Find yourself looking for a way to wipe your Mac and restore it to factory settings? You may be interested in selling your computer and need to erase all the contents of the hard drive. Without deleting the contents of your computer, you could potentially open up to identity theft. Another reason to reset your Mac to factory settings is that it may become too slow due to many years of use. You may find that you are running out of disk space if your computer speeds up.
This guide will help you restore your Mac to factory settings. Restoring to factory settings will allow your machine to function as if it were brand new, with a new installation of the Mac operating system. You’ll find the process relevant to any Mac, whether desktop or laptop.
Why and how to restore Mac to factory settings
When you choose to reset your MacBook Pro, Air, or iMac to factory settings, you perform a series of low-level operations. First, fully format the hard drive. Second, you will reinstall the Mac operating system (macOS). Formatting a hard drive is like permanently erasing data – everything is erased and removed from your computer.
On macOS Monterey, you can easily use the “delete all content and settings” function to reset the Mac to factory settings.
So why should you know how to reset your MacBook Air, Pro or iMac? There are two reasons.
- First, if you’re having problems with your computer’s file system, you may need to reset your Mac to its original factory settings. If there are lost or damaged files, random errors may occur or the computer may run slowly and slowly. Resetting to factory settings will fix this.
- Second, if you want to sell or give away your Mac, you probably want to clean it first. This way no one will be able to access your private files.
Whether you’re planning to sell or upgrade your computer, it’s a good idea to clean your hard drive and install a new operating system.
Delete all content and settings on macOS Monterey
If your Mac runs on macOS 12 Monterey, you’re in luck! You can avoid the hassle of manually logging out of all services and deleting data. Nor should you reinstall your macOS. instead of that,
- Click the Apple icon> System Preferences
- In System Preferences, click the main menu in the menu bar and select Delete All Content and Settings
- Enter your password and continue deleting data
- Confirm that you want to delete all media, settings, and files
- Log out of your Apple ID
- Click Clear All Content and Settings.
Note that you should in any case back up the basic data using Get Backup Pro before deleting the content and settings. No matter what macOS your Mac is running on, you need to have a copy of your important files.
What to do before resetting your Mac to factory settings
If your Mac is running on Big Sur or any older macOS, you don’t have the option to delete all content and settings, so you’ll need to do it manually.
Before we go through the instructions on how to delete a Mac, you’ll need to take care of a few things, such as backing up your data, logging out of your account, and disabling iCloud.
Log out of your accounts
Did you know that content you buy on Apple TV or Music can only be played on 5 devices? This means you can only authorize your account on up to 5 different Macs. If you want to transfer your Mac, make sure it’s not linked to your account.
Some limited licensing applications, such as Apple TV and Music, use an authorization system to limit the number of connected devices. It’s a good idea to prevent future problems by deauthorizing these apps, which also include purchased Adobe products (Illustrator, Photoshop, etc.) before you learn how to restore your Mac to factory settings.
Here’s how to deauthorize your account on Apple TV, Music, or Podcasts:
- Open the application
- In the main menu, click Account
- Choose Permissions> Deauthorize This Computer
- Enter your Apple ID and password> Deauthorize.
Sign out of iCloud that any bookmarks, reminders, notes, or other data stored in the cloud are not visible to new users. Without logging out of your iCloud account, certain features, such as Find My, can still allow you to interact with a computer that has been deleted. You don’t want to find out that you have access to your old computer when it gets a new owner.
- Select System Preferences from the Apple menu
- Select iCloud
- Click Logout and confirm the data removal
Log out of iMessage
Be sure to sign out of iMessage before you finish resetting your Mac to factory settings. If your computer is configured to send and receive iMessage chats, you’ll definitely want to make sure the new owner doesn’t have access to your private messages.
- Open the Messaging application on your computer
- Click Messages on the menu bar
- Select Preferences
- Find your iMessage account
- Click Logout.
Stop pairing the Bluetooth device
This is not a required step, but we recommend it in case you sell or give away your Mac, but keep the Bluetooth devices such as the keyboard, mouse, AirPods, or trackpad that you used to connect to this Mac. This will prevent accidental pairing if the Mac is used within your Bluetooth range. Here’s how to unpair a Bluetooth device:
- Open System Preferences in the Apple menu
- Select Bluetooth – this will open a list of connected devices
- Click the X to remove the device.
