The macOS Mojave update is a big one, and the longest part of the upgrade is the download, especially on day one. If you’re prepared the upgrade should go smoothly and it won’t take too long to install on your Macbook, MacBook Air, iMac, MacBook Pro or Mac Pro.
Apple’s Mojave update arrives today for all users after a lengthy beta process and it packs in a ton of exciting new Mac features.
The most common question we hear today is, “How long does the macOS Mojave update take to finish?” It’s a reasonable question since you can’t use the Mac while it is installing.
If you are already on macOS High Sierra this upgrade will likely take about an hour, but if you are on macOS Sierra, it will be a larger download and take longer.
Backup to Time Machine (Optional)
5 minutes to a day
macOS High Sierra Download
20 minutes to an 1 hour
macOS High Sierra Installation Time
20 to 50 minutes
Total macOS High Sierra Update Time
45 minutes to an hour and 50 minutes
We can’t tell you exactly how long macOS Mojave will take to install on your Mac because download times will vary based on demand and on your Internet connection.
If you don’t see the update, click here to find it in the Mac App Store.
One of the biggest factors you can control is if you are prepared. If you have a current Time Machine Backup and are ready to roll, this process will be smoother. The table above shows you how long the major steps will take. The length of time it takes and other issues is one reason you may not want to install macOS Mojave yet.
Prepare for macOS Mojave
A Time Machine backup isn’t required, but you’d be foolish to proceed without some kind of backup. This is one of the most important steps in our list of things to do before installing macOS Mojave.
It may add to the time to install macOS Mojave, but it is worth it to protect your files and data.
macOS Mojave Download Time
The wild card for everyone is how long the macOS Mojave download time is. Two factors are at play here; your connection and the number of people trying to download the update.
During the first day or two this will take longer as many more users will be trying to download the large macOS Mojave installation file.
macOS Mojave Installation Time
The macOS Mojave installation should take about 40 to 60 minutes if everything works right. This includes a speedy download and a simple install with no issues or errors.
We are already backed up to Time Machine, so we expect the download will complete in about 30 minutes if the servers can stand it, and then will budget another 30 minutes for the actual installation, during which time you cannot use the Mac.
Install macOS Mojave for Dark Mode & Dynamic Desktop
One of the biggest macOS Mojave features that you will see when you install the update is Dark Mode and the next is the dynamic desktop.
With the macOS Mojave Dark Mode you get a better focus on the app you are working in, while the rest of the system fades into the background. This is built-in to Apple apps, and they allow third-party support so you can expect to see widespread use. If you prefer the normal brighter view, you can keep that.
No matter which mode you use, the desktop will change during the day, based on the time. You'll see the sun or the moon move across a sand dune. This is an optional feature, and it's kind of like a Live Photo. This will only work with Apple official desktop backgrounds.
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