How to Reset Your Old Mac Before You Plan to Sell It

It is crucial to properly reset your Mac before you sell it, to safeguard the photos, videos, messages, emails, documents, login details and a bunch of other personal and professional information stored on it.

Selling your old Mac is easy after all the resale value of Apple devices beats all its competitors. However, it the part where you reset your Mac before selling it, that is a tad bit difficult.

Although laborious, it is important to devote your full attention to the process. After all you don’t want to loose your precious data or worse pass it on to someone else. This guide will help you prepare your Mac for sale; covering all major steps such as backup, disabling services and features, restoring factory setting, erasing the hard drive and reinstalling macOS again.

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How to Restore Mac to Factory Settings Before Selling It

On paper, we can divide the process into three broad stages – the preparing stage, wiping the hard disk and reinstall macOS. In the latter two, most of the work will be done by your Mac; you just have to set the instructions and sip a coffee or two, while the processes are complete.

Though the preparation stage requires your full attention, for instance, you may lose crucial documents if the backup is not performed correctly. So, take a deep breath before you start to erase your old Mac and follow the steps mentioned below carefully.

What To Do Before You Sell or Trade-In your Mac

Creating Backup

This one’s a no brainer, backing up is a distinct and necessary step before you wipe your Mac. Not a very complicated procedure, we have already shared steps to create a backup using Time Machine on Mac.

Click Time Machine in System Preference on Mac

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Create Backup Using Time Machine on Mac

Another way to safeguard your precious data is to directly transfer your data from your old Mac to the new one. Note that the backup may take a lot of time, though you can employ our hack for speeding up the machine backup via terminal commands to speed up the process.

While a backup is unavoidable during a total reset, everyone should incorporate this habit on a regular basis. Backing your devices saves your data from any unforeseen accidents. For instance, your Mac is lost, and while you are trying to recover it through Apple’s Find My Mac feature, you can remotely wipe your Mac to protect it as you already have an updated backup.

Deauthorize All Your Apple Services

With your Apple ID, you create an ecosystem; wherein all your Apple devices are interlinked. This may pose a threat to your and the new owner’s privacy, therefore, sign out from iTunes, iCloud, iMessage and all third party apps, whose licenses you have bought such as Photoshop.

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Further, do not forget to remove Mac from your trusted devices. Check out our complete guide on deauthorizing your Mac for detailed tutorials. Though optional, it will be wiser if you also unpair all your Bluetooth devices such as keyboards, mouse, speakers, or earphones.

To unpair your Bluetooth devices, go to the Apple logo symbol () and select System Preferences. Click on Bluetooth, as you hover over the devices, a cross (x) will appear next to the device’s name. Click on the cross to Remove, as the dialog window asks you to confirm.

Unpair Your Bluetooth Device in Mac

Not just for your Mac, similar steps should be taken for all Apple devices. Check out our exclusive guide for things you should surely do before selling your iPhone.

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How to Erase Your Old Mac Before Selling It

The best way to wipe your Mac before you sell it is to erase your hard drive and reinstall macOS. While there are third-party apps available on your Mac Apple Store, Mac offers a fairly easy way to restore the factory settings.

Before you move ahead, please ensure that the steps mentioned above have been taken care of.

Step #1. Restart your Mac and hold Command (⌘) + R, while the startup disc is waking up until you see the Apple logo.

Step#2. Mac will now boot into macOS Recover, select your preferred language from the given options.

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Step #3. Select Disk Utility from the options and click on Continue.

Step #4. Click on View from the menu bar and choose Show All Devices.

Step #5. Select the disk to erase from the sidebar; the default name for the startup disk is Macintosh HD.

Step #6. Click on the Erase button from the menu bar

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Step #7. Go to Format section of the dialogue window and select APFS or Mac OS Extended (Journaled) depending upon your drive’s format.

Step #8. If the Scheme option is available, select GUID Partition Map. Then click on Erase to start erasing.

Step #9. The process will take some time, once done click on the Disk Utility from the top left corner of the screen and select Quit Disk Utility from the drop-down menu.

How to Reinstall the Mac Operating System

After quitting you will be directed back to the Utility window, if not restart your Mac. Ensure that you are installing macOS via the Recovery Mode as you won’t require to enter your Apple ID for this method.

Note that you will require a steady internet connection for the installation. Choose Wi-Fi from the menu bar, if a connection is available.

Step #1. If you are restarting Mac, then press either of the key combinations mentioned below until the Apple logo shows up for the desired result.

  • Command (⌘) + R: This will install the latest macOS version that was installed on your Mac.
  • Option + Command (⌘) + R: This will upgrade to the latest macOS that is compatible with your Mac.
  • Shift + Option + Command (⌘) + R: This will install the original macOS that came with your device, or the closest version still available.

Step #2. When the utility window shows up, select Reinstall macOS or Reinstall OS X and click on Continue.

Step #3. Follow the onscreen instruction and select the disk you want when prompted.

Step #4. Click on Install and wait for the installation to complete. During the installation, Mac will restart several times.

It may show you a progress bar or the screen may remain empty for several minutes. Do not close the lid or put your Mac to sleep.

Step #5. Once complete, your Mac restarts to a setup assistant. Do not complete the setup to allow the new owner to complete the installation with their own information. Press Command (⌘) + Q to quit the assistant and click Shut Down.

That all folks!!

Signing off…

Whether you are selling, giving away, or trading in your Mac, protecting your data and personal details from going into someone else’s hand is crucial.

You might also like to read:

In case you face any issue while resetting your Mac, feel free to ping us for help either in the comment section or on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram page. For more such hacks and updates on Apple ecosystem download our iOS app.

Jignesh Padhiyarhttps://www.igeeksblog.com
Jignesh Padhiyar is the co-founder of iGeeksBlog.com who has a keen eye for news, rumors and all the unusual stuff that happens around Apple products. During his tight schedule, Jignesh finds some moments of respite to share side-splitting contents on social media.
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