Many Mac users have been excited to upgrade to the latest version of macOS, called Monterey. However, some users have run into issues when trying to install Monterey and have seen errors or have been unable to complete the installation. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll outline the most common reasons why you can’t install Monterey and provide troubleshooting tips to help you successfully upgrade.
Checking System Requirements
The first step is ensuring your Mac meets the minimum system requirements to run Monterey. Monterey requires:
- A Mac released in 2015 or later
- 4GB of memory
- 12.4GB of available storage space
- macOS Big Sur 11.4 or later
If your Mac is older than 2015, you will not be able to install Monterey unfortunately. You can check which year your Mac is from by clicking on the Apple logo in the top left corner of your screen and selecting “About This Mac.” This will show you the model year.
It’s also important to check you have enough storage space and memory available. 12GB of space is required just for the install alone, so make sure you have ample free space available on your startup disk. And the minimum 4GB memory requirement is also essential.
Updating Existing macOS Software
Before installing a major new operating system update like Monterey, it’s always a good idea to make sure your existing macOS software is fully up to date. This includes updating to the latest point releases and patches of your current macOS version.
To check for macOS updates, go to System Preferences > Software Update. Install any available updates showing for your current macOS version. Making sure your current OS is completely updated can help resolve any bugs or stability issues that might prevent a successful install of Monterey.
Checking Compatibility of Apps
With every major macOS update, there is a risk of older apps becoming incompatible due to changes in the operating system architecture and frameworks. Before updating, check that the critical apps you rely on everyday are compatible with Monterey.
Developers will usually indicate Monterey compatibility on the app’s page in the App Store. You can also check the app developer’s website for more compatibility info. If an app you depend on is not yet compatible, you may want to wait to upgrade until the developer releases a compatible update.
Backing Up Your Data
Before making any major operating system update, it’s absolutely vital to ensure you have a complete backup of your data. This provides you protection in case any issues arise during the OS upgrade process.
The best way to backup your Mac is using Time Machine. Simply connect an external hard drive and let Time Machine completely backup all your data, apps, and OS settings. You can also use cloud backup services like iCloud or Carbonite to backup your files.
Having a current backup means you can always restore your data or whole system back to its pre-Monterey state if necessary after the upgrade.
Freeing Up Storage Space
As mentioned earlier, you need at least 12GB of available storage space on your startup disk to install Monterey. If you’re low on space, you’ll need to free up room before you can upgrade. Here are some tips to free up space:
- Empty Trash Bin – Trash takes up space even if you haven’t permanently deleted files yet.
- Remove unused apps – Delete old apps you no longer need.
- Store photos/videos externally – Move your media to an external drive.
- Delete iOS device backups – These take up lots of space.
- Save documents to iCloud – Optimize Mac Storage will keep only recently used files locally.
After freeing up space, make sure you meet at least the 12GB requirement before trying to install Monterey.
Using Wired Internet Connection
It’s always best to use a wired ethernet connection when installing a major macOS system update like Monterey. WiFi connections can sometimes drop during the long install process which could interrupt the upgrade.
Plug your Mac directly into your router with an ethernet cable before starting the Monterey install. This provides a more stable internet connection and prevents any WiFi dropouts or fluctuations in signal strength.
Disabling Anti-Virus Software
Anti-virus apps and firewalls can sometimes interfere with a macOS install by blocking certain system files or processes. It’s best to disable any anti-virus or internet security software on your Mac prior to installing Monterey.
You can exit or quit your anti-virus program completely. Or look for a setting to temporarily disable virus protection during the OS upgrade. Just remember to turn protection back on after the install!
Installing From macOS Recovery
If you run into issues attempting to install Monterey directly from System Preferences, you can also install from macOS Recovery mode instead.
Restart your Mac and hold Command + R at startup to boot into Recovery mode. You can then select to install Monterey from the Utilities window.
Installing from Recovery may help resolve any installation problems happening when trying to upgrade directly in MacOS. Just make sure to backup first!
Creating a Bootable Installer
Another option is to create a bootable USB installer drive for Monterey. This allows you to perform a clean install of the OS rather than an upgrade.
To create the bootable installer:
- Get a USB thumb drive with at least 12GB of space.
- Format the drive to Mac OS Extended using Disk Utility.
- Download the Monterey installer from the App Store.
- Run the installer and select the thumb drive as the destination.
You can then boot directly to the USB drive on restart to begin a fresh install of Monterey. This can help resolve upgrade issues happening on your existing system.
Resetting your Mac’s NVRAM (non-volatile random-access memory) can sometimes help fix problems preventing Monterey from installing correctly.
To reset the NVRAM, restart your Mac and hold down Command + Option + P + R. Keep holding until you hear the startup chime a second time. This clears any old NVRAM settings that may be conflicting with the install.
Troubleshooting installation issues with Monterey can be frustrating, but using the steps outlined above should help you successfully upgrade in most cases. The key things to remember are:
- Check system requirements
- Update existing macOS software
- Verify app compatibility
- Backup your data
- Free up startup disk space
- Use wired internet connection
- Disable anti-virus software
- Try installing from Recovery
- Create bootable installer drive
- Reset NVRAM
Following this comprehensive guide to troubleshoot and resolve any installation problems should help you finally get Monterey running on your Mac!