I’ve loved my mid-2010 13″ MacBook Pro since the day I bought her. We’ve been through a ton together. From late-night side-hustle sessions, to schlepping around the county to conferences and events, she has been my gadget of choice for getting stuff done.
But, after a little of over four fabulous years, we knew we both needed a fresh new start. So we amicably made the decision to part ways. But before I could see her in the arms of another, I had to make sure that she wasn’t carrying any old baggage into her new relationship.
No Mac should continue to carry old data around after it’s in the arms of a new lover owner, so here’s the steps you should take to remove your data and restore your Mac to its original settings before selling.
1. Save Your Old Data
I knew exactly what I wanted to upgrade to: 13″ Retina MacBook Pro because…Retina. But, I wanted to make sure I sold my old MacBook first before I bought a new one.
So instead of using Apple’s handy Migration Assistant to transfer files from one computer to another, I decided to clone my data to an external Hard Drive using Carbon Copy Cloner.
With Carbon Copy Cloner, you simply:
- Connect an external Hard Drive to your computer (make sure the external HD has enough space)
- Choose the drive you want to clone (Macintosh HD if you haven’t changed the name)
- Choose the destination drive (the external HD or NAS storage…if you nasty)
- Click “Clone” on lower-right side of the screen…and wait
…And voila! You have made an exact copy of your drive to either restore the entire drive (and its data) to your new Mac, or pick and choose what specific data you want to move to your new Mac.
2. Disable User Accounts
Your Apple ID is the key to using any Apple gadget, and you’d be surprised at how many services utilize your Apple ID. Handing your old Mac over to a new owner without properly removing your account information, could result in “after the sale” customer service calls from the new owner. To make the break up between you an your Mac as clean as possible, here are some key services you need to disable.
Deauthorize your iTunes store account
To make sure the new owner can’t re-download any purchased music you made with your Apple ID, it’s best to deauthorize the computer from using your iTunes account.
Open iTunes and in the menu bar navigate to Store > Deauthorize This Computer…
This will remove your Mac from the list of computers and devices authorized to download and play content purchased with your Apple ID. If you’ve already sold you’re Mac, you can log into your iTunes account on another computer and under Apple ID Summary, click “Deauthorize All Computers”. Of course, you will have to sign back in to iTunes on and reauthorize iTunes on each computer.
Signing out of iCloud before you sell your device will make sure any remnants of cloud data (Safari Bookmarks, appointment, documents, message, reminders, notes, etc) isn’t visible by the new owner.
Open System Preferences and click iCloud, and click the “Sign Out” button in the lower-left side of the screen
Confirm that you want to delete contacts from your Mac.
For all the security nuts who encrypted their drive with Apple’s FileVault service, now would be a good time to disable that feature as well
3. Restore Mac Back To Factory
Now that you’ve saved all your data, and removed your account information, it’s time to wipe the slate clean and give your Mac fresh start with a new owner. The following steps will help you wipe the entire drive, and reinstall the operating system.
Make sure you’re connected to the Internet (preferably wired) and BE SURE YOU HAVE CLONED OR BACKED UP YOUR DATA BEFORE DOING THESE STEPS. You’ve been warned…
- Restart your Mac and hold down the “Command” and “R” keys during startup until you Mac is in Recovery Mode
- Select “Disk Utility” and click “Continue”
- Choose your main startup disc (named “Macintosh HD” by default) and click “Unmount”
- Click Erase tab in the upper-middle section of the screen
- Confirm that the format is “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)” and the name is “Macintosh HD” and click “Erase” in the lower-right side of the screen
- Quit Disk Utility
- Click “Reinstall OS X” and click “Continue”
UPDATE: If you REALLY want to TOTALLY wipe your drive, during the Erase portion (#4 above), click “Security Options” and you will be presented with multiple options that offer a more comprehensive erase of your data. Shout-Out to Allison Sheridan of the NosillaCast Podcast for reminding me of the secure erase option.
The process should reinstall Mac OS X and prompt you to enter your Apple ID. This is where you shut down your computer, package it up with all the cables and any other accessories, and box it up for the new owner.
Yeah, I shed one thug tear for my ole’ girl after I sent her off to be with another. But you better believe I was over her quick as soon as I powered up my young and sexy new Bae’
If a blog post won't cut it, be sure to get in touch for all your Apple support needs... Book a Support Session Shoot me a message