Before You Restore Mac to Factory Settings, Get These Things Done

If you are planning to buy a new Mac device, then you must have thought of either selling or gifting your old Mac. But before you give away the device to someone else, you must factory reset Mac. Restoring the device to factory settings will give it a fresh start and it will wipe out the stored data completely so that nothing gets leaked or breached to the new user. If you have no or little knowledge about factory reset, then this article will enlighten you on why you should restore Mac to factory settings before handing it over to someone else.

It is but obvious that any user would delete his personal files, folders, photos, documents, etc. from the device before selling it off. But do you know that removing the folders and files is just partial cleaning? Remnants of your data remains hidden in the memory of the device and by using special tools, the data can be easily retrieved. If you are a security concerned individual and if you had stored sensitive data on your device, then you must factory reset Mac before handing it over to someone else. Once the device is out of your ownership, you will never know how good or bad ways the device will get used. Thus, from security perspective, it’s better to reset Mac to factory settings, so that no one can explore the data remnants of the device or retrieve the original data.

Things to Do Before Performing the Factory Restore

Before you learn how to restore Mac to factory settings, there are certain things that need to be taken care.


Creating the data backup is the key step to carry out before factory resetting the device. Once you restore the device to its factory settings, all the stored data will get permanently removed and then it’s impossible to retrieve the data, without the aid of special tools. Thus, you must create the backup so that no important data gets mistakenly deleted. Moreover, you anyways had to create the data backup because you have to sift your old data into your new device. To backup the data, you can make use of Time Machine or a system cloning tool.

Disable Linked Apple Services

The next step is to disable all the accounts and services linked with your Mac. There are ranges of Apple services that are exclusively machine-specific. You can run these services only on limited number of Apple devices that too after registering the device with your Apple ID. For instance, iTunes is one such service. So if have linked your Mac to any such Apple service and if you sell the device without deauthorizing the device, then in a way you are reducing your count of permitted devices for that service.

Remove Any Third-Party Hardware

Over the years, you might have upgraded your Mac system by installing third-party hardware such as PCI Express cards, etc. You better remove the third-party hardware program add-ons, or you must quote a separate price for these.

How to Restore Mac to Factory Settings?

Once you comply with the entire prerequisites mentioned above, then you can factory reset Mac. The step-by-step tutorial is as follows:

• Turn off the Mac system
• Then boot it back
• Simultaneously, press and hold “Command” and “R” keys
• Keep pressing the keys until the Apple logo comes on the screen
• Once the logo appears, release the keys
• That will open the ‘Mac OS X Utilities’ menu
• Next, select ‘Wi-Fi’ from the Utilities menu
• Search for your router and then enter your Wi-Fi username and password to connect to the Internet
• Next, choose either ‘Internet Recovery’ or ‘OS X Recovery.’
• Then, the ‘Reinstall OS X’ option will pop up. Click on it.
• Feed your Apple username and password
• Then, your Mac will download the latest version of OS X
• Next, the hard drive will get automatically formatted, and Mac OS X will get replaced by the new downloaded Mac OS X
• Once the formatting gets finished, the Mac will restore to factory settings
• After the reinstallation process gets complete, restart your computer.


Once you reboot computer to factory settings, you will find that your old Mac will have a completely clean and new operating system. There will be no traces your earlier data, folder, files, applications, software, etc. It is similar to a freshly bought Mac system that contains no data on its memory. Thereby, your old Mac is now ready to get sold.