Catalina Internet Recovery

If you cannot boot, create a bootable installer USB for Catalina and boot with that by holding Option key. Then mount the internal disk, run a first aid in Disk Utility on the internal disk. Copy / Paste the diskutil info. Suspect recovery mode partition is damaged or missing. – James Brickley Nov 1 '20 at 15:03. Learn how to reinstall the OS through Internet RecoveryHow to Install Mac OS Catalina from Internet Recovery.How to Install Mac OS Catalina from Internet Rec. To manually start up from macOS Recovery over the Internet, hold down Option-Command-R or Shift-Option-Command-R at startup. If you still can’t start up from macOS Recovery, and you have a Mac that is able to start up completely, you might be able to create an external Mac startup disk to start up from instead. Basically on an Intel Mac that is compatible with (and otherwise running) macOS Big Sur, when one uses Command+Option+R to boot to the latest supported OS's Recovery OS via Internet Recovery, macOS Catalina is the OS that it lands on, not Big Sur. This didn't used to be the case on said Macs, but this seems a bit recent (perhaps following the. NOTE: If your Mac came with macOS Catalina, you can restart your Mac while holding down Shift-Option-Command-R to enter Internet Recovery Mode and install the operating system that came with your Mac. Otherwise, follow the steps below to install Catalina back on your Mac. Connect your Mac to the internet via Wi-Fi or Ethernet.

Summary :

When you want to reinstall macOS on your Mac computer, you may encounter different kinds of issues like the recovery server could not be contacted. Do you know the reason for this issue and how to fix it? In this post, MiniTool Software will show you the information you want to know.

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Why the Recovery Server Could Not Be Contacted on Your Mac?

Catalina Internet Recovery

The recovery server could not be contacted is an error message that you may receive when you want to reinstall macOS 10.13 High Sierra/macOS 10.14 Mojave/macOS 10.15 Catalina/macOS 11 Big Sur in recovery mode or update your macOS. When this issue occurs, you will see the following interface. This issue stops you from installing macOS you want to use.

Top Reasons for the Recovery Server Could Not Be Contacted on Mac

During the macOS installation process, your computer needs to establish a connection with the Apple recovery server. If you receive the Mac recovery server could not be contacted error, it usually means that the connection between your Mac computer and the Apple recovery server is not successful.

The main causes are here:

  • Your Mac computer is not connected to the network, or the network connection is not stable, or the network connection is faulty.
  • Your Mac computer’s date and time are not correctly synced with the Apple recovery server.
  • Too many users are trying to install the macOS update, bringing heavy burdens to the Apple recovery server and making your Mac can’t connect to the Apple recovery server.
  • Some other reasons….

When you look for solutions to solve this issue on the internet, you will find that many users have been bothered by it or are getting into this trouble currently. That is to say, it is a common problem.

The solutions from the internet are various. Which is the best method to solve this issue? We have collected some approaches that are proved to be effective. If you are not sure which situation you are facing, you can try all these solutions to find the most suitable one.


Here are some other issues (as follows) you may encounter when you want to reinstall or upgrade macOS. We hope the following guides can help you out:

How to Fix the Recovery Server Could Not Be Contacted on Mac?

  1. Check Your Network Connection
  2. Check Your Date and Time on Mac
  3. Use the macOS Installer
  4. Try Reinstalling or Updating Your macOS Later
  5. Erase Your Mac Disk and Reinstall macOS

Method 1: Check Your Network Connection

The first thing you need to do is to check your Mac network connection.

Whether Your Mac Is Connected to an Available Network

  1. Click the Wi-Fi icon at the right end of the menu bar to unfold the list of the available networks.
  2. If the Wi-Fi is off, you need to click Turn Wi-Fi on to enable it. Wait and see whether your Mac is connected to an available Wi-Fi. If not, you need to manually add one.

Whether the Network Connection Is Stable

If your network connection is not stable or the signal is weak, you can also encounter a Mac recovery server could not be contacted issue. So, when your Mac is using an available Wi-Fi connection but the issue persists, you need to check whether the connection is stable and strong.

It is easy to do this: press and hold the Option key on the keyboard while clicking the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar. Then, you can see the signal strength in decibels of the Wi-Fi network you are using.

Whether the Network Connection Has Issues

If your Mac can’t connect to a Wi-Fi network even after you turn Wi-Fi on, you need to take some measures to fix the connection issue. This post is helpful: If your Mac doesn't connect to the Internet over Wi-Fi.

