OS X could not be installed on your computer – El Capitan

Installing El Capiton on an old Mac Book Pro today, I received the error:

OS X could not be installed on your computer

No packages were eligible for install. Contact the software manufacturer for assistance.

Quit the installer to restart your computer and try again.

I checked Apple’s support Matrix (it is a very old macbook pro) at https://support.apple.com/kb/SP728?locale=en_GB and it was listed as supported.

After lots of Googling and investigation, I discovered that the date and time were not set to current, the macbook thought it was year 2000.

You can easily reset the time and date by following the steps below:

  • Click Utilities on the menu bar
  • Select Terminal
  • Type date
  • Confirm the date is wrong
  • Type date 062112422016 (example: June 21st 12:42 2016)
  • Exit terminal
  • Click Restart

Once the Date and time are configured you will be able to install OS X.

Easy fix, for a ridiculous error!

OS X could not be installed on your computer


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13 Responses to OS X could not be installed on your computer – El Capitan

  1. kaptinkarizma July 5, 2016 at 3:43 am #

    Hey Mate .

    This fix worked. I went to so many other sites and all support kept saying to create bootable media, or try and download and install El Kapitan again. None of those fixed it.

    Your recommendation was spot on. Such an easy fix for a bad issue.

    You’re a life saver.


  2. DH September 19, 2016 at 5:57 pm #


    Thanks for putting forward your efforts. Today I was doing an install on a ’09 MBP and encountered the same error msg. Would never have made the connection between the error msg and wrong time. Applied it and worked like a charm!

    Funny thing is while performing an install of an older OS X version a couple years back I also ran into error messages, however they were completely different than these. Maybe in the next OS release I’ll catch on.

  3. Maxime Boutet October 13, 2016 at 4:19 pm #

    Simplest solution to the stupidest error… Thanks a lot!

  4. Yesi Rose October 16, 2016 at 4:06 am #

    Thank you so much for this! It really solved the problem. You’re a genius :))

  5. Steve Verducci December 18, 2016 at 3:59 am #

    I have been pulling my hair out on this one for 2 days. The date was wrong, 2011 MacBook Pro with a completely exhausted battery — date was lost and defaulted back to 2001.

    Good one. You’re my hero today.

  6. m h November 15, 2017 at 5:45 pm #

    wow – that was it!

  7. Clive May 23, 2018 at 2:20 am #

    Was Re-formating my old Mac Book Pro and came across this problem. Came across your website and WOW this worked for me. THANK YOU VERY MUCH DAVID, YOUR A STAR.

  8. Peter Denyer October 28, 2019 at 8:52 pm #

    same issue – but date not a problem – correctly reporting today’s date and time
    open to other suggestions

  9. Jim November 2, 2019 at 10:14 pm #

    On my Mac, this fix did not work. I read on Reddit that it is a Certificate problem and changed the date to 1010101015

    That fixed it! Thanks https://www.reddit.com/user/JorG-Os/!!

  10. wish November 6, 2019 at 4:36 pm #

    Thank you for this tip! Setting it to the current date did not work for me, but entering: date 0101010116 into Terminal and restarting worked for me. Without knowing this tip about the date, I don’t think I ever would have figured any of this out. Many thanks!

  11. Chris November 25, 2019 at 7:00 am #

    I tried all of the suggestions and none of them worked. The date said Oct 10, 10:20:45 2016. When I changed it it said that the command was not found. Is there something else I can try?

  12. Luke December 2, 2019 at 10:36 pm #

    Yes this worked for me even though the iMac date was CORRECT. I set the date to 2016 instead of today’s 2019 date. It’s like the install needed to verify an older date.

  13. Phil December 11, 2019 at 6:21 pm #

    Awesome, thank you for the tip, worked a treat 0101001116

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