Why Apple Software Updates Are the Worst

Apple has long been a trailblazer in the tech industry, celebrated for its sleek hardware designs and intuitive user interfaces. Yet, despite its many accolades, Apple has faced consistent criticism regarding its software updates. While updates are essential for maintaining security, introducing new features, and improving performance, Apple's approach often leaves users frustrated. Here are several reasons why Apple software updates are frequently considered the worst by many users.

1. Forced Obsolescence

One of the most contentious issues with Apple software updates is the perception of forced obsolescence. Users often find that their older devices become sluggish or experience decreased battery life after installing the latest iOS or macOS updates. This phenomenon has led to accusations that Apple deliberately designs updates to make older devices less functional, nudging users towards purchasing new hardware. Despite Apple's claims of improved performance and optimization, the practical experience for many users tells a different story.

2. Mandatory Updates and Limited Control

Apple's approach to software updates tends to be quite paternalistic. Users have limited control over when and how updates are installed. While Apple does allow some scheduling flexibility, it often aggressively pushes updates with persistent notifications and automatic installations. This can be particularly annoying for users who prefer to delay updates to avoid potential bugs or who are using their devices for critical tasks and cannot afford unexpected interruptions.

3. Incompatibility and Bugs

Despite extensive beta testing, Apple software updates often come with bugs and compatibility issues. New updates can introduce unexpected problems, ranging from minor glitches to significant functionality disruptions. Users frequently report issues with third-party app compatibility, system crashes, and other performance problems following an update. This can be especially problematic for those who rely on their devices for work or other essential activities.

4. Massive File Sizes

Apple software updates are notorious for their large file sizes. These hefty updates can be a burden, especially for users with limited storage space on their devices. The substantial download sizes also pose a challenge for those with slow or limited internet connections. The necessity to clear out precious storage or wait through lengthy download and installation processes can be a major inconvenience.

5. Unwanted Features and Bloatware

With each update, Apple often introduces new features that, while innovative, are not always desired by users. These features can add to the software's complexity and consume valuable system resources. For instance, features like Animoji or Siri enhancements may appeal to some users, but many find them unnecessary and would prefer the option to disable or not install them. Unfortunately, Apple does not provide granular control over these additions, leading to a more cluttered user experience.

6. Privacy Concerns

Apple positions itself as a champion of user privacy, yet some updates have raised eyebrows regarding data collection and user tracking. Features like location-based services and personalized ads rely on extensive data collection. While these can be disabled, the default settings often favor data sharing, requiring users to navigate through multiple settings menus to protect their privacy fully. This approach can feel invasive and counter to Apple’s privacy-centric marketing.

7. Disruption of Workflow

For professionals and power users, software updates can be particularly disruptive. An update that changes the user interface or modifies system behavior can lead to a steep learning curve and lost productivity. Applications that worked seamlessly before an update may require updates themselves or may become obsolete. This constant need to adapt to new system changes can be exhausting and counterproductive for users who depend on their devices for consistent performance.


While Apple software updates are designed to enhance security, introduce new features, and improve overall performance, the reality often falls short of these goals. Forced obsolescence, lack of user control, bugs, large file sizes, unwanted features, privacy concerns, and workflow disruptions contribute to the negative perception of Apple’s update strategy. For many users, these issues overshadow the potential benefits, making Apple software updates a dreaded experience rather than a welcome improvement. As Apple continues to evolve its ecosystem, addressing these pain points could significantly enhance user satisfaction and restore faith in the update process.  

Why Are macOS Updates Getting Stuck?

Apple’s macOS updates are designed to enhance the functionality, security, and user experience of their computers. However, many users have experienced frustration with these updates getting stuck during installation. This issue can range from minor inconveniences to major disruptions, leaving users searching for solutions. Here are several reasons why macOS updates often get stuck and what can be done to mitigate these issues.

1. Insufficient Disk Space

One of the most common reasons macOS updates get stuck is due to insufficient disk space. macOS updates require a significant amount of free space to download, unpack, and install. If the system does not have enough available storage, the update process can halt unexpectedly. Users are often unaware of how much space is needed and may not realize they need to clear out old files or applications to accommodate the update.


  • Ensure you have ample free space before initiating an update. Apple recommends at least 20 GB of free space.
  • Use tools like Disk Utility or third-party applications to identify and delete unnecessary files.

2. Poor Internet Connection

A stable and fast internet connection is crucial for downloading macOS updates. A weak or unstable connection can lead to incomplete downloads or corrupted files, causing the update process to get stuck. This is particularly problematic for users with slow internet speeds or those using Wi-Fi networks with poor connectivity.


  • Connect to a reliable and fast Wi-Fi network or use an Ethernet connection if possible.
  • Avoid downloading updates during peak internet usage times to ensure better bandwidth availability.

3. Software Conflicts

Conflicts with existing software can also cause macOS updates to get stuck. Third-party applications, especially those that modify system settings or extend functionality (such as antivirus programs, system utilities, or custom drivers), can interfere with the update process. These conflicts can prevent the update from completing successfully.


  • Temporarily disable or uninstall third-party applications that might conflict with the update.
  • Restart the system in Safe Mode to minimize potential conflicts and attempt the update again.

4. Corrupted System Files

Corrupted system files can hinder the update process. These corruptions can arise from improper shutdowns, hardware failures, or malware infections. When system files are damaged, the update may fail to install properly, leading to the process getting stuck.


  • Run Disk Utility's First Aid feature to check and repair disk permissions and file system errors.
  • Consider reinstalling macOS using the Recovery Mode to replace corrupted files with fresh copies.

5. Server Issues

At times, the issue may not be with the user's system but with Apple's servers. High demand for updates, especially on the day of a new release, can overload Apple's servers, resulting in slow download speeds or failed installations.


  • Wait and try again later when the server load is likely to be lower.
  • Check Apple's System Status page to ensure their servers are operational.

6. Outdated Firmware or Drivers

Outdated firmware or drivers can cause compatibility issues with the new macOS update. This is particularly relevant for older Macs that may not have received recent firmware updates.


  • Check for and install any available firmware updates before attempting the macOS update.
  • Update third-party drivers, especially those for critical components like graphics cards and network adapters.

7. Power Interruptions

Power interruptions during the update process can cause it to get stuck. If the update is interrupted by a power outage or the computer runs out of battery, the installation can be left in an incomplete state.


  • Ensure your Mac is plugged into a power source during the update.
  • Avoid starting the update during times when power stability is uncertain. 

Getting stuck during a macOS update can be a frustrating experience, but understanding the common causes can help users take proactive steps to avoid these issues. By ensuring sufficient disk space, using a stable internet connection, addressing potential software conflicts, repairing corrupted system files, checking for server issues, updating firmware and drivers, and avoiding power interruptions, users can significantly reduce the likelihood of their macOS updates getting stuck. For persistent problems, seeking assistance from Apple Support or visiting an Apple Store can provide additional solutions to ensure a smooth update process.

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