“An error occurred during personalization” when updating to macOS 11.2

Update

Since I wrote this, Apple has already released macOS 11.2.1, so maybe this is no longer an issue? Not 100% sure. So see below if you are experiencing this issue.

What’s the error?

You may see this error when trying to download the update to macOS 11.2 if you’re on macOS 11.1.


Software Update ToolFinding available software
Downloading macOS Big Sur 11.2 Update
Downloading: 100.00%
Failed to download & prepare update: Error Domain=SUMacControllerError Code=7740 "[SUMacControllerErrorPrepareFailed=7740] Failed to perform Prepare operation: [MobileSoftwareUpdateErrorDomain(MSU):MSU_ERR_BRIDGEOS_PERSONALIZATION_FAILURE(44)_1_OSPErrorDomain:201_2_AuthInstallErrorDomain:11]" UserInfo={NSUnderlyingError=0x7ffc488150c0 {Error Domain=MobileSoftwareUpdateErrorDomain Code=44 "bridgeOS personalization failed" UserInfo={target_update=20D64, NSLocalizedDescription=bridgeOS personalization failed, NSUnderlyingError=0x7ffc488152b0 {Error Domain=OSPErrorDomain Code=201 "An error occurred during personalization." UserInfo={NSLocalizedDescription=An error occurred during personalization., NSUnderlyingError=0x7ffc488154d0 {Error Domain=AuthInstallErrorDomain Code=11 "(null)"}}}}}, SUMacControllerErrorIndicationsMask=0, NSDebugDescription=[SUMacControllerErrorPrepareFailed=7740] Failed to perform Prepare operation: [MobileSoftwareUpdateErrorDomain(MSU):MSU_ERR_BRIDGEOS_PERSONALIZATION_FAILURE(44)_1_OSPErrorDomain:201_2_AuthInstallErrorDomain:11], NSLocalizedDescription=Failed to prepare the software update. Please try again.}

A few notes about this error

  • It doesn’t seem to matter if you download the update via the GUI (System Preferences > Software Update) or if you download via the command line (softwareupdate -d -a). The command line just gives you a bit more of a verbose error (see above).
  • This can happen on an Intel Mac, so this is completely separate from the issue described in If you get a personalization error when reinstalling macOS on your Mac with Apple M1 chip.
  • This happens for an update. I haven’t yet seen this exact error for an upgrade. So this can appear if you’re updating from an older version of Big Sur to a newer version of Big Sur.

Potential fixes

I haven’t experienced this issue myself. I’ve just communicated with others who have experienced it.

You might be able to fix this by booting into safe mode, and then installing the update. I would try that first.

You might also be able to fix this by booting into recovery mode and doing a non-destructive reinstall (i.e., don’t wipe/erase your drive first, but just reinstall macOS).

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