The recovery Server could not be contacted error

The recovery Server could not be contacted error – [Fixed]

Issue: After downloading the macOS High Sierra upgrade utility,when you run the installer to upgrade your Mac to macOS High Sierra you get this error saying – The Recovery Server Could not be Contacted.

The recovery Server could not be contacted error while trying to upgrade to macOS High Sierra

This becomes a common error almost every time apple releases a new version of macOS. 70% of the times this error happens due to overwhelming download requests to Apple server. When Apple releases a new version of macOS, a lot of users try to download the new macOS version at the same time. Apple servers become so busy processing the download request by them. So try to download again after an hour and see if that helps. But this time Apple implemented a new software delivery method for macOS High Sierra installer file.

In this new technique, when the download request is too high they won’t allow the download of full macOS High Sierra installer which is around 5.2GB in size rather they would deliver a stripped version of this installer which would be 19MB in size. And it further downloads the rest of the contents and installation files. The error The Recovery Server Could not be Contacted occurs only when the stripped version of installer is downloaded and run to install the macOS High Sierra. In this post we will help you fix this macOS High Sierra downloading and installation problems. If you can’t download even the stripped version of High Sierra then follow this guide steps by steps otherwise skip to step 2.

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  • If the hard drive is not in the recommended format then your Mac may ask you to format it in Mac OS Extended (Journaled) format. Follow the on screen instructions to format the disk.

 

You may also want to read: Reset Mac Admin Password

Reasons and solutions of error “The Recovery Server Could not be Contacted”.

There could be various reason of recovery server could not be contacted errors including the following:

  1. Apple servers are too busy processing the overwhelming download requests by thousands of user at the same time.
  2. System time is incorrect or not synchronized with correct apple time server.
  3. Unreliable or unsecured WiFi connection.
  4. Misconfigured or altered hosts file (/etc/hosts).
  5. Antivirus of other security software blocking the downloads.

Apple servers are too busy processing the overwhelming download requests by thousands of user at the same time.

If you are getting this error due to Apple Server being so busy fulfilling the thousands of download request then you should try to run the installer after few hours. Check every hours and see if it goes through. Don’t worry if the installation stuck at some point for a while as it may happen in case of server being too busy.

System time is incorrect or not synchronized with correct apple time server

Check the system time of you Mac at the upper right hand corner. If the time or the time zone is incorrect, follow the below mentioned steps to make sure the time is synchronized with Apple server.

  1. Click on the Apple Menu at the top left corner of the screen > Select System Preferences.
  2. Choose Date and Time > Click Date and Time and then check the option “Set the Date and Time Automatically.”"<yoastmark
  3. Choose the network time server for your region such as Apple Americas/U.S. (time.apple.com).
  4. If its already checked then uncheck it and check it again. In order to make changes, you will first need to open the security lock at the bottom left corner to make changes. Enter the administrator password when asked.
  5. Similarly go to the Time Zone tab and uncheck and recheck the box for ” Set time zone automatically using current Location”.You location should be the nearest possible.
  6. Close the Date and Time preferences and look the time at the top right corner of the screen. If the time is correct then try to install the macOS High Sierra again.

Unreliable or unsecured WiFi connection.

Sometimes your Wi-Fi connection is not reliable as it keeps disconnecting or the signal strength attenuates intermittently or the connection settings are reset by your internet service Provider. This result in connection to the Apple server lost and you get the error message the recovery server could not be contacted. To overcome this situation try to connect using Ethernet cable or try a different Wi-Fi source.

Also make sure your Wi-FI connection is secure as Apple recommends you to have the devices connected through a WPA/WPA2 or WPA2-Personal secured Wi-Fi network. It you are using a free Wi-Fi connection like a share public hotspot or a Wi-Fi network at a library, Apple server may reject the connection to download the secured files. A few example of such networks are also present at your home such as a guest network created by your own router often named as xfinity-WiFi, dlink, Linksys, netgear, or default with some alphanumeric name without a padlock sign.

You may want to switch to a secure network or make changes to your Wi-Fi router to enable security.

Misconfigured or altered hosts file(/etc/hosts)

Host files are used to define some internal network routes. Sometime due to some malicious program this file is altered and it is configured with incorrect routes to update server such as 127.0.0.1 ( a local host) for the server you need to download the updates from.

  • Open finder and click on the Go menu at the top.
  • Select “Go To..
  • Type “/etc/hosts” without quotes and click go.
  • Open hosts file and look for the following server names. If you see any information apart from the default host files entries then simply delete the unwanted information and save the file.

-127.0.0.1 swdist.apple.com

127.0.0.1 swquery.apple.com

-127.0.0.1 swscan.apple.com

127.0.0.1 swcdn.apple.com

-127.0.0.1 swdownload.apple.com

Default Host Files Entries

##
# Host Database
#
#
# localhost is used to configure the lookback interface
# when the system is booting. Do not change this entry.
##
127.0.0.1            localhost
255.255.255.255 broadcasthost


::1                 localhost
fe80::1%lo0      localhost

You can also copy the above mentioned information and simply replace it by selecting all and paste the copied information into the hosts file. Save and quit the file. Try to run the macOS High Sierra installer and see if you have got rid of Recovery server not contacted error.

Antivirus of other security software blocking the downloads

Make sure the Antivirus or any security software is up to date. Although, Apple never recommends the installation of any antivirus or security software on Mac. Such programs do more harm than good. If you have one try to boot your Mac in Safe mode because such programs are not loaded in safe mode. Or you can remove such programs and restart the Mac before you try to run the High Sierra installer again.

  1. To start your Mac in safe mode.
  2. Turn the Mac off.
  3. Turn the Mac on and immediately press and hold the Shift key on the left side of your keyboard.
  4. Keep it hold until you see the Apple logo.
  5. Let go the key off and wait for the Mac to boot.
  6. Login with Administrator account and try to install macOS High Sierra up-grader again.

I hope you this will enable you to fix this issue now. In case you are still unable to install macOS Sierra and the problem persists. Create a new administrator account and login with the new account. Delete the previously downloaded macOS High Sierra installer from /Application folder and try to download again. Run the installer and see if helps. If you are still unable to upgrade, don’t worry. You can call us and we will install or upgrade your Mac to macOS High Sierra. We have the complete installer file which is 5.2GB in size we will allow you to download it and assist you in other troubleshooting as well. You can also contact our Mac technical support helpline for other queries related to your Mac, iOS devices or any peripherals that connects to your Mac. We provide free consultation and diagnosis. I hope you can fix this Recovery server could not be contacted error by following the above mentioned steps.

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