually notarized by Apple (shouldn’t be confused with MacKeeper).

You’ll easily remove 7-10 GBs of system garbage. Then you can install macOS Catalina on a drive that’s clean and refreshed.

Here I’ve found a link to a free version of this app — enjoy.

Catalina installation stuck on “Setting up your Mac” screen

So your installation has started but seems to be stuck on the initial screen. What can you do? If your patience has finally run out, it’s time for a mission abort.

  1. Press the power button and wait till your Mac reboots.
  2. Start the installation all over again — this time it should go fine.

“macOS Catalina could not be verified”

This error usually appears when the download has finished. Apparently, it has something to do with cached content associated with your user account.

  1. Open System Preferences > Sharing > Content caching
  2. Switch to “All content`’ in the dropdown menu

The first attempt to download Catalina would often return the same error. But don’t give up just yet! Try downloading Catalina once again — this time it will download it from the cached copy on your Mac which will take about 10-15 seconds. Now it should be ok.

If it doesn’t help you can also:

  • Simply restart your Mac
  • Download Catalina under different “user” on your Mac
  • Try to delete system cache with CleanMyMac

2. macOS Catalina freezing upon reboot

The situation looks like this: macOS Catalina has completed the install, and after you restart your Mac it is stuck on login screen. You see the progress bar but it isn’t going anywhere. What to do?
As one user pointed out, the problem may be caused by 3d party kernel extensions or kexts. They act as drivers — if you like a Windows analogy — and give access to your Mac’s hardware.

  • Solution: Move Library Extensions

As a band-aid solution, you can relocate your /Library/Extensions kexts to a backup folder. As confirmed by many users, this fixes macOS Catalina stuck on reboot problem.
To perform this, you will need Terminal app:
Click Launchpad > Terminal
Now paste in the following command:

mkdir ~/Extensions-Backup && sudo mv /Library/Extensions/* ~/Extensions-Backup/

This command relocates your Library Extensions to the username/Extensions Backup folder. Later you can put the Extensions back where they belong at: /Library/Extensions.

One more solution to macOS Catalina freezing

Generally, Macs freeze when some process is hogging the memory. Some background plugin could be eating up all the available RAM. Here is the method I use to identify my background memory-hoggers.
To get a clear idea what it is, I use CleanMyMac X’s Speed utility.
You need to install CleanMyMac X — it’s available as a free version too.
Open the app, click “Optimization.”

This will give you an idea what Launch Agents are working in the background so you can isolate and disable them.

PS. Heavy consumers — this tab reveals processes that are critically memory-demanding.

3. macOS Catalina apps not working

This is one of the macOS Catalina problems that trails back to macOS Mojave. As you’ve probably heard, app architecture knows 2 types: 32-bit and 64-bit. The 32-bit apps will not be supported on macOS Catalina, period. Sadly, they are not just some lo-fi indie apps, we are talking Photoshop!

Did you know:Apple states that 64-bit apps use memory more effectively and so will work faster on your Mac.

  • Check your 32-bit apps

There’s a quick way to count your potentially problematic applications.

  1. Click the Apple logo > About this Mac > System report
  2. Now find Applications in the sidebar.

To have a deeper look into your apps, where they come from, and how much space they are taking, run the Uninstaller tool in CleanMyMac X. Download this program here — it’s free to download.
Launch the app and click the Uninstaller tab

Here you can see your 32-bit apps and sort apps by “Last used.”

For example, I found a 32-bit video editor, which I didn’t realize was there, stealing away 600 MB of my space.

  • Reset an app that misbehaves

If a particular app stopped working on macOS Catalina, you can reset it with CleanMyMac. This operation doesn’t delete any user data and only restores it to the default state. In 9 out of 10 cases this helps solve syncing issues and sudden app freeze-ups.

Choose an app from the list in the Uninstaller (see screenshot above)
Now click on the drop-down menu under “Uninstall” button
Click on the Reset button that appears

  • Update your applications

In anticipation of various macOS Catalina issues, some developers have already optimized their programs for the new OS. Go to the developer’s site and download the latest available version.
Yes, I’ve already told you about CleanMyMac, but it appears to have just the right tool to handle macOS updates. It automatically updates every single app on your Mac. Though it may take some time, it’s a smart way to debug your macOS Catalina apps.
Once you get CleanMyMac X, click the Updater tab in the sidebar.
Click Select All above the app list.
Now, click Update.

