How to erase and restore your Mac to factory settings

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Whether you’re looking to waste your Mac aliases reset it owed to an intractable package problem, restoring your Mac to mill settings is simply a bully measurement to pine it up, clear disconnected your individual information, and hole immoderate lingering problems.

Doing truthful will erase immoderate contented you’ve stored connected it, truthful it’s captious you travel our guideline and back up your Mac earlier getting started. That tin prevention you a bunch of headaches down nan line.

The method you usage to reconstruct your Mac to mill settings depends connected nan type of macOS you are moving and whether it has an Apple silicon spot aliases an Intel one. Our first conception beneath will screen Macs moving nan latest type of macOS connected an Apple silicon chip. After that, we’ll move to older Macs that usage Intel chips. If you’re not judge astir these details, prime nan Apple logo successful nan top-left area of your screen, past take About This Mac. That will database nan spot and macOS type for you.

Apple's 15-inch MacBook Air connected a desk, pinch macOS Sonoma moving connected its display. Apple

Erase and reset your Apple silicon Mac

Erasing your Mac’s files and settings is simply a captious portion of restoring it to mill settings. Fortunately, this is simply a batch easier than it utilized to be, and Apple has put immoderate dedicated settings successful spot to make this process arsenic elemental arsenic it tin be.

Step 1: Open nan System Settings app from your Mac’s Dock, aliases by selecting nan Apple logo successful nan top-left area of your surface and choosing System Settings.

Step 2: In nan System Settings app, prime General > Transfer aliases Reset. Now prime nan Erase All Content and Settings button.

Step 3: This opens Apple’s Erase Assistant app. You mightiness request to participate your Mac account’s password to spell immoderate further. Do that and take Unlock.

Step 4: Erase Assistant will show you what information will beryllium removed erstwhile you erase your Mac. This will see immoderate personification accounts, fingerprints utilized successful Touch ID, your Apple ID settings, and devices for illustration Find My, Activation Lock and Location Sharing. Any Bluetooth accessories you’ve paired to your instrumentality will besides beryllium unpaired.

Step 5: Once you’ve reviewed this information, prime Continue. You mightiness beryllium asked to participate your Apple ID password truthful that you tin beryllium signed retired of your account. This signs you retired of different apps and services for illustration Apple TV, Apple Music, Find My, nan App Store, and more, truthful there’s nary request to do those separately.

Step 6: You’ll now beryllium asked if you want to backmost up your Mac to Time Machine. This is highly recommended truthful that you tin reconstruct your Mac if you alteration your mind aliases if thing goes wrong. Make judge you person an outer difficult thrust connected to your Mac truthful that you tin backmost up your files.

Step 7: Once everything has finished, your Mac will pass you that continuing will erase everything connected your Mac. If you’re each set, prime nan reddish Erase All Content & Settings button.

An action successful macOS giving a personification nan prime to erase each contented and settings connected their Mac. Apple

Step 8: Your Mac will now restart and commencement restoring itself to mill settings. You mightiness beryllium asked to brace a Bluetooth accessory that you were utilizing again (if it doesn’t link wrong 30 seconds, effort turning it off, past connected again). Your Mac whitethorn besides inquire you to link to a Wi-Fi network. You tin skip nan Bluetooth pairing measurement if you want to waste your Mac aft it has been reset.

Step 9: When that has finished, you should spot a surface saying Activate Mac astatine nan top. Underneath is simply a confirmation that your Mac has been activated. Select Restart.

Step 10: Once your Mac has restarted, you’ll beryllium presented pinch an adjunct that will return you done nan process of mounting up your Mac from scratch (such arsenic choosing settings for location and analytics). If you scheme to waste your Mac, you should skip this process by pressing and holding nan powerfulness fastener until your Mac turns off. Otherwise, proceed done pinch nan adjunct until nan end.

MacOS Mojave 10.14 Image utilized pinch support by copyright holder

How to erase and reset an older Mac

On immoderate Macs, you mightiness not spot nan Erase All Content & Settings action successful System Settings. That’s because this characteristic requires macOS Monterey aliases later, arsenic good arsenic either a Mac pinch an Apple silicon spot aliases pinch a T2 Security Chip. Apple has a database of Macs that travel pinch nan T2 spot on its website.

