Fixing an Installer .pkg Stuck on “Verifying” in Mac OS X

Jul 26, 2016 - 44 Comments

Mac update pkg stuck verifying

Mac users may find that a system update, installer, or package (pkg) can get completely stuck in a verification sequence, with a pop-up alert that says “Verifying ‘name.pkg’…” while showing the Gatekeeper icon and a progress bar that never updates. The effect is the package or installer won’t run as it never completes verification, making it impossible to install. This is a strange issue that can cause some alarm, because it can happen with both third party packages and installers, as well as updates and packages that come directly from Apple. If you ever run into the package stuck on verifying issue within Mac OS X, we’ll show you how to fix the problem and get the package update to install on the Mac anyway.


Note: the “Verifying” process for packages, installers, and updates can take a while on any Mac. This is not a troubleshooting guide for merely slow verifications or for those who are simply impatient, this is only for cases where “verifying” process is completely halted and not working at all, thereby preventing the intended installer from running. If you aren’t sure if the “Verifying” process is stuck on the Mac, open the package, disk image, or installer file as usual and let the verification procedure run for a while, it can take many minutes or longer to complete. If the process is still stuck and unchanged an hour or so later, it’s probably stuck.

Stuck verifying pkg update in Mac OS X

Forcing a Stuck Verifying .pkg Installer to Run in Mac OS X

Re-download the installer: Before anything else, you should consider that the downloaded .pkg installer, dmg, or updater may have been corrupted or perhaps is incomplete. The very first step should be to re-download the pkg or dmg in question, and always get it from a trusted source (for example, get the installer or update directly from the developer and never from a third party downloads site). If you know the installer package is legitimate, completely downloaded, and not corrupt through hash verification or otherwise, proceed as usual.

Assuming the .pkg, .dmg, or installer app is legitimate and still stuck on “verifying” then here is what you can do to force it to run:

  1. From the Finder in Mac OS X, hit Command + Shift + G and enter the following path:
  2. /System/Library/CoreServices/

  3. Locate the app named “Installer.app” from this directory and launch it directly
  4. Go to CoreServices folder and open Installer app

  5. Navigate to the .pkg file that is stuck on verifying and select to open it
  6. Select package file that is stuck verifying

  7. Success! Run through the package installer or update as usual
  8. Package runs successfully

The package installer should now work just fine, whether it’s a software update for Mac OS, a third party app, or whatever else was stuck in the verifying stage. This seems to happen most often with installers that are run from a mounted disk image, but it can occur with downloaded .pkg updates as well.

Another possible option would be to disable Gatekeeper to prevent the verification process from unidentified and identified developers from running in the first place, but that is really not a good idea as it could open the Mac up to broader vulnerabilities or other issues.

For those who like to dig a little deeper to see what’s going on behind the scenes with the failed verifying attempts, you can open the Console app (/Applications/Utilities/) and you’ll typically find messages from launchservicesd and CoreServicesUIAgent with ‘Error -60006 creating authorization’.

Console log of stuck verifying Mac update

I ran into this exact issue recently when using a Combo Update for Mac OS X on a particular machine getting it up to date with OS X 10.11.6. Strangely, the verifying process failed and multiplied itself nearly a dozen times, which unsurprisingly didn’t work at all. Nonetheless, running the .pkg file through the Installer app allowed the system update to install without a hitch. This is a fairly rare hiccup to occur with installations and updates, but I’ve seen it happen with Microsoft Office, VirtualBox, Mac OS X, and other downloaded updates as well.

Mac update pkg stuck verifying

Did this work for you? Do you know of another solution to this type of issue? Let us know in the comments.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks, Troubleshooting

44 Comments

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  1. Peter Yudkin says:

    I could not get the Finder to locate the Installer.app. But it was easy using an app called EasyFind. So if you’ve got that app, use it.

  2. Cerebro says:

    I’ll have to remember this tip. It would have saved me a lot of grief several months ago.

    I had problems updating to 10.11.5. I downloaded the Combo updater (my preferred update method), and it got stuck “verifying”. Tried again. Same problem. Figuring I just got a bad download, I trashed it and downloaded a new copy. Rinse and repeat. I tried the delta updater. Same problem with that, too. Finally, I just gave up and updated through the App Store. I haven’t had the problem, since (the 10.11.6 Combo updater installed without a hitch).

  3. Chris Giordano says:

    My recommendation would be to do a control-right click on the intended installer then select “Open” from the menu. This will actually tell GateKeeper that this pkg/dmg can be considered an exception and to just allow the installer to open.

    Much easier and much faster so many levels ;)

    Hope this helps someone!

  4. Bernhard says:

    Thanks! Using the installer.app opened every stubborn installer file! Saves a lot of time!

  5. Dr. Ellen K. Rudolph says:

    YOU SAY:
    From the Finder in Mac OS X, hit Command + Shift + G and enter the following path: /System/Library/CoreServices/

    I am in the finder and hitting those 3 keys does NOTHING.
    What am I doing wrong??

