What to do before you sell, give away or trade in your Mac

To prepare your Mac for a new owner, use these steps restore it to factory settings.

Should you use these steps?

If you've upgraded to macOS Monterey on a Mac with Apple silicon or a Mac with the Apple T2 Security Chip, follow the steps to erase all content and settings instead of the steps in this article. 

For any other Mac or macOS, follow the steps below.


Back up or transfer your files

Use an external storage device to back up your files, or use Migration Assistant to move your files to your new Mac


Sign out of iTunes

If using macOS Catalina or later, you can skip this step.

Open iTunes. From the menu bar at the top of the screen or iTunes window, choose Account > Authorisations > Deauthorise This Computer. Then enter your Apple ID and password and click Deauthorise. Learn more about deauthorising.


Sign out of iCloud

If using macOS Catalina or later, choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, then click Apple ID. Select Overview in the sidebar, then click Sign Out.

If using an earlier version of macOS, choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, click iCloud, then click Sign Out.

You will be asked whether to keep a copy of your iCloud data on this Mac. You can keep a copy, because you're erasing your Mac later. Your iCloud data remains in iCloud and on any other devices that are signed in to iCloud with your Apple ID.


Sign out of iMessage

Open the Messages app, then choose Messages > Preferences from the menu bar. Click iMessage, then click Sign Out.


Optional: Unpair Bluetooth devices that you’re keeping

If your Mac is paired with a keyboard, mouse, trackpad or other Bluetooth device that you plan to keep, you can unpair it. This optional step prevents accidental input when the Mac and device have separate owners but remain in Bluetooth range. If you do this on a Mac that doesn't have a built-in keyboard or trackpad, you will 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 your pointer over the device that you want to unpair, then click the remove (x) button next to the device name.


Erase your Mac and reinstall macOS

Follow the steps to erase your Mac and reinstall macOS.

After the macOS installation has been completed, your Mac will restart to a setup assistant. Press Command-Q to shut down instead of continuing the setup process.


Reset NVRAM and shut down

Turn on your Mac 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 the memory and restores certain security features that may have been altered. Learn more about resetting NVRAM.

After resetting NVRAM, your Mac will start up to the setup assistant again. To leave the Mac in an out-of-box state, press Command-Q to shut down instead of continuing setup.


Regardless of the model or condition of your device, we can turn it into something good for you and good for the planet: Find out how to trade in or recycle your Mac with Apple Trade In.

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