You get a new computer and want to sell or donate your old Mac (such as MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac Pro, Mac Mini). However, you just can’t give your old Mac to another person with your private data on it. In most cases, before you sell, give away or trade in a Mac, you should do three things: migrate its data to a backup hard drive or new computer, permanently wipe all your private data on your old Mac, reset your Mac to factory settings. If don’t have any idea to achieve these objectives, just read this article.
Things you should do before you sell, give away, or trade in your Mac
Don’t let your sensitive data on your Mac fall into the wrong hands. So, before you sell, give away or trade in your Mac, you should make sure your private data has been permanently erased. Now, we will guide you to erase your data and reset your Mac to factory settings. Here are the things you’d better do before you sell, give away or trade in your Mac computer.
1. Backup your data.
First of all, you should back up your important data to a backup hard drive or your new computer. There are some methods to easily make a backup of your old Mac data.
- Copy your files from the Mac to a backup portable drive or USB flash drive manually.
- Use a backup software or disk clone software to quickly clone Mac data to a backup hard drive.
- Use Migration Assistant to copy all of your documents, apps, user accounts, and settings to a new Mac from another computer.
2. Permanently erase private data with Mac data eraser.
Since disk utility can’t permanently erase your data, you need special data erasure software to help you permanently erase your sensitive data. Here, we recommend DoYourData Super Eraser for Mac. This powerful data erasure software offers certified data erasure methods, including HMG Infosec Standard 5, Baseline; DOD 5220.22-M; U.S. Army AR380-19; Peter Gutmann's algorithm. Once your data is erased by DoYourData Super Eraser, the data is gone forever, can’t be recovered by any data recovery software. (Download DoYourData Super Eraser for Mac >>)
Here, DoYourData Super Eraser for Mac offers two modes to help you permanently erase sensitive data on your Mac to avoid data recovery.
Mode 1. Erase files and folders.
Just add files/folders to the erasure list, then click on Erase Now button to permanently erase the selected files/folders. These files/folders will be permanently erased.
Mode 2. Erase all deleted data.
Just delete all sensitive data on your Mac, and empty the trash bin. Then run DoYourData Super Eraser on your Mac, and choose mode - Wipe Free Space. Choose the Mac hard drive and wipe it. All deleted/lost data on the Mac hard drive will be permanently erased - can’t be recovered by any data recovery method.
3. Sigh out of important accounts.
- Sign out of iTunes in macOS Mojave or earlier. - If you're using macOS Mojave or earlier, open iTunes. From the menu bar at the top of the screen or iTunes window, choose Account > Authorizations > Deauthorize This Computer. Then enter your Apple ID and password and click Deauthorize.
- Sign out of iCloud. - If you're using macOS Catalina or later, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Apple ID. Select Overview in the sidebar, then click Sign Out. If you're using macOS Mojave or earlier, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click iCloud, then click Sign Out.
- Sign out of iMessage. - If you're using OS X Mountain Lion or later, open the Messages app, then choose Messages > Preferences from the menu bar. Click iMessage, then click Sign Out.
If you also have other accounts, sign out of them. Also can use a Mac uninstaller to uninstall important Mac apps and wipe the free disk space with DoYourData Super Eraser for Mac.
4. Reset NVRAM.
Shut down your Mac, then turn it on and immediately press and hold these four keys together: Option, Command, P, and R. Release the keys after about 20 seconds. This clears user settings from memory and restores certain security features that might have been altered.
5. Erase Mac hard drive in macOS Recovery mode.
The best way to restore your Mac to factory settings is to erase your hard drive and reinstall macOS. Start up from macOS Recovery (Turn on your Mac and immediately press and hold these two keys: Command and R.). Then select Disk Utility from the Utilities window and click Continue.
Choose View > Show All Devices from the menu bar in Disk Utility. The sidebar now shows your disks (devices) and any containers and volumes within them. The disk your Mac started up from is at the top of the list. In this example, Apple SSD is the startup disk:
Click Erase, then complete these items:
- Name: Type the name that you want the disk to have after you erase it.
- Format: Choose APFS or Mac OS Extended (Journaled). Disk Utility shows a compatible format by default.
- Scheme: Choose GUID Partition Map.
Click Erase to begin erasing your disk and every container and volume within it. You might be asked to enter your Apple ID. When done, quit Disk Utility. If you want your Mac to be able to start up from the disk you erased, reinstall macOS on the disk.
6. Reinstall macOS in macOS Recovery mode.
Turn on your Mac in macOS Recovery mode, enter your password to enter macOS utilities. When you see the utilities window, you have started up from macOS Recovery. Just choose ‘Reinstall macOS’. It is recommended to install the latest macOS version on your Mac hard drive.
When you have done all the 6 things, you can sell, give away or trade in your Mac without any worry. The tool - DoYourData Super Eraser for Mac is one of the most powerful data erasure software for Mac OS. It also can help you permanently erase data from portable hard drive, memory card, digital camera, USB flash drive, RAID, etc.
Just share this post to your Facebook/Twitter, then open it on your mobile phone to guide you get your Mac ready to sell, giveaway or trade in.
Permanently and securely erase data from hard drive or external storage device under Mac OS with certified data erasure methods.