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You can correct this issue by using another Mac or iOS device and launching the Find My Mac app, or opening a browser and going to the website. Log in to your iCloud account, if needed, then remove the Mac in question from being associated with your Apple ID. Restart your Mac and then hold down the Command, Option, R and P keys. That should reset the NVRAM. Wait for a few seconds until your Mac restarts and wait if the installation starts. Start in Recovery mode to reinstall High Sierra. You can also restart your Mac in Recovery mode by holding down the Command + R keys at startup. May 30, 2017 I remember how stable System 7.6.1 felt, the new UI overhaul in Mac OS 8 which felt so modern, the rocky initial transition to Mac OS X (I ran 10.0 on an iBook and found it to be so unusable I switched back to Mac OS 9 and then went to Mac OS X again with 10.1) that was then resolved and became a solid and fantastic OS. If not, reset your Mac’s NVRAM. Shut down your Mac, then turn it on and immediately press and hold these four keys together: Option, Command, P, and R. Release the keys after 20-30 seconds, during which your Mac might appear to restart. If FaceTime’s still not working, check your Mac’s Date & Time–turn off and on automatic date/time.

After waiting for my mid-2012 MacBook Pro to update for two days and nights, it's finally on the latest macOS — 10.13 High Sierra!

As a tech enthusiast, I was super excited about High Sierra and its new features. However, the excitement has been gradually overcome by the issues I encountered — mainly, that it runs slowly or even freezes up during and after installation.

Having immersed myself into countless Apple communities and forums, I found that I wasn't alone. Because of our collective experience, I figured it would be a good idea to write an article listing common macOS High Sierra slowdown issues together with relevant solutions.

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My goal is simple: to save you time by helping you solve problems! Some of the issues below are what I personally suffered, while some come from stories of other fellow Mac users. I hope you find them helpful.

Important Tips

If you have decided to update to High Sierra but have yet to do so, here are a few things (based on order of priority) I highly recommend you check out in advance so you can avoid potential problems.

  1. Check your Mac model - Not all Macs, especially old ones, are able to upgrade. Apple has a clear list of which Mac models are supported. You can view the specifics here.
  2. Clean up your Mac - Per Apple, High Sierra requires at least 14.3GB of storage space to perform the upgrade. The more free space you have, the better. Plus, it'll take you less time to back up. How to clean? There are lots of manual things you can do, but I recommend using CleanMyMac 3 to remove system junk and Gemini 2 to find large duplicates. That's the most effective solution I've found.
  3. Backup your data - It's always good practice to backup your Mac once a while — or like they say, make a backup of your backups! Apple also recommends us to do that for major macOS upgrades, just in case. Time Machine is the go-to tool but you can also use an advanced backup app like Get Backup Pro which has several key features Time Machine doesn't offer, such as bootable backups, the ability to select which files to backup, lossless compression, etc.
  4. Update to 10.12.6 FIRST - This helps avoid an issue where your Mac keeps hanging in the 'about a minute remaining' window. I found out the hard way. If your Mac is currently running an older Sierra version other than 10.12.6, you can't successfully install High Sierra. You can learn more details from Issue 3 below.
  5. Choose the right time to update - Do NOT install High Sierra at work. You never how long it's going to take. Instead, I think it's best that you set a time to do this on a weekend. The installation process alone will take about two hours to complete (ideally). Plus, it takes more time to clean and back up your Mac -- and deal with those unexpected issues like the ones I encountered.

All done? Great! Now here are the list of issues and fixes you may reference in case problems show up.

Note: it's very unlikely that you'll encounter all of the issues below, so feel free to navigate through the Table of Contents to jump to the issue that is exactly the same or similar to your situation.

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Table of ContentsImportant Tips

During macOS High Sierra Installation

Issue 1: Downloading Process is Slow

Possible cause: Your Internet connection is weak.

How to fix: Restart your Internet router, or move your Mac machine to a better location with a stronger signal.

