If you are up to selling your Mac, you may first want to reset it to the factory settings so that none of your data or information may end up in wrong hands. And if you don’t know how to reset a Mac, you don’t really need to worry as here we have described the entire process and simplified things even for the beginners.
Jump To Section
- Create Backup Of Your Mac
- Sign Out From All Your Accounts
- Reformat The Hard Drive
- Reinstall macOS From Scratch
- What If You Have A MacBook Pro With TouchBar
How To Reset A Mac
To be fortunate, removing all your data from Mac is pretty easy and doing so is also quite important for preventing identity theft. Keep in mind, however, that when you are selling your Mac to someone, it is not enough to simply remove your personal information on Mac as you will have to ensure that there is a working macOS installed on it as well after you have wiped it clean. So, let’s take it step by step and find out how to reset a Mac before selling it.
Create Backup Of Your Mac
If you have already bought a new Mac and then you are planning to sell the old one, you should better be transferring all the data from old Mac or try creating Time Machine Backup. However, if you haven’t bought one yet then creating a backup is necessary. There are a couple of options that you can try in this regard i.e. using Time Machine and cloning your Mac. Here’s how you can create both types of backups:
Sign Out From All Your Accounts
The license of your Mac software is in your name, and that means it won’t be transferred to new owner to whom you are selling your machine. So, if you want to avoid any possible complications later on, ensure that you sign out from all your accounts on the Mac and protect all your personal info at the same time as well. Here is how you can do that:
Signing Out From iTunes
Here are the steps you need for signing out from iTunes:
- Launch iTunes from your Mac
- Click on Account from Menu Bar. You can see the option towards left of your Mac screen.
- Click Sign Out
Signing Out From iMessage
Here are the steps you need for signing out from iMessage:
- Launch Messages from your Mac
- Click on Messages from Menu Bar. You can see the option towards left side of your Mac screen.
- Click on Preferences in drop-down menu
- Select the iMessage account you have been using on your Mac
- Click Sign Out
Signing Out From iCloud
Here are the steps you need for signing out from iCloud:
- Click on Apple Icon from top left corner on the Mac screen
- Click on System Preferences in drop-down menu
- Click iCloud
- Un-check that box in front of Find My Mac
- Enter password of your Mac when asked
- Click Sign Out
- Click on ‘Remove Data From This Mac’ as prompted by the setup
Reformat The Hard Drive
After creating data backup and signing out from all your accounts on Mac, you’ll be safe now by choosing to erase all your stuff on the Mac. Just do so by reformatting the hard drive. Here are the steps that you will have to follow for this:
- Turn your Mac On or opt for a restart if you’re already using it
- Press and hold Command and R keys simultaneously once your Mac restarts. Keep the keys pressed until the Mac is finished loading and macOS Utilities window pops up on the screen.
- Select the Disk Utility from the window
- Click Continue
- Select the Startup Disk (it’s name probably is “Macintosh HD” or maybe something else like that)
- Click Erase from buttons at top of Disk Utility screen
- In drop-down menu in front of Format, select the option labeled macOS Extended (Journaled)
- Click on GUID Partition Map in drop-down menu in front of Scheme (Do this where applicable as all the Macs don’t have this)
- Click on Erase
- Once you are done with this process, click on Quit Disk Utility option in Disk Utility drop-down list from top left side of screen.
Reinstall macOS From Scratch
Once you have reformatted your hard disk drive, it’s all set for clean macOS installation from scratch. You’ll be in Utilities window already once you have erased the Mac and if you’re not then restart it first and again press and hold Command and R keys simultaneously until Apple logo shows up.
One important thing to mention here is that your Mac should be connected to internet for software verification. The setup will prompt you to connect to internet during installation as well. Here are the steps you need to follow for the reinstallation:
- Restart or Turn On your Mac
- Press and hold Command and R keys simultaneously as soon as your machine is restarted. Keep the keys pressed until the Mac loads up and macOS Utilities window shows up on the screen
- Click Reinstall macOS option for reinstalling the OS which first came with the Mac you have or you can also choose Reinstall OS X option where applicable.
- Click Continue
- Select the hard disk drive on which you’d like to install the macOS when the setup prompts you to do so.
- Click Install for installing the OS which came with the Mac in first place. The system will restart once the installation is completed.
- Press and hold Command and Q keys after completion of installation. Don’t follow setup instructions here. As you’ll be selling your Mac, this part can be left for new owner to be filled
- Click on Shut down to turn off your Mac.
You have now cleaned up your Mac successfully and it is ready to be given to new owner. It’ll be their responsibility now to complete setup instructions for getting started and using their Mac. That’s probably all about how to reset a Mac before selling it. However, there’s one twist in the tail. What if you’re selling MacBook Pro with TouchBar? Well, you’ll have to do few more steps then.
What If You Have A MacBook Pro With TouchBar?
Following all the steps given above will securely erase all information that may be stored in TouchBar on your Macbook Pro. But if you want to use Target Disk mode or some third-party program for erasing your Mac, the below mentioned steps will have to be followed additionally for ensuring that the data on Touch Bar is erased as well. Here are the steps to follow.
- Restart or turn on your Macbook
- Press and hold Command and R keys simultaneously once you have restarted your Mac. Keep the keys pressed until the Mac is finished loading up and macOS Utilities window pops up on the screen.
- Click Utilities from Menu Bar that appears on top left side of the screen
- In drop-down Utilities menu click Terminal
- Now, enter below command in Terminal Window
- Press Return
- When prompted for the confirmation, type Yes
- Click Terminal option from Menu Bar, it is towards top right side of the screen
- Click Quit Terminal
That’s all, your information will be cleared from Touch Bar.
So, that’s how to reset a Mac before selling it. You really need to be cautious and make sure that all your stuff is completely erased from the Mac and is properly backed up in a safe location. Once you’re sure about that, you can go ahead and sell your Mac. If you have any queries about the process, you can get in touch through comments section below.
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