You want a clean slate? In this case, you can easily restore the factory settings of your Mac at any time. When you do this, all of your data and any actions taken on your computer will be erased, restoring the condition they were in when you first unpacked them. However, there are scenarios in which there are concerns The recovery of your laptop can be invaluable. Most common is when you want to sell your computer through a service like eBay or Craigslist. After all, no one wants a computer with a hard disk full of data from others, if they have excellent MacOS apps for downloading.
This also includes disabling your computer in iTunes, which removes personalized credentials. However, you should also reset a Mac to factory settings if you want to sell it or give it to someone else. Here we show you how you can fully exploit the extra mile and clean it up completely.
Looking for more tutorials for Apple? Luckily, we also have instructions for uninstalling apps on a Mac and backing up your Mac to an external hard drive.
Deleting Your Mac
Take a last look and check it again Your Mac is currently connected to the Internet, preferably over a landline. Deleting your hard drive is easy, but you need a way to access the factory settings of your Mac once you have finished deleting it. For this you need an internet connection . If you erase data on a MacBook of any kind, first connect the AC adapter so that the battery does not run out.
Then, select the option Restart … in the Wait patiently until your Mac shuts down and the boot process starts. During the reboot, before the login screen, a gray slate screen appears on your computer. This is your opportunity to take a look behind the scenes: Hold down Command and R if you see gray.
This should open In the Utilities section, you can make various important and potentially dangerous changes. Select Disk Utility .
This process differs slightly depending on the MacOS version used. However, you should look for ] "Start Disk" or other startup information. Select this option and click the Delete tab.
Then switch to the format option and set it to Mac OS Extended (Journaled) . Then select Delete again. This could take a while. When done, go to Disk Utility and select Stop Disk Utility .
Reinstalling the Operating System
After deleting everything that made your Mac so special, you need to restore the operating system. If you have finished Disk Utility an option to reinstall from MacOS should be displayed. Select this, confirm that you really want to do it, and continue. You may need to click through a few confirmations before the installation can begin.
Because Apple stores all its factory settings on its own servers, your computer must be connected to the Internet to continue. Once connected, your Mac can search for the original source material and download a new offline version of all settings.
Note: This download solution only works with newer versions of MacOS. This should not be a problem for modern devices – all designed to download factory settings from the web. However, if you are using Snow Leopard or an earlier version of MacOS, you will not be able to reinstall them from the Web. You will need the original MacOS installation CD that came with your computer. Be prepared to remove them if necessary.
Also When you reinstall MacOS, a setup wizard appears asking you basic questions about your region, and so on. If you plan to sell or give away your Mac, you do not want to touch the setup wizard. Instead, hold down the Command and Q keys and select Shut Down . This turns off your Mac and makes the setup wizard wait for the next time.
Alternative: Overwrite Installation
If you want, you can completely re-install a version of MacOS without permanently deleting your existing data. Think of this as the "lite" version of a complete wipe. You do not have to erase your hard drive if you just want to reboot and do not plan to share your Mac with another person.
This option is useful if you have a lot of corrupted data, a malware problem that you can not isolate, or an error that plagues your computer due to a bad update. However, this process may retain data that is relatively easy to recover. Therefore, it is not advisable to use this method when selling or giving away your Mac. Nevertheless, follow the steps below if you want to proceed with the procedure. As always, make sure you back up all the data and documents you do not want to lose.
Step 1: Shut down your Mac and restart it as usual. Immediately after turning on the computer, press and hold Command and R and release the buttons when the Apple logo appears. This opens the Utilities window.
Step 2 : Skip the delete option and go directly to Reinstall MacOS . Confirm that you want to reinstall the operating system. This installs the latest version of the operating system that was previously installed on your computer. Note, however, that you still need to back up the data you want to save.
Alternative: Time Machine
If you're already using Time Machine to back up your data, you can also use it to restore a specific version of your Mac. This is useful if you prefer to restore specific settings and data rather than your entire operating system – possibly to save data while troubleshooting an error or similar problem. To restore the settings from Time Machine, follow these steps:
- Shut down your Mac and restart it as normal. Immediately after turning on your Mac, press and hold the Command Buttons and R and release the buttons when you see the Apple logo. This opens the Utilities window.
- Rather than enabling the Reinstall option, select Recover from Time Machine Backup . Keep in mind that if you have your backup stored on an external hard drive or server, your Mac must be connected to this device for full recovery.
Disabling Authorization of Your Devices in Apple Music, iCloud, and Messages
If you want to sell or distribute your computer to another user, you should also ensure that you have completed both your Mac and all connected devices disabled before you reset your Mac to the original factory settings. This prevents anyone from accessing your personal information in the future.
Apple Music: Start Apple Music and click . Account in the menu bar. Hover over Permissions and then click De-authorize this computer . Apple Music now removes the device from the list of authorized devices. You can not access Apple Music content from your computer, or anyone else.
iCloud: It's not enough just to log out of iCloud – you also need to make sure that no local data stays on your computer. To do this, select System Preferences from the Apple menu, and then click the Apple ID icon in the window that appears. Then click on Overview in the left column and then on Log out . Click on it and MacOS asks if you want to keep your current iCloud data on your Mac. Since this is not the case, simply clear the check boxes for everything to be deleted .
News: You want to keep your messages private, that is, by unsubscribing from the news app on your Mac. This will sync your messages between your iPhone and Mac. Therefore, it is of course very important to cancel the authorization.
Luckily this is easy. Open the News app and click News> Settings in the menu bar. From here, click the iMessage tab and then Logout .
Remember that backing up your data is always a good idea, especially before a larger step like this. Learn how to back up your data to an external drive and how to back up your data with iCloud.