How to Restore Mac to Factory Settings?

Here are simple and tried methods for restoring a Mac computer to Factory Settings.

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A situation may come along where you need to give your Mac computer to someone close to you, sell the computer, or recover it after a disastrous crash or malfunction.

Knowing how to restore Mac to factory settings comes in handy since you will essentially return the computer to the state it was in when you bought it.

This process involves wiping out all data from your computer, and then reinstalling MacOS. However, you may also need to recover files from a damaged partition and this guide will show you some tools to help you do this with ease, speed and security.

Part 1: Why Do You Need to Restore Mac to Factory Settings?

There are several reasons to restore you Mac to factory settings and some of these are

Part 2: Things to Do Before You Restore Mac to Factory Settings

There are certain things that you should do before resetting your Mac to factory settings. These help you keep your data for use on another Mac or the same one once you reinstall MacOS. Here is how you go about it:

Step 1 Backup your important data

You can back up your data to a new Mac or an external storage device using Time Machine or other third-party Mac backup tools such as SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner.

Step 2 Deauthorize iTunes/iCloud

Your computer is authorized to work on iTunes and iCloud using Apple Accounts. If you are giving away your Mac or selling it, you need to deauthorize it from both iTunes and iCloud, so your account cannot be used by another person to purchase and download content from iTunes, or access files that you have stored on iCloud.

This is a basic security measure that you must do when restoring Mac to factory settings.

a) Deauthorize iTunes:

For iTunes 12: Enter your iTunes and click on Account > Authorizations > De-authorize This Computer. Input your Apple ID and Password before finally clicking on De-authorize.


For older iTunes versions: Simply click on Store > Deauthorize This Computer.


b) Deauthorize iCloud:

Deauthorizing iCloud is a matter of logging in and deleting all files and crucial information. Follow these steps:

Step 3 Sign out of iMessage

You must sign out of iMessage before restoring Mac to factory settings. Go to the message app and then follow this path:

Step 4 Turn off FireVault

FireVault is the utility that encrypts data on your hard drive. You will be getting rid of the files anyway, so security is no longer an issue.

Step 5 Erase Touch Bar Data

This is only applicable to Macs with the Touch Bar, such as MacBook Pro

The Touch Bar data will be erased when the Mac reboots.

Part 3: How to Restore Mac to Factory Settings without Losing Data?

Sometimes you may need to restore to factory setting simply to reinstall MacOS and do not want to lose any data on the computer. Here is how you go about it:

Step 1 Restart Mac in Recovery Mode

Restart the computer and long-press the CMD + R buttons until you see the Apple logo. Release the keys and your computer will boot into recovery mode.

Step 2 Erase Mac hard drive

When in recovery mode, the typical login screen is not displayed. You will be presented with the MacOS Utilities window, where you will choose the desired option.

The hard disk will be erased while conserving crucial data.

Step 3 Reinstall MacOS operating system

You hard disk has been erased and is ready for a clean install of MacOS. This can be done while still in recovery mode.

Let the operating system get reinstalled and your Mac will be clean from any errors that may have plagued it before.

Part 4: How to Recover Lost Data on Mac after Reset

Option 1: iSkysoft Data Recovery for Mac [Recommended] if no backup

iSkysoft Data recover for Mac is a versatile tool that is used to recover data that has been accidentally deleted or lost due to another event such as a virus attack. This tool is easy to use, and comes with powerful recovery features that will aid in getting your crucial files back, if you did not create a backup earlier.

iSkysoft Data Recovery for Mac

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  • Fast Recovery – saves you time in that it works faster than other recovery tools.
  • Recover 1000+ file types – No matter what format your files have, this tool can recover them and show you previews while doing so.
  • Versatile recovery tool - It can restore files from SD Cards, External hard disk, another computer or the current hard disk drive.
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Step-by-step guide to restore MacBook Pro using iSkysoft Data Recovery for Mac

Step 1 Download, install and launch iSkysoft Data Recovery for Mac.

Install iSkysoft Data recovery for Mac by accessing the official download page and downloading the installer. Double-click to install, and then launch the program.

Step 2 Select the partition to recover files from.

You will be presented with a list of partitions on your hard disk. Choose the one where your lost files were located and then click on Start.

If you do not see any external hard disks listed and yet they are connected to the Mac, click on the Refresh icon found right next to the External Removable Device option in order to have it listed.

Step 3 Select the files to be recovered and complete the recovery process.

Upon clicking on Start, iSkysoft Data Recovery for Mac will begin scanning the selected partition for lost files. The size of the partition determines how much scanning time is required. After scanning the results will show you a list of recoverable files. Each will have a validity indicator, which shows whether they can be retrieved or not.

You may select all retrievable files or choose particular ones. It is also possible to retrieve a particular file format e.g. JPG if you want Jpeg pictures alone.

When restoring lost files, you should use another partition or external storage device as a destination for the restored files. If the partition you are scanning has been damaged, the restored files may get corrupted.

Choose to preview files when you want to retrieve them individually instead of batch retrieval.



  • The inbuilt scanner is great when you want to find a particular file format and helps in speeding up the scanning process.
  • If the first scan does not find certain files, you have the option of performing a deep scan to find them.
  • Save the scan results in case you need to do another scan of the same partition in future.

You will also save more time when you consider the validity of the scanned files before you start restoration. Why take time trying to recover files that the tool has deemed unrecoverable?

Option 2: With a Time Machine backup

You can use a Time Machine backup, created earlier, to restore lost files on your Mac:

1 Switch on your Mac after connecting the Time Machine backup disk or device.

2 You should now decide on the backup device from where you want to restore your files from. The Mac Migration Assistant will give you certain options for transferring your files.


3 Select From a Mac, Time Machine backup or startup disk and then click on Continue.


4 You will be presented with a list of backups on the Time Machine backup disk. Choose the backup with the latest time and date and then click on Continue.


5 From the list of data categories, choose the preferred category and then click on Continue. This will begin the transfer or restoration of files from the Time Machine backup disk.


Restoring from a Time Machine backup disk can take a long while, depending on the number of files you are transferring.

Once complete, restart the Mac and then enter the migrated account to find the restored files.

In conclusion

When giving away your Mac, selling it or repairing a corrupt MacOS, you need to restore the Mac to factory settings. This is one way of cleaning your computer so it assumes the condition it was in when you first purchased it. However, there is information that you need to remove from the computer other than your files and applications. Data from iCloud, iTunes, Touch Bar, Apple Payments and others should also be removed from the computer. This is why you need to perform deauthorization from iCloud and iTunes.

Finally, if you want to restore your files from a backup, you can use a Time Machine backup, and if you didn’t have a backup, get iSkysoft Data Recovery for Mac and restore the files from your damaged hard disk.

Wondershare Editor
Jun 27,2019 16:41 pm / Posted by Elva to Mac Recovery

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