Method 2: Check Your Date and Time on Mac

If your Mac computer’s date and time are not properly synced to the Apple recovery server, you can following these steps to correct the issue:

1. Click the OK button to close the error interface and you will return to the macOS Utilities interface.

2. Click Utilities from the top Apple menu bar and then select Terminal to open it.

3. Type ntpdate -u and press Enter.

The whole process will last for a while. You need to wait until it ends. After that, you can trying reinstalling macOS again to see whether the issue is solved.

If the above command doesn’t work for you, you can try the other command:

  1. Use the method mentioned above to open Terminal on your Mac.
  2. Type date and press Enter to see the data of your Mac computer.
  3. If your date and time are wrong, you need to type the current time with the following command date mmddhhssyy. Take 22 February 22, 10:10 am, 2021 as an example, the command should be date 0222101021.
  4. Press Enter.

After these steps, you need to exit your Mac Terminal and then reinstall macOS to see whether the process is successful.

Method 3: Use the macOS Installer

To avoid the recovery server could not be contacted Mojave/High Sierra/Catalina/Big Sur, you can also reinstall macOS via the full version of the macOS installer rather than using the Reinstall macOS option in Mac Recovery Mode.

If your Mac won’t boot into Recovery Mode or Command-R not working, do you know how to fix it? In this post, we will show you some effective solutions.

You need to first create a bootable installer for macOS and then use it to reinstall or update your macOS. This article shows you the detailed steps: How to create a bootable installer for macOS.

Method 4: Try Reinstalling or Updating Your macOS Later

Another method to solve the recovery server could not be contacted High Sierra/Mojave Catalina/Big Sur is to just quit the macOS installation process and select another time to do the job. You can use this method when the latest macOS has just been released because there should be many users are updating macOS, causing busy and crowded usage of the Apple recovery server.

Method 5: Erase Your Mac Disk and Reinstall macOS


If all of the above methods can’t solve the issue, you may need to erase your Mac disk and then reinstall your macOS in recovery mode.

  1. Back up your Mac using Time Machine.
  2. Close your Mac.
  3. Press the Power button and immediately press & hold Command-R to start your Mac in recovery mode (macOS Utilities).
  4. Select Disk Utility and use it to erase your Mac disk (usually it is the Macintosh HD volume).
  5. Go back to the recovery mode and then click reinstall macOS.

Do you know how to delete Time Machine backups on your Mac computer? In this post, we will show you different cases and different methods.

This time, you should be able to successfully upgrade your macOS.

These are the effective methods to solve recovery server could not be contacted on your Mac computer. We believe that there should be one suitable method for your situation.

If You Want to Recover Your Lost Mac Data, Try This Software

Os X Catalina Internet Recovery

Some of your important Mac files may get lost when you solve your Mac issues. To get them back, you can use Stellar Data Recovery for Mac, a free Mac data recovery software.

This software is specially designed to recover data from internal hard disks, external hard drives, SD cards, memory cards, and more on your Mac computer. Before recovery, you can even select the data types you want to restore and choose to perform a deep scan or not.

It has a trial edition. You can first use it to scan the drive you want to recover data from and then verify whether it can find your needed Mac files. If yes, you can use a full edition to recover all your files without limits. You can go to the MiniTool official download center to get this freeware.

Tip: If your Mac won’t turn on, you can use the bootable edition of this software to recover data.

Here is a detailed guide on how to use this software to scan and recover your lost and delete files on Mac.

1. Open the software.

2. You can customize the data types you want to recover if necessary. On the other hand, if you don’t have this requirement or want to recover all kinds of files, you can just turn on the button for Recover Everything.

3. Click the Next button to continue.

4. On the next interface, you need to select the disk you want to recover data from. A deep scan can help you find more data but the scan process will last longer. If necessary, you can turn on the button for Deep Scan.

5. Click the Scan button to start scanning your selected disk.

6. When the scanning process ends, the software will show you the scan result by Classic List. This is the default mode. You can also switch to File List or Deleted List to find your needed files.

7. This software also allows you to preview the scan result. You can double-click one file to preview it and confirm whether it is the file you want to recover.

8. If you want to use this software to recover files on Mac, you can upgrade it to a full edition. You can go to the MiniTool site to select a suitable edition according to your situation.

Bottom Line

After reading this article, you should know how to fix your Mac recovery server could not be contacted issue if it occurs to you. Additionally, if you want to recover your lost and delete files on your Mac machine, you can try Stellar Data Recovery for Mac.

If you are bothered by some other Mac issues and don’t know how to fix them, you can let us know in the comments or contact us via [email protected].

