Take care of these points before Selling your Mac

With a lot of research and technological advancements, the need for the latest hardware and processing power is ever increasing. At one point it becomes a necessity to upgrade your system to get yourselves a new Mac. Exchanging your old Mac for a new one is a great option.

Before selling your old Mac, you need to backup and securely erase all the personal data from your old system. This is to ensure that you don’t end up jeopardizing your privacy and personal information that can be recovered without your knowledge; if proper countermeasures are not taken. Moreover, resetting will just take the Mac back to its previous state, when it was bought first hand, the same cannot be said about your storage drive. If not purged properly there can be residual personal information still existing on the drive.

Before formatting and selling your old Mac, here are a few actions that you need to consider for a smooth transition from your old to new Mac.

  1. Take a backup

As you know formatting the computer will erase all the data, you need to take a backup of the hard drive before doing so. The safest way to take a backup on Mac is by utilizing the Time Machine. By making use of this feature you can ensure all you that you have all your data from old Mac, which can then be copied and used on the new computer.

However, there can be times where you might have unknowingly missed out on backing up a few important information before formatting. If this is the case, you have to make use of a trusted Mac data recovery software to get back all your lost data.

  1. Sign Out of all Applications

To avoid any conflicts between you and the new user, logout from all the applications from your Mac. Here are steps that can help you sign out from all major Mac applications.

Signing out from iTunes on Mac.

  • Open iTunes on your computer.
  • From the Menu bar on the left, click on Account
  • Click on Sign Out.

Signing out of iMessage on Mac.

  • Open Messages on your Mac, and click on Messages in the Menu bar at the top left corner of your screen.
  • Click on Preferences from the drop-down.
  • Select your iMessage account and click on Sign Out.

Signing out of iCloud on Mac

  • Click on the Apple icon in the upper-left corner of the screen.
  • Select System Preferences from the drop-down menu and click on Apple ID.
  • Un-check the box on Find My Mac and enter your system password when asked.
  • Finally, choose Sign Out and click on click Remove data from this Mac when prompted.
  1. Unpair your Bluetooth devices

Unpairing the Bluetooth device doesn’t matter much if you are selling your Mac to someone outside your house. But, if you are selling or giving away your computer to any person with in your house, it is good to consider un-pairing the Bluetooth device. This will ensure that the computer will not reconnect to your Bluetooth devices. Here is how you can do it.

  • From the top left corner of the screen, click on the Apple icon, and select System Preference.
  • Now, choose the Bluetooth, choose the device that you wish to unpair, and click the X icon next to the device.
  1. Erase your Hard Drive

After backing up all the data and signing out of all the applications, it is now time for you to format the hard drive.

  • Restart your Mac.
  • As Mac reboots, hold down the Command+R keys simultaneously.
  • From the macOS recovery window, select Disk Utility and hit continue.
  • Select View and choose on Show all Devices.
  • Look for your Startup disk (“Macintosh HD”) in the sidebar.
  • Under startup disk, select the Data Disk and click Edit.
  • Now, choose Delete APFS Volume from the menu bar and reconfirm by clicking Delete.
  • After deleting all the data drives, you can move ahead and erase the startup disk. Follow the below-mentioned steps to do so.
  • Choose the Startup Disk (usually named Macintosh HD)
  • From the top of the Disk Utility window, select on Erase.
  • Choose APFS from the format list and click on Erase
  • After the hard drive has been erased, click on Disk Utility and choose Quit Disk Utility from the drop-down.
  1. Reinstall a Fresh copy of the Mac Operating System.

After erasing the hard disk, you can now reinstall the macOS on your computer. Follow the steps to do so.

  • Restart Mac, hold Command+R simultaneously as Mac restarts to ensure that it boots in safe mode
  • Choose on Reinstall macOS to reinstall the operating system on your Mac and click on Continue
  • Select your hard drive (“Macintosh HD)
  • Click on Install to install
  • After completion of installation process Mac will restart
  • As you are transferring the computer to a new user, you can refrain from set up process and Shutdown the system

Did you know? Re-installation of macOS also ensures that the recoverable data still existing on the drive is overwritten. In most cases, there won’t be any residual data as long as system integrity protection is enabled.


One should always be extra cautious when selling the old computer. This is to ensure that you do not give away your personal information to the new user. Apart from Time Machine, you can use other cloud platforms such as Google Drive, Dropbox, etc. to back up your data. By taking a backup and reformatting the computer as mentioned above, you can transfer or sell your Mac to the new user without any worries.