Mac: This Item Is Temporarily Unavailable. Please Try Again Later; Fix

Several users have reported an issue in which they receive the following error message while trying to install / reinstall macOS (or OS X) on their Mac devices: “This item is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later”.

this item is unavailable

Users have further reported that they get this error after entering the Apple ID.

Are you having this problem? Are you unable to install macOS, OS X because of this issue? This short article explains how you can troubleshoot this problem.

See also: How To Restore Your Mac To Factory Settings

How to fix “This item is temporarily unavailable” error:

Please try each step until you resolve your issue:

  1. Please ensure that you’re using the same Apple ID  to sign in that you used when this macOS was originally installed. Because it it highly likely that the problem is due to the fact that the original OS was installed under a different AppleID. Simply enter the original Apple ID. If you do not know the original Apple ID (e.g.; you are experiencing this because this is a second hand, used computer), try #4.
  2. Wrong date and time may cause this. Hold down the Command and R; then you will see the “MacOS Utilities” screen, select the “Utilities” menu from the top of the screen and choose “Terminal”. Terminal will let you set the date manually from the command line by entering the “date” command string, like this: date 071910172018 (current date and time which is July 19, 20188; at 10:17). Close Terminal and try again.
  3. It is highly likely that you are experiencing this issue because your Apple ID is not associated with an Mac OS. You can resolve this issue this also. When you see the utilities window, click Get Help Online to browse the web. This will open the Safari app. Then go to icloud.com (link) and sign in to iCloud with your Apple ID and password.  Now go back to the utilities window (install screen) and try again.
  4. The problem may be that your Mac is trying to install a version of OS that was last installed on this particular computer. This may be an issue especially if this is a second had, used Mac. Please follow these steps: Start up your Mac in Internet Recovery Mode. Here is how: Simply restart your Mac, and press and hold down the Command (⌘) – Option (⌥) – R after the startup sound. Release the keys when you see the globe icon saying ““Starting Internet Recovery. This may take a while.” As it says, it may take a few minutes. Next, you will be asked you will be asked to connect to a wireless network. Select your Wi-Fi connection. After that your Mac will download a recovery system image from Apple’s servers. Your Mac will restart, and select install Mac OS. You mac will install the version of OS that was factory-preloaded on your Mac at the time of purchase. So this may work.

See also:

Dr. Serhat Kurt worked as a Senior Technology Director. He holds a doctoral degree (or doctorate) from the University of Illinois at Urbana / Champaign and a master’s degree from Purdue University. Here is his LinkedIn profile.

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85 thoughts on “Mac: This Item Is Temporarily Unavailable. Please Try Again Later; Fix”

  1. Hi, I’ve been having this trouble for about a week now and tried doing everything you’re saying. Nothing worked, but when I tried to do internet recovery I got a message with a ! inside of a triangle over the world icon, and underneath it said apple.com/support -2005F. Do you have any idea what this means? Apple was not helpful, anything helps thank you!

    Reply
  2. I tried each step at least twice.
    #1 – I tried my old id but it doesn’t accept it anymore.
    #2 – I reset the date and time
    #3 Icloud.com will not let me sign in, there is no option for it the sign in button is greyed out.
    #4 – tried it twice. both times it gave me the globe, logged onto the internet, then restarted and opened in Utility.
    The reinstall took me back to “temporarily unavailable”

    Another place in the thread an option to purchase Mac OS was presented.
    http://www.appleid.apple.com was a dead link on my phone.

    I can’t call or chat with support because I can’t get my serial number off the computer and no longer have the paperwork.

    Reply
  3. Massive thank you for this advice, i have spent hours trying to resolve this, and so glad i found your site. Apple chat were unable to resolve this issue for me!

    Reply
  4. I have tried 1, 2, and 3. But I cannot do number 4 because of my budget. None of them have worked. Any other solutions? I’ve stressed this for 3 days already. They break down the older models once you make a mistake with it. That’s Apple for you. I don’t like this, please get back to me as soon as you all can. Thanks!

