I have a late 2012 Mac Mini, whose compatibility with Sierra I have verified. The Mac Mini is currently on OS X El Capitan. I am trying to update it to Sierra and when I get to the step of selecting the destination disk, I get a popup that says:

"macOS Sierra supports macOS Server version 5.2. To upgrade your server data you will first need to install OS X 10.10 or 10.11 and OS X Server version 4 or 5."

There is no Server app installed in the machine. Maybe it was installed before my time under another account and then uninstalled.

What can I do to upgrade to Sierra without having to install the Server app? I have to upgrade to install the latest Xcode etc.

  • Is there a copy of an old version of Server.app somewhere on the computer (even if it's not "installed")? May 15, 2017 at 1:46
  • @GordonDavisson I checked a Time Machine backup from before El Capitan upgrade. And indeed the server app is there. Restored it, double clicked, and it stated that it the app version was too too old for the OS. So it took me to the app store, but the app store version says the OS is too new for it. Can not win. Managed to install latest Xcode on El Capitan anyway
    – pnizzle
    May 15, 2017 at 6:29

1 Answer 1


The answer can be found on the Apple message boards and I can confirm this worked for me:

  1. As root using sudo command from Terminal, delete the /Library/Server folder using the following command: sudo rm -rf /Library/Server
  2. Within Finder, delete "Server" application from the "Applications" folder.

I realize you did remove the server.app folder, but the Library/Server folder must also be removed and was hidden from the finder. I only found it through terminal.

The person on the apple forum must have been from the team and knew what the installer was looking for.

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