Help! I made the horrible mistake of trying to update to Big Sur and now I’m stuck in a failed install cycle. I can’t start safe mode, the screen just goes black and nothing else happens. When I started in recovery mode I found out the problem with the install was that there isn’t enough space for Big Sur, fine, but I can’t stop it trying to install because I can’t get into the computer to get rid of the install file. I tried to revert to a time machine back-up from an external hard drive but even that failed. Is there some way of interrupting the install so I can just get rid of the stupid thing? If not is getting a disc of an earlier operating system and trying to boot from that likely to work? I don’t want to do this as I imagine I would lose all my data...?

  • Welcome to Ask Different. We can’t really guess what hardware you have - the steps to manage a Mac depend on what firmware and if it has a T2 chip or not. Unless you want an answer to take it to someone that has already learned all this and can assist in troubleshooting, we may need you to narrow this to focus on one specific question instead of the three listed at the end of the paragraph.
    – bmike
    Feb 9, 2021 at 10:12
  • See also mrmacintosh.com/…
    – lhf
    Feb 9, 2021 at 10:21

1 Answer 1


I would get A external hard drlve and install the software on that, then use target fish mode to transfer files. Then erase Mac and install macOS. Then you would transfer files over.

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