Fix “the recovery server could not be contacted”  

The recovery server could not be contacted error is likely to occur when you are trying to upgrade your Mac OS to a new version. It can also occur when you are trying to reinstall your Mac OS.

The error stops you from going further with your operation. This can be really annoying. Luckily, this guide will show you why the error occurs and how to fix it.

Why “the recovery server could not be contacted” error occurs

As mentioned above, the error occurs when one tries to update or reinstall their Mac OS.  The error message pops as soon as they start the process. Below are the reasons why the error occurs.

  • Overwhelming download requests to the Apple server by clients at the same time. This accounts for about 70% of times this error occurs.
  • The framework time may be off base or not synchronized with the apple server time.
  • Untrustworthy or unsecured WiFi network.
  • Adjusted or misconfigured hosts file.
  • Antivirus or other security programming hindering the downloads.

How to fix this error

If you are getting the message “the recovery server could not be contacted” try the following solutions:

1. Update the date and time settings

Below is how to do it.

  • Click on Go on your desktop.
  • Hit the option Utilities.
  • Now double click on Terminal.
  • Enter the accompanying command ntpdate -u time.apple.com
  • Press Enter on your keyboard

You should then wait for the process to finish. It will take some time. During this time, don’t indulge in other operations. You can then try updating or reinstalling your Mac OS to see if the error still occurs.

Most Mac users fix the issue with this technique. However, it doesn’t work for all. If it does not work for you, don’t worry, we have a fix.

All you need need is repeat the above process. But, when entering the accompanying command, start with the word Sudo instead. So you will enter Sudo ntpdate -u time.apple.com.

2. Check your network connection

Sometimes, your network provider servers may be blocking the Apple updates leading to the error. Connecting to a weaker or unsecured WiFi network may also lead to the error.

To fix this, you need to switch to a stronger internet connection. You can connect your device to a WiFi network using the ethernet cable or wirelessly.

To connect to a wireless network;

  • Go to the top right corner of the screen
  • Select the wireless icon then connect to a network.

You should then try updating your Mac OS to see if it is fixed.

3. Wait until the Apple servers are strong

If you still get the error after trying the above fixes, it could be a problem with Apple servers. This, as mentioned above, is usually due to the many download requests by many clients at a go. In that case, you will have to wait. Try again later to see if it works.

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