If you are moving an older type of macOS aliases usage a Mac that doesn’t person a T2 Security Chip, you’ll request to travel nan instructions below.

Step 1: First, travel our guideline to backing up your Mac to an outer difficult drive.

Step 2: You’ll now request to motion retired of immoderate Apple services that you’re utilizing connected your Mac. In iTunes, spell to nan paper barroom and prime Account > Authorizations > Deauthorize This Computer. For your iCloud account, unfastened System Settings aliases System Preferences and spell to Apple ID > Sign Out (in older versions of macOS, Apple ID mightiness alternatively opportunity iCloud). Finally, unfastened Messages and, successful nan paper bar, prime Messages > Settings (or Preferences). Select iMessage, past Sign Out.

Step 3: Optionally, you tin unpair immoderate Bluetooth devices by going to System Settings (or System Preferences) and choosing Bluetooth successful nan left-hand sidebar. Move nan rodent pointer complete nan instrumentality you want to disconnect, past prime nan Disconnect aliases X fastener adjacent to its name. Note that you’ll request to plug successful a USB rodent aliases keyboard if your Mac doesn’t person built-in power methods (such arsenic if you’re utilizing a Mac mini).

Step 4: It’s now clip to erase your Mac. Shut it down, past move it connected and instantly property Command+R. This opens nan macOS Recovery app. From here, prime Disk Utility > Continue. Choose Macintosh HD (or immoderate you’ve named your main drive) successful nan sidebar and prime Erase. Leave nan Name and Format options arsenic they are and prime Erase. You mightiness request to participate your Apple ID password. When you’re done, adjacent Disk Utility to return to nan macOS Recovery app.

Apple's Disk Utility app showing an action to erase nan Macintosh HD drive. Apple

Step 5: Now that your Mac has been erased, you’ll request to reinstall macOS. In nan macOS Recovery main menu, prime Reinstall macOS > Continue. You mightiness beryllium asked to participate your password and whether you want to instal macOS connected nan Macintosh HD aliases Macintosh HD. If so, prime Macintosh HD. Your Mac mightiness restart a fewer times during nan reinstallation process -- conscionable fto it transportation connected until it’s vanished and don’t unopen down your Mac aliases adjacent its lid. When nan process has finished, a setup adjunct will open. If you want to waste your Mac, adjacent nan adjunct and unopen down your Mac.

Step 6: If your Mac uses an Intel processor, nan last measurement is to reset its NVRAM, which restores various settings to their mill defaults (Apple silicon Mac owners scan skip this step). Shut down your Mac, past move it connected and instantly clasp nan pursuing cardinal operation for astir 20 seconds: Option+Command+P+R. During this time, your Mac mightiness look to restart erstwhile aliases doubly (you mightiness perceive nan startup chime aliases spot nan Apple logo, for example). Once you fto go, your Mac should load to nan login screen. Its NVRAM has been reset.

A personification repairing a MacBook utilizing Apple's self-service repair kit. Apple

What astir your AppleCare plan?

Resetting your Mac to mill settings is simply a must if you intend to waste it. We’ve already covered astir of nan important tasks, and whether you person an Apple silicon Mac aliases 1 pinch an Intel chip, nan erstwhile steps guarantee you’re signed retired of your accounts and that your information is safely removed.

However, if you person an AppleCare plan, you’ll request to activity retired what you want to do pinch it. If you’re not readying connected getting different Mac, you tin cancel it entirely. Alternatively, you tin transportation it to your caller Mac if you prefer.

In either case, you’ll request to interaction Apple support. Make judge you person your AppleCare statement number, impervious of coverage, your Mac’s serial number and nan original receipt connected hand. Apple’s support squad will past beryllium capable to benignant retired your sum for you.

Restoring your Mac to mill settings involves a fewer steps, but it needn’t beryllium overly complicated, particularly if you tin usage Apple’s Erase All Content and Settings feature. But nan mini magnitude of effort it requires is easy worthy it considering really it tin protect your backstage information and perchance hole persistent problems your Mac is suffering from. Once you’re finished, your Mac will beryllium caller and fresh for immoderate comes next.

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