Prepare Mac to Sell by Resetting It: macOS Big Sur/Catalina, macOS Mojave or Earlier

Last Updated on Nov 27, 2020

As Time to go, upgrade your Mac system is a smart decision to increase productivity in business or prove yourself to their by use functional equipment. Also in new Mac OS X Apple added new apps and services that we must stop or remove data saved in it as well. So, here I enlist full list of very essential steps that will prepare Mac to sell in six steps.

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No matter what Mac Machine do you own or running the macOS, this tutorial will show you how to prepare the Mac and MacBook to sell safely.

Steps to Prepare Mac to sell by Delete/Wipe all Data and Login Profile

For the security reason, Mac always needs iCloud profile for easy to manage online data over multiple apple devices. But some of these locally stored for easy and fast access. So learn how to manage and which we action we need before selling to an unknown person.

These tips are also useful in making your Mac OS X Brand new and completely refreshed just like new.

Step 1: Backup your Mac, MacBook

Create Backup using Time Machine

To create Time Machine Backups on your Mac, MacBook, you’ll need external storage to store the backup. Here’s the list of external drives/storage you could possibly use to backup Mac.

  • A FireWire, USB or Thunderbolt.
  • NAS compatible with Time Machine over SMB
  • AirPort Time Capsule
  • Any Mac, MacBook Shared backup drive for Time Machine backup
  • External storage that is connected to AirPort Extreme Base Station or AirPort Time Capsule.

Upon connecting the external drive to the Mac, the system will ask you, Do you want to use (External Drive Name) to back up with Time Machine? Choose Use as Backup Disk, but before doing that, make sure to check the Encrypt Backup Disk option, recommended by Apple itself.

What if Time Machine forgets to ask you to set a backup disk after connecting external drive? Do not worry, from the system you can do it manually.

  1. Click on the Apple menu and select System Preferences or from the top menu bar click on Time Machine and then choose Time Machine preferences.
  2. Click on Time Machine.
  3. Click Select Backup Disk…..
  4. Choose the external disk that you want to use it for Time Machine Backup. Don’t forget to check the Encrypt backups box. And lastly click on Use Disk.
  5. If the format of the disk doesn’t match with the Time Machine requirements then you’ll be asked to Erase the disk. Follow the instructions and Erase the disk.

Usually, Time Machine takes backups periodically without any action, but since we have to prepare the Mac to sell, it would be wise to take backup manually and speed up the process.

Here’s how to backup Mac on Time Machine Manually

  • Click on the Time Machine and select Back Up Now.

Create Backup on iCloud Drive

If you want to store backup to access it remotely, iCloud Drive is suggested option. Before using iCloud Drive to backup make sure it has enough storage to store backup.

  1. Click on the Apple menu on the menu bar.
  2. Select System Preferences.
  3. Click on the Apple ID. macOS Mojave or Earlier users, skip this step.
  4. Choose iCloud.
  5. If asked then sign in with Apple ID.
  6. Now select the iCloud Drive.
    • If your Mac is running macOS Sierra or later, then enable the Desktop and Documents to add the Mac Desktop and Documents folder directly to the iCloud Drive.
    • All the files stored on the Mac can be located in the Desktop folder and Documents folder in the Finder beneath the iCloud.
    • If you are thinking to add a second Mac desktop, to merge the files of the first Mac with the second Mac, it won’t happen automatically. You can open the Desktop and Documents folder stored in the iCloud and find the folder named the same as mentioned in another Mac.

This was all about how to backup Mac, MacBook before selling it. Once the backup is completed, you need to sign out of iTunes.

The Mac, MacBook with macOS Catalina or later, users have to skip the iTunes Sign Out step, since iTunes is out of support for macOS 10.15 or later.

Step 2: Sign out of iTunes (Only macOS Mojave or earlier)

  1. Launch the iTunes on your Mac. To do so, you can use Spotlight Search.
  2. Click on Account.
  3. Go to Authorizations and then select Deauthorize This Computer.
  4. For verification, you may need to enter the Apple ID and password.
  5. Finally, click on Deauthorize.

Step 3: Sign out of iCloud on Mac, MacBook

Removing accounts from Mac is also necessary to protect your private information and as you know the iCloud ID contains all of your payment information, personal information and more. That’s why, don’t handover the Mac without signing out of iCloud.

  1. Go to the System Preferences from the Apple menu.
  2. Then, click on Apple ID.
  3. Click on iCloud, on the sidebar.
  4. Disable Find My Mac.
  5. Next, click on Overview from the same sidebar and then Sign Out.
    • macOS Mojave or earlier, click on the Apple menu and then System Preferences. Go to iCloud and Sign Out.
  • When Mac asks to Keep a Copy of iCloud Data in the Mac, select Keep a Copy since you’ll have reformated the drive afterward.
  • Signing Out from iCloud doesn’t delete any data from iCloud Drive. You can still access it from another Apple device using the same iCloud account.

Step 4: Sign Out of iMessage

You’ll probably need to sign out of iMessage on macOS X Mountain Lion or later, launch the Messages app and click on Message. Select Preferences > iMessage and Sign Out of Messages app.

 Step 5: Unpair all the Bluetooth Connected Peripherals

From wireless keyboard to external speakers, we all have Bluetooth devices paired to Mac. However, this step is optional, even if you don’t unpair the paired Bluetooth devices, it won’t be a problem unless you have the plan to sell or give the Mac to your siblings or neighbor. Because the paired Bluetooth devices will automatically get connected if they are in range, and later can cause issues to the buyer or taker. Therefore it is advisable to disconnect and unpair the Bluetooth peripherals such as a wireless keyboard, wireless mice, wireless headphones, speakers and more.

  1. Go to the Bluetooth settings, click on Apple menu and System Preferences.
  2. Take the mouse pointer on the Bluetooth device and click on (x) to remove the device.

 Step 6: Erase hard drive and reinstall macOS

Lastly, after performing all the steps, you have to erase the hard drive and reinstall the macOS. Why reinstall macOS, because it will give your Mac a fresh start, and the buyer will have to set up the Mac as a fresh piece.

Prefer our detailed guide on how to reinstall macOS

Erase drive completely wipe all data forcefully, that’s you never get back or restore. Then install fresh OS X on Mac. Learn more about here. This is the most Hendy way to Prepare Mac to sall.

Jaysukh Patel is the founder of howtoisolve. Also self Professional Developer, Techno lover mainly for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and iOS, Jaysukh is one of responsible person in his family. Contact On: [email protected] [OR] [email protected]

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