What do I need to do for a new owner before selling, giving away, or trading in a Mac? To prepare your Mac, use the steps below to restore it to factory settings.
1. Should you use these steps?
If you've upgraded to macOS Monterey on a Mac with an Apple Chip or a Mac with an Apple T2 Security Chip, follow the steps in this article to erase all content and settings.
For any other Mac or macOS, follow the steps below.
2. Backup or transfer your files
Use an external storage device to back up your files, or use Migration Assistant to move your files to a new Mac.
3. Quit iTunes
You can skip this step if using macOS Catalina or later.
Open iTunes. From the menu bar at the top of your screen or iTunes window, choose Account > Authorizations > Deauthorize This Computer. Then enter your Apple ID and password and click Deauthorize. Learn more about deauthorization.
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4. Sign out of iCloud
If using macOS Catalina or later, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click your Apple ID. Select Overview in the sidebar and click Exit.
If using an earlier version of macOS, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click iCloud, then click Sign Out.
You'll be asked if you want to keep a copy of your iCloud data on this Mac. You can keep a copy because you'll erase your Mac later. Your iCloud data remains on iCloud and on any other device signed in to iCloud with your Apple ID.
5. Quit iMessage
Open the Messages app, then choose Messages > Preferences from the menu bar. Click iMessage, and then click Sign Out.
6. Optional: Unpair your reserved Bluetooth devices
If your Mac is paired with a Bluetooth keyboard, mouse, trackpad, or other device you plan to keep, you can unpair it. This optional step prevents accidental input when the Mac and device have different owners but are still within Bluetooth range. If you're doing this on a Mac without a built-in keyboard or trackpad, you'll need to plug in a USB keyboard and mouse to complete the remaining steps.
To unpair a Bluetooth device, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Bluetooth. Move the pointer over the device you want to unpair and click the delete button next to the device name.
7. Erase your Mac and reinstall macOS
Follow the steps to erase your Mac and reinstall macOS.
After the macOS installation is complete, your Mac will restart into the Setup Assistant. Press Command-Q to close instead of continuing the setup.
8. Reset NVRAM and shutdown
Turn on your Mac and immediately hold down these four keys simultaneously: Option, Command, P, and R. Release the keys after about 20 seconds. This clears user settings from memory and restores some security features that may have been changed. Learn more about resetting NVRAM.
After resetting the NVRAM, your Mac will launch the Setup Assistant again. To leave your Mac working out of the box, press Command-Q to shut down instead of continuing setup.
Regardless of model or condition, we can turn your device into something good for you and the planet: Learn how to trade in or recycle your Mac with Apple Trade In.
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