How to Delete a Mac

Alicia Santos

Mac, Tutorials

How to Delete a Mac

Deleting a Mac can be a daunting task, but with the right guidance and a little patience, it can be done efficiently. In this tutorial, we will walk you through the process of deleting your Mac step by step.

Whether you are planning to sell your Mac or simply want to start fresh, follow the instructions below to ensure a smooth deletion process.

Step 1: Backup Your Data

Before you proceed with deleting your Mac, it is crucial to backup all your important data. This will ensure that you don’t lose any valuable files during the deletion process.

You can use Time Machine or any other reliable backup method to create a backup of your data.

Step 2: Sign Out of iCloud and Other Services

To prevent any complications later on, make sure to sign out of iCloud and other services linked to your Mac. This includes services like iTunes, App Store, and Messages.

To sign out of iCloud, go to System Preferences > Apple ID > Overview tab and click on “Sign Out”.

Step 3: Deauthorize Your Apple ID

If you have authorized your Apple ID for apps like iTunes or Final Cut Pro, it is essential to deauthorize it before deleting your Mac. Open the respective app and navigate to Account > Authorizations > Deauthorize This Computer.

Step 4: Create a Bootable macOS Installer

To delete your Mac’s operating system (macOS), you need to create a bootable macOS installer on an external drive. Follow these steps:

  • Connect an external drive with sufficient storage capacity.
  • Download macOS from the App Store.
  • Open Disk Utility (Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility).
  • Select the external drive and click on “Erase”.

    Choose the format as “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)” and give it a name.

  • Once erased, open Terminal (Applications > Utilities > Terminal).
  • Type the command: sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Big\ –volume /Volumes/[YOUR DRIVE NAME]. Replace [YOUR DRIVE NAME] with the name of your external drive.
  • Press Enter and provide your admin password when prompted.
  • The bootable macOS installer will be created on your external drive.

Step 5: Boot from the External Drive

Now that you have a bootable macOS installer, you can boot your Mac from the external drive to delete its operating system. Follow these steps:

  • Restart your Mac and hold down the Option key.
  • Select the external drive with the bootable macOS installer from the startup manager.
  • Wait for your Mac to boot into the installer.

Step 6: Erase Your Mac’s Hard Drive

Once you are booted into the installer, it’s time to erase your Mac’s hard drive. Follow these steps:

  • In the macOS Utilities window, select “Disk Utility” and click on “Continue”.
  • Select your Mac’s internal hard drive from the sidebar.
  • Click on “Erase” at the top of the Disk Utility window.
  • Choose a format for your hard drive, such as APFS or Mac OS Extended (Journaled), and give it a name if desired.
  • Click on “Erase” to confirm.
  • Wait for the erase process to complete.

Step 7: Reinstall macOS

With your Mac’s hard drive erased, you can now reinstall macOS. Follow these steps:

  • In the macOS Utilities window, select “Reinstall macOS” and click on “Continue”.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to reinstall macOS on your Mac’s internal hard drive.
  • Wait for the reinstallation process to complete.

Step 8: Restore Your Data

After reinstalling macOS, you can restore your data from the backup you created in Step 1. You can use Time Machine or any other backup method you prefer to restore your files, apps, and settings.


Make sure to follow these steps carefully and double-check all actions before proceeding. Deleting a Mac will permanently erase all data on its hard drive.

If you are unsure about any step or have important data that needs to be recovered, it is recommended to consult an expert or Apple support.

Congratulations! You have successfully learned how to delete a Mac. By following these steps, you can confidently delete your Mac and prepare it for a new owner or a fresh start.

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