An Apple MacBook Air laptop computer, taken on November 25, 2020. (Photo by Phil Barker/Future Publishing via Getty Images)
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How To Factory Reset Your MacBook Before You Sell It
When you perform a factory reset to your MacBook, you essentially wipe the computer's drive clean so that it is restored to its fresh-out-of-the-box state. By doing this, you can give a new owner the opportunity to start with a clean slate — and more importantly — you can be sure that none of your data can be accessed by your MacBook's next owner.
For Intel-based Macs, Apple recommends that you back up your files with iCloud and sign out of your linked accounts. After you’ve signed out of iTunes, removed access to iMessages, disabled iCloud access, and unpaired Bluetooth hardware, you’re ready for the most important steps: wiping your hardware and resetting the NVRAM.
To erase and reinstall macOS, restart the MacBook, immediately press and hold Command + R, log in to your admin account, and click Disk Utility > Macintosh HD > Erase. To reset the NVRAM, restart the MacBook and press Option + Command + P + R for about 20 seconds once the device turns on. When this process is concluded, your MacBook will be factory reset.
MacBooks that feature Apple Silicon include the Erase Assistant tool, which will factory reset your computer. Before beginning, however, backup all of your files because the tool signs you out of Apple Services, unlinks the device from your profile on the Find My app, and erases everything from your volumes, such as your user accounts and their corresponding data.
To use Erase Assistant, select the Apple icon > System Preferences, then in the menu bar > System Preferences > Erase All Content and Settings. Log in to choose which data to remove, select Continue in the lower-right corner of the screen, and follow the steps on the screen. Once you’ve completed this process, your MacBook will be ready for a new owner.