For me, it only took a few minutes for the download to complete before the installation window popped up. Here are two screenshots I took:

Issue 2: Not Enough Disk Space to Install

Possible cause: The startup disk on the Mac that High Sierra will be installed on lacks storage space. The latest macOS requires at least 14.3GB free disk space.

How to fix: Free up storage as much as you can. Check the partition for large files, deleting or transferring them elsewhere (especially photos and videos which tend to take much more space than other types of files). Also, unused applications could stack up. It's good practice to uninstall them as well. The quickest way is to use CleanMyMac to deep-clean your hard drive (see review), and Gemini to find and remove duplicates or similar files (see review).

For me, I didn't encounter this error because my installation 'Macintosh HD' has 261.21 GB available of 479.89 GB — 54% free!

Issue 3: Freezes or Stuck at A Minute Remaining

More details: The installation stops while the progress bar shows it's almost finished. It says 'About a minute remaining' (could be 'several minutes left' in your case).

Possible cause: Your Mac is running macOS Sierra 10.12.5 or an older version.

How to fix: Take a few minutes to update your Mac to 10.12.6 first, then re-install 10.13 High Sierra.

I was really annoyed by this 'About a minute remaining' issue — though it said only a minute left, a few hours later the situation was the same. I canceled it, thinking my Internet had been disconnected, and re-tried. But I was disappointed to see my Mac hang up again with the same error: Stuck at one minute left.

So, I opened Mac App Store and saw that there was an update request (as you see from the screenshot below, thankfully I still have it). I clicked the 'UPDATE' button. In about ten minutes, Sierra 10.12.6 was installed. I then proceeded to install High Sierra. The 'one minute remaining' issue never reappeared.

Issue 4: Mac Running Hot

Possible cause: You're multi-tasking while High Sierra has yet to finish installing.

How to fix: Open Activity Monitor and find resource-hogging processes. You can access Activity Monitor by going to Applications > Utilities, or do a quick Spotlight search. Close those applications or processes (highlight them and click 'X' button) that are over-consuming your CPU and memory. Also, read this Mac overheating article I wrote earlier for other fixes.

While I installed High Sierra, my mid-2012 MacBook Pro did run hot a little bit, but not to a point that it needed attention. I found that once I quit a few commonly used apps like Google Chrome and Mail, the fan immediately stopped running loud. I had to switch to my PC for work stuff during those two days, which wasn't a problem for me, fortunately. 🙂

After macOS High Sierra is Installed

Issue 5: Running Slow on Startup

Possible causes:

  • Your Mac has too many login items (apps or services that automatically open up when a Mac boots up).
  • The startup disk on your Mac has limited available storage space.
  • The Mac is equipped with an HDD (hard disk drive) rather than an SSD (solid state drive). In case you wondered the speed difference, I replaced my MacBook hard drive with a new SSD and the performance difference was like night and day. Initially, my Mac took at least thirty seconds to start up, but after the SSD upgrade, it only took ten seconds or so.

How to fix: First, click the Apple logo on the top-left and select System Preferences > Users & Groups > Login Items. There you'll see all the items that open automatically when you log in. Highlight those unneeded items and click the '-' icon to disable them.

Then, check whether or not the startup disk is full by going to About This Mac > Storage. You'll see a colorful bar like this showing you the usage of your hard drive (or flash storage).

Clicking on the 'Manage' button gives you a detailed overview of what types of files are taking up the most storage — which is often a direct hint as to where you should get started cleaning up your Mac.

For me, I didn't notice much speed lag after updating to High Sierra, probably because my Mac had an SSD already (its default Hitachi HDD died last year) and it only takes ten seconds or so to fully boot up. Seriously, Macs with SSDs are much faster than those with HDDs.

Issue 6: Mac Cursor Freezes

Possible cause: You enlarged the cursor size.

How to fix: Adjust the cursor to normal size. Go to System Preferences > Accessibility > Display. Under 'Cursor size', make sure it points to 'Normal'.

