Friday, August 19, 2022

Fix: ‘The Recovery Server Could Not Be Contacted’ Error On Mac

Recovery partition is one of the best features of the recent macOS versions.

This feature allows you to troubleshoot different kinds of issues.

When you boot into the recovery mode or use Recovery over the internet, it will connect to Apple’s recovery server.

If Mac fails to connect to the server you will get a ‘The recovery server could not be contacted’ error message.


So, what is the way out? Fortunately, the issue is common, and let us discuss the solutions to fix it.

How To Fix ‘The Recovery Server Could Not Be Contacted Mac’ Error Message?

Follow the steps given below when you get the ‘The recovery server could not be contacted’ error message.

1) Check Your Internet Connection

Apple’s online OS update server requires a stable internet connection to function.

So, when your Mac says, ‘the recovery server could not be contacted’ check your internet connection.

Click on the internet icon on your Mac and check if you are connected to an internet.


2) Check Apple’s Sever

If you have a stable internet connection and still getting the error, check Apple’s server status page.

If there is an issue with other services then you may also have a problem with the recovery server.

In case, any problem is detected, wait till the server gets back to normal.

3) Sync Mac’s Date and Time to Apple Recovery Server

Sync Mac’s date and time settings to Apple’s recovery server and this can solve the problem.

  • Close the error and this will open the macOS utilities window.
  • Click on the Go tab and select the Terminal option. You can also search for Terminal using the Spotlight search.
  • Double click on Terminal. Copy and paste the following command line in the Terminal window and press Return:
ntpdate - u


  • After the process ends, reinstall macOS once again and this will solve the problem.
  • But if the above command line fails to fix the problem related to the recovery server, run the following command:
  • Open Terminal and enter: date and press Return. Mac will now display the date and time.


  • If Mac shows the wrong date & time, enter the proper date & time following the order:

For example, if the date is May 10, 7 AM 2022, enter: 0510070022.

4) Update Mac 

If the above method could not fix the recovery server error, update your macOS. To do so follow the steps given below:

  • Open App Store and click on the Updates button. If any update is available, install it.


5) Use Mac Installer

If you get ‘the recovery server could not be contacted’ error message while installing the macOS update using the update installer from the App Store, then download the full version of the macOS installer.

This can solve the problem. To do that, follow the steps given below:

  • Open Terminal and to get the full version of the macOS Catalina 10.15.3 Installer application, enter the following command line:
software update - get full-installer - full-installer-rendition 10.15.3


  • The installer will get downloaded in the application folder. Now, run this installer for installing macOS. Hopefully, you will not get any errors now.

6) Reinstall macOS

If none of the above methods could fix the error, then erase the disk and reinstall Mac.

  • Enter Mac Recovery mode by following this guide.
  • Click on the Go tab and find Disk Utility. You can also use spotlight search to find Disk Utility.
  • Click on the Erase button to delete the Macintosh HD Volume.


  • But before you proceed make sure to backup all your important data as this process will delete the entire data on your Mac.
  • After deleting the data, reinstall Mac, and this time you should not get the error.

Frequently Answered Questions [FAQs]

  1. What to do if Mac says the recovery server could not be connected?

Check your internet connection, check Apple’s server status, Sync Mac’s date & time to Apple’s recovery server, update MacOS, reinstall Mac.

  1. How do I force a recovery on a Mac?

Restart Mac. Hold the Command + R keys till Apple’s logo appears.

Enter your username and password when prompted and the Recovery Mode window will open.

  1. Why is Mac saying Cannot connect to a server?

The server or the computer may have been disconnected from the network.

If the computer or the server is shut down or restarted then also you may find Mac is saying Cannot connect to a server.

Closing Up

If the above solutions were helpful to fix the recovery server error, give us feedback.

For more issues like this, ask us in the comments section given below.

Sanchita Das
Sanchita Das
Creative and focused. Always ready to learn new techniques and improvise accordingly. Loves to meet new challenges and explore new possibilities.

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