How to reset MacBook Air to Factory Settings

Macs are undoubtedly amazing machines that can be reliable for your daily works as well as entertainment purposes. But like other tech products, sometimes things can go wrong with the Macs, thus preventing them from working properly. These Mac model include MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac, and Mac Mini. In some cases, users can deal with these issues by themselves. The factory reset is one of the most popular troubleshooting methods for macOS. However, not all users know what a factory reset is and how to do it. So in this article, we will provide you a guide on how to reset MacBook Air to factory settings. 

What is Factory Reset and Why You Need It For Your MacBook Air?

‘Factory Reset’ means clearing ALL your Mac’s data and re-installing another copy of macOS on it. If your Mac is experiencing freezes, corrupted OS, auto close apps, battery drains, or network problems, a factory reset seems to be a good plan. It should be the last thing you try before spending big money on another Mac. 

In addition, if you are planning to trade, gift, or sell your MacBook, you’ll want to wipe your personal data from the device. Of course, you can use some specific software to do this, but a factory reset probably is the easiest way for you.

So now you know why you need to perform a factory reset on your  MacBook Air. It’s time for the actual steps on how to do it.

Steps To Do A Factory Reset on Your Mac

Note that this process is the same on all the recent macOS versions, including Big Sur, Catalina, Mojave, High Sierra, EI Capitan, and Yosemite

Step 1: Create A Backup

As mentioned, by executing a factory reset on your MacBook Air, you will erase all of its data. So if you want to continue using it afterward, you better make a backup of the important files. You can check out our detailed guide here to learn how to back up your Mac data in general.

reset MacBook Air to Factory Settings

Step 2: Restart Your Mac

Now you need to restart your computer. There are a couple of ways to do this. The most straightforward way is to hold down the power button until a dialog box appears, then choose the Restart option. Otherwise, you can access the Apple menu in the top-left corner of the screen and select Restart.

reset MacBook Air to Factory Settings

In the case that your MacBook Air is frozen, you can force restart it via the key combination of Control + Command + Power button.

Step 3: Boot Your Mac in Recovery Mode

When your Mac turns off, hold Command + R until you see the Apple logo. Release the keys and allow the Mac to boot up. Be patient as it may take some time to load. Instead of going straight to your desktop as usual, your device will boot into Recovery Mode. 

You will have to select the appropriate user profile and enter the password before gaining full control. Now the macOS Utilities window will appear. From there, you will have the options to restore from a Time Machine backup, install a new copy of macOS, access help documentation, repair a damaged disk, or erase all data.

Boot Your Mac in Recovery Mode

As we are doing the factory reset, go ahead and select Disk Utility and then hit Continue.

Step 4: Erase Your Data

– Choose your startup disk under the Internal heading.

– Click Erase at the top of the Disk Utilities window

– A dialog box will pop up. 

– Change the Format to Mac OS Extended (Journaled).

– Click Erase

– Once the process is complete, go to the Disk Utilities menu in the upper-left corner and choose Quit Disk Utility.

Be aware that once this process is done, you will no longer be able to recover any deleted data.

Reinstall macOS

Now to make your Mac work again, you need to install a new copy of macOS onto it. This is quite simple to do. After you quit the Disc Utilities window, you will be back at the macOS Utilities screen. Click Reinstall macOS and follow the on-screen instructions to reinstall a clean version of the operating system. 

If you plan to sell, trade, or gift your Mac, you can skip this step.

Restore From Backup

If you have backed-up your files through Time Machine, you can now restore those files through the macOS Utilities screen. Click Restore From Time Machine Backup, then select the appropriate backup from the list to reinstall your saved files.

There you go, now you know how to reset MacBook Air and other Mac Models to Factory Settings. If you have any issues during the process, please let us know in the comments!

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