How to Fix Untrusted Cert Title Error on MacBook

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Sometimes, the only way to fix recurrent or stubborn Mac issues is to reinstall the OS. There are two ways to do that: you can either reinstall your current OS or reinstall the macOS version that came with your computer. But the untrusted_cert_title error may sometimes hinder your plans preventing you from reinstalling macOS.

Why Does My Mac Say Untrusted Cert Title?

This error occurs due to incorrect date and time settings. Apple’s servers use your system time to create a secure connection. If your system time settings are inaccurate, the servers will block the connection request for security reasons. Simply put, the servers could not verify the OS certificate because of incorrect system time settings.

Change Date and Time Settings Using Terminal

  1. Boot up your Mac and hold down Option + Command + R. This will launch macOS Recovery.
  2. Go to Utilities and select Terminal.
  3. Enter the following command to change your date and time settings: date mmddhhmmyy. Press Enter.
    • Scroll down for more information on the date sequence format to use.
  4. Your Mac should now display the date in the standard format. Example: Tue, March 9 15:00:00 ET 2021. If it doesn’t, check your date sequence format again.
  5. Close the Terminal, go back to the recovery screen and reinstall your OS.

Make sure the date sequence follows this format:

  • Month from 1 to 12.
  • Day of the month from 1 to 31.
  • Hour from 0 to 23.
  • Minutes from 0 to 59.
  • The last two digits of the year.
  • Always add a zero before single digits.

For example, March 9, 2021, 15:10:00 is 0309151021.

Make sure you’re using the correct date and time format specific to your region. For example, in the US, the month comes first followed by the day of the month and the year. In other countries, the day of the month comes first. Adapt the date mmddhhmmyy command accordingly.

Use Single User Mode

Alternatively, you can boot your computer in Single User Mode.

  1. Press Command + S to launch Single User Mode.
  2. Then type date to check your current date.
  3. Type date mmddhhmmyy to change the date. Use the same format described above.
  4. Type date again to check if the date and time settings are correct now.
  5. Type exit and reboot your Mac in Recovery Mode. Reinstall the OS.

Conclusion

Incorrect date and time settings may sometimes trigger untrusted_cert_title errors when Mac users try to reinstall the OS. The quickest way to fix this issue is to manually update your date and time settings using the Terminal. Did you manage to fix this error? Let us know in the comments below.

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