Why Won’t MacBook Air Update to Latest macOS: How to Fix

There are multiple reasons your MacBook Air is not updating to the latest operating system. You could have limited hard drive space, and insufficient RAM, your MacBook Air might be too old, or there could be an error downloading the update through “Software Update”. 

My name is Ty, and I have worked in IT for a few years. One of the frequent issues I encounter is MacBook Airs not updating to the latest macOS, and I have experience fixing it. 

This post will show why your MacBook Air may refuse to update and how you can remedy them and install the newest operating system. 

Let’s get started!

Key Takeaways

  • Your MacBook Air may not have enough RAM or hard drive space to meet the minimum requirements of the newest macOS. 
  • macOS updates take up a considerable amount of space; you may need more free space to install them. 
  • There may just be an issue downloading it from the Software Update widget, so you can try downloading it from Apple’s website instead. 

Cause 1: Not Enough Storage Space to Update

Brand-new versions of macOS can be quite hefty when it comes to taking up storage space. This new operating system will take 33GB if you upgrade from Sierra or later and 44GB if you upgrade even further back. 

If you don’t have enough space to accommodate this sizeable new update, the download will fail, and you will not be able to install the latest upgrade. 

To check how much current space you have in your MacBook Air, navigate to the small Apple logo in the top left and open up System Settings.

Once there, go into Storage, and there you will see how much free space you have and what is taking up that space. There are things you could take to free up some space if you see that you are running low. 

If you have iCloud space, you can store some of your data within the iCloud to free up space on your MacBook Air’s hard drive. You can also optimize storage so that it removes Movies and TV that you have already seen. 

You can set your MacBook Air to empty anything in your trash automatically. It is easy to delete items from your device but forget to empty the Trash. This will eliminate that and free up some more space for you.

You can also click the small I next to applications to browse your apps and delete the ones you no longer use. Once you have enough free space to download the update, go back to it, and restart it. It should install with no issue now.

Cause 2: Insufficient RAM To Support the Newest Operating System 

As Operating Systems become more sophisticated, the processing power and memory they need to function increase. If you don’t have the recommended RAM for the upgrade, it will not allow you to install it. 

The most recent upgrade requires 4GB of RAM; if you have less, it will not function on your MacBook Air, so you will not be able to install it. 

To see how much RAM you have in your MacBook Air, click the small Apple logo on the top left of your screen and select “About this Mac.”

Cause 3: Your Vintage MacBook Air Doesn’t Support the Newest macOS

If you have a “Vintage” MacBook Air, you cannot install the newest operating system, Ventura. If you have a 2015 or 2017 MacBook Air model or older,  you will not be able to upgrade. 

To check Apple’s list of supported devices, click this link!

This should not be an issue, as Apple will continue to support Monterey for at least two more years with frequent security and quality-of-life updates. 

Ventura supports MacBook Air models from 2018 and later, so if you have one of these models, you should be good for the upgrade. 

Final Thoughts

There are a few reasons your MacBook Air might not be updating to the latest macOS–lack of hard drive space, insufficient RAM, or an out-of-date device. 

With the tips above, you can now adequately assess which of these issues you are facing and solve them!

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