I am selling my MacBook Pro and want to totally factory reset it so none of my things pop up. How do i do this without the disc?


'Factory reset' can be done with Apple's Internet Recovery by holding Cmd ⌘ R at the boot chimes.

Check your machine is capable of this or whether it requires a firmware update to do it before actually trying it, or you may end up with an unusable machine & then have to get hold of OS Install disks.

You may also want to go to Disk Utility & do a secure erase first, just to lessen the chances of someone trying to recover your old data [unlikely but possible on a simple wipe & install]

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If your Macbook Pro doesn't support Apple's "Internet Recovery", because it's older than "early 2011", you can go through these steps to remove most of your data from the machine.

Note: More time, but MUCH less effort is required by simply installing a fresh copy of the Mac's OS X...

(0) Back up your data

This should go without saying, but...

(1) De-authorize this Mac

iTunes --> Store --> Deauthorize this computer...

This makes sure your paid content isn't available on this Mac any more.

(2) Delete all your user accounts

System Preferences --> Users & Groups

Create a new Admin user. Make sure the new user is an Administrator. Don't lose this users' password!

Log out of your current user, and into this new user. Go back to Users & Groups, and delete all your other users, and choose "Delete the home folder" when prompted. This gets rid of most of your personal data from the machine, but not all.

(2) From the Finder, delete all the apps you installed, that you don't want the purchaser of your MacBook Pro to have. In practice this means everything not published by Apple, and even a few of those.

(3) Cleanse caches and "Application Support" details

This effort requires patience: you must look through your /Library folder, and delete everything that names you, or even hints at you.

Finder --> Go --> Go to Folder... --> enter "/Library" (without the quotes)

Check these folders:
(note: this is an incomplete list! If in doubt, install a new instance of OS X!)

  • /Library/Application Support

  • /Library/Caches

  • /Library/Internet Plug-Ins

  • /Library/PreferencePanes

  • /Library/Preferences

  • /Library/Spotlight

Again, its best to find a way to re-install the operating system.

  • Use a bootable USB stick with your preferred OS X version and do a clean install with hard drive erasing.
  • When the installation is finished and the Mac is booting, hit the CMD-R buttons and boot into Recovery Mode.
  • From there, shut your Mac down.
  • Next time you start it up, it will display the usual greeting and intro thing.

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