Apple Offers Instructions on What to Do if macOS Big Sur Causes Installation Errors on 2013 and 2014 MacBook Pro

Following the release of macOS Big Sur last week, a number of 2013 and 2014 MacBook Pro owners found that the update bricked their machines. Affected users saw their Macs get stuck displaying a black screen after attempting to install the new software.

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Apple has now addressed this issue in a new support document that provides instructions on what to do if ‌macOS Big Sur‌ can't be installed on a 2013 or 2014 MacBook Pro machine. Apple suggests Mac owners experiencing these issues unplug external devices, attempt restarting, reset the SMC, and reset NVRAM or PRAM. From the support document:

  1. Press and hold the power button on your Mac for at least 10 seconds, then release. If your Mac is on, it turns off.
  2. Unplug all external devices from your Mac, including any displays and USB accessories, and remove any card inserted in the SDXC card slot. Then turn your Mac on.
  3. If the issue persists, reset the SMC as described for notebook computers with a nonremovable battery.
  4. If the issue persists, reset NVRAM or PRAM.

Apple says if these solutions do not work, affected customers should contact Apple Support for further help with the problem. The document also says that Apple plans to update the article as more information becomes available.

To be safe, those with older MacBook Pro models from 2013 or 2014 should avoid installing the ‌macOS Big Sur‌ update at this time until a more definitive fix becomes available. Apple today released a new version of macOS Big Sur 11.0.1, but it is not clear if this addresses the problems that are being seen with older MacBook Pro models.

Related Roundup: macOS Big Sur

Top Rated Comments

swingerofbirch Avatar
1 week ago
As more information becomes available? They are the information. Not the channel 5 news.

This sounds like general advice from tier 1 tech support for every issue ever. They couldn't have asked one of their software engineers what's going on?
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PrayForDeath Avatar
1 week ago


Apple should just rename Big Sur to Big Sour Apple OS. Pro tip: Years ago my tech friend (he's VERY tech savvy) told me to ALWAYS stay at least 3 (or at the very least 2) major software versions behind, regardless if it's operating systems, or simpler applications like Adobe Photoshop. And after 3 years, if the software is still not fixed, wait for the next major version. Still running macOS High Sierra 10.13 on my 2014 MacBook Pro. It's running fast and flawless, thanks to my tech friend's pro advice, which I will always keep following. This has in many ways saved me so much money and time.

So I assume you just upgraded to iOS 11 then. How are you finding it so far? Aww you’re disappointed with its performance? That sucks man... don’t worry, next year‘s iOS 12 will improve performance drastically. Too bad you can’t upgrade now because you’re following your VERY tech savvy friend’s advice.

Wait till you hear about iOS 14, it lets you add widgets to your home screen ?
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ouimetnick Avatar
1 week ago


As more information becomes available? They are the information. Not the channel 5 news.

This sounds like general advice from tier 1 tech support for every issue ever. They couldn't have asked one of their software engineers what's going on?

Perhaps their software engineering team doesn’t know what’s going on quite yet. They might need to receive some of the “bricked” machines to diagnose and determine what exactly went wrong.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MrMaxwell Avatar
1 week ago


Nice. After several days Apple addressed the issue by... pointing users towards the boilerplate advice you get any time you call Apple for support. Because surely nobody thought to try THAT before ?

You realise that 95% of users have no idea about SMC reset, NVRAM and PRAM?

It's basic advise because it needs to be!
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sully54 Avatar
1 week ago
I have 2 papers due and three weeks left in the semester. Not upgrading until I'm done the semester. a bricked mac is the last thing I need in 2020
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
goonie4life9 Avatar
1 week ago
I’ve noticed that Apple more and more pretends they aren’t directly involved in the creation and support of their own products. Often, when I talk to tech. support, they’ll refer to a nebulous “they” or talk about “Apple” doing things, as if they aren’t Apple. This must be some new PR/HR strategy to deflect accountability.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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