4. macOS Catalina is running slow

Quite expectedly, some of the most reported issues on macOS Catalina are speed-related. Some background processes are hogging the CPU, most notably, the fileproviderd process. Thing is, macOS 10.15 Catalina heavily exchanges data with web-related processes, like cloud storages. There are countless rough edges to this process.

  • Disable the fileproviderd process
    Go to Launchpad > Activity monitor

    Here you’ll need to figure out what process is eating up the most resources. Watch out for the processes named mds and fileproviderd. If they take up 80-100% of CPU, try closing them using the [X] button above.

  • Disable browser extensions
  • Browser extensions may be the culprit of many macOS Catalina issues. Leave the bare minimum of browser extensions and see how your Mac reacts.

5. Problem with Apple ID settings

This happens when Catalina is prompting you to update your Apple ID details. You’ve entered your password but the pop-up keeps coming back after some time.

  • Solution: Enable Keychain in iCloud settings

Go to System Preferences > Internet Accounts > iCloud
Log in into your account and check the list of services that use iCloud.

Tick Keychain and enter your credentials.

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6. Sidecar problems on macOS Catalina

Sidecar is a feature that doubles your workspace as you can use an iPad as a second monitor. The common issue here is inability to connect your iPad to the computer. First off, make sure you have iPadOS installed on your iPad. Then, find your Mac in the list of Sidecar-supported models:

  • Late 2015 27″ iMac
  • 2017 iMac Pro
  • Mid 2016 MacBook Pro
  • Late 2018 Mac mini
  • Late 2018 MacBook Air
  • Early 2016 MacBook
  • 2019 Mac Pro

If your Mac is pre-2015, there’s still a workaround to enable Sidecar.

Open Terminal and paste in the following command:

defaults write allowAllDevices -bool YES

Did it make the trick? Unfortunately, this combination is not guaranteed to work.

7. iCloud issues on macOS Catalina

Cannot download folders from iCloud

iCloud integration is one of those weak spots that produce tons of bugs. Fixes for such macOS Catalina problems are already on the way.

  • Download each file individually

If you cannot download folders from iCloud, download each file individually. Unfortunately, this is the only available workaround at this point.

Did you know: Some part of your iCloud data is stored on both Google and Amazon data centers.

Cannot accept iCloud terms and conditions on Catalina

As of October 2019, this problem has too been widely reported. No matter how many times you’ve accepted the conditions, the legal disclaimer keeps coming up. It appears, that the problem occurs because you have more than just one device connected to iCloud.

  • Go to System Preferences > Internet Accounts.
  • Now, click the iCloud icon

You should see the Terms & Conditions pop-ups that is now in a pending state. Press Accept.

Repeat the procedure for all iCloud accounts and your devices you’ll see in the list.

8. Music Library freezing

The iTunes had been the centerpiece of music on macOS. With its removal things quickly went sideways. Since the arrival of the iTunes successor, Music app, many folks noticed their album artworks missing, Music Library freezing etc.
The typical case is your Mac says its “updating the Music Library”, spinning endlessly, without any progress. The issue is likely caused by obsolete Mojave caches and the remains your previous iTunes ecosystem.

  • Empty your Music folder

And all music-related Library caches.

  1. Back up your music and move it out of Music folder
  2. Open ~/Library and delete any items titled “Music” or “iTunes”
  3. Repeat for ~/Library/Caches
  4. Restart your Mac and see if it worked

Don’t forget to put your music albums back where they had been before.

9. Wi-Fi issues on macOS Catalina

Wi-Fi not working after macOS Catalina update is pretty common. While your macOS is brand new, your Wi-Fi is still relying on some old protocols.

First, try to turn the Wi-Fi off and on again. If that doesn’t help you go to System Preferences > Network

Click on the dropdown menu that shows your Network.
Now, try choosing a different network — just to reset and shaken up the old settings

  1. Connect to your default network
  2. Check to “Automatically join this network”

Alternative fix with CleanMyMac X


To fix Wi-Fi problems on Catalina, we’ll use some of the tools from the free version of CleanMyMac X.

  1. Download the app and open the Privacy tab
  2. Find the Wi-Fi Networks option

Check all the networks in the list and click Remove.

