1. Big Sur 11.2 Upgrade not enough free space problem.

You are watching: You may not install to this volume because it is currently being encrypted

What space the reported difficulties with this update?

1. Huge Sur upgrade stuck in an install loop2. Stuck in recovery boots Recovery Assistant. Popular music up error – An error developed preparing the software update – one error occurred applying the software update3. Huge Sur recovery startup disk display screen that shows empty = no startup disk available.

2. Affected big Sur full installers

This problem affects the following macOS large Sur Installers. I’m checking through the downloadable large Sur full installer application.

1. Big Sur 11.3 Beta – Confirmed2. Big Sur 11.2 – Confirmed3. Big Sur 11.1 – no affected4. Huge Sur 11.0.1 – no affected

3. Space the big Sur Updaters also affected? (example 11.1 > 11.2 delta update)

I want to make sure the problem was only happening v the large Sur Upgrade and not the point release updates. An initial I ran a couple of tests on an 11.1 system. Then ns downloaded the 11.2 delta update and also then to fill the hard drive v a huge dmg file. Next, i attempted come kick turn off the update and also luckily software program update stopped me. I cleared up 1.5GB and the updater let me download the update but did no finish. Rather of obtaining stuck in an update loop the Mac just booted back into OS. I enhanced the totally free space to 2.5GB and also the update finished properly.

This is the error friend will see after make the efforts to update to macos huge Sur. One error arisen preparing the software application update.

6. How have the right to I stop this native happening to me?

Apple says that you need the complying with amount of totally free space easily accessible for a huge Sur upgrade.

If upgrading indigenous macOS Sierra or later, macOS big Sur calls for 35.5GB of accessible storage come upgrade. If upgrading indigenous an earlier release, macOS large Sur requires up come 44.5GB of easily accessible storage.

So you require at least a minimum the 35.5 GB for the huge Sur Upgrade.

It’s unknown if the dimension calculation has the 13GB full installer or not.

EDIT: Steve said that the 35GB number go NOT include the 13GB huge Sur Installer.

If you are on macOS Sierra or later and also have 35.5GB totally free space, the huge Sur upgrade will complete successfully.

7. User Reports.

Some that the very very first reports that this concern started to role in November of critical year!

This concern is NOT new and i m so sad users have been taking care of this because that months. Some have actually lost every data due to this problem. At the time the only means to fix this was a full erase and also reinstall the macOS.

I tried to execute the huge Sur update and also near the finish of the surroundings i acquire the message. Then i’m inquiry to choose a startup disk. I’ve make the efforts rebooted a few times and also it constantly happens. Ns assume i’ll need to do a restore of part sort.

Apple Discussions Forum user

Tried updating to large Sur on mine Macbook Air. It has given me the error as soon as it comes close come finishing saying “an error arisen preparing the software update” it then provides me two windows one saying choose startup disk and also a macos upgrade assistant the both never load. I have tried to deal with this but no solve has worked for me yet, consisting of holding down options and opened a disk boot screen and also choosing the macintosh hd disk, which still didn’t finish up functioning for me

Reddit User

8. Reproducing the issue

When trying to figure out an issue like this, reproducing the concern is critical. If friend can number out the exact steps required to cause the issue, sometimes a workaround have the right to be found. Many of the time, reproducing an issue like this is less complicated said 보다 done.

This time around, I was able to reproduce the issue. The an initial time I observed a screenshot that the error, that looked choose a failed install. In this situation, the issue could be anything!

When the big Sur 11.2 upgrade was make available, reports started to increase. I began to look further into this issue and also found out that numerous users space experiencing this problem.

Hard drive cost-free space available!

MacAdmin stevemasermentioned he to be seeing part weirdness once he was testing big Sur upgrades. He noticed inconsistencies native the installer from when he necessary to start the upgrade.

Could not having enough free HD an are be the reason of the “An error emerged preparing the software program update” error?

It’s time to discover out.

I ran some tests ~ above the upgrade process using the macOS large Sur 11.2 installer.

Scenario #1 complimentary space = less than 13GB1. Installer will certainly error the end (before starting the upgrade) due to the fact that it doesn’t have actually enough cost-free space to move the upgrade records to a short-term location.Scenario #2 totally free space = less than 15GB1. Installer now has enough room to move the needed files to a temporary location. The upgrade will start (when the should offer an error) and reboot come the installer and fail. Your Mac is now stuck in an install loop.

BINGO we are now able come reproduce the issue! Next, let’s try to figure out what is happening throughout the upgrade process.

9. What happens as soon as the update installer runs the end of space?

After the the installer restarts your Mac, the still needs totally free space for the upgrade. Relying on how complete your difficult drive is, the install can crash out quickly or much later on in the install.