The Recovery Server Could Not Be Contacted FAQ

If you can’t see the Internet Recovery option on your Mac or it is not working, you need to use a bootable macOS installer to reinstall your macOS.
  1. Close the Server
  2. Open Terminal.
  3. Type sudo slapconfig –destroyldapserver and press Enter.
  4. Restart your computer.
You need to press the Power button and immediately press & hold Command-R to boot your Mac into recovery mode (macOS Utilities).
It doesn’t delete your important files on your Mac computer. It overwrites all the current system files in-place and keeps all your files and most preferences.

macOS Catalina is slightly outdated since the release of macOS Big Sur in November of 2020. Nevertheless, many users prefer to stick with it because it's much more familiar visually. And it offers a bunch of expanded features, such as a screen extension with an iPad or the new Apple Podcasts app.
The problem is that it might not always work as intended. Glitches in macOS Catalina are commonplace: in fact, all existing operating systems like Mojave or High Sierra could freeze and crash from time to time. No software is immune.

But what do you do in this case? The surefire way to deal with jaded performance is to reinstall macOS Catalina altogether. Read through our guide below to learn how.

Catalina Internet Recovery Download

How To Reinstall Mac OS Catalina

It’s important to note that when you reinstall macOS Catalina the process simply updates the operating system and doesn’t affect any files on your hard drive or user files or even settings. That makes reinstalling principally different from performing a clean install, which erases everything.

Here are the proper steps to follow to reinstall mac OS Catalina.

1. Back up your Mac first


By default, the best thing you could do before making any significant changes to how your Mac works is to back it up. Backups are just like saves before encountering challenges in video games — represent the point you can always come back to.

There are lots of great backup solutions on the market to suit every need. If you don’t have the time to search for something specific, your Mac features a decent native option — Time Machine.

To get Time Machine started:

  1. Connect an external USB or WiFi hard drive to your Mac
  2. Go System Preferences ➙ Time Machine
  3. Click on Select Backup Disk…
  4. Press Use Disk

2. Delete junk off your Mac to speed it up

There’s nothing better than the feeling of a brand new Mac with a brand new macOS. If only the latter is new, the experience could be subpar. Trying to get the most out of macOS Catalina on your older machine might be a challenge. But don’t hurry to your local Apple Store just yet — not all is lost.

Just like the dust behind your couch or on the top of your kitchen cupboards, small bits of system files, caches, and hidden libraries tend to aggregate over the years and never get deleted, eventually slowing down everyday processes. While it’s possible to clear out some of them manually, others require specific technical knowledge and lots of time.

Luckily, there’s a professional automatic solution available — CleanMyMac X. Optimizing behind-the-curtain processes on your Mac with CleanMyMac X is no more difficult than clicking a single button:

  1. Download a free version of CleanMyMac X.
  2. Open the app and navigate to System Junk in the left-side panel.
  3. Click Scan and wait for the process to complete.
  4. When done, press Review Details.
  5. Uncheck anything you’d like to keep and click Clean.

Now your Mac is free of all the pointless log files, user caches, language files, old updates, and more. Which directly translates into improved processing power, memory usage, and response time. At last, your Mac is ready to take full advantage of macOS Catalina.

3. Reinstall macOS Catalina in Recovery Mode

With your Mac in top shape, it’s time to get that macOS Catalina download link. Surprisingly, you won’t find it in Software Update or even App Store (where it used to be in macOS High Sierra).

The correct way to reinstall macOS Catalina is to use your Mac’s Recovery Mode:

  1. Restart your Mac and then hold down ⌘ + R to activate Recovery Mode.
  2. In the first window, select Reinstall macOS ➙ Continue.
  3. Agree to the Terms & Conditions.
  4. Select the hard drive you’d like to reinstall mac OS Catalina to and click Install.

Automatically update all your software for Catalina

The reinstallation process will start shortly and roughly take 30 minutes. When complete, your Mac will start up as usual. No files should be lost, but it’s always a good idea to check CleanMyMac X’s Applications Updater to see if you can improve compatibility of the new macOS with any of your existing apps:

Force Catalina Internet Recovery

  1. Launch CleanMyMac X.
  2. In the left-side panel, navigate to Updater.
  3. View any available updates and their notes and click on Update.

This Updater tool in CleanMyMac X automatically searches for latest available versions of ALL your apps. One or two clicks and everything feels fresh. It even updates the macOS file itself.

Trust in your backup

Finally, in case you notice any files or apps missing, or settings misconfigured, you could open up Time Machine to restore a specific folder or the whole backup from the step one:

  1. Launch Time Machine from Applications.
  2. Simply scroll all backup versions to find the file you’re looking for.
  3. Click Restore.

If you decide to restore the whole backup, make sure to then repeat the whole process to optimize your Mac and reinstall macOS Catalina as detailed above. The good thing is that more often than not the reinstallation works wonders right from the first time.