How To Factory Reset Your Mac Computer With macOS Utility

Timothy Iyekowa
Timothy Iyekowa - Writer & Editor
9 Min Read
Hands on a Macbook/Pixabay
Hands on a Macbook/Pixabay

Factory resetting your Mac computer will erase all your data from the hard drive, as well as your preferences and customized settings.

You can fix several technical issues by restoring a Mac to its factory settings, and it’s also something you should do before selling your Mac or giving it out to someone.

You will protect your data and allow the new owner to personalize the device.

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 after you reset it, and you don’t want anyone gaining access to your account.

Our simple step-by-step guide will help you to erase your MacBook and restore factory settings before selling it, everything on your Mac hard drive.

Note that before restoring your Mac computer to default settings make sure you have back up your important information, if you don’t they will be no way for you to get it back.

If you haven’t backup yet here is how you can backup your data before factory resetting your Mac computer.

Read Also: How to factory reset an iPhone or iPad

Back Up Your Mac Computer

Backing up a Mac computer is easy, you just got to back up what’s you need. Like the important document, videos, and other files.

They’re two ways for you to back your files; either by saving the files externally or by using iCloud.

ALSO READ: How To Take Screenshot On Mac (Use This Shortcuts)

Back Up Your Mac With Time Machine

To back up your files with your external hard drive it is easy with Time machine, if you know how to do this before you can skip and start the process of restoring your Mac to default settings.

You can back up your Mac files to your external storage device. See the list of external devices supported by Time Machine.

If you already have an external hard disk drive connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your Mac computer. Select your storage device as the backup disk.

Step 1: Open Time Machine

Open Time Machine preferences from the Time Machine menu in the menu bar, or choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Time Machine.

Step 2: Select Backup Disk

Click Select Backup Disk and select the drive you want to use for backup.

Apple Time Machine/Apple

ALSO READ: Is 4GB RAM Enough For MacBook Air/Pro? See This Before Any Purchase

Sign Out Of Your MacBook

After you have successfully backup your data and files it is time for you to sign out. And of course, you’re not only signing out of iCloud but other accounts as well.

If you have any linked accounts with your Mac, now is the right time to remove them.

Here’s how you can sign out your iCloud account from your Mac computer.

Step 1: Tap On The Apple Icon

Click the Apple logo in the top left corner of your Mac’s screen and select System Preferences and click on iCloud in the preference pane.

Step 2: Uncheck Boxes

Uncheck all the boxes in the list to remove copies of the related data on your Mac. Click Sign Out.

Read Also: How to backup your iPhone and iPad

How To Factory Reset Your Mac With macOS Utility

To avoid a low power outage in your computer, plug in your power adapter and begin the process of erasing your Mac.

Make sure your Mac is connected to the internet because that’s what you will use to reinstall Mac OS, Apple allows you to download the OS from their server.

Step 1: Tap Apple Logo

Click on the Apple logo in the top-left corner of your Mac computer screen and select Restart on the drop-down menu to begin the process.

Step 2: Pres Command Key + R

Before your Mac fully restart, quickly press the Command key + R together and keep it on hold until your Mac shows an Apple logo, a spinning globe, or another startup screen. After this, it’ll take you to macOS Recovery mode, Disk Utility.

Step 3: Enter Password

On the page, enter your password as prompted, and the macOS utility pop-up will appear on your screen. Then click on Disk Utility on the list and click Continue.

Mac Disk Utility
Mac Disk Utility/Apple

Step 4: Delete Data Drive

On the next page you will see your Mac’s startup disk is listed on the left, typically named “Macintosh HD” by default unless of course, you renamed it. Another drive is also listed named “Macintosh HD — Data.

Don’t worry about the Macintosh HD — Data if you don’t have a Data drive. And if you have select the ‘Macintosh HD — Data drive’ then click the Minus button in the Disk Utility toolbar. A new window will appear, now click ‘Delete‘ to confirm. Delete other Data drives if you have any.

Step 5: Select Macintosh HD

After deleting other Data drives, make sure you don’t delete Macintosh HD. On Mac’s startup disk select Macintosh HD and click on the Erase button. Choose a name or leave Macintosh HD at default and select a format. Click Erase and follow the prompt.

Erasing a Mac computer
Erasing a Mac computer/Apple

Read Also: How to restore backup to an iPhone or iPad

Reinstalling The Mac Operating System

After your Mac computer is successfully factory reset, close the Disk Utility window and you will be returned to the macOS utility windows, where you will reinstall the mac operating system.

Your computer will require an internet connection so it can retrieve new settings from the Apple server and enable you to install macOS.

Step 1: Reinstall macOS

On the macOS utility window, click on the Reinstall macOS option on the utility list and click on Continue to proceed.

Step 2: Enter Your Password

Follow the onscreen step for a few confirmations. And enter your password to complete the installation process.

Installing macOS from the web is only available on the newer version of macOS. While this is only available for the newer version, the older version can’t.

You can only use the original macOS installation disc to install macOS settings on your computer.

After your macOS installation is complete, you can then set it up with the setup assistant. Or you can leave it that way if you’re giving it out or selling it.

According to the article about Mac fan troubles, reinstalling macOS should also help with the fan noise issues as it deletes unnecessary system junk and gets rid of redundant background processes. You can consider this as an additional benefit

To leave the setup assistant, hold down the Command key + Q to close the setup assistant, then click Shut Down. When anyone turned on the Mac, the setup assistant will be waiting.

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By Timothy Iyekowa Writer & Editor
As a seasoned content writer with 4+ years of experience in consumer technology, Timothy has been a dedicated author and editor at since its inception. Specializing in addressing user concerns, his articles offer effective solutions for Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac-related issues. Timothy's expertise also extends to crafting content about social media and various applications. Through his daily articles, he consistently aids users in overcoming their technology challenges.
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