Step-by-step Guide to Reset Mac to Factory Settings
If you’re selling your Mac or giving it away, it’s not enough to just delete your files and call it a day before handing your machine off. For extra security, it’s a good idea to restore your Mac to factory settings.
1. Restart in Recovery Mode
You’re going to erase your startup disk, so the first thing you need to do is start up from the recovery partition. To do this, click and choose Restart. When your Mac shuts off and then powers back on, press and hold Command+R keys until you see the Apple logo. Then release the keys and proceed to the next step.
2. Erase Data from Mac Hard Drive
While in Recovery Mode, you won’t see your usual login screen. Instead, you’ll see the “macOS Utilities” window. Here are your next steps:
a. In the macOS Utilities window, choose Disk Utility and click Continue.
b. Choose your startup disk and click Erase.
c. Choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled) as the format.
d. Click Erase.
e. Wait until the process is finished. When it’s done, go to the Disk Utility menu at the top and quit Disk Utility.
3. Reinstall macOS (optional)
Now, with your hard drive completely erased and free of any data, you can perform a clean install of macOS. You can do so while your Mac is still in recovery mode. From the same macOS Utilities window, choose Reinstall macOS (Reinstall OS X in older versions). Consider installing a new macOS Catalina.
But doing so isn’t necessary. If you’re giving your Mac to someone else to enjoy, you may just leave it as is so that the new owner can set it up as they like.
You’re done. Your Mac is fully prepared for its new owner. Don’t forget, you can use these instructions if you’re selling your Mac or if you want to erase your startup disk to reinstall macOS. If you plan on keeping your Mac, you might be interested in our guide on How to Make a Bootable High Sierra Installer.
We hope you found this guide helpful. Check back soon for another useful post on how to take control of your Mac — and its security.