    Your explanations are often way-yyy over my head in your assumptions. Please be SPECIFIC.

    My ADOBE ACROBAT PRO XI is stuck and I need to figure out how to do this ASAP.

    • cg says:

      Command Shift G is the shortcut to open the ‘Go to Folder’ dialog in Finder. You have to have the Finder app open to use the shortcut. The other option is to access the dialog by mouse click through the ‘Go’ dropdown menu in the Finder menubar.

      This option brings up a text entry field that allows you to paste in a filesystem path like ‘/System/Library/CoreServices/’, and Finder will open a window onto that location.

  6. Dr. Ellen K. Rudolph says:

    Yay-yyy color me pleased! I downloaded and used EasyFind for this problem and it WORKED like a charm! Thank you very much for that tip, Peter Yudkin. Adobe Acrobat PRO XI seems to regularly glitch with OS X updates, and Adobe reps can never seem to fix it. I may be 70 yrs old but I ain’t dumb (yet). Dr. Ellen

  7. Heather says:

    THANK YOU!!!

  8. Paul says:

    Thank you – works like a bomb!

  9. Kristen Caven says:

    This seems awesome but… the .dmg file is greyed out!

    • GingerWare says:

      .dmg are images. Mount it first (double click on the dmg, not via the installer), and then navigate to (via the installer) the mounted image (Should be on finder’s “Devices” sub menu)

      Cheers,

      G

  10. Andy says:

    It works perfectly – Thanks for sharing!

  11. garaged says:

    Thanks a lot !

    I had the same problem with git 2.10.0 installer

    Just got stuck on verifying and never worked, but I was able to update my git with your instructions.

  12. dvindeni says:

    How do I launch “Installer.app” from this directory it directly?

    And, how to I do step 3 (Navigate to the .pkg file that is stuck on verifying and select to open it)?

    Thanks

  13. RCJPHOTOS says:

    Hi, Thanks for this it worked!

  14. Rebecca says:

    Thank you! Worked great.

  15. Sophia says:

    This appears to be my error, but this solution doesn’t quite fit. Followed all above instructions and couldn’t find any unresolved installations (.pkg) files in the relevant folders. Essentially a game I had purchased a couple of months ago was lost when an OS X upgrade to Sierra went horribly wrong. Restored to El Capitan, re down loaded the app (twice & restarted) but it keeps asking for verification repeatedly after successfully entering password. Sense something is missing (apart from a few braincells)?

    I’ve checked my account details in App Store are up to date, turned off all security between downloads and it’s worn me down. Can’t seem to snag the solution :( Any ideas appreciated, thanks.

  16. JB says:

    Thanks! Exactly described and quickly solved my issue!

  17. Carmen Simons says:

    THANK YOU! This worked for me after two days of trying to install. Thanks for publishing this helpful info.

  18. sultana says:

    thanks brother!! it works from your smart genius simple steps that help me out really well!! thanks a lot

  19. Kalebh Schroder says:

    Launching from installer app worked

  20. Ankkeet says:

    Sweet! This worked. Thank you so much.

  21. Nicky says:

    Amazing – thank you!!!!

  22. StephenESC says:

    Exactly what I needed today!
    Many thanks!

  23. Michael Pinto says:

    I tried following these steps, but I can’t find installer.app in Finder and I even tried the EasyFind app and nothing came up. I need help.

  24. gammonator says:

    i cant seem to find installer.app in that directory help !!

    • Walter says:

      Here’s the tricks i tried yesterday and i made it to successfully bypass all the system file check.

      Open terminal app, run this:
      “defaults write com.apple.LaunchServices LSQuarantine -bool NO”
      Restart is required to make it work.

      Hope it helps. Good luck!

  25. hannah says:

    thank you very much! it is useful

  26. manouche says:

    Thank you, just to precise in french, it’s call “programme d’installation.app” and not “install in progress.app” or “installer Progress.app”.

    • Eleove says:

      Thank you so much for this tip! I couldn’t find Installer app on my (French) Mac and I thought I was going crazy… :)

  27. saints says:

    THANKYOU

  28. Marj says:

    Thank you. It solved my problem.

  29. yang says:

    thanks, it works.

  30. MARCO says:

    It worked beautifully! Thanks

  31. Tyler says:

    For some reason the Installer.app application won’t open. Is there any kind of solution? Thanks in advance!

  32. Annie Alford says:

    Thank you for this!

  33. Blotto says:

    Apple = we don’t care – we don’t have to.

  34. Andrea A says:

    Thank you!

  35. Kali G says:

    Thanks for these directions. They were just what I needed.

  36. Twitch412 says:

    Get to where the program is and it’s greyish and I’m not able to select it …

  37. tundraaaaa says:

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!
    before i met this article, i was almost giving up. <3<3<3

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