How to Perform a Factory Reset on MacBook Without Losing Data

factory reset macbook

Apple’s MacBook is an attractive piece of technology, a notebook that works well under load and is capable of various feats. It is not flawless, and a new model that outperforms it in terms of features is always released. And then there are the rare technical difficulties, which raise the question, “How do you factory reset your Macbook?”

It’s a drastic move, but it often comes up when someone stumbles into malware (which is almost impossible to avoid using Apple’s security services, but some choose the jailbreak option). Or maybe you need to sell it and clean all the data before doing so. We will take you through the process!


How to Perform a Reset on a MacBook (Pro, Air or Regular Model, Running On macOS Monterey)

When selling an older MacBook, it’s good to reset it to factory settings. If you don’t, there’s a considerable possibility your data and information may fall into the wrong hands (even if you use a password).

It’s pretty simple to restore your MacBook to factory settings. Before you do anything:

  1. Determine the operating system it is running.
  2. If it is operating on macOS Monterey, go as follows.
  3. Go to the below section if the macOS predates the Monterey version.

Are you prepared? Make sure you back up all your data before you begin! A section below discusses how to save anything on the cloud, assuming you have enough storage space.

Once you’re ready to do a factory reset, follow these instructions!

  • In the menu bar, click the Apple symbol. It’s positioned in the upper left corner.
  • Once you’ve done so, a drop-down option will appear—select System Preferences from this menu.
  • A menu item titled “Erase All Content and Settings” will appear. That’s were you want to click.
  • You’ll be asked for your password when you log in.
  • This is a security precaution, so go ahead and take it.
  • A button labeled “Erase All Contents and Settings” will appear. Before you do anything, double-check that you are prepared to restore the computer. Take time to double-check that you’ve saved everything you want to.
  • Once that is complete, click the button.

It will take a few moments for the computer to factory reset. You’ll see that the screen briefly goes dark and then restarts. Do not be concerned; this is a regular aspect of the operation. When everything is complete, the white “Hello” screen will display. Your machine has been restored to factory settings!

How to Perform a Reset on a MacBook

For example, suppose you’re ready to sell your older MacBook but haven’t had the opportunity to upgrade it yet. It’s likely running an earlier operating system that predates MacOS Monterey. By selecting “About This Mac” from the Apple symbol in the upper-left corner of your screen, you may access this data.

Restart your computer if Monterey does not show. Although they differ greatly from anything you’ve read thus far, they’ll go a long way in helping you.

Again, before you begin, ensure that your computer is completely backed up in a secure location, such as the cloud or an external hard drive. It’ll save you time and aggravation in the long run.

  • Restart your computer. You may do this using the drop-down menu (where it reads “restart”) or by pressing and holding the power button to turn the MacBook off and then back on. Either option is acceptable.
  • Keep the “Command” and “R” keys pressed as you restart the computer.
  • Continue holding down these keys until the Apple logo appears. Once that occurs, proceed to release them.
  • You’ve now reached the options for Recovery Mode. Remain calm; your machine is OK; this is only another factory reset method. When you reach this page, choose Disk Utility.
  • You’ll see a Macintosh HD option. Select it and choose Erase from the Disk Utility menu.
  • You’ll notice a pop-up box requesting the format. “MacOS Extended (Journaled)” should be selected.
  • Once that is complete hit Erase once again.
  • Once you’ve done so, you’ll have an option to reinstall MacOS. This will install the basic system data and options that Apple initially installed. “Install MacOS” should be selected.
  • As with the last operation, this may take some time. However, you will see the “Hello” screen after this is complete, and your computer will be reset!

Please keep in mind that these methods also apply to typical Mac machines, depending on the version of OS X they are running. It’s convenient to have on hand in case you need to do a reset!


Remember To Save Your Data!

We cannot emphasize enough how critical it is to back up your data before doing a factory reset on your MacBook. Trying to recover everything may be a hassle, and certain items, such as family pictures, are irreparable.

External Storage Device

When it comes to data backup, you have two alternatives. The first method involves the use of an external hard disk.

Seagate produces some incredible hard drives that are Mac-compatible.

When it comes to space, you may select whatever model you desire. However, we prefer the Seagate models in terms of pricing and effectiveness. They’re compact, readily connected to your device, and have a straightforward transfer procedure.

Simply connect the drive, verify that it is correctly formatted (a quick hop in Disk Utility should be enough), and back up your data using Time Machine. A quick note: depending on the amount of data on your computer, doing a backup may take some time.

After that, remember to “eject” the drive from your computer (hit the up arrow on the finder next to the device). This will ensure that you do not lose any data on the disk.

After you’ve received your new computer, plug this bad boy in and choose the option to restore data from it. It’s as though you never lost anything!

Storage using iCloud

The second, and maybe more convenient, alternative is to use Apple iCloud services. This allows you to store your data directly on their servers and upload and download without a backup disk.

Using iCloud is relatively straightforward. Indeed, you can visit the official Apple iCloud website and be up and running in minutes. This will ensure that you can quickly transfer your info to your new MacBook.

There is, however, one caveat. If you have a large amount of data (such as all those vacation family videos or a thousand-strong favorite music list), you’ll need to increase your cloud storage capacity. The good news is that it’s reasonably priced, with iCloud+ available for a few more bucks each month. It delivers a sense of security and, more importantly, peace of mind.

You can easily preserve your data and transfer it to your new MacBook with whichever route you use. And it will relieve you of the worry of having to track out all the vintage rock tunes you want to play in the garage while you work.

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