How to upgrade to macOS Catalina & Fix Catalina Problems

Apple recently released the latest version of its Mac operating system. macOS Catalina will introduce a number of new features to your Mac. This article explains how you can upgrade to macOS Catalina. This article also teaches you how to fix the most common macOS Catalina problems.

Before upgrading

1. Installing macOS Catalina may take many hours. Make sure you’re connected to a power source if you are using a notebook computer.

2. Not all models can support Catalina. Is your Mac compatible? You can install Catalina on the following Mac models.

The macOS Catalina compatible Macs:

  • MacBook (2015 or later)
  • MacBook Air (2012 or later)
  • MacBook Pro (2012 or later)
  • Mac mini (2012 or later)
  • iMac (2012 or later)
  • iMac Pro (all models)
  • Mac Pro (2013 or later)

You can check your version by going to the Apple menu > About This Mac. If your Mac is not compatible, the installer will let you know.

3. Back up your Mac. This is important, the upgrade may not go as planned. And many things can go wrong. You can use Time Machine.

4. Make sure that your Mac has at least 12.5GB free space. If you do not have ample room, make room. You can check your available storage by going to Apple menu > About This Mac, then click Storage. You can click the Manage button to open Storage Management. If you need more space, you may want to delete old and unused apps, empty Trash, compress large files, etc. This will also speed up your Mac.

5. You can install Catalina if your computer is currently running OS X Mavericks or later. You can learn your macOS name by going to Apple menu > About This Mac.


1. To upgrade from macOS Mojave:

  • On your Mac, go to Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Software Update.

Catalina Upgrade now

To upgrade from other macOS versions (Mavericks or later):

2. Click Upgrade Now. Your Mac will start downloading the macOS Catalina software. Depending on your Internet connection, it may take several hours.

download catalina

3. Once the download is done, the macOS Catalina installer will open. The installer says “to set up the installation of macOS Catalina, click Continue. Click Continue:Catalina Installer

4. The next screen will ask you to agree to the software terms. Click Agree.

Software terms

5. The next window will ask you where. e.g., Machintosh HD,  you want to install this upgrade. Click Install. You may have to enter your Admin password.

where do you want to install

6. Installation will start. When it is done, you will need to click Restart to restart your computer.


When your computer restart, just follow the onscreen instructions and you will be done.

Common Catalina Problems

The Request Timed Out

The request timed out

This error occurs because of poor Internet connections. Please make sure that you have a reliable Internet connection. And then retry again.

This problem may also occur because of the fact that a lot of people are trying to download macOS Catalina at the same time. Just wait and try again later.

Not Enough Free Space

The macOS Catalina installation may also fail if you do not have enough storage space available on your Mac. If you are having this problem, you may get an error message saying “macOS could not be installed on your computer. There is not enough free space on Macintosh HD  to install. Quit the installer to restart your computer and try again.”

As stated above, you need at least 12.5 GB free space available on your Mac. This article explains how you can free up hard disk space on your Mac.

Installation Stuck: Setting Up Your Mac…

Press and hold the power button on your Mac for up to 10 seconds, until your Mac turns off and then turn your Mac back on. Your Mac should start up normally.

If that does not solve, please see this article.

Stuck on Screen Time set up

Press the power or Touch ID button for up to 10 seconds until your Mac powers off and then restart your Mac.

Spotlight, Mail Search is not working

Try rebuilding the Spotlight index. Go to Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Spotlight. Now click Privacy and add folders or disks that you want to index and exit Preferences. See also: Spotlight not working?

Other Catalina problems:

  1. helpermcp” will damage your computer. You should move it to the Bin.
  2. Dock Keeps Disappearing On Your Mac? Fix
  3. Relocated Items Folder, MacOS Catalina
  4. macOS Catalina Application Damaged, Can’t Be Used, Fix
  5. Update Apple ID Settings

You can also always contact Apple support.

Dr. Serhat Kurt worked as a Senior Technology Director. He holds a doctoral degree (or doctorate) from the University of Illinois at Urbana / Champaign and a master’s degree from Purdue University.

Thank you for choosing to leave a comment.

Please note the following:

  • All comments are moderated.
  • Your email will NOT be published nor shared.
  • All SPAM comments will be deleted.
  • Please see our comment policy page for more info.

44 thoughts on “How to upgrade to macOS Catalina & Fix Catalina Problems”

  1. Been having problems since downloading Catalina. Cannot retrieve emails, same message. Safari cannot find server. Booked two calls to Apple Support, both times it was solved. Have another call booked as it has happened again
    Anyone else with this problem

    • I am not sure it is the same problem, but Mail and Safari are causing trouble.

