Mac Tip: Restore Mac to Factory Settings Before You Sell Your Old Mac

How to restore Mac to factory settings? It is the common question that many Mac OS X users ask before selling off or giving away their old Mac devices. For many years, when you use your Mac device, you tend to customize it with your personal data and settings. The software programs you install, the screen saver you put up, and everything else you install on your device, imprint your personal touch on that device. But when you decide to sell off your Macbook, you need to make the device free of your personal touch.

Benefits of Restoring Mac to Factory Settings

Factory restore is the technique that completely wipes out the system’s hard drive, removes all your personal data, and sets up the clean installation of Mac OS X. Restoring Mac to factory settings is imperative from two perspectives:

Confirms Ex-Users Data Safety: Firstly, factory restore ensures that all your personal data, files, images, software, etc., will get completely erased from the device’s hard drive. Thus, when you will be selling your Mac, you need not fear about mistakenly leaking out your personal data or information to the new owner of the device. Manual removing of the data doesn’t ensure the complete removal. You might miss out on some important files or folders that remain hidden somewhere in the system.

Transforms the Old Device to a New-Like Device:  Secondly, factory restore ensures that the new owner of your old Mac will get a just-out-of-box -like Mac device. Even those, who buy a second hand Mac, expect to experience a new-like Mac. It might seem impossible, but it is not if you reset Mac to factory settings. The process completely erases all that you had installed on your device over the years, and then it installs a fresh copy of Mac OS X. That makes the complete hard drive space available for the new user. Every settings and configuration get restored back to the default settings.  Also, the malware and viruses get deleted. Thus, internally the device becomes just similar to a newly-bought Mac.

How to Restore Mac to Factory Settings?

The process of factory reset includes three steps:

  • Preparing the Mac for Factory Reset
  • Resetting the hard drive
  • Installing a fresh copy of Mac OS X

Method1:  Prepare Your Mac for the Factory Reset

  • Connect to a high-speed Internet connection.
  • Now, download the latest copy of Mac OS X.
  • Now, use hard drive cloning device and clone your device’s internal hard drive to an external drive.  That will help you in creating the backup of all your old files and data.
  • Deauthorize your ‘iTunes’ store account.
  • Deauthorize your third-party apps, such as Photoshop.
  • If you are using the Mac’s hard drive encrypting tool ‘FileVault,’ then turn it off.
  • Sign out of ‘iCloud.’

Reset the Hard Drive

  • Turn off your device.
  • Restart the device.
  • As the system restarts, press the ‘Command’ and ‘R’ key together.
  • That will restart the Mac in the ‘Recovery Mode.’
  • Now, click on ‘Disk Utility.’
  • Click on ‘Continue.’
  • Now, select the main volume.
  • Then, click ‘Unmount,’ and then click on ‘Erase.’
  • Now, click on ‘Quit Disk Utility.’

Installing a Fresh Copy of Mac OS X

  • Again go to the ‘Disk Utility’ screen.
  • Now, click on ‘Reinstall OS X.’
  • Then, click on ‘Continue.’
  • Now, follow the wizard instructions to get the fresh copy of Mac OS X installed.


Once you reset Mac to factory settings, you have successfully deleted every bit of your personal data and information from your old Mac. Thus, your device is ready for the sale. Moreover, by restoring Mac to factory settings, you have internally transformed your old Mac to a brand new Mac. A factory restored Mac doesn’t carry any old file, data, software, configuration, and malware. It has a fresh copy of Mac OS X and only the default settings, system configuration, and software programs.

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