This is the boot Recovery Assistant environment and the error that you will see. An error occurred preparing the software update.

Boot restore Assistant is not a complete macOS recovery environment. You can only click ok on the error. After clicking OK you will certainly be presented a progression bar that states macOS update Assistant and the choose a startup decaying menu.

Choose Startup Disk food selection – Macintosh HD is missing!

The trouble is, startup disk does not present your hard drive. Every you can do in ~ this suggest is shut under or restart from the to apologize Menu. As soon as you restart the entire procedure will begin over again in a never finishing loop.

10. FileVault = Data locked out ?

Why is the upgrade issue so serious as soon as FileVault encryption is enabled?

Your account password is not embraced in any type of of the typical recovery prompts.

RecoveryTarget Disk setting (Catalina & big Sur)

If FileVault is allowed on macOS Catalina and huge Sur, you will certainly be prompted to go into in her admin password before getting into recovery.

Your password is NOT embraced for recovery.

Attempting come reset your password will fail, your just option is come restart. This will start the upgrade loop again.

If girlfriend can’t get into recovery, friend can’t troubleshoot or access your files.

Target Disk mode will not occupational on Catalina and big Sur. The password is not embraced even despite it works to unlock her mac to start the upgrade.

The password IS accepted in TDM in macOS Mojave and also High Sierra. Why will certainly it only job-related in 10.14 and 10.13? I’m not totally sure. It could be as result of the transforms in APFS or the dual drive layout.


I attempted everything I can think of to cost-free up space, figuring if I might maybe I could unlock the decaying in TDM. This is what I can see over TDM.

The partition view of the encrypted complete drive.

My first attempt to be to power down throughout the update process. This operated in freeing up some space (12GB to be exact).

Capacity In use By Volumes: 466936836096 B (466.9 GB) (93.4% used)

Sadly, this did not work and also I could still not unlock the drive.

I relocated to attempting unlock the drive in terminal.

diskutil apfs unlockVolume /dev/disk3s5 -user check Passphrase: Unlocking the details cryptographic user test on APFS Volume disk3s5

Error unlocking APFS Volume: Malformed UUID (-69578)


Could i erase the Macintosh HD partition, or any kind of other partition the was no Macintosh HD – Data?

diskutil eraseVolume APFS journey /dev/disk3s5 started erase preparing to erase APFS Volume content Checking mount state Erasing APFS Volume disk3s5 by deleting and re-adding Deleting APFS Volume indigenous its APFS Container Unmounting disk3s5 Erasing any kind of xART conference referenced by 128F46B9-D251-4CD1-8036-146EC457EA4E Deleting Volume

Error: -69623: unable to delete the given APFS Volume and also remove the from the APFS Container

Nope. Ns figured it would not be possible to remove a volume indigenous an encrypted container, yet we space in desperate time I had actually to try!

Maybe I could remove the short-term update volume?

sudo diskutil apfs deleteVolume /dev/disk3s5 started APFS operation Deleting APFS Volume indigenous its APFS Container Unmounting disk3s5 Erasing any type of xART conference referenced through 128F46B9-D251-4CD1-8036-146EC457EA4E Deleting Volume

Error: -69623: unable to delete the offered APFS Volume and also remove it from the APFS Container

11. Deserve to I get my Mac the end of this download loop?

The answer is YES! but the explanation is a small complicated.

You are most most likely in one of the following scenarios.

2013-2017 Mac – FileVault 2 Encryption Not Enabled2013-2017 Mac – FileVault 2 Encryption Enabled2018-2020 Mac – FileVault 2 Encryption Not Enabled2018-2020 Mac – FileVault 2 Encryption Enabled

Why 4 various situations? the comes down to the developed in security of macOS recovery as soon as your Mac has FileVault 2 Encryption enabled. The other difficulty is the developed in boot defense of T2 Mac computers. T2 Mac systems are shipped with exterior boot disabled. This way you will certainly not be able to use a USB installer or outside hard drive to help rescue the Mac. Let’s go over exactly how to fix this issue.

12. You have actually 2 different options for addressing this issue.

Now that we recognize the different situations, let’s go over how to resolve the issue.

Do you must save or retain your data?

If the price is YES > 12. Exactly how to deal with this issue and retain mine data.

If the prize is NO > 13. Exactly how to resolve this concern – Erase and also Reinstall.

13. Exactly how to resolve this issue + retain her data!

This ar is divided into 2 parts. Component one is for if her Mac is encrypted with FileVault 2. The second section is for if her Mac is not encrypted.

