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
23 months ago
Clearly Apple is experiencing a Big Sur’ge of issues with their new Macs
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
arn Avatar
23 months 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
23 months 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: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
IIGS User Avatar
23 months ago
It just works....
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jaworskimatt Avatar
23 months 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)
triangletechie Avatar
23 months ago
I may be in the minority, but when I buy a new MacBook Air, I set it up and then....use it.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

macOS Big Sur Feature Triad

Apple Releases macOS Big Sur 11.6.1 With Security Fixes

Tuesday October 26, 2021 12:53 am PDT by
Apple today released macOS Big Sur 11.6.1, a minor update to the macOS Big Sur operating system that first came out in November 2020. macOS Big Sur 11.6.1 comes roughly six weeks after the launch of macOS Big Sur 11.6. The new ‌‌‌‌‌‌‌macOS Big Sur‌‌‌‌‌‌ 11.6.1 update can be downloaded to all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System Preferences....
macOS Big Sur Feature Triad

Apple Releases macOS Big Sur 11.6 With Security Fixes

Monday September 13, 2021 10:20 am PDT by
Apple today released macOS Big Sur 11.6, the sixth major update to the macOS Big Sur operating system that first launched in November 2020. macOS Big Sur 11.6 comes a month after the release of macOS Big Sur 11.5.2, a bug fix update. The new ‌‌‌‌‌‌macOS Big Sur‌‌‌‌‌ 11.6 update can be downloaded all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System Preferences. ...
macOS Big Sur Feature Triad

Apple Releases macOS Big Sur 11.5.1 With Security Updates

Monday July 26, 2021 10:20 am PDT by
Apple today released macOS Big Sur 11.5.1, a minor bug fix update that comes close to one week after the launch of macOS Big Sur 11.5. The new ‌‌‌‌‌‌macOS Big Sur‌‌‌‌‌ 11.5.1 update can be downloaded for free on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System Preferences. According to Apple, macOS Big Sur 11.5.1 brings important security updates and is...
macOS Big Sur Feature Orange

Apple Releases macOS Big Sur 11.4 With Apple Podcasts Subscription Support

Monday May 24, 2021 10:08 am PDT by
Apple today released macOS Big Sur 11.4, the fourth major update to the macOS Big Sur operating system that launched in November 2020. macOS Big Sur comes one month after the release of macOS Big Sur 11.3, an update that added M1 optimizations, AirTag integration, and more. The new ‌‌‌‌macOS Big Sur‌‌‌ 11.4 update can be downloaded for free on all eligible Macs using the...
macOS Big Sur Feature Orange

Apple Seeds macOS Big Sur 11.6.1 Beta to Developers With Security Fixes

Thursday September 30, 2021 1:53 pm PDT by
Apple today seeded a macOS Big Sur 11.6.1 beta to developers for testing purposes, with the update coming two weeks after the launch of macOS Big Sur 11.6. Registered developers can download the beta through the Apple Developer Center and once the appropriate profile is installed, betas will be available through the Software Update mechanism in System Preferences. According to Apple's...
macOS Big Sur Feature Orange

Apple Releases macOS Big Sur 11.5 With Podcast App Updates and Bug Fixes

Wednesday July 21, 2021 10:15 am PDT by
Apple today released macOS Big Sur 11.5, the fifth major update to the macOS Big Sur operating system that launched in November 2020. macOS Big Sur 11.5 comes two months after the release of macOS Big Sur 11.4. The new ‌‌‌‌‌macOS Big Sur‌‌‌‌ 11.5 update can be downloaded for free on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System Preferences. macOS Big Sur...
macOS Big Sur Feature Blue

Apple Seeds Release Candidate Version of macOS Big Sur 11.5 to Developers

Tuesday July 13, 2021 10:19 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the release candidate version of an upcoming macOS Big Sur 11.5 update to developers for testing purposes, with the new beta coming one week after the release of the fifth macOS Big Sur 11.5 beta. Developers can download the ‌‌‌‌macOS Big Sur‌‌‌‌ 11.5 beta using the Software Update mechanism in System Preferences after installing the proper profile from the ...
macOS Monterey on MBP Feature

Apple Releases macOS Monterey 12.2 With Safari Vulnerability Fix

Wednesday January 26, 2022 10:19 am PST by
Apple today released macOS Monterey 12.2, the second major update to the macOS Monterey update that launched in October. macOS Monterey 12.2 comes over a month after the release of the 12.1 update, which brought SharePlay support. The ‌‌‌macOS Monterey 12.2‌‌ update can be downloaded on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System Preferences. Apple has also...

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Dummies 1 Feature

Everything Rumored for Apple's September Event: iPhone 14, Apple Watch Pro and More

Friday August 12, 2022 2:34 pm PDT by
There's just about a month to go until Apple holds its annual September event focusing on new iPhone and Apple Watch models. We thought we'd take a quick look at everything that's rumored for Apple's September event to give MacRumors readers a rundown on what to expect when the first fall event rolls around. iPhone 14 The iPhone 14 can probably be described more as an "iPhone 13S" because...
z fold 4 1

Hands-On With Samsung's Latest Foldable Smartphones, the Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip

Friday August 12, 2022 12:46 pm PDT by
Samsung this week launched its fourth-generation foldable devices, the $1,000 Galaxy Z Flip and the $1,800 Galaxy Z Fold. Though there's no sign of a comparable Apple foldable device on the horizon, rumors suggest prototypes are in the works, so we thought we'd take a look at Samsung's newest smartphones to see what Apple needs to measure up to when a foldable iPhone does come out. Subscribe ...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Rear Flat MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro: Analyst Believes Storage Will Continue to Start at 128GB Despite Rumored Price Increase

Friday August 12, 2022 7:04 am PDT by
It wouldn't be the month before an iPhone launch without a few back-and-forth rumors, with the latest debate concerning iPhone 14 Pro storage. iPhone 14 Pro render by Ian Zelbo While research firm TrendForce forecasted that iPhone 14 Pro models could start with an increased 256GB of storage, Haitong International analyst Jeff Pu today forecasted that the upcoming Pro models will continue to...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive feature

iPhone 14 Is Just a Few Weeks Away: Three Tips to Prepare for the New iPhone

Wednesday August 10, 2022 4:08 am PDT by
The launch of the new iPhone 14 is just a few weeks away, meaning millions of iPhone customers will soon upgrade their existing iPhone or perhaps get an iPhone for the first time. Exclusive MacRumors iPhone 14 Pro renders by graphic designer Ian Zelbo Whether upgrading from an older model or this is your first iPhone, we've rounded up a few tips to help you prepare for the next flagship...
iPhone 14 Pro Lineup Feature Silver

Kuo: Apple to Increase Prices of iPhone 14 Pro Models

Wednesday August 10, 2022 8:22 am PDT by
Apple plans to increase the prices of iPhone 14 Pro models compared to iPhone 13 Pro models, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo did not reveal exact pricing for the iPhone 14 Pro models. However, in a tweet today, he estimated that the average selling price of the iPhone 14 lineup as a whole will increase by about 15% compared to the iPhone 13 lineup. In the United States, the iPhone...
top stories 13aug2022

Top Stories: New Battery Percentage Icon in iOS 16, USB-C AirPods Rumor, and More

Saturday August 13, 2022 6:00 am PDT by
This week brought some shocking news for iOS 16 beta testers, with Apple bringing back the iPhone battery percentage to the status bar after a number of years. Other news and rumors this week included word that Apple has started recording portions of its media event planned for next month to introduce the iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Series 8, claims about iPhone 14 Pro pricing and Apple's...