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How Long the macOS Catalina Update Takes to Install (10.15.4)

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The macOS Catalina update is an important update that packs in a ton of new features for your Mac. This is a 3.34GB update on some computers, and depending on your latest update and your Mac you could be looking at a bigger update. To install macOS 10.15.4 if you aren’t already on macOS Catalina, you can expect an 8GB or larger update.

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 10.15.4 download may finish in about 10-15 minutes.

Task

Time

Backup to Time Machine (Optional)

5 minutes to a day

macOS Catalina Download (macOS 10.15.4)

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 does the macOS 10.5.4 update take to download.

The exact macOS Catalina installation time will vary from users to user due to download speeds, and demand for the update. macOS 10.15.4 downloads should take about 15 minutes on a fast connection or up to a few hours on a slow one.

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 10.15.4 in about 30-60 minutes.

6 Reasons Not to Install macOS Catalina & 13 Reasons to Install macOS 10.15.4 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 on the first version of macOS 10.15, you should make sure that you install the latest update for security. 

A WiFi security issue was patched in October 2019, and it is now public. If you are already on macOS 10.15.1 or higher, your computer is protected. 

Apple just released macOS 10.15.4, with new features and a lot of bug 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

Apple also includes security fixes. If you are on the edge, you may want to wait for macOS 10.15.3 reviews. 

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