FileVault 2 Enabled

When FileVault is enabled on macOS Catalina or large Sur, friend are compelled to get in your account password prior to entering macOS recovery. This is an essential because the only way to recuperate (retain user data) a FileVault allowed Mac will certainly be v the assist of a 2nd Mac.

If your Mac is encrypted and you should recover her data, you have actually 2 options. One with just your mac and a USB Drive and the various other with a second Mac and also a Thunderbolt or USB Cable utilizing Target decaying Mode.

Option #1 – download macOS Mojave on a exterior USB, SD card or hard drive.

You can boot native this external version the macOS. This will permit you to clear enough an are from “Macintosh HD – Data”Use an external USB flash drive or outside hard drive. You install macOS on an external USB, SDCard or hard drive. Once Mojave is set up from recovery to the exterior drive boot to that by holding down alternative after reboot. Once booted come mojave, you will see your cd driver on the desktop. You can then mountain “Macintosh HD – Data” from Disk Utility. Now you have the right to delete papers from the “Macintosh HD – Data” climate reboot. The large Sur upgrade will finish.

Option #2 – second Mac forced – Target disc Mode

You require a 2nd Mac running macOS High Sierra or Mojave. (Big Sur & Catalina Mac solve instructions comes soon)One that the following cables room required. USB-C come USB-C 3.0 Cable, or a ThunderBolt 3 Cable.As quickly as you plugin your cable from the target mac to the host mac, friend will acquire a pop-up window asking friend to get in the password for your problem Mac.

The volume the holds her data is Macintosh HD – Data. Open this volume and then navigate to your house folder.

Author Mr. MacintoshPosted ~ above February 8, 2021March 17, 2021Categories #MacAdmins, 10.14 Mojave, 10.15 Catalina, 11.0 big Sur, large Sur Upgrade free Space Issue, macOS big Sur 11.2, macOS Installer, macOS Upgrade, recovery Partition

248 think on “Big Sur Upgrade no Enough free Space = Serious problem & possible Data Loss! UPDATED”

Hi, ns am having the same issue after attempting to update to huge Sur. After much time in the phone with Apple ns was maybe to usage a thunderbolt cable and save my files onto another computer. After the occurs my computer system now establish no drives. The starts up to a black color screen. I am unable to run net recovery mode and also it speak me there are no volumes. Ns am okay through erasing mine computer but I cannot. Ns was climate able to run a diagnostic that states error code VDH002 that my storage device had an issue. My computer system was working beautifully up till the update.

I freed increase enough an are but tho encountered the “An error developed preparing the software update” message.

– MacBook air 2019, upgrading from Mojave– Didn’t have enough room, supplied terminal come delete files, utilizing ‘df’ and also ‘df -h’ in terminal showed I had actually ~55GB free. Trash was empty.– huge Sur download failed again through the over message.– Ran disk first aid top top the install partition and also the main Data drive, no issues

Anyone still run right into the concern even with enough space?

I’d favor to upgrade to large Sur yet am do the efforts to not risk placing my only computer out that commission for a work again v an download attempt.

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I’m having MacBook air 2018 together a target Mac (encrypted) and also MacBook wait 2017 together a host both running Catalina. I did whatever what you did in the video, deleted Macintosh-HD in target disk mode and got right into my data. What to be weird, prior to I turned off Macintosh HD, it appeared empty in Finder. I likewise had Update- disk in disc utility. I deleted files, therefore I had actually 45 GB free space. Then i restarted my target Mac, however it still falls short the huge Sur update. Disk utility shows now Macintosh HD, Macintosh HD- Data, Macintosh HD-Data-Data and Update. Macintosh HD is utilizing 848 kt and also Macintosh HD- Data is making use of 33 kt. Also I can’t mountain the Macintosh HD-Data-Data, i think mine data is there. Need to I erase both Macintosh HD and Macintosh HD-Data and shot to delete much more files to have actually more complimentary space? I’m not sure what the problem is. Any ideas?

Hi grandfather Macintosh.

I have associated my 2014 MBP (failed if updating to large Sur native Catalina) through my 2019 MBP with thunderbelt. Ns can discovered the Macintosh HD is mounted and yet not the Macintosh HD – Data. After i erased Macintosh HD, however I don’t watch the popular music up asking for password when I try to mountain HD – Data, instead I still watch a pop up saying “The disc can’t be unlocked. A difficulty was detected with the disk that prevents it from gift unlocked.” must I discover a MBP the runs Mojave or Catalina as the 2nd laptop for TDM?

Another concern I discovered is that only when I reboot mine 2019 MBP have the right to I find external vehicle drivers from my old MBP connected through thunderbelt. I wonder if it is a regular case.