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How to fix Software Update is required to use this startup disk on Mac

Written by John

MacOS Ventura is the latest version of Apple’s operative system which brings many attractive features such as stage manager, updated spotlight search, and a completely refreshed system settings interface.

Despite all these innovations, the current operating software detects errors during the installation process - especially in Monterey and Ventura beta versions. One of the common messages that users get is "Software Update is required to use this startup disk".

This happens after the user tries to to do a clean install macOS Ventura where user is trying to install new operating system while completely erasing the previous one. To avoid this problem you should understand why is it happening in the first place, and that’s why this guide was created.

How to fix “Software Update is required to use this startup disk” on Mac

1. Unroll Beta Program

Sometimes, errors happen even if everything is alright. A message "Software Update is required to use this startup disk" may appear due to these two reasons:

  • With Beta and Developer Program, your macOS verifies the integrity of the operating software in order to make sure that it's legitimate and your Mac has problem with Internet connection.
  • Safety feature called Startup Security Utility is set up and running on Full Security mode in the background, and that is the reason why your Mac can’t recognize the new macOS Ventura.

The solution for the first problem is obvious, you need check your internet connection and Unroll Beta program. To Unroll Beta Program, go to System Settings (System Preference) and open "Software Update", then click on Details button and select "Restore Defaults" to unroll macOS beta program.

Unroll Beta or Developer Program on macOS Ventura

For the second one problem, set the level of security to medium, or you can even turn it off completely in order to avoid errors. Which is explained in the following step-by-step guide

2. Check Startup Security Utility

2.1. Boot to Recovery Mode

First, you need to enter recovery mode in order to do a checkup and, if needed, change settings in Startup Security Utility.

It is important to note that entering Recovery mode on Mac computers with Intel processors is different from doing so on the ones that use Apple’s powerul M1 and M2 processors. Here are the instructions for both:

For Intel powered Mac computers:

  • Turn on the computer
  • Immediately press and hold Commands + R
  • Release the keys when you see the Apple logo
  • You might need to enter the admin user password in order to continue

For M1 and M2 powered Mac computers:

  • Press and hold the power button until Loading startup options appears
  • Click on Options button and then go Continue
  • Select a volume to recover, and then click Next
  • Select an administrator account, and then click Next
  • Enter the password for the administrator account, and then click Continue.

If you use Disk utility to clean your hard disk, you will not be able to enter recovery mode on your Mac. In this case, you will need to enter Internet recovery. Press Option-Command-R or Shift-Option-Command-R to enter Internet Recovery mode. For this action is required that your Mac has internet connection.

2.2. Change secure boot settings in startup security utility

Once you are in Recovery mode, click on Utility and Select Startup Security Utility. Here you need to change default settings to use USB external disk and disable verify OS.

Open Startup Security Utility in macOS Ventura Recovery

Change the settings in Startup Security Utility to Medium Security and choose "Allow booting from external or removable media" in the last options. When you're asked to authenticate, click Enter macOS Password.

Change Startup Security Utility

3. Install macOS Ventura with Terminal

The next step is to install macOS Ventura with the help of Terminal in Recovery Mode. Here, you will use the installassistant file, which can be found in Install macOS Ventura.app. Here are the steps:

  • In macOS Recovery (Big Sur, Monterey to Ventura), click on Utility again and then choose Terminal.
Open Terminal in macOS Ventura Recovery

  • Connect the Ventura USB Installer Drive containing the macOS installer. If you don't have a Ventura USB Installer, you can follow this link to create macOS Ventura USB Installer.
  • When it appears, use the following command to list all available drives on your Mac: diskutil list . The purpose of this command is for us to find out the name and location of the Install macOS Ventura.app , or Install macOS Monterey.app installers, depending on the operating software you plan to use.
  • Once we have found the macOS USB Installer drive where the installation file is located, we use the following commands to open the InstallAssistant file:
    /Volumes/Install\ macOS\ Ventura\ beta/Install\ macOS\ Ventura\ beta.app/Contents/MacOS/InstallAssistant_springboard
Open Ventura InstallAssistant_springboard in Terminal

  • If the macOS Ventura or Monterey installer is still in the Application folder on macOS Disk, you can use the following to open the InstallAssistant file:
    /Volumes/Macintosh/Applications\Install\ macOS\ Ventura\ beta.app/Contents/MacOS/InstallAssistant_springboard
Install macOS Ventura in Recovery Mode

After activating the installer, you should connect to the internet. Good connection is needed to avoid errors that may arise during the installation. After connecting to the Internet, click on the Continue button, and then choose your disk to install macOS Ventura or Monterey. If during the installation of macOS and you encounter other type of problem, please leave a comment below and we will help you solve it.

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