Fix: macOS Recovery Server Could Not Be Contacted Error

During updating or installing of macOS, you can encounter the Recovery Server Could Not Be Contacted Error. There are quite a few factors for the error to occur. However, there is no definite reason.

While reaching for the recovery disk in your Mac, your computer is trying to get data from Apple servers. If the correct data is not downloaded, you might see this error pop up quite often. This error might be because of a bad or unresponsive internet connection, or a misconfiguration of some important files and services.

If your Mac clock is not adjusted properly, or you’re using the wrong time zone settings this might cause this error too. I have faced the same error while trying to reinstall macOS in my MacBook, and here are some troubleshooting methods which helped me to recover from this situation.

Fix macOS Recovery Server Could Not Be Contacted Error

Fix: macOS Recovery Server Could Not Be Contacted Error

In this article, we will discuss a few methods and reasons for the macOS recovery server could not be contacted error.

Method 1: Checking Internet Connection

If the error has occurred for the first time on your Mac device, then the first thing you should do is to check your internet. Click on the network icon on the top panel and check if you are connected to a good enough network.

Fix macOS Recovery Server Could Not Be Contacted Error

If you are connected to a wireless network, make sure it is secure and has a good signal strength. If there is an issue with the signal strength, then check your router.

Note: If you are using a wired connection, you can check the internet speed. A faster internet speed will give you quicker and easier access to the  Apple Recovery server.

Method 2: Syncing Date/Time to Apple Recovery Server

Your Mac device must be synced with the Apple Recovery server in order to update your Mac. After you have synced, the time and date of your Mac will be automatically updated. If you haven’t synced your Mac to the Apple server, then just follow the steps mentioned below to do so.

Step 1) Close the Recovery Server Could Not Be Contacted Error if it is still opened. Now, on the top-panel, double-click on the Utilities option and select Terminal.

Fix macOS Recovery Server Could Not Be Contacted Error

Step 2) Now, in the terminal type, the date command and press enter. This will show you the current date. If it is wrong, type the original date and type in the following format after the date command.

date mmddhhssyy

Step 3) After you have corrected the date and time, you can quit the Terminal. To run the installer again, click on the Reinstall macOS option.

Method 3: Installing Full Version of the Mojave/Catalina Installer

There might be some issue with the installer; hence it is recommended to reinstall or install the full version if you are facing an issue.

Click on the Utilities option on the top menu bar and then select Terminal.

Now type the following command and press Enter to download the installer in the Application folder.

softwareupdate --fetch-full-installer --full-installer-version 10.15.3

Run the downloaded installer from the Application folder without connected to the recovery server to install the macOS.

Method 4: Reinstall macOS

This is the last method that you must use to resolve the Recovery Server Could Not Be Contacted Error. Also, it will erase your Disk. Therefore you must take a backup beforehand to avoid any data loss.

  1. Restart your Mac, and while booting, press the CDM + R keys on your keyboard to access the Recovery Mode.
  2. In the Recovery Mode, go to Disk Utility, select your device disk and Erase it.
  3. After you have erased your hard disk, the issue must be resolved. Therefore, now you can simply click on the Reinstall macOS option and continue to install macOS.


I hope the above guide solved your problem with macOS recovery server could not be contacted error. This error is primarily due to a weak internet connection or some problem with the server connection. So make sure you have a good internet connection, and then try all the troubleshooting methods above.

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