Delete the Touch Bar data
Following the same explanation, be sure to follow these steps so that your Touch Bar data is not passed on to the new Mac owner.
- Restart your Mac
- Keep pressed The ⌘ + R command keys until the Mac starts up again
- Select Utilities and Terminal in the macOS Utilities window
- Kind: xartutil –delete-everything and press Back
- Type yes and press Return again
- Select Terminal and click Quit.
Your Mac stores some user settings in NVRAM (non-volatile random access memory). It’s a good idea to reset them before deleting your Mac. Here’s how to do it:
- Turn off your Mac
- Turn it on again
- press and hold Command ⌘ + Option + P + R about 20 seconds (your Mac should restart during that time).
Back up your data
Before you learn how to reset your Mac, the most important thing is to back up your data so you don’t lose access to the contents of your drive. You wouldn’t want to lose videos or photos stored on your MacBook from years ago. So we really encourage you to follow this advice.
To prevent any accident related to data loss, you should use backup software, such as Get Backup Pro or ChronoSync Express. The main difference between them is that Get Backup Pro is great when you just want to back up a few files – only the most important ones, and ChronoSync Express can back up folders. Both applications support scheduled backups and have rich customization options.
Here’s how to back up using Get Backup Pro:
- Create a new project by clicking the “+” button on the Backup tab
- Select a backup destination
- Click File + to add the files you want to back up
- Press Run when ready (the icon looks like a play button).
If you want to back up your folder, it’s best to do so with ChronoSync Express:
- Open the app and select “Create a new sync task” in the right sidebar
- Name your backup project
- Select the folders you want to back up in the left pane
- Select the backup destination in the right pane (you can back up to any local or linked volume)
- Press the arrow button to start backing up.
You can save your backup projects and reuse them in the future. This is very handy when you regularly update macOS and want to protect your files. Although both Get Backup Pro and ChronoSync Express are part of Setapp – a productivity service for Mac and iPhone users – you can try them both for free and find out what works best.
Reset MacBook Pro, Air, and iMac to factory settings
Did you complete the data backup and log out of everything? If the answer is yes, you are ready to delete your Mac and prepare it for a fresh start. The instructions below answer the question of how to reset your MacBook Air, Pro, and iMac.
Note that the instructions below do not apply to macOS Monterey. If your Mac is running on macOS 12, all you have to do is delete all content and settings to restore your Mac to factory settings.
1. Restart your Mac in Recovery Mode
This step is quite simple. However, the instructions differ depending on the type of computer. Here’s how to restart Intel- and M1-based Macs in Recovery.
Restart Intel Macs in Recovery Mode
- In the Apple menu, select Restart in the upper left corner of the screen
- While the system is restarting, hold down both the Command (() and R keys on the keyboard at the same time until you see the Recovery Mode window.
- Enter your administrator password to confirm the action
- You should now see the macOS Utilities window.
Restart the M1 Mac in Recovery Mode
- From the Apple menu, select Off
- Press and hold the power button until you see the options screen
- Click Options> Continue> enter your administrator password
- You should now see the macOS Utilities window.
2. Erase the hard drive
Here’s what you need to do to erase your hard drive:
- Select Disk Utility in the Utilities window
- Select the drive to boot
- At the top of the Disk Utilities window, select Delete
- From the menu, select Mac OS Extended Log
- Click Delete.
When the process is complete, go to the Disk Utility menu in the upper left corner of the screen and click on Quit Disk Utility.
3. Reinstall the operating system
Now that the hard drive has been erased, you can confirm that you want to reinstall the new Mac operating system by following the on-screen instructions.
This is about how to format a Macintosh. The computer will complete a new installation of the operating system with factory settings.
If you forward your Mac to a new owner, you can abort the process and allow the new owner to fill in all the necessary information by holding down The ⌘ + Q command keys. Select Off to turn off the Mac and leave it ready for the next person. If you keep your Mac, you’ll need to download all the apps you’ve used before.
Now that your Mac has been deleted, your computer should not have any remnants of your personal information. Now he is ready for a new beginning with you or a new life with someone else.
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