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How Long Does the macOS Sierra Installation Take to Finish?



This is how long the macOS Sierra installation takes to finish. We’ll cover how long the macOS Sierra download takes and how long the macOS Sierra installation takes.

The macOS Sierra update is here to deliver Siri, Apple Pay on the Web and many other features to your Apple Watch. This is a major update to your Mac that is more than just a name change.

Every year we hear the same question and we are already hearing, “How long will the macOS Sierra installation take?” and “How long will the macOS Sierra download take?”

How long the macOS Sierra update takes to download and install.

How long the macOS Sierra update takes to download and install.

On the first day of the macOS Sierra release it will take longer and you may see long macOS Sierra download times listed. Normally these will even out over time and will not actually take eight hours, but expect longer than average times today.

How Long Does the macOS Sierra Update Take?

If there are no server problems and you have a good Internet connection you can complete the macOS Sierra download in an hour or hour and a half. This could take longer depending on a variety of factors.

The table below outlines how long each step may take to complete as you work through the process of downloading and installing macOS Sierra.

Backup to Time Machine (Optional)5 minutes to a day
macOS Sierra Download1 hour and 15 minutes to 4 hours.
macOS Sierra Installation Time30 to 45 minutes
Total macOS Sierra Update Time1 hour 45 minutes to four hours

Time Machine Backup

You can skip a Time Machine backup, but we highly recommend that you perform one. Without a backup you could lose a lot of data. If you’ve performed one recently it will take a few minutes, but if you haven’t done one ever or in months it will take a long time.

macOS Sierra Download Time

macOS Sierra download times will vary.

macOS Sierra download times will vary.

Expect the longest macOS Sierra download times today as many people attempt to install the update. If you want, you can try to install the update later tonight or later this week.

The macOS Sierra update is over 4GB in size, so this will take a long time. We saw our macOS Sierra update jump to eight hours, but then settle back down to just over an hour.

macOS Sierra Installation Time

The macOS Sierra installation time is about 45 minutes once everything is downloaded. This assumes that nothing goes wrong and you have a typical upgrade.

Your computer will restart during this time and you cannot use your Mac while you install macOS Sierra.

12 New macOS Sierra Features Worth Upgrading For

Siri on Mac

Siri on Mac

With macOS Sierra you now get access to Siri for Mac. This brings the personal assistant you are used to using on your iPhone and iPad to your computer. There is no access to Siri on OS X El Capitan.

Siri for Mac can do almost all the things you already use it for on your iPhone, but now it can delivery many more features that will help you be more productive.

You can use Siri to send a message while you are working on something important, but that's not all. Siri for Mac can help you locate files and you can even have Siri narrow down those files as you search for them.

When you find a Siri result that you need to keep handy, you can pin it to the Notification Center so you can quickly access it again. When you find an image, result or other item of interest with Siri, you can drag and drop it into a document.



  1. MintDragon (@MintDragon_)

    09/20/2016 at 9:09 pm

    Just an additional note: Once upgraded, you will be notified to start the upgrade, and the typical progress bar will appear. On my 2013 iMac, the progress bar moved to about 5% and stayed there for about 20 minutes… I was kinda worried but then a re-boot happened and gave me a ‘Completing Installation: About 15 minutes remaining’. So far everything is working great, now downloading to my notebook to upgrade

  2. Dennis

    09/20/2016 at 11:39 pm

    Please change the amount of time to install it. Change it to 24 hours because of apple’s crappy servers

  3. William Keller

    09/21/2016 at 2:29 pm

    get 1 day to download….

  4. Shaun

    09/23/2016 at 2:27 am

    Better do it last thing before going to bed!

  5. Rob

    09/30/2016 at 1:34 am

    Eight hours to install but now on the third day waiting to sign in on main user account!
    Other accounts are working. Anyone had the same experience?

  6. needforname

    10/08/2016 at 12:49 am

    5 hours after starting the Sierra download, I’m still getting a “1 day 9 hour” download wait time. What the hell Apple. I have 50mb download speeds, and according to this article, the download rush days should be over. So what’s the reason for this crazy slow speed? I downloaded a video file larger than this in under 20 minutes a few days ago. This is ridiculous.

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