How to Properly Wipe a MacBook: Step-by-Step Guide

How to Properly Wipe a MacBook: Step-by-Step Guide

Knowing how to properly wipe a MacBook is essential when you are planning to sell, donate, or trade-in your device. Wiping your MacBook clean ensures that your personal information and data are completely erased, protecting your privacy and preventing others from accessing sensitive information. This step-by-step guide will walk you through the process of securely wiping your MacBook.

Before You Begin

Before you start wiping your MacBook, it is crucial to back up any important data and files you want to keep. This includes documents, photos, videos, and any other files that hold significance to you. Remember to transfer the backup to an external storage device or to the cloud.

Step 1: Deauthorize iTunes and iCloud

Prior to wiping your MacBook, it is important to deauthorize any services linked to your device, such as iTunes and iCloud. Deauthorizing ensures that your apps, music, and other content are not tied to your MacBook after wiping it. To deauthorize, open iTunes, go to the Store tab, and select Deauthorize This Computer. For iCloud, open the Apple menu, go to System Preferences, select Apple ID, and click on Overview. Locate the “Manage” button next to your MacBook and click on it. Then, click on the “Remove” button.

Step 2: Sign Out of Apple ID

Next, sign out of your Apple ID to prevent any further association between your MacBook and your Apple account. Open the Apple menu, go to System Preferences, and select Apple ID. From there, click on the Overview tab and sign out by clicking on the Sign Out button.

Step 3: Restart in macOS Recovery Mode

To proceed with wiping your MacBook, you need to restart it in macOS Recovery Mode. Shut down your MacBook and then press the power button. As soon as the Apple logo appears, press and hold the Command and R keys until the macOS Utilities window appears on the screen.

Step 4: Disk Utility

In macOS Utilities, select Disk Utility and click on Continue. This tool allows you to erase your MacBook’s hard drive and all its contents. Select your startup disk from the list on the left side, click on the Erase button, and choose a format for your disk (such as APFS or Mac OS Extended). Finally, click on the Erase button to confirm the process.

Step 5: Reinstall macOS

After erasing your MacBook’s hard drive, exit Disk Utility and select Reinstall macOS in the macOS Utilities window. Follow the prompts to reinstall the operating system on your MacBook. This process may take some time, and your MacBook will restart several times during the installation.

Step 6: Set Up Your MacBook

Once the macOS reinstallation is complete, you will be guided through the initial setup process, similar to when you first purchased your MacBook. Follow the on-screen instructions to create a new user account and configure your preferences.

Step 7: Restore Your Backup

Finally, restore your backup. Connect the external storage device or log in to your cloud storage and transfer your files back to your MacBook. Make sure everything is in its right place and functioning properly before proceeding.


Properly wiping a MacBook is essential to protect your privacy and ensure that your personal information does not fall into the wrong hands. By following this step-by-step guide, you can safely erase all data from your MacBook and prepare it for its new owner. Remember to always back up your files and follow each step carefully to avoid any accidental data loss or damage to your device.