Written by Lisanne

How do I return Apple Macbook to factory settings?

Are you planning to sell your MacBook or give it away for free? In that case, it's important to remove all personal data and erasing the hard drive. On this page, I'll explain how to reset your MacBook to factory settings.

1. Log out of iTunes

In order to not give the next buyer access to my material from the iTunes Store, iBooks Store, or App Store, I'll log out of iTunes. I'll do this as follows:

  • I open iTunes.
  • In the bar at the top of my screen, I click the Account option.
  • I click Authorizations.
  • I click Deauthorize this computer.
  • I enter my Apple ID and password.
  • I select Deauthorize.

2. Log out of iCloud

To turn off features such as Find my Mac, log out at iCloud. I do this:

  • I click on the Apple logo at the top left of my screen.
  • I click * System Preferences *.
  • I click * iCloud *.
  • I tick the option * Search my Mac *.
  • I enter my Apple ID password.
  • Finally click on * Log off *.

3. Log out of iMessage

If you're using the OSX Mountain Lion operating system or a later version, you should log out of iMessage. I'll do this as follows:

  • I open the Messaging app (the blue speech bubble with the three dots).
  • In the bar at the top of my screen, I click the Messaging option.
  • I click Preferences.
  • I click Accounts.
  • I click Log out.

4. Boot via macOS Recovery

Now it's time to boot up MacBook in 'Recovery mode'. I'll do this as follows:

  • At the top left of my screen, I click the Apple logo.
  • I click Restart.
  • I press the Command key and the R key together and hold them until I see the Apple logo appear on my screen.

5. Erase the boot drive

In order to remove all my data from my MacBook, I'll erase the hard drive. I'll do this as follows:

  • I select Disk Utility and click Continue.
  • In the column on the left of the window, I see the names of several disks. I select the boot disk. As soon as I select the right disk, the Erase button at the top of the window becomes clickable.
  • I click the Erase button.
  • I fill out the following fields:
  • Name: enter a name for the drive.
  • Format: select Mac OS Extended (Journaled)
  • Scheme (if available): select GUID partition map
  • I click Erase.
  • Once the disk has been erased, I exit the Disk Utility.

6. Delete firmware password

Did you use a firmware password to give your MacBook boot protection, just like I did? In that case, you'll need to delete that as well.

  • While MacBook boots, I press and hold the Command and R keys. In the window that appears, I click Utilities, then Firmware Password Utility.
  • I click Disable firmware password and enter the password one final time. The firmware password has now been disabled.

7. Reinstall macOS

After completing step 6, I'm back in the macOS Recovery menu. I'll now reinstall macOS:

  • I click Reinstall macOS, then click Continue.
  • I select a boot disk in the column on the left, then click Install.
  • Once installation is completed, I restart MacBook.

8. Turn off MacBook

After MacBook restarts, I'm shown the configuration assistant. MacBook is now ready to be set up again or by the next user. I press the Command and Q keys together in order to exit the configuration assistant, then click Shut down.

MacBook is now completely empty!


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