How To Fix macOS Monterey Not Enough Free Space To Install
Last updated on November 1st, 2021 at 09:52 amPosted in How To by Tyrone on October 29, 2021
Are you trying to update to macOS 12 but you’re faced with the macOS Monterey not enough free space to install issue? This is a common problem experienced by MacBook owners with low amount of storage space. macOS 12.0.1 requires almost 40 GB of free space to deploy and install itself on a Mac!
macOS Monterey Not Installing
You’ve downloaded macOS 12.0.1 in System Preferences -> Software Update and are now trying to update.
However, you get the error saying “The target volume does not have enough free space to install”. macOS also informs about the additional free space required for the update to be installed, on the selected disk.
This happens after clicking the ‘install macOS Monterey’ file. You click Continue and are prompted to select the drive that you want to install macOS 12 on.
However, after selecting Macintosh HD the above info message is displayed, hovering on top of the disk’s thumbnail and the ‘Continue’ button is greyed out!
How To Fix macOS Monterey Not Enough Free Space Error
There are two ways you can create additional space for the macOS 12 update:
1. Delete Big Files
- Click on the Apple logo available in the top-left corner of the menu bar.
- Go for About This Mac.
- Click on Storage, in the horizontal header.
- Next, go for Manage and use the available options to get additional storage space: Store in iCloud, Optimize Storage, Empty Trash and Reduce Clutter.
2. Install macOS Monterey From External Drive
If you applied all the steps described above and the Macs available storage is still not enough, you can free up an additional 12.17 GB, by using an external disk for the installation process.
If you have an external drive that’s large enough, you can copy the install macOS Monterey file to the external drive and delete it from your MacBook. This will free up over 12 GB on your computer as you can create an alias and run the installation from the external disk.
How to install macOS Monterey from SSD
- Quit the macOS Monterey installer from the Dock.
- Connect an external SSD to your Mac and open Finder.
- Copy and Paste the install macOS Monterey file to the external drive.
- Right-click on install macOS Monterey and go for Make Alias
- Copy and paste the alias to your desktop.
- Delete the install macOS Monterey file from your Mac.
- Double-click on the install macOS Monterey alias, available on your desktop. The installer will boot from your external drive.
- Click Continue and select the Macintosh HD internal drive
- Continue should be responsive now, click it and the macOS Monterey installation will begin.
Fact: At this point check your MacBook storage once again. Do you have the additional 12 GB. If they don’t show up you need to restart Mac.
Fact: The process lasts up to 1 hour and your MacBook will automatically reboot before it completes.
External SSDs for Mac
Don’t own an external drive that you can use with this macOS Monterey trick? You can quickly grab one from Amazon:
– I recommend the SanDisk 1TB Extreme Portable SSD
Disclaimer: iPhoneTricks.org has an affiliate partnership with Amazon. If you purchase a product after clicking the above link, you will help us receive a small commission that allows us to cover website costs.
Have you managed to free up space and install macOS Monterey? Do you have any questions or need additional tips? Use the comments section and share your feedback.
Related: If you heavily rely on USB hubs for using your MacBook don’t upgrade to macOS 12.0.1! The initial macOS Monterey release comes with a nasty USB hub bug, that will render your USB ports unusable!
Hi! Tried to install it from an ssd but is not responsive. Follow your steps but not working on my end. What could I do?
Thanks in advance.
Hi Fernando. We’ve also encountered the unresponsive behavior the first time we tried. Quit the installer, restart Mac and try again. The second time we tried, it worked.
Wow, you saved the day! Many thanks to this website and the article author.
We’re always happy to help David. Thanks for the comment.
Hi, I started the update last night but it had frozen – any advice on how I can fix that? Stuck on progress bar at start up
What Mac model are you owning?
MacBook Pro 13 inch (2017)
Mine is just frustrating saying about 5 hours remaining then shoots up to 7hours remaining. This is happening after I have downloaded the OS 12.3G
Thanks for reporting. So this happens at the final step, after you select the hard drive for installing, correct?
I get stuck at the point of double clicking on the install macOS Monterey alias. The installer does not launch afterwards. Any tips or workarounds? (I am using MacBook Air 2019)
Try to reboot Mac and try again. It happen to me too when trying this, but it worked the second attempt.
Tried reboot but installer still does not launch from My Passport device. Does it make a difference that its a HDD vs SSD?
It should work with both types of devices.
Still getting the same result even after a few reboot tries unfortunately.
Sorry to hear this.Try to borrow a SSD from friends or family and check if this is the reason. Keep us posted.
Hi, I did everything as per your instructions. It restarted self, but then it said it can’t find some files.
Now it shows only 10 GB free where I had 26 GB before installing. I switched to a differnt extrernal disk, because the one I was using didn’t show in my Finder. I think a lot of files were copied to my system files and now it reduced my space again. How can I sort this out?
macOS Monterey 12.0.1 currently has an USB issue, that’s one of the reasons why it might not show your initial external disk in Finder. The bug is discussed here: https://www.iphonetricks.org/fix-usb-ports-not-working-in-macos-monterey/
Not sure what to suggest, in our case, storage was about the same after updating. Give it a day or two until files are reindexed. Perhaps it will sort itself out.