Is it time to sell or give away your old Mac? Or do you just want a fresh start to clean up your machine? Before you start, make sure you transfer any files you want to keep to a new computer or external drive. Your Mac will boot into the recovery partition. If you want to re-install your operating system, but leave your files in place, you can skip this step. Your user accounts and files will stay exactly where they are—only your operating system will be overwritten.
Factory Reset MacBook/iMac Without Losing Data
Depending on how you started Recovery Mode, you may be presented with the option to start Disk Utility right away, as seen above. Now move the dial up, to randomly write data over your entire drive.
If you opted to wipe your drive securely, this might take a while—30 minutes to an hour is not unreasonable for one pass. If you choose three or five passes, you might want to leave this running overnight. With your information wipe complete, you are now ready to reinstall macOS. The installation process will begin. Choose the Macintosh HD you named earlier. Got a tip for us?
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- Part 1. 2 Steps for How to Reset Mac without Losing Data?
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- Part 2. How to Recover Lost Data on Mac after Reset.
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Before we begin
If you plan to give away, sell, or trade in your Mac, the first thing you should do is erase the data on it and perform a factory reset. This article shows you how. You could do this manually by copying across files onto an external drive. If you use iCloud , your photos, mail, contacts, documents, and so on should be automatically backed up in cloud storage. However, we highly recommend that you take the time to perform a Time Machine backup of your system using an external drive.
- How to wipe your Mac and reset it to factory settings.
- Installing a fresh copy of macOS via Recovery Mode.
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That way, the same backup volume can be used by Apple's Migration Assistant during a macOS installation to quickly transfer your applications, files and settings from the old Mac to a new one. Check out our dedicated guide on how to back up your Mac using Time Machine. Unlink your Apps There are certain apps that will need to be manually unlinked from your Mac before you say goodbye to it.
Step-by-step Guide to Reset Mac to Factory Settings
Some third-party apps require licenses that only work on a limited number of computers, so think about any licenses you may have purchased. Similarly, you should de-authorize your iTunes account on the Mac, as this removes its access to content that you bought from the iTunes Store, iBooks Store, or App Store , including things like music, movies, TV shows, apps, and books.
To learn how to de-authorize your iTunes account, check out our dedicated guide. That way you'll know for sure there isn't anything lingering on your Mac that links your Apple ID to this machine. The following steps show you how. Uncheck all the boxes in the list to remove copies of the related data on this Mac.
Click Sign Out. How to Erase and Reset Your Mac Now that you've taken the above precautionary steps and unlinked your purchases and accounts, it's time to erase your Mac's drive and reset the system to its factory defaults.
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Click Restart. Hold down the Command and R keys as soon as you hear the Mac tone indicating a reboot. Click Erase , confirm the action if prompted, and wait until formatting is complete.
Follow the installation prompts and allow the procedure to continue until you see the Setup Assistant appear. And that's it. You're now ready to sell your Mac, pass it on, set it up as new, or restore a backup.
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