How to Restore Mac to Factory Settings

This article will guide you how to wipe out all data from your computer, and provide you some proven solutions for restoring a Mac computer to Factory Settings at ease.

Mac Data Recovery

Mac Data Recovery+
  1. Undo Empty Trash Mac (macOS Mojave Supported)
  2. Recover Overwritten Files on Mac
  3. Recover Lost Data on Mac after Upgrading to macOS Mojave
  4. How to Show Hidden Files on Mac
  5. Top 10 Mac Data Recovery Software Reviews
  6. How to Recover Deleted Files on Mac
  7. Recover Deleted Files on Mac Without Software
  8. How to Delete Partition on Mac
  9. Mac Hard Drive Recovery
  10. Top 6 Ways to Recover Deleted Photos on Mac
  11. Word Not Responding on Mac? Fixed Now!
  12. Recover Files from Recycle Bin or Trash Folder on Mac
  13. 5 Best Methods to Recover Deleted Word Files on Mac
  14. Effective Solutions for “Desktop Files Disappeared on Mac”
  15. Recover Overwritten Files on Mac
  16. Apple Email Recovery
Free Mac Data Recovery+
  1. Top 5 Alternatives to Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery for Mac
  2. Best Alternative to Data Rescue 5 for Mac
  3. Best Alternative to EaseUS Data Recovery Mac
  4. Best Ways of Doing Data Recovery from SD Card On Mac
Mac Repair and Restore+
  1. Format FAT32 and NTFS Drives on Mac
  2. All You Need to Know about MAC Recovery Mode
  3. A Detailed Guide on Mac Repair [2019]
  4. How to Perform Internet Recovery on Mac
  5. How to Restore MacBook Pro?
  6. How to Restore Mac to Factory Settings?
  7. How to Restore Mac from Time Machine? [2019]
  8. How to Restore Mac and Get All of Your Files Back
  9. How to Boot Mac into Recovery Mode?
  10. How to Restore MacBook Air Safely Without Loosing Data
  11. How to Securely Do a System Restore on Mac
  12. How to Restore iMac without Data Loss
  13. Best Mac Recovery Partition App
  14. Best Way to Perform Disk Recovery on Mac
  15. The Best Mac USB Recovery Tool

• Filed to: Mac Recovery • Proven solutions

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:

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.


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.

Deauthorize iTunes:
Deauthorize iCloud:

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

  1. Open System Preferences and then select iCloud, and click on the Sign Out option.
  2. You will be presented with a window listing the following: iCloud Drive, Contacts, Calendars, Reminders.
  3. Deselect each of these and then click on Continue (Older MacOS versions will display Delete From Mac).
  4. iCloud will inform you that it wants to update before you sign out.
  5. For MacBook Pro/Air, confirm removal of payment details. All Apple Pay information will be wiped out when you sign out.
  6. Enter your Apple ID and sign out of iCloud. Wait for a while as iCloud wipes out all data on your Mac.

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:

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.

  1. Open System Preferences, then click on Security & Privacy and finally select the FireVault tab.
  2. You may also click on the padlock icon at the bottom left side of your screen and then enter your user name and password to unlock.
  3. Now select Turn off FireVault, enter your user name and password again and then wait for FireVault to decrypt any encrypted files on the Mac.

5. Erase Touch Bar Data

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

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:

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.


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.

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

1. Use Recoverit to recover lost data [Recommended]

Recoverit 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.


Powerful Mac Data Recovery Software!

  • 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.
  • Recover data from a crashed computer – should a virus attack crash your computer, you can still recover your crucial files and data.
  • Selective recovery – save time by selecting the particular files or file formats that you need to recover.
3,015,629 people have downloaded it

Below is the step-by-step guide to restore MacBook Pro using Recoverit for Mac.

Step 1 Download, install and launch Recoverit for Mac.

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

download and install recoverit

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 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.

select partition

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

Upon clicking on Start, Recoverit 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.

preview data

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.

2. Recover data with the 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. Decide the backup device

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.

restore macbook

3. Start backup

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

recover from mac

4. Choose the backed up file

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.

restore mac data

5. Choose the backed up file

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.

mac data recovery

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 Recoverit for Mac and restore the files from your damaged hard disk.


staff Editor

Hot Articles

8 Proven Ways to Fix "Safari Not Working on Mac"
Does your Safari not working on Mac? Fix it with 8 proven ways here! And the method to recover lost safari history or bookmarks on mac are introduced.
Recover Deleted Safari History on MacBook with 4 Proven Ways
Do you lost your Safari history on Macbook? Don't worry, here are 4 proven ways to help you recover deleted safari history on macbook.
System Integrity Protection (SIP) on Mac - Everything You Need to Know
What is SIP on Mac? Here is an overview of Mac SIP (System Integrity Protection). You will learn if it is safe to disable SIP and how to enable or disable SIP on Mac.
Disk Drill for Mac: An Honest Review 2022 and Know 5 Alternatives
Data loss can happen to anyone, anytime. We take a look at Disk Drill for Mac and explore some of its top features. We'll also discuss some alternative tools.
T2 Chip Data Recovery: Recover Data from Apple T2-secured Mac [2022]
Do you want to recover your T2-secured Mac data? This article features methods to help you cover effective T2 chip data recovery.
Apple’s M1 Chip vs. T2 Security Chip – A Detailed Comparison
Learn all about the T2 security chip and the M1 processor used in MacBook. This article includes a comparison of their features.
Home > > Resource > Mac Recovery > How to Restore Mac to Factory Settings