Errors with MacOS Big Sur Downloading; Update Not Found, Installation Failed, Forbidden, etc
Many Mac users are currently unable to download macOS Big Sur. This could be due to overwhelmed servers, or a number of other issues. If you’re experiencing problems trying to download macOS Big Sur, whether it’s an error message, a failed download, or an incredibly slow download, you’re not alone.
We’ll go over a few common error messages that may be seen when attempting to download macOS Big Sur, with possible remedies as well when available.
“Update not found – the requested version of macOS is not available”
If you venture into Software Update and see an “Update not found : the requested version of macOS is not available” error message.
You can typically resolve this issue by following a link to download from the Mac App Store and then starting the download via the Software Update control panel afterwards.
“forbidden – An error occurred while installing the selected updates.”
Once macOS Big Sur is available within Software Update, some users may attempt to download the update and be confronted with an error message stating “forbidden – An error occurred while installing the selected updates.”
It’s unclear what specifically is causing this error, but for some users removing the beta profile from macOS seems to fix the issue. For others, rebooting their Mac seems to resolve the error. And for others still, it seems that there is no immediate resolution, which could indicate an issue on the side of Apple servers, and simply waiting a while before attempting to download again may fix the problem.
If you encounter the “forbidden – An error occurred while installing the selected updates.” error message on a Mac running macOS Mojave and/or with a T2 security chip, you may need to install any available security updates and BridgeOS updates before being able to download macOS Big Sur.
“Installation failed” – an error occurred while installing the selected updates.”
Some users are seeing “Installation failed” – an error occurred while installing the selected updates.” when trying to download macOS Big Sur.
This is likely related to Apple servers being swamped, so give it time and try again later.
The Apple System status page indeed indicates there are currently issues with the macOS update servers for some users, for example.
“The package %@ is missing or invalid” Error Message
Some users have encountered an error message stating “The package %@ is missing or invalid” when attempting to download or upgrade to macOS Big Sur.
This problem can sometimes be resolved by installing any available system software updates on the Mac first.
Also, sometimes changing the wi-fi network (or turning off wi-fi if you’re on ethernet), and then deleting and re-downloading the macOS Big Sur installer can sometimes resolve the error.
“Download Failed: An error occurred while downloading the selected updates”
If you see an “Download Failed: An error occurred while downloading the selected updates” message, sometimes you simply need to wait a bit and try again.
If you’re using a VPN, try disconnecting from the VPN and downloading the update without one.
Finally, try quitting all apps, then rebooting the Mac into Safe Mode (reboot and hold down the SHIFT key), and trying to download and install the macOS Big Sur update again from Safe Mode.
MacOS Big Sur downloads extremely slow
This is likely due to Apple servers being overwhelmed. Give it plenty of time, or simply cancel the download and wait until a later time when Apple has more server capacity available to accommodate the demand.
If you encounter any particular issues with downloading or installing macOS Big Sur, and whether you found resolutions or not, share them in the comments below.