    Reply
  5. I appreciate this information, but it none of the steps worked in my case…HOWEVER, I DID GET MINE TO WORK! With the help of Apple Support I found the answer.

    Using another apple device (I just used my iPhone), go to http://www.appleid.apple.com in the browser. Once logged in, go to the search menu and search “purchase macos (insert the macos that originally came on your computer)”. It does cost $20, but worth it! Once purchased, Apple will send you an email with your license and needed codes. This will tie the macos to your account so that you will be able to download it on your computer using your own user id.

    I then restarted my mac with the commad + R and chose reinstall in the utilities window.

    I do believe you have to start with the original macos that came on your computer, but once up and running, I was able to download the newer software to get my Macbook (Mid 2011) as updated as possible without any extra charges.

    I hope this helps and if I missed this fix somewhere in the chats I apologize for being redundant! Good luck!

    Reply
    • How were you able to input the codes that Apple sent you?

      I have a used iMac from 2009, and when I start the computer after it load it goes straight to the utilities page. I don’t see anywhere I could put a code.

      Maybe you could help me find it?

      Thanks in advance.

      Reply
    • Hello,

      I was wondering how long this takes on average. I tried to reset my Mac Mini 2007 and got the “this item is temporarily unavailable” message and I’m kind of freaking out right now.
      If you know/remember how long this took I would be glad to hear it.
      Thanks in advance

      Reply
  6. Step 4 will not work for some older Macbooks as they are not configured to use internet recovery mode. My Macbook is 2009 and if you try to initiate Internet Recovery is just goes into standard recovery mode. I have the same issue with the “temporarily unavailable” error message when trying to reinstall OS X in recovery mode. I’m at a loss on how to proceed.

    Reply
  7. Step 1 worked for me! Never thought about the fact that I have changed my Apple ID since I first got my laptop a few years ago. Thank you for your help!

    Reply
  8. Step 4 is not working for me, it keeps popping up the Apple logo and taking me back into the loop of the “OS X Utilities”. Can someone please help me?

    Reply
  9. im trying number 4 but its not going to the internet recovery mode it just goes back to the reinstall page I brought it 2nd hand

    Reply
  10. none of this worked for me. I was hanging out for option 4, but it doesn’t say Starting Internet Recovery.. It just opens it, I put in the wifi password and then it goes to OSX Utilities.

    I have searched so many sites and tried so many things.

    I am trying to restore a friend’s iMac 20 inc Early 2009.

    Reply
  11. my macbook air is second hand and i think that is the reason why im gettin this. Is there any other way i can restore my mac book???

    PLEASE HELP. I NEED A LAPTOP FOR ONLINE CLASS 🥺

    Reply
    • Where do you put the #4 cause I’ve tried even help on iCloud link it’s says couldn’t connect to the server

      Reply
  12. It worked on mine. When I used my new Apple ID, it didn’t worked but when I used the old one: it worked. Make sure when you enter the password second time you put code after password.

    Reply
  13. Hi
    I try to Format for my MacBook Pro.
    After I finish erase and start to reinstall OS X and after I sing in to App Store I have this phrase (This item is temporarily unavailable)

    What I should do please.

    Reply
    • what you have to do is to get any another macbook device, connect an external hard to this mackbook and do a backup for the OS x only using Time Machine backup located in System preferences, then plug this external hard to the damaged macbook and boot it while pressing the Option (⌥) key till you see the external hard, choose your external hard to boot from it and wait a while till you got interface saying to restore and complete some easy steps… that’s it all

      Reply
    • Neither worked for me. I created usb bootable with OX Lion ( other versions didn’t work) everything fixed. Might be need to clear nvram with holding Command+ option + P + R ( same time) while turning on system for 20 seconds before installing OX.