Issue 7: App Crashes or Can't Be Opened upon Start

Possible cause: The app is outdated or incompatible with High Sierra.


How to fix: Check the app developer's official site or Mac App Store to see if there's a newer version. If yes, update to the newer version and re-launch the app.

Note: if the Photos app fails to launch by showing this error 'An unexpected error has occurred. Please quit and restart the application', you mayneed to repair the Photos library. This article has more information on that.

Issue 8: Safari, Chrome, or Firefox Slow

Possible causes:

  • The version of your web browser is outdated.
  • You've installed too many extensions or plugins.
  • Your computer is infected with Adware and your web browsers are being redirected to suspicious websites with intrusive flash ads.

How to fix:

First, run Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac to check if your machine has been infected with malicious software or Adware.

Then, check if your web browser is up to date. Take Firefox for instance — click on “About Firefox” and Mozilla will auto-check whether Firefox is up to date. Same with Chrome and Safari.

Also, remove unnecessary third-party extensions. (833) 506-1666 For example, on Safari, go to Preferences > Extensions. Here you'll see the plugins you've installed. Uninstall or disable those you don't need. In general, the fewer extensions enabled, the smoother your browsing experience would be.

How to Improve Mac Performance with High Sierra

  • Declutter your Mac desktop. Many of us are used to saving everything on the desktop, but that's never a good idea. A cluttered desktop can seriously slow down a Mac. Additionally, it's bad for organization. How do you solve that? Start by manually creating folders and moving files into them.
  • Reset NVRAM and SMC. 1-833-506-1666 If your Mac is not booting correctly after updating to High Sierra, you can perform a simple NVRAM or SMC resetting. This Apple guide, as well as this one, has detailed step-by-step instructions. Make sure you've backed up your Mac before doing this.
  • Check Activity Monitor more often. It's normal that when you're running certain third-party apps, your Mac could slow down or even freeze. Activity Monitor is the best way to pinpoint those problems. For those apps that have compatibility issues running with the latest macOS, check the developer's site to see if there's an update, or turn to alternative apps.

Jul 16, 2018 1:01 PM

Installing a new version of Mac OS Sierra should be an easy job. Your Mac will simply tell you an update is available through a popup in the Notification Center. With just one click, you can go ahead and initiate the installation. However, in some cases, while updating your OS, things can get a little messed up. As a result, the Mac OS Sierra installation gets stuck.

There are many possible reasons why the installation is interrupted. It could be there has been a power shortage. It could also be there is not enough space available on your Mac. Perhaps, there are other issues with your Mac prior to updating. But regardless of the reason, we’re here to give you all the possible solutions for a stuck Mac High Sierra update.

Prior to a Frozen High Sierra Installation

If you still haven’t got past through the download stage, here are a few solutions to try:

  1. Check the servers of Apple.

Whenever Apple releases an update for High Sierra, many Mac users will rush to download it. Because of that, Apple’s servers slow down. Thus, your first course of action should be to check the System Status page of Apple and see macOS Software Update to find out if there are problems.

  1. Switch to a wired network.

Believe it or not, downloading the update is much quicker when you use a wired connection than when you tap to a WiFi network.

  1. Cancel your download.

One of the possible fixes for a stuck download is to simply cancel it. Start by navigating to the Mac App Store. After which, look for the update you are downloading. Finally, press the Option/Alt key. There should now be an option to cancel your download. Click the Cancel button, and you should be able to restart your download without any problems.

  1. Download the update from the support website of Apple.

If you are still having issues with downloading the update through the Mac App Store, visit Apple’s website instead.

How to Know If the Installation Has Stalled

Generally, if there is a problem with the software installation, it will show on the screen. In some cases, an Apple logo with a loading status bar will show. Sometimes, you will see a “spinning beach ball”. On some other Macs, the screen will turn white, black, or grey that one cannot tell if the Mac is switched on or not.

