How To Factory Reset Macbook

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The other day I decided to upgrade my Macbook Air to a 16in Macbook Pro and I realized I had no idea how to factory rest my Macbook. This posed major problems…

How can I feel safe selling the air to a stranger?

How do I make certain all of my files are backed up and completely erased from the hard drive?

Perhaps you have the same question for the same reason. Or perhaps you want to erase and reset your MacBook for a fresh start and faster performance computer?

Either way, if you need to erase everything on your mac and reset it to factory settings (making the computer essentially brand new) then continue reading (or watch the vid provided above.)

How to factory reset your Macbook

What this tutorial will teach you how to do:

  1. Back up your files
  2. You will learn how to erase your entire hard drive using Disk Utility
  3. How to reinstall the Mac OS

Step 1: Back up your files

This might sound like common sense. It should be. However, it’s not a joke. You will not be able to access any files on your computer once you wipe your computer clean.

Go through your documents and personal folders and backup your files to an external hard drive, iCloud Drive, or cloud drive service of your choosing.

☝If you are signed into iCloud, FaceTime, and or iMessage. Sign out (Apple > System Preferences…)

Once you are absolutely certain you have backed up all of your valuable files proceed to the next step.

Step 2: Boot Mac to MacOS Utilities mode

Now that your files are backed up, you’ve signed out of all of your iCloud and Apple services. You can conquer your missing if wiping your Mac clean!

In order to do this we need to boot your computer into MacOS Utilities mode. Here is how to do this:

  1. Shut down your computer
  2. Hit the power button
  3. Quickly after hitting the power button, simultaneously hold down: Command + B

Your computer will now load this Mac Recovery screen.

Now sign into your account. This will lead you to the Mac Utilities application.

As you can see on this screen, you will perform all the tasks needed to wipe your mac and reinstall the MacOS. But first, on this screen, select Disk Utility (the last option).

Step 3: Erase Mac

Choose your drive on the “Internal” section — you should only have one to select (I have two for certain reasons). Once you select your drive:

  1. Click “Erase” button in the top center menu
  2. Format needs to be “APFTS”
  3. Click Erase

Once erased, exit out of the Disk Utility to get back to the main MacOS Utilities screen.

Step 4: Reinstall MacOS

Once you click on “Reinstall MacOS” from the options list in MacOS Utilities, you’ll need to select your hard drive for reinstall.

After you hit select and “Install” your computer will automatically reinstall the MacOS and bring your computer back to factory settings!

And that’s all! You’ve successfully erased your Mac’s hard drive clean, reinstalled the MacOS, and brought your computer all the way back to factory settings.

Feel free to enjoy your fresh Apple.

As always, if you have any questions or feedback we’d love to hear in the comment section below.

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Zack Gehin
Zack Gehin
Hi, I'm Zack! I created ZTMG! I nerd out about the future, crypto, nfts, sci-fi, AI, and all things tech. When I'm not designing software, working on bettering user experiences, and hiking with my dog, I am here writing. Feel free to follow me and say hi!

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