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How to factory reset your Mac

Planning on selling or giving away your Mac? Restoring it to factory settings is the best way to protect your privacy and prepare your computer for a new owner. Today, I’ll show you how to factory reset your Mac.

You’ll find out how to:
  • Back up data
  • Deauthorize iTunes on macOS Mojave or earlier
  • Sign out of iCloud and iMessage
  • Erase Touch Bar data and a startup disk
  • Reinstall your operating system

I’ll give you a step-by-step guide on how to make your Mac look like new again. Let’s start with data backup.

Ways to back up Mac

Why is it so crucial? Once you factory reset your Mac, all data you have on your hard drive will be deleted. That's why you need to create a backup to save all the critical files in a safe place. You can manually copy your data to an external drive or iCloud.

Still, the best way to create backups is Time Machine — the built-in macOS application. With Time Machine, you can back up your entire Mac, including system files, music, photos, emails, and documents.

Clean up your Mac

But before you use Time Machine, make sure to clean up your Mac. You don’t want to copy all the junk it has, right? In fact, a backup will go faster and more smoothly if your computer is not cluttered. For a quick cleanup, use apps like CleanMyMac X. It’ll help you remove large and useless files, caches, and system junk in two clicks. Let’s see how to use CleanMyMac X.

  • First, download, and launch the app.
  • After that, head to the System Junk module and hit Scan.

How to factory reset your Mac

  • When the scan is over, you can either hit the Clean button or review details to manually edit the list of files you want to get rid of.

How to factory reset your Mac

Now you’re ready to back up your data.

How to back up your Mac

Here’s how to do that with Time Machine. Connect an external drive you’d like to use as a Time Machine backup to your Mac. You might be asked if you want to use it to back up with Time Machine.

  • Select Encrypt Backup Disk, then click Use as Backup Disk. If Time Machine does not ask to use your drive then follow these > steps to add it manually.
  • Go to the Apple menu in the top left corner of your screen and pick System Preferences.
  • Choose the Time Machine

How to factory reset your Mac

  • Click Select Backup Disk.

How to factory reset your Mac

  • Select your external drive from the list of available disks.
  • Then pick Encrypt backups and click Use Disk.

How to factory reset your Mac

Wait till the backup is done. That’s all! Note that your first backup may take a good deal of time, depending on how many files you have. But you can continue using your Mac while a backup is underway.

Deauthorize system-related services

Now that data backup is done, you can securely disable any services related to your system, such as iTunes, iCloud, and iMessage. Let’s start with iTunes. As you may know, there are some critical updates on macOS Catalina.

Now, iTunes is broken down into several different apps, including Music, Podcasts, Apple TV, and Books. What macOS version are you using? Do you still have iTunes? Let me know in the comments. If you use Mojave or earlier, signing out of iTunes is a must-do.

How to deauthorize iTunes

Here are the steps to follow. First, open iTunes and go to Account in the menu bar.

  • Choose Authorizations, then select Deauthorize This Computer.
  • Enter your Apple ID and password.
  • Next, click Deauthorize.

How to factory reset your Mac

If your Mac's running Catalina, you can sign out of Music and Apple TV following the same steps.

How to deauthorize Books

  • To deauthorize Books, open it and proceed to the Store.
  • Choose Authorisations, then select Deauthorize This Computer.
  • Same process enter your apple is and password That’s it!

How to factory reset your Mac

Now, make sure that your cloud data, such as calendar, notes, and reminders, are not visible to a new user. How to do that?

Sign out of iCloud!

Follow these steps to turn it off.

  • First, go to the Apple menu
  • choose > System Preferences.
  • Head over to Apple ID and select the Overview tab.
  • Here, click Sign Out and confirm that you want to remove data from your Mac. Done!

How to factory reset your Mac

Deauthorize iMessage

Before you restore Mac to factory settings, be sure to sign out of iMessage as well.

  • Just launch the Message app and click Messages in the Menu bar.
  • From the drop-down menu, choose Preferences and go to the iMessage tab.
  • Finally, push the Sign Out button. As simple as that!

How to factory reset your Mac

Selling your MacBook Pro with Touch Bar?

Erase Touch Bar data

Apple says you should clear Touch Bar data completely. Now allow me to show you how to get it done. Restart your Mac in Recovery Mode. You don’t need to be too tech-savvy to cope with this task.

  • Just hold down Command-R on your keyboard immediately after turning on your Mac, or right after the restart.
  • When the macOS Utilities window appears, choose Utilities, then go to Terminal in the menu bar.
  • Type this command in Terminal. ( xartutil --erase-all )
  • Press Return, type yes when asked, and then hit Return again.
  • Finally, proceed to Terminal one more time and select Quit Terminal.
  • We’re almost there. Only two steps left!

Erase the startup disk

If you're selling or giving away your Mac, you should erase your startup disk. It’s the disk or volume that your Mac starts up from. By default, it’s built into your computer and named Macintosh HD. With the release of Catalina, Apple has added the read-only volume. It means that the new macOS is running a separate system disk to keep critical files more protected.

So, if you want to remove every trace of personal data, you need to erase Macintosh HD and Macintosh HD — Data volume as well. Start the process with macOS Recovery mode.

  • Here, select Disk Utility from the Utilities window.
  • Then, click Continue.

How to factory reset your Mac

Make sure that the sidebar in Disk Utility includes the name of your startup disk. The volume representing your startup disk would be Macintosh HD unless you renamed it. Look for a" Data" volume with the same name, such as" Macintosh HD — Data."

  • If you have such a volume, select it.
  • Then choose Edit from the menu bar and click Delete APFS Volume.
  • Or > click the delete volume button (–)  > in the Disk Utility toolbar.

How to factory reset your Mac

  • When you're asked to confirm, press Delete.
  • Don’t confuse it with the Delete Volume Group button.

How to factory reset your Mac

  • Now select Macintosh HD from the sidebar and click Erase at the top of the Disk Utility window.
  • Enter a name that you want the volume to have, such as Macintosh HD. Click Erase to begin the process.

How to factory reset your Mac

  • Enter your Apple ID for confirmation if needed.
  • When done, quit Disk Utility to return to the Utilities window. Congratulations! You've reformatted your hard drive.

Now you can reinstall your operating system

  • Just click Reinstall macOS from the Utilities menu.
  • Confirm that you really want to do that and follow the onscreen instructions.
  • But if you want to let the new owner enter all the necessary information, simply hold down the Command-Q shortcut.
  • Then, choose Shut Down to turn the Mac off and leave it waiting for the new user.

Now, your Mac is clean & ready for a fresh start. and that does for this article. if you found this article helpful then give it a share and comment below. 

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