From Mojave in System Preferences / Software Update, I'm trying to update to Catalina.

Catalina takes about 8 GB.

The network cable was a bit loose, and after about 6 GB (75%), someone touched the cable and the download was interrupted with an error message: "Network connection was lost!".

I just clicked "Ok" (no reboot...) and was offered the update again. That I did. But the updater started almost from the beginning! (from 512 MB to be precise!). I was expecting MacOS to use the part that was already downloaded (or at least most of it), in order to spare another 30 minutes download!

Is there a way (update from command line...) to tell MacOS to consider using the part of the file that was already downloaded at the time of the disconnection?

  • 1
    wget could do that, if the installer goes to a reachable place like Applications. wget -c link
    – anki
    Mar 26, 2020 at 7:48
  • Try running softwareupdate -d in the Terminal. Check what is in /Library/Updates.
    – lhf
    Aug 27, 2020 at 1:03

3 Answers 3


As far as I'm aware this is not possible, the update process gets interrupted and the temporary download gets removed.

This is inefficient, but due to the tool softwareupdate being apple proprietary there is no at home fix for this. To prevent this from happening in the future, you might be able to download the update manually with wget from a server that supports download continuation. (Most webservers these days)
But unless you're heavily starved on a data cap, just restarting the download from start saves you from a headache


Out of curiosity, considering you asked this 5 months ago, have you still not updated yet?

Nevertheless, here's my answer:

As far as I'm aware, if the connection is lost, the software update is cancelled, and there usually is no easy way to restart from where it was lost. A cancellation by definition usually involves the loss of progress.

I suppose, however, that there may be some obscure method by which this might be possible (I see a few comments which have various suggestions), but to be honest, its far more reasonable to simply redo the update than to take the risk to tamper with the software which runs your Mac, especially during a major MacOS update. Its simply not worth taking the risk to save 30 minutes.

I'm sure many people have had this sort of issue and wanted to do this before and if it was that simple Apple probably would've already made it so that you could start off from where you left. This suggests that it is not, so stay on the safe side.


So conclusion - maybe there is some complicated method which would do this, but my advice: don't risk it, just take a few extra minutes and you'll be safe, rather than sorry.

  • 2
    I'm inclined to agree here. This is probably the most sensible and most helpful answer to this question because of the ambiguity surrounding some possible methods (as Gill elucidated). +1.
    – global05
    Aug 29, 2020 at 9:26
  • Upgraded (of course). This is for future ordeals
    – Déjà vu
    Aug 29, 2020 at 10:18
  • 1
    Good to know. It's certainly interesting to know, but personally I wouldn't invest the time into finding some obscure method which is not widespread and thus not really proved to be safe, all to save a few minutes. Feel free to award the bounty to someone who does find one if you really want, though I think it might send the wrong message considering the only way for anybody to test if it works is to do it themself (sounds like recipe for disaster) which could cause unnecessary harms, especially to new visitors to the site. If it's reputed though (which I have not heard of), I suppose it's ok.
    – global05
    Aug 29, 2020 at 10:26

In most cases a "stuck" update can be fixed by booting into the Safe mode - reboot holding down shift key - and at the login screen, click restart and let system reboot normally.


  • Does this answer the question?
    – global05
    Aug 29, 2020 at 23:18

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