Apple Provides Instructions to Fix macOS Reinstallation Errors on M1 Macs

Shortly after the launch of Apple's new M1 Macs, we saw reports that attempts to restore and reinstall macOS on those machines right away could result in an installation error that would leave your Mac non-functional.

macos big sur m1 macs restore issue
Specifically, the error message would read: "An error occurred preparing the update. Failed to personalize the software update. Please try again."

Over the weekend, Apple posted detailed instructions for users experiencing this issue. Specifically it seems the issue arises if you erase/restore your Mac before upgrading to macOS Big Sur 11.0.1.

If you erased your Mac with Apple ‌M1‌ chip before updating to ‌macOS Big Sur‌ 11.0.1, you might be unable to reinstall macOS from macOS Recovery. A message might say “An error occurred while preparing the update. Failed to personalize the software update. Please try again.”

Use either of these solutions to reinstall macOS. You should then be able to use macOS Recovery as expected when reinstalling macOS in the future.

Apple suggests that you could create a bootable installer using another Mac. Otherwise, Apple details a more technical 17 step process using Terminal to restore your ‌M1‌ Mac to a functional state.

If you are still having trouble, Apple recommends contacting support, and you can also visit our ongoing forum thread where users are troubleshooting this specific issue.

Top Rated Comments

Goldfrapp Avatar
8 weeks ago
Clearly Apple is experiencing a Big Sur’ge of issues with their new Macs
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
arn Avatar
8 weeks ago


Apple does write out the instructions in great detail, so it is easier than a "17 step process" would indicate.

True, though I don't think we see a "copy these terminal commands" instruction from Apple very often.



Attachment Image
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
grjj Avatar
8 weeks ago


What a mess this company has turned into

What mess?
There was a bug in 11.0. Apple issued 11.0.1 but some people received the machine and immediately did a restore for any of various reasons. Since the machines shipped after 11.0.1 they had the bug in 11.0.

The fix is fairly simple for anyone that would have encountered the bug, ie: generic home users are not in the habit of doing a complete system restore out of the box, power users do that.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
IIGS User Avatar
8 weeks ago
It just works....
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jaworskimatt Avatar
8 weeks ago


It’s not like windows with a registry or uninstall program

Oh boy, someone is yet to find out about the Application Support dir(s) :cool:
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Bearxor Avatar
8 weeks ago


It just works....

It would have if they had just turned them on and started using them. These are people that open the box and then immediately boot in to recovery mode to reinstall the OS.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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