How to Fix macOS Big Sur Update Forbidden

Wondering how you can fix the macOS Big Sur ‘Update Forbidden’ issue? 

Apple’s new macOS Big Sur update has given Mac users a lot to look forward to. Unfortunately, not everyone gets to revel in the experience due to a large number of users who are hindered by installation and update issues.

Luckily, there are a lot of possible reasons as to why this happens and, in some cases, it could even be Apple’s fault. We’ll go over all these problems and guide you through the appropriate solutions down below.

Without further ado, here’s how you can fix your macOS Big Sur ‘Update Forbidden’ issue.

Let’s get started!


1. Check Apple’s Servers.

More often than not, big updates like this usually come with a lot of online traffic due to the massive number of users who are trying to update their operating systems. In extreme cases, Apple’s servers can sometimes crash or require maintenance.

If this is the case, there’s almost next to nothing that you can do on your end to fix this problem. You’ll have to wait it out for a couple of days and try your luck some other time.

Luckily, checking Apple’s servers isn’t too hard. Simply go to their System Status page and look for macOS Software Update. The servers should be doing completely fine if the circle is highlighted in green.

Anything other than that might mean that the servers close to you are under maintenance. If it’s any consolation, depending on the time that you’re reading this, you can still try the methods down below to try and fix this problem.


2. Reboot Your Mac.

An age-old but useful fix that you should always try first is to restart your computer. Whether you’re having problems with your Mac, iPhone, iPad, or any other device, a frequent reboot can help iron out any software problems that are bothering the device.

This is particularly useful since a restart will close all your programs, including your operating system. If your current macOS has bugs that are messing with your update, a quick reboot will terminate these errors and run normally.

Here’s how you can restart your Mac:

  1. First, click on the Apple icon at the top-left corner of your screen to access the drop-down menu.
  2. From there, look for and select Restart.

Once your Mac has finished restarting, look for the update and see if you can now upgrade your macOS to Big Sur. Hopefully, that fixed your macOS Big Sur ‘Update Forbidden’ issue.


3. Remove The Beta Profile From Your Mac.

While being a part of Apple’s beta program can come with a lot of perks, it’s often the suspect for cases like this where big updates malfunction. In this article, we’ll be removing the beta profile from your Mac to try and fix this issue.

This will not delete any of your personal files, so don’t worry about having to suffer from missing data.

Here’s how you can remove the beta profile from your macOS:

  1. Go ahead and navigate to the Apple icon at the top-left corner of your screen then click on System Preferences.
  2. Once you’re there, look for Software Update and click on it.

macos big sur update forbidden

  1. A window should open, wait for a couple of seconds before clicking on the Details button on the left side of the window. Press the Command + R key to refresh your window if you can’t find the Details button.
  2. From there, a pop-up menu should appear. Click on the Restore Defaults option to leave the beta program.

Give your Mac a quick reboot and see if that fixes your issue. Open up the Software Update window again so you can check for the update. Hopefully, this fixed the ‘Update Forbidden’ problem that you were having with macOS Big Sur.


4. Download From The Mac App Store.

Contrary to the knowledge of most Apple users, you can download the new macOS Big Sur update from a different source. This way, you don’t have to limit yourself to the Software Update window, especially during cases like this where it might be failing you.

The alternative solution is to download the Big Sur update from the Mac App Store directly. This works the same way and shouldn’t provide any hiccups or differences from a regular installation through the Software Update. The benefit of doing this is that you’ll be accessing and downloading from a different server, hopefully one with fewer issues.

Here’s how you can download the macOS Big Sur update from the Mac App Store:

  1. There are two ways to access this, and we’ll provide both variations down below. Feel free to choose whichever as it will both lead to the same destination:
  • First, you can go to the Mac App Store Webpage and click the View in Mac App Store option. The macOS Big Sur page will open up on your Mac App Store directly.
  • Alternatively, you can open the Mac App Store directly by clicking on the A icon on your System Tray. From there, do a search for ‘macOS Big Sur’ on the search bar at the top-left corner of your window.

macos big sur update forbidden

  1. Finally, on the macOS Big Sur page, click on the Get button and confirm that you want to download the update.

By downloading it this way, hopefully the update should no longer be forbidden for your macOS Big Sur. Now, if that didn’t work, you can try the last method down below to try and fix this problem.


5. Reinstall Your MacOS With The Latest Version.

While you might feel like you’ve exhausted all the options above with no success, you can still try this more technical but effective method. By reinstalling your macOS from scratch, your Mac should choose the latest macOS version, which is Big Sur.

Doing this will not delete any of your personal files, so you can rest assured that you won’t lose any personal data. However, make sure that you’re connected to a stable internet connection and have enough battery power in your Mac to last you an hour.

This entire process can take a while depending on your internet speed and hardware capabilities.

Here’s how you can reinstall your macOS:

  1. First, power down your Mac and turn it back on. Immediately after you press the power button, hold down the Option + Command + R keys simultaneously. Keep your fingers on those two keys until you see either the Apple logo or a spinning globe.
  2. You might be asked to enter your password, but after that, you should be in the macOS Utilities window.
  3. Lastly, from the list of options on your screen, click on Reinstall macOS.

macos big sur update forbidden

The process from here on out is almost automatic. After you’ve reinstalled your macOS, try and see if your current macOS version is indeed the Big Sur update. Hopefully, after all that, this fixed your macOS Big Sur ‘Update Forbidden’ issue.

If you’re still out of luck, you can check out our other article in regards to this issue. While the problem isn’t identical, most of the solutions should coincide enough to work for this problem as well. Proceed to that article for more steps.

That about wraps up this entire article. Hopefully, we’ve helped you fix the ‘Update Forbidden’ issue you were facing with the macOS Big Sur update. If you have any questions or clarifications, feel free to leave us a comment down below.

If this guide helped you, please share it. 🙂


  • Mako Young

    Mako is a staff writer at Saint. He's been writing about tech for more than a decade. When he isn't reading about the latest news on Apple, he's busy studying cybersecurity, cryptocurrency, cloud computing, and other IT-related sectors. His exceptional work graces technology and Apple-related blogs like How-To Geek,, Macgasm, onMac, PhotoWorkout, GameRant, and many more. He also has a Bachelors in Computer Science and has been writing since 2018, with over 400 posts published. LinkedIn X (Twitter)

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