How to Factory Reset your Mac and Sell it 2022

How to Factory Reset your Mac and Sell it 2022

If you are looking for ways to fully factory reset your Mac, you've come to the right place. In this article, I am gong to show you how completely wipe up your Mac to the point you can sell it.

Unfortunately, getting a Mac is a big investment for most of us, especially with the current situation at this moment. Getting a Mac you will most likely end up investing more than 1 grand. Sometimes even two grand if you're looking to buy the more powerful one.

Regardless, your Mac will most likely have one of the latest Mac OS installed, which is where we are going to focus on this guide. Please, keep in mind that if you have a slightly older version, this guide will still work perfectly. A few steps may be slightly different though.

What do I need?

  • Your Mac
  • An External Hard Drive to backup all of your data.
  • Internet Connection
  • Charging Cable. If you have a MacBook, make sure it's connected in the power source (charger) throughout the whole process.

Note: Initially, you will need to make sure you're absolutely sure that you would like to do this. TechLunar recommends you to backup all your data before factory resetting it. That way you get to keep a copy of your data and access them at any time. Thanks to the Mac OS ecosystem, it's very easy to restore your Mac backup on a different Mac.

In order to backup your data, you will need an external hard drive to achieve this process. If you are not sure how to buy one or which one to pick, we have written a full, in-depth article on how to choose an external storage device for this purpose.

So, how do I factory reset my Mac?

We are going to split this guidance into 3 parts. The preparationwipe out hard drive, and latest Mac OS installation. While we are not going to go into details on how to follow the Mac OS installation process after we finish with the factory reset process, given that if you need to sell your Mac, it's best to leave it on the installation screen so the next person who gets it, will follow the steps, according to their personal information.

While there are multiple steps in this process, we also have created a whole video on how to factory reset your Mac here:

The preparation

Before moving on to delete everything from the hard drive, we will need to disconnect the Mac from your Apple ID. 

De-authorize Mac from iTunes or Music

Depending on which Mac OS you have, you will need to deauthorize your Mac from either Music or iTunes. Here's how to do it.

  1. Launch the Music app.
  2. Go to Accounts (top menu bar), then Authorizations, then De-authorize This Computer...
  3. Enter your Apple ID email and password if asked, then hit De-authorize.

After this, your Mac should no longer be authorized to your computer. Keep in mind that you can only authorize up to 5 computers with your Apple ID account.

Disconnect Apple ID from Mac

If you are going to sell your Mac, disconnecting your Apple ID from your Mac is a crucial step.

  1. Open System Preferences.
  2. Select Apple ID.
  3. From the bottom of the window, click on Sign Out... .
  4. If you're selling your Mac make sure to NOT keep a copy of your data. Make sure to deselect all checkboxes before proceeding.
  5. Enter your Apple ID password if needed to turn off Fine my Mac.
  6. Wait until you are fully logged out from your Apple ID. 

Please, keep in mind that iCloud will be also disconnected from your Mac. Remember that data from iCloud will NOT be deleted.

Sign Out from Messages on Mac

For most users, Messages may be connected to your iPhone. Here's how to sign out from your iMessages.

  1. Open Messages.
  2. Go to Messages form the top menu bar and select Preferences... .
  3. Select the iMessage tab.
  4. Click on Sign Out, to sign out from Messages.
  5. Confirm Sign Out.

If your Messages are stored with iCloud, they will not be deleted from your iCloud storage.

Sign Out from FaceTime on Mac

Same as Messages, FaceTime should also be connected with your iPhone. Here's how to sign out.

  1. Open FaceTime.
  2. Go to Messages form the top menu bar and select Preferences... .
  3. Select the Settings tab.
  4. Click on Sign Out, to sign out from FaceTime.
  5. Confirm Sign Out.

If your FaceTime calls and contacts are connected to your iCloud, they will not be deleted from your iCloud.

Sign Out from all your emails on Mac

If you have connected emails to your Mac, then it would be a good idea to disconnected them from your Mac. Here's how...

  1. Open System Preferences.
  2. Select Internet Accounts.
  3. Select one Email Account and click on the minus '-' button on the bottom.
  4. Confirm with signing out.
  5. Repeat until you have disconnected all your email accounts.

