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How to reset a Mac before selling it or giving it away

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You might need to factory reset your Mac computer for many reasons. You might want to trade, sell, recycle, or give your Mac computer away. However, you don’t want any of your personal data being misused. Perhaps your Mac is acting slow lately, and you want it to work like new. This article will show you how to restore your Mac to factory settings in two different ways.

How to Reset Your Mac

You should backup all important files before you reset your Mac. Next, you will need to deauthorize iTunes and Music and log out from iCloud and Messages. Resetting your PRAM (or NVRAM), and unpairing your Bluetooth devices are also recommended.

  • Resetting a Mac to factory settings will wipe all of your files, apps, and settings. It is crucial that all-important data be backed up on an external drive before you reset a Mac to factory settings. To learn more, check out our step-by-step guide on backing up your Mac using Time Machine.
  • Open iTunes or Music to deauthorize iTunes or Music. Click Account > Authorizations > deauthorize this computer from the menu bar. Enter your Apple ID, then click Deauthorize.
  • Click the Apple logo at the top-left corner and choose System Preferences to sign out of iCloud. Next, click Apple ID. If you don’t see it, click the red circle at the top-left corner and reopen the app. Next, click Overview in the left sidebar and select Sign Out.
  • Open the app and click Messages at the top of the screen to sign out of Messages. Next, click Preferences. Finally, click the iMessage tab. Next, choose the account that you wish to sign out and click Sign Out. Next, click Sign Out again in that dialog box. This is the same process for logging out from Facetime.
  • Go to System Preferences > Bluetooth to unpair Bluetooth devices. Next, right-click on the device that you wish to unpair or Control-click it and choose Remove from the popup menu.
  • For older Macs, you can reset the Parameter Random Access Memory or the Non Volatile Random Access Memory. This will erase user settings and restore security defaults. Shut down your computer to reset your PRAM/NVRAM. When you turn on the computer, hold the Command + Option + + P + + R keys simultaneously. After about 20 seconds, release the keys. If your Mac makes startup sounds, you should release the keys as soon as you hear it. If your Mac has the Apple T2 security chips, you can release the keys once the Apple logo appears twice.

How to Factory Reset a MacBook Using Recovery Mode

To reset your Mac, first, restart your computer. Hold down Command +R and wait until you see the Apple logo. Next, visit Disk Utility View Select the top drive. Next, click Erase. Fill out the details and hit Erase again. Next, close Disk Utility and then reinstall macOS.

  1. Restart your Mac. Restart your Mac by clicking on the Apple icon at the top-left corner. To avoid accidentally wiping out an external hard drive, unplug all devices except the keyboard and mouse.

Notice: To force restart your computer if it is frozen, press Control + Command + eject (or the power button).

  1. Hold down the Command + R keys and wait for the Apple logo to appear.

When you see the Apple logo, you can release the keys. You will enter Recovery Mode when the progress bar below the Apple logo has been completed. You can now erase your hard disk and reinstall macOS from this point.

  1. Next, select Disk Utility. Then select Continue.
  2. Click View in the Disk Utility window. Next, select Show All Devices. The View button will be located in the upper-left corner. Click it to open a drop-down menu. Select the drive you wish to delete. You will want to erase the entire disk. This is usually the highest option in the Internal list. This will allow you to delete all of your data and enable you to install macOS (Mac Operating System) on a new drive. This button is located at the top right of the Disk Utility window. Notice: The macOS version that came with your Mac is still available on a partition on your main hard drive. Even if your hard drive is wiped out, you can still reinstall macOS later.
  3. Next, type a name for the Mac and choose your format and scheme.
    1. Name You to have the option to choose any name, but it’s best to not use personal information. There’s a possibility that others may see your drive’s address if you’re connected to the same network.
    2. Format You can choose between APFS (Apple File System), or macOS Extended. Disk Utility will automatically display the compatible format. If you wish to double-check that the volume is formatted correctly, click on “Type” on the Internal tree. This is commonly known as Mac HD. You will see “Type” on the right. If your built-in disk was APFS-formatted you shouldn’t reformat it as Journaled. Journaled will be the default setting for most older computers, but APFS-formatted is standard for modern laptops with solid-state drives (SSDs).
    3. Scheme: If prompted, choose GUID Partition Map.
      Notably, this is the last step before your data is deleted. To back up data, click on the Apple logo at the top-right corner. Select Restart to go back to your desktop.
  4. Next, click Erase. This will appear in the bottom-right corner. Click Erase Volum Group instead. This is different than the Remove Volume Group option that you shouldn’t click.
  5. Wait for the disks to be erased, then click Finish. This process should take only a few seconds. Click Disk Utility.
  6. Next click Quit Disk Utility. Also, you can close Disk Utility by clicking on the red button in the top-left corner.
  7. Next, select Reinstall macOS then click Continue.
  8. Notice: Your data will be deleted if you stop the process right away. However, the next person who will handle the computer will not have any problems starting it up. If you want to make it easier for anyone you give your Mac computer to, then you need to reinstall macOS.
  9. Next, click Continue.
  10. Click Accept.
  11. Next, click Agree again.
  12. Then select your boot disk. The boot disk is your main drive. Don’t choose an external hard drive.
  13. Next, click Continue.
  14. Wait for the installation process to finish. This process can take up to several minutes depending on how fast your computer is and the speed of your internet connection.
  15. Your Mac will restart after the countdown is over. A countdown timer will start a new installation process. The installation may take several minutes.
  16. After the installation is completed, press the Command +Q keys on your keyboard simultaneously. When you see “Select Your Region” on the screen, you will know that the installation is completed. You can then turn off your Mac at this point so the next 
  17. user can finish the setup.
  18. Click Close.
  19. After you’re done, unplug or close your computer. If you give your Mac to someone else they can start the setup and enter their settings.
  20. You can find out how much you could earn from Apple’s trade program here if you are thinking of selling your Mac computer.
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