How to reset your Mac to factory settings

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    How to reset your Mac to factory settings

    If you want to sell your old Mac, you have do  delete all files from your computer. We will show you how to do that and how to restore your mac.

    Normally one does not waste  a thought towards giving his Mac to someone else. But if the beloved Mac is supposed to be sold, gifted or passed somewhere else, the question arises : How do I reset my Mac to factory settings? That is why our manual shows how to:

    •       Reset your Macbook / Macbook Pro / Macbook air or Desktop-Mac to factory settings

    •       Clone hard drives then completely clean the “original”

    Remove personal data and install a clean version of macOS

    Everyone that already has the knowledge and just needs a quick overview can find that here:

    1. Use an App like SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner to make a copy of the internal hard drive to an external hard drive. That way you always have access to all of your old data and the copy can be restored at any time – for example on a new Mac.

    2. Remove the link to your iTunes account (also, connections of third party apps that are connected to your Mac should be disbanded.For example Photoshop).

    3. Disable FileVault (if you are using it).

    4. Log out from iCloud.

    5. Restart your Mac in restore system mode (key combination command + R during boot)

    6. Use the hard drive program to delete your hard drive. Click on “Disk Utility > Continue”. Then choose your main hard drive and select “Erase”. Close the disk utility program afterwards.

    7. Click on “install macOS new” and “continue”. Follow the instructions to install new macOS.

    Here are the detailed instructions for all other users.

    Step 1: Clone your hard drive

    Bevor you erase all data from the hard drive of your Mac, you should make sure that they are safe in some other place. That means: clone it. That way  you can easily restore your “backup” at any time. This is best done with a special program like Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper. Additionally you will need an external hard drive. In the programs you simply select your internal hard drive as source, the external one as target destination and start the copying with “clone”.

    Clone your hard drive - how to restore your mac

    Eyes open: You should check this when buying a used MacBook

    Now it should be possible to boot from the external hard drive. In order to test this, restart your Mac and press the alt-key during boot. Use the arrow keys to select the external hard drive a source and confirm with enter. The cloned hard drive can be “cloned back” to the main drive if there is the need to do this.

    Step 2: Remove iTunes authorisations

    Remove iTunes authorisations - how to restore your mac

    Next you have to detach the connection of your Mac to your iTunes account. After all, you can have only five macOS devices connected to a single iTunes account – and you shouldn’t pass these authorizations to another person. Open iTunes and click “Account > Authorizations > De-authorize this computer…”. Fill out your Apple-ID, password and confirm your choice.

    Step 3: Deactivate FileVault
    Deactivate FileVault - how to restore your mac

    FileVault encrypts data on your hard drive and is especially important for users of mobile computers. Before taking steps towards a factory reset you have to disable the service, if you have activated it. You don’t have to worry about security since your data will be erased anyway. Open System Preferences and click “Security & Privacy > FileVault”. Check if FileVault is disabled for the hard drive. If not, simply click the little lock symbol in the lower left corner, enter your password and click unlock. Then click on “deactivate FileVault”.

    Spring cleaning: Clean your Mac and keep it that way

    Step 4: Deactivate iCloud

    Deactivate iCloud - how to restore your mac

    Open System Preferences, click iCloud and then “Sign Out”. To delete all private data, simply select “remove from Mac” at every single Pop-Up.

    Step 5: Restarting the Mac in Restore system

    Make sure you are connected to the internet because you will need an internet connection to install a new macOS. Then restart the Mac with “Apple > Restart…” and keep pressing the keys cmd and R at the same time during boot. A window with the tools of the restore system will appear. Optionally you can install the original system (installed at purchase), these and further options during the restoration are explained here.

    Step 6: Erasing the hard drive

    Erasing the hard drive - how to restore your mac

    Choose disk utility and click continue. Now select your main hard drive (usually with the name Macintosh HD) and click “Unmount”. Now you go over to “Erase” and select “Erase” to format your hard drive. Remember that this erasure will permanently remove all data from the hard drive – do not continue with this step unless you have saved all data that you want to keep! After the deletion, you can close the program.

    Tips & Hints: This way you sell your iOS devices without remorse

    New installation of macOS - how to restore your mac

    Step 7: New installation of macOS

    Now you select “install macOS” and follow the instructions on your screen. This way a fresh copy of macOS Sierra will be installed on your Mac. DO NOT enter your Apple-ID or password during installation; this step is for the future owner of the Mac. That’s it, read our other articles if you would like to know how to wipe a MacBook.

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