What to Do Before Selling Your Old Mac

Selling Apple Mac computers not difficult since the resale value of Apple devices always dominates other competitors. But,  before selling your Mac, you will need to reset your Mac first, which is a little difficult.

You do not want to lose all your precious data and pass it on to the next user. This post will help you prepare your Mac before selling it. It will include steps for backing up, turning off services and features, formatting the hard drive and even reinstalling macOS on your Mac again.

What to Do Before Selling Your Mac

Create a backup

Backing up data is a necessary step before erasing your Mac. It’s not a complicated procedure, you can use the Time Machine feature to back up data on Mac.

Another way to keep your precious data secure its to transfer it from your old Mac to the new one. But, remember that the backup can take a lot of time, so you speed up the backup process through terminal commands.


Although a backup is required for a full reset, many users usually have a bad habit on a regular basis. A backup can keep your data out of unexpected accidents. For example. If your Mac gets lost, and while you are attempting to get it back through Find My Mac feature, you can remotely erase your Mac to keep it secured.

Disable Your Apple Services

Once you sign your Apple ID into your Mac, you will automatically create an ecosystem; where your Apple devices are liked with the same account. It might cause a threat to your privacy, so you should log out iTunes, iCloud, and other third-party apps.

In addition, remember to remove your Mac from trusted devices. Optionally, you should also unpair other Bluetooth devices like speakers, mouse, or Airpods from your Mac.


To unpair Bluetooth accessories, click on the Apple icon > choose System Preferences. Next, click on Bluetooth, hover to a Bluetooth device, you will see a cross (x) next to the device’s name. Click the cross and remove it after you are asked for the popup window.

You can apply these similar steps for all Apple devices, not only for your Mac.

Steps to Erase Your Mac Before Selling It

The best way to clean up your Mac before selling it is to format your Mactonish hard drive and then reinstall macOS. Although there are many third-party apps available on the Mac App Store that offer easy ways to restore your Mac to the factory settings, you can use the inbuilt feature on your computer. Before proceeding, make sure that you should take care of the mentioned steps above.

Step 1: Reboot your Mac and hold down Command + R buttons when your disk is starting up until you see the Apple logo on the screen.

Step2: Your computer will boot into Recovery. From there, choose your preferred language from the available options.

Step 3: Click on Disk Utility and then select Continue.

Step 4: Choose the View option from the menu bar and select Show All Devices.

Step 5: Click on your hard disk to erase it. By default, its name is Macintosh HD.

Step 6: Select the Erase button in the menu bard

Step 7: Move on to Format section and then choose APFS or Mac OS Extended (Journaled), depending on the format of your driver.

Step 8: If you see the Scheme option, click on GUID Partition Map from the menu. Select Erase to start erasing your hard drive.

Step 9: The process will take a few minutes. When you are done, click on the Disk Utility from the left corner and choose Quit Disk Utility in the given menu.

Also see: How to Reinstall macOS from Your Mac Recovery

Steps to Reinstall macOS on your Mac

Once you complete erasing your drive, you will be back to the Utility window if you have not restarted your computer. However, make sure you are going to install macOS again through the recovery mode since it does not require you to enter Apple ID through recovery mode.

Step 1: When restarting your Mac, press one of the following key combinations until you see the Apple logo on the screen.

  • Use Command (⌘) + R keys to reinstall the latest macOS version currently running on your Mac.
  • Press Option + Command (⌘) + R keys to upgrade to the latest supported macOS version for your Mac.
  • Press Shift + Option + Command (⌘) + R keys to install the original macOS version installed on your Mac that is the closest version available.

Step 2: Once you see the Utility window, click on Reinstall macOS and select Continue.

Step 3: Follow your onscreen prompts and choose the disk you want.

Step 4: Click on Install and then wait for the installation to complete. During the process, your Mac will reboot several times.

You will see a progress bar for couples minutes. Remember not to close the lid or put it into the sleep mode.

Step 5: When everything is done, your Mac will automatically restart to open up a setup assistant. Leave it there so that the next user can complete the setup wizard with their own information. Simply press Command (⌘) + Q key combination and select Shut Down.

Those are things you should do before selling your Mac. Do you have any question? Let’s know in the comment below.

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