The Recovery Server Could Not Be Contacted in Mojave/Catalina

authorPic William Bollson Updated on 2021-11-24 11:54:21 to Mac Problems

The recovery server is probably the best component of ongoing updates of macOS. The recovery server feature allows you to troubleshoot when you run into issues, run First Aid, open Terminal, or reinstall the operating system. In any case, utilizing Recovery mode requires interfacing with an Apple server, and if that doesn't work, "the recovery server could not be contacted" error may occur. The macOS update can be interrupted by many issues. The most common problem is that the recovery server could not be contacted. That appears when you try to install macOS High Sierra, Mojave, or Catalina. If your Mac has come up with this mistake, this guide could be supportive for you. Learn why the "Mac recovery server could not be contacted" error happens and how to fix it.

the recovery server could not be contacted

Part 1: What Does It Mean When the Recovery Server Could Not Be Contacted?

Installing a macOS update via macOS installer requires your Mac to connect with the Apple server online. At the point when it says, "the recovery server could not be contacted High Sierra," it implies that the connection of your Mac with the Apple server was disrupted. A few reasons could trigger this issue:

  • It would be best if you had a good internet connection for your Mac to contact the Apple server effectively.
  • The date and time settings on your Mac may not be synchronized in a while with the Apple recovery server.
  • The Apple server might be down because of many clients attempting to get the new update readily.

Part 2: How to Fix the Recovery Server Could Not Be Contacted?

Fix 1: Check Network Connection on Mac

Initially, you need to check if your system has a stable internet connection. If your Mac is on a wired web association, you can re-plug the Ethernet link to check. The better your internet connection, the faster you can connect your Mac to the Apple recovery server. A stable internet connection is all you need to solve the "Mac OS the recovery server could not be contacted" error.

Check Network Connection on Mac

Fix 2: Check Apple's Servers

Apple has a status page where it records any problems with its web server and online services. Since it doesn't have an entry for the Recovery, an issue with different services might show an issue with the recovery server. If so is the case, wait for Apple servers to get back going once more and solve "the recovery server could not be contacted High Sierra" error.

Fix 3: Sync Your Mac' Date and Time to Apple Recovery Server

You can refresh and adjust Mac's date and times settings to the Apple recovery server by using these steps:

Step 1: First of all, open the macOS utility window by closing the error. Pick the "Utilities" option from the menu bar at the top.

Step 2: Double-tap the "Terminal" option and type the "ntpdate - u" command.

Sync Your Mac' Date and Time to Apple Recovery Server

Step 3: You can reinstall the macOS update once more after the process completes. Ideally, the "authentication server could not be contacted" problem will resolve.

If the command mentioned above neglected to fix the recovery server couldn't be contacted on your Mac, you might follow the steps below:

Step 1: Open Terminal app and type "date." Your Mac will display the current date and time of your Mac.

Step 2: If the settings are incorrect, you may enter the current time in the following order: date mmddhhssyy. For instance, if it is June 10, 07:00am 2021, type date 0610070021 (June 10, 07:00am, 2021).

Step 3: Try reinstalling MacOS again to run the Catalina/Mojave installer once more and fix the internet recovery error.

Fix 4: Use the macOS Installer

Many clients reported "the recovery server could not be contacted Catalina" error when they attempted to install a macOS update with the update installer from App Store. But after downloading the complete version of the macOS installer, the installer ran without any error. The method below will help you get the full update/version of the macOS Catalina:

Step 1: Run Terminal and enter the command line below to download the complete version of the macOS Catalina 10.15.3 Installer App.

software update - get full-installer - full-installer-rendition 10.15.3

Step 2: After downloading, run the installer to proceed without the recovery server problem.

Use the macOS Installer

Fix 5: Update macOS

Step 1: Open the App Store on your Mac to find updates for applications, then go to the "Updates" tab.

Step 2: To automatically install macOS updates later, including the downloaded applications, select "Automatically keep my Mac up to date." This feature will inform you when updates require a restart, so you can pick when to have the applications updated.

Fix 6: Erase Your Mac Disk and Reinstall macOS

Reinstalling the MacOS after entering the recovery mode to remove the hard disk can take care of your concern. Here's how:

Step 1: Restart your Mac device, and when it is starting, press and hold the CDM + R keys. That will take your Mac to recovery mode.

Step 2: Click "Disk Utility" there and delete the Macintosh HD volume. That will erase every one of your files on your Mac.

Step 3: After erasing data from your Mac, you can reinstall macOS without getting the "there was a problem connecting to the server Mac" error.

Reinstall macOS

Bonus Tip: How to Recover Lost Data after Mac Update?

If you have your files missing after the macOS update and don't have a backup, you can get the data back by utilizing Tenorshare 4DDiG Data Recovery software. The program is an expert in restoring photographs, archives, voice and video recordings, messages, and so on from the Mac PC after the data is lost due to macOS reinstallation. Tenorshare 4DDiG Mac Data Recovery lets you recover data lost after the "Mac there was a problem connecting to the server" error in three simple steps:

  • Recover 1,000+ file types with ease
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    Step 1:Select a Location

    Open the home interface of 4DDiG after downloading and select the location from where you lost data and want to recover. Then, at that point, click the "Scan" button to look for every lost document.

    4ddig mac select location to scan deleted or lost files on disk Step 2: Scan and Preview

    The scanning will take some time to look for all erased files. You can review and search for your documents based on their file type.

    preview lost files Step 3: Recover Mac Files

    Select the "Recover" button and select a new destination to save the scanned files. Please don't save the recovered files back to the drive where you lost them to avoid permanent loss.

    recover lost data Mac update

FAQs Recovery Server

1. What is a recovery server?

The recovery server is Apple's online OS update server that needs a stable internet connection to your device. It is responsible for installing new updates.

2. What to do when your Mac says the recovery server could not be contacted?

The basic troubleshooting you can do to your Mac when "the recovery server could not be contacted" error appears is:

  • Check Network Connection on Mac
  • Check Apple's servers
  • Check your Mac' Date and Time to Apple Recovery Server

3. Why will macOS High Sierra not install?

There are reasons why you might face this issue. There might be many individuals attempting to download macOS High Sierra at that moment. In that case, attempt again later to check whether the download now works. Likewise, check if your Wi-Fi connection is as dependable as could be expected.

4. How do I connect to Wi-Fi on my Mac recovery?

Reinstalling macOS using Recovery requires an internet connection. You can connect to Wi-Fi by following the steps below:

Step 1: Open the Wi-Fi menu from the top right corner of your Mac.

Step 2: Select a Wi-Fi network and type its password if required.

Recovery mode will now be able to download the macOS installer.


Several Mac users have reported the "Mac recovery server could not be contacted" issue. As with every problem, this error is also recoverable, provided that you apply specific arrangements. Also, to handle the losses that might occur in the macOS update, you need to back up your data. If your data is lost, you can get it back without any efforts utilizing Tenorshare 4DDiG Mac Data Recovery

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4DDiG is your second to none choice to recover all lost data on Windows/Mac computer from various loss scenarios like deletion, formatting, RAW, etc. with a higher success rate.

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