OS X Mavericks Won’t Download? 3 Tips to Speed Things Along

Despite Apple’s best efforts, unveiling a brand new operating system with the purchase price of free will cause a bunch of people to want to download it immediately. For some people, the download went very quickly. For others, it was and is continuing to be a slow process.

Here are some tips to help speed up the download and to restart it if it seems OS X Mavericks won’t download.

Depending on system configuration and Internet download speeds, mileage will vary. However, even on the fastest of Internet connections people are having issues with the downloads and download speeds.

Connect via Ethernet


A hardwire connection is still more reliable than wireless. (Photo: Shutterstock)


If a Thunderbolt ethernet adapter is available, or the Mac has a built in ethernet port, it is advised to directly connect to the router or switch with a cable. There is less likelihood of interference, and the download should be quicker and more reliable in most situations.

Pause and Restart the Download


The OSX download page.

By opening the App Store and clicking on Purchases, a Mac user can view the download progress of Mavericks. Next to the download bar is a button to pause the download. Click pause and wait approximately 30 seconds to one minute. Then, click Resume so the download can continue.

Data transferred from a massive data center like Akamai (who handles Apple’s distribution) does not all come from one location. If one switch or even data node is bogged down, pausing the download causes the computer to disconnect from that node and reconnect to another one. That new node may be faster than the one previously connected to and should improve speeds.

Note: This could also work in reverse, so your results may vary.

Wait Until Later


Sometimes patience is the best route. (Photo: Shutterstock)

It may seem obvious, but waiting until later in the evening will greatly improve download speeds. Also, some computer professionals suggest waiting until there have been a few patches issued for an operating system before updating. This will ensure the best application compatibility.

Whichever way is employed, good luck and happy downloading!



  1. Bob Jamison says

    You’re assuming that there will be a progress bar and resume button. I see neither. I hit Download, it thinks for a moment, then Download is enabled again. That’s all. The app store provides precious little feedback, which I suppose is for security’s sake. But SOME little diagnostic or log message would certainly go a long way.

  2. Chad Kirchner says

    Downloads can be paused from within LaunchPad by clicking the icon. There should also be a progress bar and “Pause” button from within the Purchases tab of the Mac App Store app.

  3. Shawn says

    Same frustrating problem here. Clicking ‘Download’ does nothing. And my MBA is supported and up to date.

  4. Simon says

    Exactly the same problem here, I can’t get the download to start. It thinks about it for a few seconds and then just displays the download button again. Has anyone got past this yet?

    • Henry James says

      same problem here – it started to download… i paused it… then it disappeared. I tried downloading again… it waited a few second then when back to the download button.

  5. elvis says

    i’m having the same problem as bob and max. I cannot pause and resume the download because it never starts. I click the download button, it grays out for about 1 second, the returns to normal.

    • Simon says

      Ok, it finally worked! I kept clicking on download, to no avail! Then I fell asleep leaving my laptop on. When I woke up in the morning it had downloaded! I think it’s just the sheer volume of people downloading that’s stopping it, so just leave it with the App Store open and it will eventually download.

  6. Daniel says

    I was having the same issue as many of you where I keep clicking download and nothing seemingly happening. Here was my solution using the dock:
    Applications > Launch Pad > Scroll to the page with Mavericks > Mine was on “Paused” so I clicked on the icon and now it resumed downloading.
    Good luck!

  7. PaulO says

    I too have never seen a progress bar, but my activity monitor tells me some data is being received. At the moment the Launchpad says Downloading, Purchase tab indicates “Download” in dark grey… clicking it appears to do nothing than greyout the download button for a second. I have paused in the Launch pad and that confirms data stops being received, and then flows again when I resume in the launchpad. What I can’t understand is how come some people see a progress bar and some do not.?

  8. monacorona says

    for some reason, os x mavericks doesn’t even begin download when i click on the “install” button. i automatically get a popup telling me that it has failed to install, and to try again–but to no avail. i made sure to have the last version of mountain lion and to update all my other apps first, backup my files to time machine, etc.–but nothing seems to work. any tips?

  9. myke says

    I cant even download it? i have all the system requirements i believe but its saying it cant be installed on my computer…is there a easy way around this?

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