How to Fix Mac Stuck on Setting Up Your Mac

If you are installing a new macOS update or opening a brand new mac for the first time, you might face the setting up your mac problem. It does not sound like a problem but rather seems like something that is natural to happen, right? Yes, this is normal behavior, but however, in some cases, the screen won’t go ahead and you will be stuck with a setting up your mac screen forever.

To start off, whenever you either install a newer version of macOS or boot up a new mac machine, the mac automatically turns on what is called the Setup Assistant. This Setup Assistant basically does the initial configuration for you by asking for your country, Wi-Fi network, language, and much more. During this initial phase, you are displayed the “Setting Up Your Mac” screen. However, as we mentioned, in some cases the screen gets stuck. This means that the installer won’t go ahead and you won’t be able to interact or use the mac during this period. This is a pretty common issue and nothing to worry about.

Stuck on Setting Up Your Mac

It often happens to various users but the good thing is that it can be easily fixed. But, before we get into what actually fixes the problem, let us discuss what causes this problem to kick off in the first place. As it turns out, the issue arises when the setup assistant is not able to quit and thus, as a result, gets stuck. It so happens that even when the setup is complete, the screen stays there since the setup is not able to quit. The reason behind why the setup assistant is not able to quit is not actually known, but that is what causes the problem.

Now, that you are aware of what actually causes the problem, let us get to the solution to the problem. There are actually two ways you can resolve the issue. The first being hard shutting down your mac and then powering it up again while the second requires you to change some options during the installation/upgrade. So, without further ado, let us get started.

Method 1: Hard Shut Down your Mac 

As we have mentioned above, the cause of the problem is the setup assistant not being able to exit. In such a case, what you can do is forcefully shut down your Mac and then boot it up again. In most of the cases, the installation has already completed but the screen doesn’t proceed so hard shutting down will, naturally, fix the issue. However, make sure you give the setup some time before you implement this method. This is because you have to make sure that the setup has really completed.

According to Apple, this step takes around 10 minutes but it is better to wait a bit longer in order to avoid any further issues. With that said, you can follow the instructions below. Depending on the type of your Mac, hard shutting down may vary. What the instructions down below essentially does is that it resets the SMC or System Management Controller which is a chip responsible for the power functions of your Mac. Follow the instructions down below to reset SMC on your Mac.

Macs with Non-Removable Battery

  1. First of all, power off the machine.
  2. Once you have powered off the machine, plug the Mac into a power source.
  3. With that done, press and hold the Shift + Control + Option keys simultaneously.
  4. While you are holding these three keys, press and then release the power button of your Mac.
    Resetting SMC
  5. Once done, you can now release the Shift + Control + Option keys.
  6. After that, you can power on your Mac again to see if the problem has resolved.

Macs with Removal Battery

  1. First of all, power off your Mac machine.
  2. After that, disconnect any power source if any connected.
  3. Once you have removed the power source, remove the battery from your Mac.
    Battery Removal
  4. Upon removal of the battery, press and hold down the power button of your Mac for about five seconds.
  5. After that, put the battery back in and then connect the power.
  6. Finally, you can turn on your Mac machine.

iMac, Mac Pro, and Mac Mini

  1. First of all, you have to power off your Mac.
  2. Then, once the Mac has powered off, disconnect the power cord.
    Disconnect Power Cord
  3. Once the power cord has been disconnected, wait for around 15 seconds.
  4. After that, connect the power cord and then wait for an additional 5 seconds.
  5. Finally, you can power on your Mac again.

Method 2: Skip Signing In With Apple ID

Another way that you can fix your problem is to skip any sign in during the installation to your Apple ID. The above method should most probably fix the issue for you, but in case it doesn’t, what you can do initiate the installation again, and then when asked to sign in, just choose not to. This has been reported by a user who was facing a similar issue with his Mac Mini. Here’s how to skip signing in with Apple ID:

  1. Initiate the installation as you normally would.
  2. On the Sign In with Your Apple ID screen, choose the Don’t sign in option.
    Sign In With Apple ID
  3. Finally, click the Continue option to proceed.
  4. See if that resolves the issue for you.

Kevin Arrows


Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

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How to Fix Mac Stuck on Setting Up Your Mac

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