What is Reinstalling vs Erasing Mac? Do it on M1, Intel or T2 Mac

🗓️ May 2, 2022 By ✍️ Jaysukh patel

A Macbook user might want to erase or reinstall the operating system in their device for various reasons like the Mac getting slow, having bugs, and various other problems that affect its overall performance. So if you are surfing the internet looking for ways to reinstall or erase your MacBook, you have landed at the perfect spot.

The difference between erasing and reinstalling the operating system on a Mac is that by erasing, you lose all the contents or data stored in your MacBook, the settings are reverted to default and you are logged out of your iCloud account. Whereas, if you reinstall the macOS on your system, you get a choice of keeping all the contents, settings, and the iCloud account as it is without the risk of losing them.

How to Reinstall on Mac: [M1 ,Intel & T2]

The MacBook has a unique in-built feature known as the macOS recovery for reinstalling the macOS while keeping all your settings, data, and iCloud account intact and safe. Reinstalling the macOS on your device is a straightforward method, and a step-by-step process is explained in detail below.

Step. 1→ Boot up the MacBook in recovery mode. This step can be done in the following ways-

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For Reinstall Mac, MacBooks with Apple Silicon: 

  1. Click on the Apple logo and tap on the shutdown button.
  2. Long press and hold the power button until you see the “Loading startup options” screen.options-in-recovery-mode-on-m1-mac
  3. Finally, tap on options, select Continue, and follow the screen’s instructions.

For Reinstall Mac, MacBooks with Intel chipset:

  1. Hit on the Apple logo and hit the restart button.
  2. Long press and hold any of the following combinations of keys on the keyboard based on the action you want to perform.

Option + Command + R” keys to install the newest version of the macOS compatible with your system.


Option + Shift + Command + R” keys to reinstall the default version of the macOS with the available updates on your MacBook.


Command + R” keys to reinstall the current macOS running on your device.

Step. 2→ Now select “Reinstall macOS” in the recovery mode tab.


Step. 3→ Hit the continue button.

Step. 4→ Finally, go through the steps instructed on the screen and select the current macOS volume in the volume select pane.

How to Erase your Mac: [M1, Intel & T2]

If you are planning to sell, trade, or give your MacBook away to someone, erasing the MacBook with the help of the erase assistant is the best solution for keeping a check on your privacy. By erasing the Mac, all the data, settings, and iCloud accounts are removed from the system, thus bringing the device back to its factory settings and condition. Ensure that your device is connected to the internet and power adapter while undergoing this process. To erase your MacBook, consider going through the procedure below.

For MacBooks with Apple silicon or M1 Macs:

Step. 1→ Head over to system preferences after clicking on the Apple menu.

Step. 2→ Now select system preferences again in the menu bar and click on “Erase all content and settings.


Step. 3→ Then, enter your admin details in the Erase assistant window.

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Step. 4→ Examine the contents that will be deleted in addition to the data and other settings. (If you have numerous accounts on the Mac, tap on the arrow next to your account name to examine the contents.)

Step. 5→ Hit the continue button and stick with the instructions displayed on the screen.

For MacBooks with Intel and T2 Chip Mac

Step. 1→ Boot up your Mac in the recovery mode using the methods discussed in the earlier sections of the article.

Step. 2→ Now select a user and enter the admin password.

Step. 3→ Then, click on disk utility in the utility window and hit the continue option.

Step. 4→ After that, choose the “Macintosh HD” option on the side of the disk utility window.

Step. 5→ In the toolbar, click on the erase option and enter the following details:

  • Name- Macintosh HD
  • Format- APFS or Mac OS Extended (Journaled), as suggested by Disk Utility.

Step. 6→ Select erase and click on the Erase Volume Group button if it is visible on the screen.

Step. 7→ Enter your Apple ID if asked and click on the delete volume (-) button after selecting any other volume from the sidebar.

Step. 8→ Exit from the Disk Utility window and go back to the Utility tab.

Step. 9→ Finally, choose Reinstall macOS in the utility tab for starting up your Mac from the same disk that you wiped out or erased.

This article aims to enlighten Apple customers about the process of Erasing and Reinstalling the macOS on your Mac. It is imperative to have proper information and knowledge about erasing and reinstalling the OS on a Mac for security reasons and fixing bugs and glitches in your system.


Does reinstalling macOS delete everything?

→ No, reinstalling the macOS does not delete everything from your Mac. This process only uninstalls and reinstalls the macOS without hampering any data, settings, or iCloud account.

How do I restore my Mac to factory settings without command r?

→ Another simple yet effective method for restoring the MacBook to its factory settings is using a USB bootable installation drive or pressing and holding the power button on MacBooks with an M1 chip.

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How do I reset my Mac to factory settings without a password?

 Anyone can easily reset their Macs to the factory settings without a password with the help of the recovery mode.

What happens if I choose Erase Mac?

 By selecting the erase Mac option, you allow your system to delete all the files, settings, and iCloud accounts stored in your MacBook.

Does reinstalling macOS remove malware?

→ Yes, reinstalling macOS fixes many problems like bugs and glitches and removes the malware from your system. Know how to check and remove virus from Mac.

How do I wipe my Mac M1?

→ You can completely wipe out your M1 MacBook by going through the method described in this post and restoring it to its factory settings. – Use Erase in Recovery mode method to wipe data from Mac.

How do I set up my Mac as new?

→ By erasing your Mac, you can reset all the settings to their default state and wipe out all the data and iCloud accounts.

How long does it take to reinstall macOS?

→ The time required for reinstalling macOS entirely depends on the size of the operating system and the speed of the internet. So if you have a fast network connection, the time required for reinstalling will be comparatively low for the people who have a slow internet connection. also, I recommend taking Time machine backup on Mac.

How do I reset my Mac without losing files?

→ It is not possible to reset the Mac without losing the files. we can reset the system file without data loss by reinstalling mac.

How do I reinstall my Mac without losing data?

→ To reinstall macOS on your MacBook without losing data, refer to this article for a step-by-step explanation of the same.

What happens after reinstalling macOS?

→ By reinstalling the macOS, you can fix bugs and remove malware by installing the default version of your current operating system. This process only configures the operating system files without hampering the data or settings stored on the Mac.

Will wiping Mac speed it up?

→ Yes, by wiping your MacBook, you allow the device to take control of more storage to speed up its performance.

What can I do with my old iMac?

→ For the people who have an old iMac, reinstalling and erasing the system work effectively to meet your needs. You can use the methods explained in this article to undergo these processes.

Jaysukh Patel
Jaysukh Patel

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: jaysukh.pharma@gmail.com [OR] admin@howtoisolve.com

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