6 Things to do Before Selling or Giving Your Mac

Erase personal data before selling your Mac

by: - Last updated on: December 15th, 2020

Key Takeaways

  • Apple devices don’t lose much value even after years, so selling an old Mac is a great way to cover some of the costs before buying a new one.
  • The main thing is not to forget to do a few things before handing over the device to the wrong hands.
  • In this article, we tell you the six most important things you need to do before you sell your Mac to a new buyer.
  • For more such tips & tricks, make sure you check out our Tiny Tips hub.

As you know, Mac computers are marvelous working tools, and also a pretty valuable investment. MacBook, Mac mini, or iMac functions excellent for many years after purchase. All of them have long-term support from Apple and receive operating system updates regularly.

selling macbook

Apple devices don’t lose much value even after years, so selling an old Mac is a great way to cover some of the costs before buying a new one. The main thing is not to forget to do a few things before handing over the device to the wrong hands.

3 Reasons Why it is Needed

  1. It will always be more pleasant for a new computer owner to get a Mac with a clean system, like from a store.
  2. It will be useful to clear the computer of personal data that may be with the new owner of the Mac. And it comes to the next moment. It’s quite necessary to disconnect from Apple’s branded services in order not to give access to your confidential information to strangers.
  3. In case macOS is freezing or functioning incorrectly, a factory reset can be one of the solutions to make a fresh start for your Mac. After reinstalling the system, the computer will work more vigorously than loaded with apps and accumulated junk files.

Before You Sell, Give, or Exchange Your MacBook

1. Create a Backup

The backup stores all of your data on the MacBook, including documents, installed applications, passwords, etc. If the necessary information is lost or you are going to move to a new computer, every user can restore this data from the backup.

Time Machine is an easy and convenient way to back up your MacBook. With it, you can recover both individual files and the entire system. Plus, it’s preinstalled on all Macs, so you don’t have to look for third-party apps.

macbook backup

It’s required to have an external HDD/network drive of the appropriate size to back up your MacBook. First of all, connect this device with the MacBook, go to system settings, make Time Machine active, and choose the device where you are going to store the backups. Finally, you should press the “Create a backup now” button, which can be found in the utility or on the right side of the bar. After these steps, all of your data will be safe, including apps, documents, photos, etc.

2. Sign Out from iTunes, iCloud, and App Store

All people who buy Apple devices get their unique Apple ID. It’s usually used to access varied services, including iCloud, App Store, and iTunes. The latest versions of OS X also use this ID to access the Mac user account as well. Every user can obtain one Apple ID only. But, under some circumstances, you may need to unlink from the MacBook.

To totally dissociate the Apple ID from a particular laptop before selling or giving it to another person, follow these steps:

  • Launch iTunes on your Mac;
  • Choose Store – go to the View Account section;
  • Enter the actual password;
  • Go to Manage Devices and look at the data;
  • Click the Delete button which is located next to the device you want to associate with the profile;
  • Press the Done button;
  • Select Store – Sign Out This Computer.

That’s it, your Mac is signed out from the current Apple ID.

3. Disable FileVault on your Mac

If you had encrypted your file contents, you would like to decrypt your disk by disabling the FileVault. To do that, here are the steps.

  • Click on the Apple logo at the top and select System Preferences.
  • Click on the Security & Privacy option.
  • Select the FileVault tab and click on Turn Off FileVault.

That’s it. You have now disabled FileVault successfully.

4. Wipe Off Your Mac Drive

Now here comes the most important part before selling your Mac. You need to delete and wipe clean all the contents from your Mac so that the new buyer can’t access any of your data. You’ll need to do this from the recovery mode on your Mac.

  • Restart your Mac and press and hold down ⌘ (Cmd) + R keys when your Mac starts to boot-up.
  • Select Disk Utility from the options available on your screen.
  • Choose your main Mac hard drive and click on the – (minus) sign in the toolbar. Proceed to delete the drive.
  • Select the main Mac hard drive and click on the Erase option at the top.
  • Enter a name for your drive and click on Erase. It’ll start erasing your disk contents.

5. Reinstall macOS

For sure, you did a great job while making the backup (transferring the necessary information from it) and logging out the programs. But it isn’t enough. All of the time of interaction with a computer, it collects this or that information about the user. Now it’s time for a complete system restore. You can restore the system from the Recovery Mode.

IMPORTANT! Make sure that your MacBook is connected to the Internet because it will be needful for the later process of installation of the system.

  • Restart the computer (or turn it on if it was turned off) using the menu Apple button → Restart;
  • During the process of rebooting, press and hold the buttons with the most preferable option:
    1. ⌘ (Cmd) + R. This combination of buttons will install the version of macOS that was operating on the MacBook before the problems appeared. In this case, your Mac will exactly install the identical version as it was before.
    2. Option (Alt) + ⌘ (Cmd) + R. By pressing these buttons, you will upgrade to the latest macOS version that your Mac is compatible with. For instance, if the MacBook had Catalina, and the crash occurred after the final macOS Big Sur was released, the system will download and install the latest version.
    3. ⇧ (Shift) + Option (Alt) + ⌘ (Cmd) + R. These buttons provide the user with the installation of the version of macOS which was originally installed on the Mac.

6. Make Your MacBook Clear

If the appearance of your poppy leaves much to be desired, then you need to tackle this issue and devote a little time to it.

Remember to wipe down the case and keyboard, remove the case, and carefully remove the stickers from your Mac.

Now, it is time to find a box with documents and collect a set of accessories that have accumulated during use. Then you can put your Mac up for selling, giving, or exchanging.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Lot of people don’t prep their Mac’s for trade in or selling. Got to make sure all the the services you use are signed out and best to boot into restore and Disk Management and do a basic erase and re install Mac OS. Doesn’t hurt to sign into iCloud and make sure the device you trading or selling does not still show on your account. Myself am not a fan of FileVault for home users. Typically this just adds more complexity encrypting drives and making sure Key is saved somewhere.