      Reply
  14. None of those options apply to me, why u ask…. I don’t own a Mac, I’m using a Windows 7 based PC, so iTunes is unable to download 2 apps ( War Robots Battles ver 5.2.1 and Xfinity Stream). I’m the only one logged into my work PC, I’ve previously downloaded the same apps before, so I don’t know why am I getting this message now. I was able to download these apps on my iPad Mini, so I don’t know why iTunes won’t do it.

    Reply
  15. I format my hard drive and tried to install an older OS version and get the error THIS ITEM IS TEMPORARY NOT AVAILABLE.
    Even tough the PC is in my linked devices, it does not allow me to install it.
    As the format is erased, I can not use it at all.
    Please let me know, what I can do.

    Reply
  16. It worked #4 Thank you so much! I bought my 2012 late iMac second hand for a great deal thanks to your information! I value your time, knowledge and efforts!
    ps. outta love and much respect I say this. ProofReading would greatly clean up and put a nice polish on your information allowing it to be more easily understood by those whom you desire it to be understood! ya dig? All Love Thanks Again and I hope your not offended!

    Reply
  17. One solution worth adding here (though it only works if you have a second computer). Make a time machine backup of a computer that you want to duplicate. When you go into the recovery console, “Restore From Time Machine Backup” is an option. You can then restore your computer to the exact spot you want and don’t have to fiddle with any of the web-based installation options.

    Even an old time machine backup can work since this just gets the OS back on your computer. After that, you can install/uninstall/upgrade as you please

    Reply
  18. “When you see the utilities window, click Get Help Online to browse the web. This will open the Safari app. Then go to icloud.com (link) and sign in to iCloud with your Apple ID and password. Now go back to the utilities window (install screen) and try again.”

    -I cannot do this because I am using an unsupported version of Safari. icloud.com will not load on this browser.

    If I click on the “manage your Apple ID” link at the bottom of the support page, I get a “safari can’t open the page.” Safari can’t establish a secure connection to the server appleid.apple.com.

    PLEASE HELP!

    Reply
  19. Nothing of the above steps worked for me.
    Command (⌘) – Option (⌥) – R Didn’t do anything.
    The icloud side was to buggy that it didn’t want load.

    My only option (and what also finally worked) was to create a bootable USB with the installer on it. For this make sure that you have a Apple computer with a version the same (or lower) for the computer you want to put on, since you can’t download an installer of lower version in the app-store.

    I then followed the steps of the official apple support website on how to create the bootloader its self: https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT201372

    I then started up the computer again, while holding down Option (⌥), to then select the bootable USB. You then again gets send to a recovery mode. But now you will be able to install the OS X.

    Hopefully this helps.

    Reply
  20. hi,
    i have an old 2010 unibody macbook
    and i coudnt install os lion in the internet recovery.
    i have bootup into the recovery pages and erase my machintosh hd and reinstall the os but it shows this item is temporary unavailable, please try again later.
    what should l do.
    please help me out.

    Reply
  21. option number 4 isn’t working for me.
    I bought a macbook mid 2007 (white) from a guy on facebook. i checked it and it was working fine. when i got home i did a factory reset and started the process of reinstalling Mac OS X Lion, which is the option it was giving me in Mac OS X Utilities. I put in my apple ID but then it said that the option was temporarily unavailable so i tried the instructions in the post above but it just boots regularly into the utilities….
    I don’t know what else to do. I don’t have another macbook to make a bootable drive from and I was too stupid to do a little research before wiping the device clean…

    HELP!

    Reply
    • Hi, did you get this resolved? I’d like to know what you did to resolve this issue as I have the same situation. Please share what solution you finally came in to that fixed it. Thank you in advance.

      Reply
  22. used macbook pro, early 2011, wouldn’t reinstall el capitan, “This item is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later”, still registered to old owner i guess, #4m installed lion for me. thanks

    Reply
  23. i Have the same problem even i just purchased the OSX LION and im trying it is still giving the same dam massage( item not available !!!!!) what to do now and the funniest thing is when i wanted to call the support line which shows 24/7 the Hungarian one they are working till 16pm shame really shame

    Reply
  24. Same problem…still 2019 and thing going worst..how the hell they can leave a big bug like this??? trying all the shit below and nothing im tired of this…damn what a shame… for apple… please help!!!

