How to Reset a Mac Desktop

Alicia Santos

Mac, Tutorials

Resetting a Mac desktop can be useful in situations where your computer is not functioning properly or you simply want to start fresh. In this tutorial, we will guide you through the steps to reset your Mac desktop. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Back Up Your Data

Before proceeding with the reset, it is important to back up all your important files and data. This will ensure that you don’t lose any valuable information during the process.

Step 2: Restart Your Mac in Recovery Mode

To begin the reset process, you need to restart your Mac in recovery mode. Follow these steps:

  1. Shut down your Mac by clicking on the Apple menu and selecting Shut Down.
  2. Press and hold the Command (⌘) and R keys simultaneously as you turn on your Mac.
  3. Keep holding the keys until you see the Apple logo or a spinning globe.

Step 3: Access Disk Utility

Once you are in recovery mode, you will see a window with several options. Click on Disk Utility, then click Continue.

Step 4: Erase Your Hard Drive

In Disk Utility, select your main hard drive from the list on the left side of the window. It is usually named “Macintosh HD” or “Macintosh SSD”. Once selected, click on the Erase tab at the top of the window.

  1. Select the format for your hard drive. If you plan to reinstall macOS, choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled). If you want to completely wipe your hard drive, choose APFS.
  2. Give your hard drive a name.
  3. Finally, click on the Erase button to begin the erasing process.

Step 5: Reinstall macOS

After erasing your hard drive, close Disk Utility. You will be taken back to the recovery mode window. Now, click on Reinstall macOS, then click Continue.

Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the reinstallation process. This may take some time, so be patient.

Step 6: Restore Your Data and Settings (Optional)

If you backed up your data in Step 1, you can now restore it onto your Mac. During the setup process after reinstalling macOS, you will be given the option to restore from a Time Machine backup or another backup source. Simply follow the prompts and select your backup source.


You have successfully reset your Mac desktop. It is now ready for a fresh start with a clean installation of macOS. Enjoy exploring all the new possibilities!

Note: Resetting your Mac desktop will erase all data on your hard drive. Make sure you have backed up all important files before proceeding with these steps.

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