How to Erase Everything on a Mac

Joel Mason

Mac, Tutorials

How to Erase Everything on a Mac

If you’re planning to sell your Mac or pass it on to someone else, it’s essential to erase all your personal data from the device. In this tutorial, we’ll guide you through the process of completely wiping your Mac clean.

But before we begin, make sure you have backed up any important files or data that you want to keep.

Step 1: Sign Out of iCloud and Other Services

Before erasing your Mac, sign out of all Apple services associated with your device. This includes iCloud, iTunes, and Messages. To do this:

  1. Open System Preferences.
  2. Click on Apple ID.
  3. Select iCloud in the sidebar.
  4. Uncheck all the checkboxes next to the listed apps and services.
  5. Repeat this process for iTunes and Messages as well.

Step 2: Deauthorize Your Computer from iTunes

If you have authorized your Mac for iTunes purchases, you should deauthorize it before wiping the device. Follow these steps:

  1. Open iTunes.
  2. In the menu bar, click on Account > Authorizations > Deauthorize This Computer.
  3. Enter your Apple ID and password when prompted.

Step 3: Restart in Recovery Mode

To erase everything on your Mac, you’ll need to restart it in Recovery Mode. Follow these instructions:

  1. Click on the Apple logo in the top-left corner of your screen.
  2. Select Restart.
  3. Hold down Command + R immediately after hearing the startup sound.
  4. Keep holding the keys until you see the Apple logo or a spinning globe.

Step 4: Erase Your Mac’s Hard Drive

Once you’re in Recovery Mode, it’s time to erase your Mac’s hard drive. Here’s how:

  1. In the macOS Utilities window, select Disk Utility and click Continue.
  2. In Disk Utility, select your Mac’s startup disk (usually named “Macintosh HD”) from the sidebar.
  3. Click on Erase in the toolbar at the top of the window.
    • Note: This step will permanently delete all data on your Mac’s hard drive. Make sure you have backed up anything important before proceeding.
  4. Choose a name and format for your disk, such as “Macintosh HD” and “APFS” respectively.
  5. Click on Erase to begin the process. This may take some time depending on your Mac’s storage capacity.

Step 5: Reinstall macOS

Once your Mac’s hard drive is erased, you need to reinstall macOS to complete the process. Follow these steps:

  1. In the macOS Utilities window, select Reinstall macOS and click Continue.
  2. Follow the on-screen instructions to reinstall macOS.

Final Thoughts

Congratulations! You have successfully erased everything on your Mac.

Your device is now ready to be sold or handed over to someone else without any of your personal data. Remember, it’s crucial to follow these steps carefully and ensure you have backed up any important files before erasing your Mac.

By following this guide, you can confidently wipe your Mac clean and protect your privacy. Good luck!

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