How to Wipe a Mac Computer

Charlotte Daniels

Mac, Tutorials

Wiping a Mac computer is an essential task when you want to sell or give away your device, or if you simply want to start fresh with a clean slate. In this tutorial, we will guide you through the process of wiping your Mac computer and ensuring that all your personal data is securely erased. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Back up Your Data

Before wiping your Mac, it’s crucial to back up all your important files and data. This ensures that you don’t lose any valuable information during the process. You can back up your files using iCloud, Time Machine, or by manually copying them to an external storage device.

Step 2: Sign Out of iCloud

In order to unlink your Mac from your Apple ID, it’s important to sign out of iCloud. Open the Apple menu and select “System Preferences.”

Then click on “Apple ID” and select “Overview” from the sidebar. Finally, click on “Sign Out” and follow the prompts to complete the sign-out process.

Step 3: Deauthorize Your Computer

If you have authorized your Mac for iTunes Store purchases, make sure to deauthorize it before wiping. Open iTunes and go to “Account” in the menu bar.

From there, select “Authorizations” and click on “Deauthorize This Computer.” Enter your Apple ID credentials when prompted.

Step 4: Restart in Recovery Mode

To wipe your Mac’s hard drive, you need to restart it in Recovery Mode. Restart your Mac and hold down the Command (⌘) + R keys until the Apple logo appears. This will boot your Mac into Recovery Mode.


If you have a firmware password set on your Mac, you will need to enter it before the Recovery Mode utilities appear.

Step 5: Erase Your Hard Drive

In Recovery Mode, select “Disk Utility” and click on “Continue.” You will see a list of available drives on the left-hand side. Select your Mac’s main hard drive and click on the “Erase” button at the top of the window.

Note: Erasing your hard drive will permanently delete all data stored on it. Make sure you have backed up all important files before proceeding.

Choose a name for your erased hard drive and select a format (usually “APFS” or “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)”). Finally, click on “Erase” to wipe your Mac’s hard drive.

Step 6: Reinstall macOS

After erasing your hard drive, close Disk Utility to return to the Recovery Mode utilities screen. From there, select “Reinstall macOS” and follow the prompts to reinstall the operating system on your Mac. This process may take some time, so be patient.

Step 7: Set Up Your Mac

Once macOS is reinstalled, your Mac will restart and guide you through the initial setup process. Follow the on-screen instructions to choose your language, set up Wi-Fi, create a user account, and customize other preferences according to your needs.


If you’re selling or giving away your Mac, you can choose not to sign in with an Apple ID during the setup process. This allows the new owner to set up their own Apple ID.

Congratulations! You’ve Successfully Wiped Your Mac

You have now wiped your Mac computer and ensured that all your personal data has been securely erased.

Your Mac is ready to be sold, given away, or used with a fresh start. Remember to keep your backup files safe, and enjoy your clean and secure Mac experience!

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