If you’re selling a Mac, you may not want the buyer to have access to the data and information available on your machine. Therefore, you will need to delete the data stored on your Mac before giving it away.
This removal process includes removing your data from your Mac and making sure all your accounts are completely unauthorized. This way, the new owner of the Mac won’t have access to any of your data, and they won’t be able to recover anything either.
They will then be able to set up the Mac using their account and data. The following article outlines nine things you need to do before you sell your Mac. Also, be sure to check out our previous post on 5 things you should do before selling your iPhone.
Make a backup of your Mac
The first thing you need to do before you sell your Mac is to make a full backup. This way, when you have a new Mac, you can easily recover all your data with a few clicks.
Your Mac lets you back up your files in a variety of ways. Most of you will like the Time Machine method because it’s built right into macOS and is a pretty easy way to create backups.
Make a backup of your Mac with Time Machine
- Plug your external drive into your Mac, which will be used to store your Mac files.
- Click the Time Machine icon in your menu bar and select the option that says Time Machine Option.
- When it opens, click Select Backup Disk to select your disc.
- Click your disc in the list and then press Disk Usage at the bottom.
- To start creating a backup of your machine, click the Time Machine icon in the menu bar and select Back up now.
You will be notified when the backup is ready.
Back up your Mac to iCloud
Another option for backing up your files is to use a service like iCloud. This will allow you to restore your files on any device that supports iCloud.
- Launch a Finder window and click iCloud Drive in the left sidebar.
- Open another Finder window and drag all the files you want to back up to the first window you opened.
You’ll need to wait until it’s finished uploading your files to iCloud Drive.
Deauthorize Your Mac in the iTunes App
If you’re still using a version of macOS that includes the iTunes app, you’ll need to deauthorize your Mac in the app. It tells iTunes that you will no longer be using the app on this device.
- Launch iTunes application using your preferred way on your Mac.
- Click Account menu at the top, select Authorityand click Unauthorize this computer.
- It will prompt you to enter your Apple ID credentials. Enter your username and password and click Cancel authorization.
Sign out of iCloud on your Mac
You’ll need to turn off Find My Mac and sign out of your iCloud account.
- Click the Apple icon in the upper left corner and select System Preferences.
- Click icloud on the following screen to manage your iCloud settings.
- Uncheck the box that says Find My Mac to disable this feature.
- Click Log out in the left sidebar to sign out of your iCloud account on your Mac.
- When it asks if you want to keep a copy of your iCloud data on your Mac, select Keep a copy. You’ll still erase your drive in one of the sections below.
Sign out of iMessage
Another thing you’ll want to do before selling your Mac is to sign yourself out of the iMessage service as well as on your Mac.
- Click Launchers in the Dock, search Messageand click it.
- When it opens, click Message menu at the top and select Interests.
Delete paired Bluetooth devices
If you have any Bluetooth devices stored on your Mac, you’ll want to delete them as well.
- Click the Bluetooth icon in the menu bar and select Open Bluetooth Preferences.
- Right click on each of your devices and select Eliminate. It will remove the device from the list.
Turn off FileVault on your Mac
You want to decrypt your disk contents by disabling FileVault.
- Click the Apple icon at the top and select System Preferences.
- Click Security & Privacy right to buy.
- Choose FileVault tab and click Turn off FileVault.
Sign out of your other accounts
You may want to sign out of your other accounts like Google Drive, Dropbox, Skype and others.
Finding the sign out option in most apps should be easy, and all you need to do is click on it and you’re good to go.
Erase your Mac drive
The most important thing to do before you sell your Mac is to erase all of the content on your drive so new buyers can’t access any of your data. You’ll need to do this from recovery mode on your Mac.
- Restart your Mac and press and hold Command + CHEAP when your Mac starts to boot.
- Option Disk Utility from the options available on your screen.
- Select your primary Mac hard drive and click – (minus sign) on the toolbar. Erase the drive.
- Select the primary Mac hard drive and click Erase at top.
- Enter a name for your drive and click Erase. It will start erasing your disk contents.
Reinstall macOS on your Mac
Finally, you want to install a new version of macOS on your Mac.
- Boot your Mac into recovery mode by pressing Command + CHEAP while your Mac is on the startup screen.
- Option Reinstall macOS on your screen.
- Once macOS is installed, press Command + Q and turn off your Mac. Don’t proceed to configure it so new buyers can set it up with their account.
Your Mac is now ready for sale.