When it comes to your email accounts, some email providers will remember the device connected. If you completely disconnect them from your Mac, will allow your email provider to forget your Mac.

Now that we have finished with disconnecting all your accounts from your Mac, it's time to proceed to the next step and backup all of your data.

Backup your Data

Before wiping out your data, it's vital to backup your data from your Mac to keep a copy of them. The best way to do this is by using Apple's Time Machine. All you will need is an empty external storage device (either HDD or SSD) with enough storage to get this done. Make sure your external storage device has enough space to store all of your data from your Mac. Aim your external hard drive to have at least twice the amount of your total storage on your Mac.

Depending on the external device you will order (or already have), you may need an USB adaptor to connect to your Mac depending on what ports your Mac has. If your Mac has only USB-C ports and your External Storage device uses a USB port, then you will need to use an adaptor to connect it.

Please, keep in mind that you need make sure that you external hard drive is empty. If you have data in it, then all of your data may be deleted, so your external hard drive becomes a backup disk for Time Machine.

Here's a quick guidance on how to backup your Mac with Time Machine.

  1. Get an External Storage device. We recommend you get an SSD. If you don't have one laying around, feel free to have a look at our top SSD choices.
  2. Connect your External Storage device to our Mac. You may need to use a USB to USB-C adaptor for this.
  3. Open System Preferences.
  4. Select Time Machine.
  5. Click on Select Backup Disk... .
  6. Choose your connected external had drive as your backup disk.
  7. The backup should start within 2 minutes. Wait until it finishes.

The time needed for the backup to finish will depend on the amount of data you have on your Mac and the type of external storage device. If you have an SSD, it will take much longer for the backup to finish than with an HDD.

Wipe off your Mac Hard Drive

Now that you have made a backup, we are ready to fully delete everything from your Mac. To do this, we will need to access Recovery Mode. Here's how to do this.

  1. Shut Down your Mac completely.
  2. Turn it on again and hold down the command (cmd) and keys from your keyboard.
  3. Keep holding the keys until you see a Recovery loading screen.
  4. Wait until Recovery Mode has been loaded.

While in Recovery Mode, you have several options. What we need is to select Disk Utility. Disk Utility is what will allow us to fully reset our Mac back to its factory settings.

  1. Launch Disk Utility.
  2. Under Internal on the left side, select SSD or equivalent.
  3. Click on the Erase button mid-left of the window.
  4. On the popup, press Erase, to confirm.
  5. Wait until the erasing process is done.
  6. Exit Disk Utility.

Keep in mind that this process is irreversible, so after this, all of your data will be deleted. You don't have to worry about it if you have made a backup as discussed on the previous step. If you have any other partitions, such as Windows BootCamp, make sure to delete those too by selecting the hard drive option below Internal and clicking on the minus '-' button and confirm on the popup window.

Once the reset process is done, you have completed wiping out your data. There's only one last step you need to follow and that's to re-install the OS.

Re-install Mac OS on your Mac

After wiping off all of your data, it's time to begin re-installing the OS back to your Mac. Keep in mind that installing Mac OS from Recovery Mode, the latest available Mac OS will be downloaded and installed for your machine. If you have an older Mac computer, then the latest supported OS will be installed.

  1. Click on Reinstall Mac OS Big Sur.
  2. Press on Continue (again).
  3. Agree with the terms.
  4. Choose your internal hard drive and continue.
  5. Wait until the OS is installed to your Hard Drive.
  6. You should be prompt to the setup screen.

After the OS is downloaded and installed on your Mac, it's time to set it up by going through the process of the setup screen. If you are looking to sell your Mac computer to someone else, then there's no need to complete the setup screen and just leave it as it is. 


Great! Now you have fully restored your Mac to its factory settings and you're ready to sell it to someone else. Feel free to take some good photos of it and list it on eBay, or any other alternative to sell it with the least amount of fees possible.

If you have any questions regarding the process, why don't you let us know in the comments section below? I will make sure to answer your queries the soonest possible. 

Finally, if you enjoyed this article, why don't you share it to your friends and let me know of any ways where this article could've been improved? Just let me know your thoughts below!

In the meantime, I hope you stay safe and healthy!

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Sobre el autor

George K.

Admin of TechLunar




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