OS X Installers Downloaded Prior to February 14 No Longer Work After Certificate Update

by

Back in February, Apple's Worldwide Developer Certificate, designed to verify third-party apps and services, expired, requiring Apple to issue a new certificate for developers to use.

As pointed out by TidBITS (via Ars Technica) a side effect of the replacement of the certificate causes older OS X installers to fail to launch. OS X installation files downloaded from the Mac App Store before February 14, 2016 and stored on a computer or USB drive are no longer functional. This includes installation files for OS X El Capitan and older versions of OS X like Mavericks and Mountain Lion.

oldosxinstaller

Image via TidBITS

Users who keep OS X installers on hand or have created USB install disks in case of emergencies should replace their files with new versions by re-downloading them through the Mac App Store using purchased history. TidBITS points out that some older versions of OS X, like Lion, will not be downloadable on newer machines. Users who can't replace an expired certificate can still use older installers by changing the dates on their machines.

If you are in the middle of an OS X install and get tripped up by the expired certificate, Randy Singer offers a suggestion on how you can work around the problem quickly, without having to download a new installer:

1. In the OS X Installer, choose Utilities > Terminal.
2. Enter date 0201010116 and press Return.
3. Quit Terminal and continue the install.

That Terminal command sets your system date to 1 February 2016 -- before the certificate's expiration -- so the installer can continue. Once you have completed the installation, visit System Preferences > Date & Time to reset the system date.

Apple's certificate renewal process resulted in some problems for developers and Mac users back in November, as it caused multiple Mac App Store apps to display a "damaged" error and fail to open. Apple quickly addressed the issue and has helped developers transition to the new certificate.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
58 months ago
Apple needs to make it so that anyone can download any version of OS X at any time, even if it's not compatible with their system. It's annoying how I can't download any version of OS X on my MacBook because it isn't compatible, so I have to go search for another Mac and download from there.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
58 months ago
Apple screwed up big time here, I'm sure we all remember. Essentially though, the certification system is what's broken here.
really annoying though I find is, that the plain simple user is no more the authority over his own system.

A user should always be able to override what a system thinks is its best intent. Even if it's the wrong decision, even if I have to deal with catastrophic consequences: I (and no one else) should be able to decide, what's happening on my system. I can live with my computer misbehaving and me having to carry the consequences. but I can not live with the fact, that I no longer am in control. Admittedly, not even Microsoft gets this nowadays. at least not to the level I used to.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
58 months ago
This is stupid. I don't believe people as the consumers need to deal with this issue. This should have been resolved long time ago.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
58 months ago
But be careful not to set the date to January 1st, 1970 ... you don't want to brick your mac ;)
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
58 months ago

You simply re-download a new copy? Sounds like a non-issue.

Unless you are located somewhere remote with no broadband or even any reliable internet.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
58 months ago
Yay more downloading for me...

Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple-Acquired Dark Sky Officially Shuts Down Android App

Saturday August 1, 2020 3:43 pm PDT by
Apple in March purchased weather app Dark Sky, and at that time, Dark Sky's developers said that the app's Android version would be discontinued on July 1, 2020. However, instead of shuttering the app on that date, the app's developers announced that the discontinuation would be delayed for another month. Now that it's August, Android users are no longer able to access the app, and...

Apple May Launch This Year's 'iPhone 12' Lineup in Two Stages, With 6.1-inch Models Debuting First

Monday August 3, 2020 3:14 am PDT by
Apple last week confirmed that its "‌iPhone‌ 12" launch will be delayed this year due to the ongoing global health crisis and restrictions on travel. Apple last year started selling iPhones in late September, but this year, Apple projects supply will be "available a few weeks later," suggesting a release sometime in October. We're expecting a total of four OLED iPhones in 5.4, 6.1, and...

Apple Announces New 27-Inch iMac With 10th-Gen Processors, Up to 128GB RAM, 1080p Webcam, True Tone, and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 8:07 am PDT by
Apple today announced a new 27-inch iMac with faster 10th-generation Intel Core processor options, next-generation AMD graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, a higher-resolution 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, a T2 chip, higher fidelity speakers, studio-quality microphones, and more. A breakdown of the new 27-inch iMac's features and specs:10th...

Apple Explains Why You Might See 'Not Charging' When a Mac is Plugged In

Monday August 3, 2020 1:42 pm PDT by
If you have a Mac and have seen a "Not Charging" warning when plugging it in to power, Apple last week released a support document that explains why. Macs running macOS 10.15.5 or later have a Battery Health Management feature to preserve the life of the battery, and occasionally, the Battery Health Management option will cause the Mac to pause its charging for calibration purposes.Depending ...

Top Stories: Try the 5.4-Inch iPhone 12 Display Size, Blockbuster Earnings, Tim Cook at Antitrust Hearing

Saturday August 1, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
Another busy week of Apple news and rumors has wrapped up, with a lot of focus on Tim Cook's appearance at a Congressional antitrust hearing and a blockbuster earnings report. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We continued to hear rumors about the upcoming iPhone 12 lineup, including a rare admission from Apple that the lineup will launch "a few weeks later" than...

Unreleased iPod Touch with Mac Pro Glossy Black Finish Shared Online

Sunday August 2, 2020 11:32 am PDT by
Twitter user @DongleBookPro has today posted images of what seems to be a first-generation iPod Touch prototype with a 2013 Mac Pro-style glossy black finish. The Twitter user claims that the iPod Touch prototype pictured has "the same coating as the 2013 Mac Pro." Had the finish been selected for the final product, it also would have been similar to the metallic glossy black finish that...

Just How Small Will the 5.4-Inch iPhone 12 Screen Be? Try It Out for Yourself

Tuesday July 28, 2020 12:57 pm PDT by
As rumors of the iPhone 12 have continued to build over the past few months, the one model that has the most excitement around it is the smallest 5.4" model. The iPhone 12 is believed to be coming in 5.4", 6.7", and 6.1" sizes. Dummy models have shown how much smaller the 5.4" is compared to the rest of the iPhone lineup. The upcoming 5.4" iPhone falls in-between the size of the original...

Everything New in iOS 14 Beta 4: Apple TV Widget, Search Improvements, Exposure Notification API and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 11:14 am PDT by
Apple today released the fourth developer betas of iOS and iPadOS 14 for testing purposes, tweaking and refining some of the features and design changes included in the update. Changes get smaller and less notable as the beta testing period goes on, but there are still some noteworthy new features in the fourth beta, which we've highlighted below. - Apple TV widget - There's a new Apple TV...

Microsoft to Stop Supporting Office 2016 for Mac in October

Monday August 3, 2020 12:21 pm PDT by
Microsoft's Office 2016 for Mac is set to reach its end of support date on October 13, 2020, and after that date, connecting to Office 365 services using the Office 2016 for Mac software will no longer be supported. Microsoft shared the detail in a support document from July highlighting which versions of Office will be supported for connecting to Office 365 services in the future.Connecting ...

Apple Shares Requirements for Default Third-Party Browser and Email Apps With Developers

Monday August 3, 2020 4:28 pm PDT by
Apple in iOS 14 plans to allow users to set a third-party app as the default email or browser app on an iPhone or iPad, replacing the current Apple-made default apps Safari and Mail. Apple hasn't provided many details on the new feature to users, but as noted by MacStories' Federico Vittici, Apple has shared documentation with developers who want their apps to have the option to be set as a...