This will make your Mac forget your old Wi-Fi stations and you’ll be able to reconnect again.

10. Bluetooth not available on macOS Catalina

If your Bluetooth is not working on macOS Catalina, there’s one easy trick you can do. You should try deleting your Bluetooth.plist files. Don’t worry, it will auto-create a new copy of itself.

  1. Click Finder > Go > Go to Folder…
  2. Type in: Library/Preferences

Now, look for a file

3. Delete it and restart your Mac.

11. Safari Extensions stopped working

There is a certain kind of Safari extensions, namely, .safariextz files that have been excluded from support in macOS Catalina. They no longer can be installed on Extensions page and are now considered “Legacy.”
RES, Ublock, and Bitwarden are some of the notable extensions that Safari users will miss on Catalina. What’s happening is Apple gradually moving away from the accepted web extensions format (WebExtensions) to the iOS-compatible extensions.

  • Accept this fact (or wait patiently)

If you are missing your favorite ad blockers or other extensions, the easiest is to switch to a different browser. There is also a possibility that the developers will overhaul their extensions to support Safari 13 but we all will have to wait until that happens.

12. Storage filling up for no reason

So you’ve upgraded to macOS Catalina only to discover that a big chunk of free space is missing. Some identified folder is eating up your storage but how can you find it? The issue could be related to Time Machine backups and clones of APFS snapshots stored in different locations.

  • Slim down your Time Machine snapshots
Mac os catalina cannot be installed on this computer as a

You can perform this operation safely in CleanMyMac X.
Download the app (a link to free edition) and launch it.
In CleanMyMac X:
Click the Maintenance tab
Choose “Time Machine snapshots thinning

As a manual solution, paste in the following commands in Terminal:

tmutil listlocalsnapshots / tmutil listlocalsnapshots /System/Volumes/Data

This lists the local snapshots created by your Time Machine. If you’re ready to delete those, type in this:

deletelocalsnapshots <snapshot_date> </snapshot_date>
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  1. Launch the free edition of CleanMyMac — it’s optimized for macOS Catalina
  2. Find the Speed tool with 2 options Optimization and Maintenance
  3. Click Launch Agents
  4. Study your memory processes closely. Run the Launch Agents too see the background apps. Additionally, click Heavy Consumers, and switch off any item you don’t need.

That was our little take on common macOS 10.15 Catalina problems. Something tells us there’ll be lots of newly discovered headaches. But If you feel you’ve had your share of incompatibilities and bugs, you can always go back and clean install macOS Mojave.

13. The iTunes XML crisis

With iTunes being history now, its remnants keep chasing users from beyond the grave. Apparently, some DJ apps have been relying on a specific XML library file that’s now dead and gone with iTunes.

The new Music app was supposed to provide a manual workaround, alas it didn’t. This seriously disrupts the DJ business on planet Earth — until Apple releases a fix in the next macOS Catalina update.

The notable DJ apps affected by this are Traktor and Rekordbox. The issue has made the world news and was even covered by Forbes so the fix is hopefully, already in the works. The last-ditch option that’s left is to you is to downgrade to macOS Mojave so you can enjoy iTunes in its full glory again.

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:

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  • 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. If the download is stuck for a long time, cancel it by clicking the X button.
  4. 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:

  1. Go to the Apple menu > System Preferences > Date & Time.
  2. Tick off Set Date and Time Automatically.
  3. If the option is already checked, uncheck it then reboot your Mac.
  4. Go back to the Date and Time panel and check the option again.
  5. 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:

  1. Go to the Applications folder and look for the installer package for macOS Catalina. It is usually named Install macOS.
  2. Right-click on the file and select Show Package Contents.
  3. Click on Contents > SharedSupport.
  4. Delete the Installlnfo.plist inside the folder.
  5. Type in your admin password to confirm the action.
  6. 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.

Why Macos Catalina Cannot Be Installed

The only way to deal with this is to create another admin user account and install macOS Catalina using that account.

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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:

  1. Boot your Mac into Safe Mode by holding down the Shift key until you see the Apple logo.
  2. 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:

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  1. Shut down your Mac.
  2. Press Power + Command + R keys to bring up the macOS Utilities screen .
  3. Click Reinstall macOS.
  4. Select Disk Utility > Erase HDD.
  5. 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.