    Reply
  25. I tried #4 and get the exclamation point in the triangle and a message stating apple.com/support -3001f. It does not ask me to join a wifi network.

    Reply
  26. Turned out our old Macbook Pro had originally OSX Lion installed and it was not available through internet recovery (on January 25th) even if the clock was set up correctly and all possible tricks had been tried.

    Luckily I had one old external hard drive lying around that had been used as a TimeMachine backup disk on a similar Macbook Pro and it had a nice working backup image of the system. I restored on the other troubled Macbook Pro using these backups. I had to remove some old user accounts and do some other cleanup tasks too, but in the end I managed to get it working nicely.

    Could it be Apple has removed Lion-images from the recovery servers? If so, that really is a sad decision. Lesson learned: if you use an old Macbook Pro, do a backup with Time Machine, now. Else you might end up in serious and time consuming troubles.

    Reply
  27. Hello! I have a 2010 MacBook Pro. I have the same problem, tried the first three steps and none worked. So when I tried the fourth, tried to go to internet recovery mode but it never works. I press the combination when I turn it on but it never works, it always goes to normal recovery mode. Does anyone know how to fix this or is the manual USB boot up my only option?

    Reply
  28. Having the problem! I have tried at least 4 apple ids that I know for sure have downloaded from the apple store and nothing. Im stressed. I can’t log in icloud from internetrecovery becasue its saying browser is not updated.

    Reply
  29. If all else fails. Most likely the account you’re trying to login with has never downloaded any MacOS product in the past. Login with any account you can get access to that has connected to the app store to download a MacOS update. Worked like a charm for me after trying all the other fixes.

    Reply
  30. “When you see the utilities window, click Get Help Online to browse the web. This will open the Safari app. Then go to icloud.com (link) and sign in to iCloud with your Apple ID and password. Now go back to the utilities window (install screen) and try again.”

    -I cannot do this because I am using an unsupported version of Safari. icloud.com will not load on this browser.

    If I click on the “manage your Apple ID” link at the bottom of the support page, I get a “safari can’t open the page.” Safari can’t establish a secure connection to the server appleid.apple.com.

    PLEASE HELP!

    Reply
  31. Nothing in the above instructions helped my situation! However, when I entered my mothers iCloud info it started to download right away…

    Reply
  32. Hey. So I wanted to put my 2 cents here. I bought an early 2011 MacBook Pro 15” i7 core with 4GB of ram. It’s still on the stock hard drive and ram as well. I bought it from a previous owner 10-15-2018. I was excited to say “yay my first unibody MacBook Pro!” Until I tried installing OS X at the time (El Capitan) and it gave me, “Temporarily unavailable”. Well dang. Luckily the dude who sold it to me was kind enough to try to solve this with me and at the end he didn’t know what to do either. Now of course, I do know about the manual usb boot up. But I don’t have another Mac laying around and it’s close to midnight. Definitely didn’t want to do it on windows either. I tried the iCloud method and try to reinstall it. Didn’t work. Tried changing the whole date year and time. Didn’t work. FINALLY… the network recovery. That did the job! It’s currently reinstalling “High Sierra” and I couldn’t be any happier. So definitely tried the network recovery and see if that helps! – Best Regards

    Reply
  33. Another fix is to check which Apple store you are connected to, I found I was connected to Apple store Hong Kong (recently visited), as soon as I logged back into Apple store UK the two updates that had refused to download for weeks downloaded successfully.

    Reply
    • this is fantastic.. I have tried last 12 hours. nothing did make. Option4 worked fine. remember to press Control + Option + R. all three button together. thank you very much

      Reply
    • I wanna say thank you to who ever made this, i just spent 3 hours crying over the problems I created for my MacBook Air! And this site just made it possible for me to fix my MacBook Air again! So thank you!!

      Reply

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