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

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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

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