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How Long the macOS Catalina Update Takes to Install (10.15.5)



The macOS Catalina update is an important update that packs in a ton of new features for your Mac. This is roughly a 5GB update on some computers, and depending on your latest update and your Mac you could be looking at a bigger update. To install macOS 10.15.5 if you aren’t already on macOS Catalina, you can expect a 5GB or larger update. If you are on macOS 10.15.5 and you need to install the supplemental update, you should count on a 1.59GB update that won’t take quite as long to download.

If you are prepared for the macOS Catalina update, this will go faster since backing up is a major part of the time needed to install, but macOS Catalina problems can slow you down.

The most common question I’m hearing is, “How long does the macOS Catalina update take to finish?”, and while it varies based on many factors, we can help you with a good ballpark of how long you can expect the update to take.

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Read: How to Fix macOS Catalina Problems

If you are on the latest macOS Catalina update, this will take less time, but if you are on Mojave it will take longer as the download is bigger and you may need to install multiple updates.

Here's how long it takes to download and install macOS Catalina.

Here’s how long it takes to download and install macOS Catalina.

On a 400 Mbps down internet connection, your macOS 10.15.5 download may finish in about 10-15 minutes.



Backup to Time Machine (Optional)

5 minutes to a day

macOS Catalina Download (macOS 10.15.5)

10 minutes to 3 hours

macOS Catalina Installation Time

20 to 50 minutes

Total macOS Catalina Update Time

30 minutes to several hours 

The biggest factor is if you are prepared, so make sure you spend the time before you try to install the update. You can use your computer while it backs up and while the update downloads, but not during the installation period.

macOS Catalina Download Time

How long the macOS 10.15.5 update takes to download and install.

The exact macOS Catalina installation time will vary from users to user due to download speeds, and demand for the update. macOS 10.15.5 downloads should take about 15 minutes on a fast connection or up to a few hours on a slow one. The macOS 10.15.5 supplemental update takes less time to download since it is about a third of the size.

macOS Catalina Installation Time

During installation, you cannot use the Mac.

During installation, you cannot use the Mac.

The macOS Catalina installation should take about 20 to 50 minutes if everything works right. This includes a speedy download and a simple install with no issues or errors.

I ran into a macOS Catalina installation problem where I didn’t have enough space on my initial upgrade. Apple’s since fixed this and it shouldn’t be a huge issue for most users.

Best case, you can expect to download and install macOS 10.15.5 in about 30-60 minutes.

7 Reasons Not to Install macOS Catalina & 14 Reasons to Install macOS 10.15.5 Today

Install for macOS 10.15.4 Fixes and Security Updates

Install for macOS 10.15.4 Fixes and Security Updates

If you are on macOS Mojave or an older version of macOS 10.15, you should install this update to get the latest security fixes and new features that come with macOS. These include security updates that help keep your data safe and updates that patch bugs and other macOS Catalina problems.

The macOS 10.15.5 update includes the following fixes;

Battery Health Management
- Battery health management to help maximize battery lifespan for Mac notebooks
- Energy Saver preference pane now displays battery condition and recommends if the battery needs to be serviced
- Option to disable battery health management
- For more information, please visit https://support.apple.com/kb/HT211094

‌FaceTime‌ Prominence Preference
- Option to control automatic prominence on Group ‌FaceTime‌ calls so video tiles do not change size when a participant speaks

Calibration Fine-Tuning for Pro Display XDR
- Controls to fine-tune the built-in calibration of your Pro Display XDR by adjusting the white point and luminance for a precise match to your own display calibration target

This update also includes bug fixes and other improvements.
- Fixes an issue that may prevent Reminders from sending notifications for recurring reminders
- Addresses an issue that may prevent password entry on the login screen
- Fixes an issue where System Preferences would continue to show a notification badge even after installing an update
- Resolves an issue where the built-in camera may not be detected when trying to use it after using a video conferencing app
- Addresses an issue for Mac computers with the Apple T2 Security Chip where internal speakers may not appear as a sound output device in Sound preferences
- Fixes a stability issue with uploading and downloading media files from iCloud Photo Library while your Mac is asleep
- Resolves a stability issue when transferring large amounts of data to RAID volumes
- Fixes an issue where the Reduce Motion Accessibility preference did not reduce the speed of animations in a ‌FaceTime‌ group call

We will also see a list of security updates in this, which are disclosed on this security page.

The macOS 10.15.5 supplemental update includes;

  • Impact: An application may be able to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges
  • Description: A memory consumption issue was addressed with improved memory handling.
  • CVE-2020-9859: unc0ver

If you've skipped any updates, you will also get the following fixes, which can help improve and solve many problems and bugs. The previous update included the following fixes;

  • High Dynamic Range output to HDR10-compatible third-party displays and TVs connected with DisplayPort or HDMI
  • OAuth authentication support with Outlook.com accounts for improved security
  • CalDav migration support when upgrading to iCloud reminders on a secondary device
  • Resolves an issue where text copied between apps may appear invisible when Dark Mode is active
  • Fixes an issue in Safari where a CAPTCHA tile may display incorrectly
  • Resolves an issue where Reminders may send notifications for completed reminders
  • Fixes an issue with screen brightness for the LG UltraFine 5K display after waking from sleep
  • Fixes an issue where Mac computers running macOS Catalina 10.15.4 could not participate in FaceTime calls with devices running iOS 9.3.6 and earlier or OS X El Capitan 10.11.6 and earlier
  • Resolves an issue where you may repeatedly receive a password prompt for an Office 365 account
  • Fixes an issue where MacBook Air (Retina, 13-inch, 2020) may hang in Setup Assistant or when disconnecting and reconnecting a 4K or 5K external display
  • Resolves an issue where a USB-C port in your Mac may become unresponsive

If you are on the edge, you may want to wait for macOS 10.15.5 reviews.

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