How to wipe a Mac computer, and reset it to its factory settings?

A factory reset will wipe your Mac computer, restoring its software to the state it was in when you first turned it on. That means that all your personal files and data will disappear. This is a good idea if all other troubleshooting has failed for your Mac, you’re trying to wipe out your private data, or if you’re selling or giving away your Mac to someone else.

Here’s how to factory reset your Mac, which will erase all your personal data, including a few tips in case it doesn’t work.

Before anything, if you don’t want to lose the files you have saved on your computer, you should back them up. You can do this through Time Machine, Apple’s official backup application, which will copy all your files onto an external drive. You can also backup onto iCloud, or manually move the files you want to save onto an external drive.

If you’re giving your computer away, also make sure that you’ve signed out of iTunes, iCloud, and iMessage — there’s a chance your Apple ID data will remain on the drive after you reset it, and you don’t want anyone gaining access to your account.

Once you’re ready to wipe your Mac, do the following:

  1. Turn your Mac computer off.
  2. Press the power button to turn it on, then immediately press and hold Command (⌘) + R. Keep holding it until you see either the Apple logo, or an animation of a spinning globe.
  3. After a few moments, the macOS Utilities window should appear — this is known as Recovery Mode.
  4. 4Select “Disk Utility” and click “Continue.”
  5. In the menu bar at the top of the screen, select View > Show All Devices.
  6. In Disk Utility’s sidebar, which displays all the currently installed disks and volumes, select the drive you want to erase. Although you can erase whatever you like, in most cases, it’s best to erase the whole disk — the tab highest up in the tree.
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  • 7.Click the “Erase” button at the top of the screen, and fill out the fields it opens:

Fill in a name for the disk. It’s a good idea to just copy the name that already exists, for clarity’s sake.
Choose the format. Disk Utility will choose a compatible format by default. If you’re erasing your disk before installing macOS High Sierra or later for the first time, will be using the disk with a Mac that isn’t using High Sierra or later, or are going to use the disk as a Time Machine backup, choose “Mac OS Extended (Journaled).”
If shown, choose the scheme. In almost all cases, you should choose GUID Partition Map.

8.Click “Erase.”

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9. It will take a few moments for the disk to erase. Once it’s done, click the Apple logo in the top-left corner of the screen, and click “Quit Disk Utility.”

At this point, if you’re just trying to erase your disk, you’re done. If you want to set things back up, however, you can navigate back to the macOS Utilities menu and select either:

  • “Restore From Time Machine Backup,” which will restore your files if you used Time Machine to back them up.
  • “Reinstall macOS,” which will install a new copy of macOS onto your system.
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