      In Mail no images are displayed at all, no matter the message. The Mail icon also fails to name the number of unread messages.

      Safari fails to connect to any website other than my own website on my localhost, where it fails to render the CSS. All other web-page requests produce this POSIX-error 536870212.
      It is like this for weeks already. Firefox, Chrome and Opera all render all of these web-pages without problems.

    • All I can say is LUCKY YOU!!! Wish I could go BACK to MOJAVE, anything other than Catalina. Probably worst experience that I have ever had with Apple; and I have had Apples since late 1978 as well as one of the very first 75,000 Macs that came out… and multiple vintages of Macs after that….BAD BAD BAD— Even worse is that I lost the ability to work with my Microsoft Office programs when I UPGRADED, or should I say “downgraded.” Just call me an Apple veteran who is no longer pleased– My solution may take me back to new hardware in what we old timers used to call the IBM world!!! Good luck!

  2. After updating to Catalina I have had problems with my mouse getting stuck. It does not allow me to do anything. Four hard shutdowns in less than 24 hours. Any thoughts or ideas?

  3. I am searching now for a few weeks for a solution. I updated to Catalina and now, my files are gone. The folder that states that they are supposed to be in a relocated folder is empty except for a configuration.
    But not one of my pictures and documents I had in a large folder are coming up. When I go into search I find them all but with funny numbers and only when I open them up do I see the names I gave them. I can’t open them in a folder location, because can’t find one. I only started to work with Mac last year after using windows for as long as windows is on the market. I have used other systems and I had hoped that Mac would be more user friendly than the new Windows 10 which I really dislike.
    Now I find that Catalina is actually worse to work with and that the system takes over for me which was the reason I wanted to get away from Windows.
    I may don’t understand the system yet, but whatever instruction I have followed so far to get my files back, didn’t work. I think I am forced to make a transfer to another harddrive to retrieve all my files, which also means that I am forced to rename all my pictures again.
    I am really not impressed.
    Perhaps someone can help me so that I don’t spend extra time by renaming all my files again and get them back to normal.
    Thank you.

  4. I downloaded Canon Printer software in order to set up the Wi-Fi connection, but I get “mac-ts8200-1_1-mcd.dmg” is damaged and can’t be opened. You should move it to the Bin.” message when I want to open it ???
    Catalina refuses to open any .dmg & .pdf files. Also some difficulties with opening some apps. This must be a bug in Catalina!!! I never had such problems with High Sierra though.

  5. Trying to reinstall Catalina. The message I get is “The file “Preboot” is located on the root of the Macintosh HD. If you continue installing this file will be deleted. Scared to go any further.

  6. Updated today and I keep getting “riarat” cannot he opened because the developer cannot be verified, please delete.
    And I can’t even find it to delete it. Please help 😭😭😭

  7. After I upgraded to Catalina my 20,000 photos were missing. Phoned Apple tech support and followed advice to shut down the computer, then powered up while holding down the command key and a couple of letters. Sorry I can’t remember which ones. Later I discovered a long list of anxiety inducing problems. I had no sound, mouse scroll and drag was slow and jerky, photos wouldn’t enlarge from the library with a double click, wouldn’t recognize my I-phone 6 for downloading, wouldn’t open icons on desktop, wouldn’t drag and drop e-mails to desktop. I phoned tech support a second time and he had me shut down again. He reset the non-volatile RAM (NVRAM) and start up while holding down the option/command/R/P keys. You need three hands for that. Mine is a 27″ Mac desktop. The computer did a double ‘bong’ on start up. That procedure, along with slowing down the mouse double click speed in system preferences, cleared up my whole list of deficiencies. What a relief. Now the only thing remaining is to find a driver to adapt my 32-bit Epson scanner to the 64-bit Catalina OS. I hope this information helps. My advice: phone Apple tech support.

  8. I installed catalina yesterday, however now every time I open the photo app it is always ‘restoring’ – hour or so later it is completed, though the next time i turn on computer and open photo again, same thing restoring.
    Obviously there are many issues with this installation, but has anyone had this issue fixed?

  9. Further to updating to Catalina on my MacBookPro, I have noticed that I have no longer the ability to “combine documents into one pdf” 0n my Scanning function.

    How can I proceed from now on to restore this function?



Leave a Comment