How to Reset Your Mac Before Selling or Giving It Away?

Posted on

Mac computers are not only a great working tool but also an excellent investment. MacBook, Mac mini or iMac usually work fine even a few years after the purchase. Moreover, they are supported by Apple for a long time and receive operating system updates.

In addition to this, good build quality and stylish design allow Mac computers to stay in price over a considerable period. So it’s fairly easy to exchange an old laptop or desktop for a new one with minimal expenses. And when this time comes, you need to know how to prepare your Mac for sale quickly and properly.

Reset your Mac

Why reset your device before the sale?

First of all, a new computer owner will always be more pleased to get a Mac with a clean system like from a store.

Secondly, it would be useful for you to delete the personal data prior to giving the device to another user.

Thirdly, after the system reset, and without unnecessary software and junk files, the device will operate much faster.

Finally, disconnecting from Apple services is required simply in order not to give access to your confidential information to strangers.

Before you give your Mac to another user, you must perform certain actions to reset the device. Those include creating a backup copy of the data, disabling Apple services, and also deleting information from the hard drive.

Step 1. Create a backup copy of your data.

To begin with, we recommend you to make sure you have a backup of all the important files. The easiest way is to use the built-in macOS backup function. For example, simply launch the Time Machine app and perform a backup to a removable drive or cloud storage.

Step 2. Log out of iTunes.

To prevent the new Mac owner from accessing your data, deauthorize the device by signing out of iTunes. For this, go to iTunes, then select Accounts, proceed to Authorizations and choose the ‘Deauthorize This Computer’ option in the menu bar at the top of the screen. When prompted, type in Apple ID credentials and select Deauthorize.

Thus, you restrict access to content purchased from the iTunes Store, iBooks Store, App Store or Mac App Store, such as music, movies, TV shows, programs, and books. You won’t lose any content, and nothing will be removed from the computer.

Step 3. Log out of iCloud.

Be sure to sign out of iCloud. If you are using the Find Mac feature or other iCloud options, we recommend backing up the device first or create copies of the iCloud data. After that, find the Apple menu, go to System Preferences, select iCloud, and then uncheck the Find Mac box.

Next, in the System Preferences window, select iCloud, and then click on Sign out. You will be prompted to delete the data from the computer. The content will be still stored on all other devices using the same Apple ID.

Step 4. Check if the computer is registered with Apple Support.

To do this, open supportprofile.apple.com using the Apple ID, locate the Mac you want to sell in the list, of devices and click the Remove Product button.

Step 5. Log out of iMessages.

For that, select Settings and then Accounts in the Messages app. Choose your iMessage account, and then click the Sign Out button.

Step 6. Erase the data and reinstall OS X.

After you empty the Trash folder on your Mac device, the files are not erased completely. In fact, only the references to certain files are wiped out of Mac’s file system for the computer to be able to rewrite new data. This gives a chance to restore accidentally deleted programs and files using various Mac data recovery software. That is why it is important to erase the hard drive to keep your information safe.

For that, you will need active Wi-Fi connection and an hour or two to spare. Then, just follow the instructions below:

  1. Reset your Mac and hold the keyboard combination Command+Option+R. It will boot the device to the Recovery mode. The Utilities menu will appear in a couple of minutes.
  2. Go to Disk Utility and choose Apple SSD (Internal storage disk).
  3. Click erase and choose the following options: MacintoshHD as the disk name, Mac OS Extended as the disk format and GUID Partition Map as the scheme.
  4. Once the disk is erased, you may proceed to OS installation. Make sure the device is connected to Wi-Fi, go to the Utilities menu and choose Reinstall MacOS. Then, just follow the provided instructions.
  5. When prompted, choose the disk you had erased.
  6. After the installation, your device will restart and show the Welcome screen.

Now you are completely ready to sell your device, and the new device user will get Mac just like out of the box. Good luck!