My device is a late 2013 Macbook Pro and just a week ago I had been running macOS Big Sur.

I wanted to pass on my device to someone else so I followed the steps in the below links to make sure all of my data was erased and the device is set back to factory settings:

The device is now running OS X 10.9.5 as expected. However, when I download macOS Big Sur from the App Store and try to install it, a message appears saying I cannot continue (see below image). The message says:

Installation of macOS could not continue

Installation requires downloading important content.
The content can't be downloaded at this time.
Try again later.

I have tried and checked the following:

  • Checked Apple System Status and everything is fine.
  • Restarted the device via Safe Mode and issue still presents itself.
  • Restarted the device and used both CMD+R and CMD+ALT+R modes to install but same issue returns.
  • Erased and formatted the HD to AFPS, reinstalled OS X, same issue. Since then, I've reformatted via the recommended option (Mac OS Extended (Journaled)).
  • I have a good strong connection via Wi-Fi.

Though some of the above may work for others, it hasn't worked for me. I've probably tried erasing my HD and reinstalling OS X about 6 times now.

I don't know where I may have gone wrong, I made sure I followed each step specifically and carefully. I've been able to install macOS Big Sur just a week ago, and now, after following Apple's official guide to essentially 'factory reset' my device, it is not installing.

error message



  • As suggested in comments and responses, I upgraded from Mavericks to Catalina (through El Capitan then High Sierra then Mojave).
  • Now in Catalina, it gives a new error message of "Update not found" when trying to update to macOS Big Sur, and shows that it is currently running the latest macOS (see below screenshots).
  • I have tried to update via Internet Recovery mode, but that returns the original error message of "Installation of macOS could not continue".

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • 2
    You very likely need to jump via El Capitan first - see apple.stackexchange.com/q/309399/85275 I'm surprised, though, that Internet Recovery didn't automatically use the most recent OS (see further down that answer for alternative recovery key commands) – Tetsujin Nov 21 at 14:26
  • Seeing as though I was on Mavericks, I followed the steps, as you suggested, and installed El Capitan. I was not then able install any other macOS except High Sierra. So I installed High Sierra, then Mojave, then Catalina. Now, on Catalina, once I try to update to Big Sur, it says an update is not found and that it is on the latest macOS. I tried through internet recovery and it returns the original error message of "Installation of macOS could not continue" – user9078015 2 days ago
  • ach, then I'm out of ideas, sorry. – Tetsujin 12 hours ago

I had the same error "Installation of macOS could not continue" while trying to install macOS 11 "Big Sur".

I had to install Catalina first (see the "Download macOS" section of this support article for instructions) and then the upgrade to Big Sur worked fine.

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  • I followed steps as suggested to reinstall macOS Catalina but I had to go through El Capitan > High Sierra > Mojave and then to Catalina. Once at Catalina, I was not able to upgrade to Big Sur and gives a different error message of "Update not found". I tried an installing via Internet Recovery but that tends to show the original error message of "Installation of macOS could not continue" – user9078015 2 days ago

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