I have an early 2014 MacBook Air running Catalina (10.15 - 19A602). Updating Xcode always takes an inordinate amount of time, and it's usually the "installing" phase (looking at Launchpad) that takes most of it.

Currently, I see "Installing, 7.78 GB of 7.78 GB" displaying in Launchpad.

Given that Xcode is the worst offender of all apps that update from the store in terms of update time, is there a better approach for updating it to make it more predictable/interactive? Is a delete-and-clean-install a better alternative?

  • Just curious, is there any relevant process that is preventing sleep ? It can be seen in Activity monitor -> energy tab
    – anki
    Nov 3, 2019 at 20:54
  • Sending a sleep signal to any Mac will safely pause any operations, it's not the same as forcing a shutdown or forcibly removing power. Nov 4, 2019 at 21:22

2 Answers 2


Yes, it is perfectly safe to close the lid during updating of Xcode. The update process will of course pause, but resumes automatically when you open the lid again later.

I don't think a method exists to make the update timing of Xcode more predictable or interactive. The progress indication they share is all we get, and it may sometimes be off by a lot.

Delete-and-clean-install seems to work quicker for me in some cases at least. However, I haven't experienced any negatives coming from updating Xcode in place (except the wait while updating).


I run a caching server locally so that the first time I download a large installer - it's local. That saves me so much time and grants me great patience for the first download.

Second, I have a Mac mini that's headless and I do the first install / cache warming there so I know things are primed for when it matters. You could do that to a VM if you didn't want to hold up your main machine and had space and CPU to spare.

I delete Xcode before installing it and also have Time Machine exclude it so I don't waste time backing it up. Not sure if they make any difference. Lastly, Daisy Disk is my weapon of choice for finding all the large directories once I remove Xcode to purge them. I suppose a script would be nice, but I haven't really lost that much time to running Daisy Disk and it shows me the rest of the c̶r̶a̶p̶ valuable content I might need to clean up.

  • apple.stackexchange.com/posts/374242/revisions Just hoping that I left the question better, less vague and helpful.
    – anki
    Nov 5, 2019 at 0:29
  • 1
    The title doesn’t seem to match the body but there are two answers. One for the body and one for the title so let’s let it sit a week before we fix it anymore @ankii great work on the edit, btw
    – bmike
    Nov 5, 2019 at 4:33

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