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Alternatively, you may also find your Mac frozen on the installation page with a message saying, “macOS could not be installed on your computer.” And if you click the Restart button, the same message will show.

As you can see, your Mac has many ways of telling you that the installation of Mac OS has stalled. But before you take action, you have to be sure that the installation is no longer running in the background. Otherwise, you might lose your data when you interrupt the installation process with a forced reboot.

If you are uncertain whether or not your Mac has frozen during the installation, consider our advice below:

  1. Know if your Mac has really stalled.

Before you come up with a conclusion that your Mac has stalled during the installation, you have to be aware of certain things.

Sometimes, the High Sierra installation can take very long to the point that it looks frozen already, but when you leave it for hours, the process has eventually completed. So, it’s best that you leave your Mac overnight to complete the installation.

Generally, the installation of the updates can take 16 hours or more, and the status bar you see during the installation is only a guess at how long the installation will take.

  1. Check the Log to know if your Mac is still installing the update.

To bring up the Log, press the Command + L keys. It should show added information and details about the total time left for the installation. It will also give you a better idea of what files are currently being installed.

  1. Be patient.

If you think that the installation has not stalled, just be patient and wait for the process to be completed for a few more hours.

Fixes to a Stuck Mac OS Sierra Installation

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Once you have checked everything and you are positive that your Mac has completely stalled, follow these steps:

  1. Restart your Mac.

Press and hold the Power button to switch off your Mac. Wait for a few seconds and restart your Mac.

  1. Visit the Mac App Store.

If you obtained the updates from the Mac App Store, go to the App Store and check Updates. The update or installation process should commence from where it has ended.

  1. Check the Log.

Once the progress bar shows, open the Log by pressing the Command + L keys. It should show what files have been installed and what are pending. If the Log screen shows that there have been no updates, proceed to the next step.

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  1. Install the Combo update.

As mentioned above, the Mac App Store is not the only place to download the High Sierra update from. You can also download it from Apple’s website.

We highly suggest you get your update from Apple’s website if you are having problems with the installation. If you visit the website, you can find the Combo update, which contains all the files needed to update your OS. This update version will replace all your system files to ensure everything is up to date.

  1. Install the update in Safe mode.

To install the High Sierra update in Safe mode, press the Power button and hold down the Shift key. Once your Mac has restarted, go to the App Store and install the update in Safe mode. Then, reboot.

  1. Allocate more space.

One possible reason why the update failed is that there is not enough storage space available to perform the installation. While in Safe mode, you might as well start deleting some files.

  1. Reset your NVRAM.

If the installation in Safe mode still does not work, reset your NVRAM. Restart your Mac and then hold down the Command, Option, R and P keys. That should reset the NVRAM. Wait for a few seconds until your Mac restarts and wait if the installation starts.

  1. Start in Recovery mode to reinstall High Sierra.

You can also restart your Mac in Recovery mode by holding down the Command + R keys at startup. From here, you will be presented with a few options. But we suggest you select the Install new OS option.

While reinstalling your OS, your Mac will replace all the system files and overwrite the problematic ones which may cause the error.

  1. Install High Sierra from an external drive.

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If you are still having problems with installing High Sierra, you can try installing it from an external drive.

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  1. Once everything is updated, run Disk Utility.

After you have successfully installed High Sierra, we suggest you run Disk Utility to see and correct any issues that might have caused the installation problem. It’s also a great idea to install Outbyte MacRepair to ensure your Mac is optimized and free of junk files.

Hopefully, we were able to give you answers and helped you fix your problems with a stuck Mac OS Sierra installation. If you have done all the steps above and you are still having installation issues, we suggest you take your Mac to the nearest Apple Store and have an Apple technician check it.

If you’re running into errors and your system is suspiciously slow, your computer needs some maintenance work. Download Outbyte PC Repair for Windows, Outbyte Antivirus for Windows, or Outbyte MacRepair for macOS to resolve common computer performance issues. Fix computer troubles by downloading the compatible tool for your device.
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