I want to delete everything and restore my MacBook Pro to factory settings. I followed these steps https://www.pcmag.com/how-to/how-to-factory-reset-a-mac deleted disk, and after that tried to reinstall macOS, but I keep getting an error: "an error occurred while preparing the installation. try running this application again"

I tried to fix the issue by setting the correct date in the terminal, but that doesn't help. I tried to revert everything in disk utilities, but I also can't do that. This is how my Disk Utility looks like

enter image description here

Can someone help me how to reboot mac to factory setting or at least to revert everything back? Thanks.

  • Does Sierra support APFS? You may have to erase the whole disk, not just the volume
    – lhf
    Commented Nov 21, 2020 at 1:06
  • Did you want to save any of the data on the machine? Or did you want to wipe it entirely clean and start all over? Commented Nov 21, 2020 at 3:27
  • I don't need any data. I want clean installation.
    – Nemus
    Commented Nov 21, 2020 at 15:45
  • "You may have to erase the whole disk" I tried nut I get the message "erase process has failed"
    – Nemus
    Commented Nov 21, 2020 at 15:47

2 Answers 2


The reason you are having issues with this is because the guide incorrectly tells you to press Command + R which is Recovery Mode but uses your local drive and means you can't erase the whole drive.

You need to run Command + Option + R which will run Internet Recovery Mode, and from there you'll be able to show all the partitions and erase the top level one as APFS then quit Disk Utility and install macOS to this new empty drive.

  • They should be able to erase the drive from recovery. You’re right, to reinstall Internet Recovery is needed. So many people need a simpler “easy button” in disk utility.
    – bmike
    Commented Nov 23, 2020 at 3:01
  • Now it installed the latest mac os big sur, but after that I only see the question mark folder blinking on the screen .... When I wanted to do it again when I come to part to choose disk for installation there is no any shown
    – Nemus
    Commented Nov 23, 2020 at 9:51
  • I managed to do it with Shift + Option/Alt + Command R and installed sierra....that is all that I needed :)
    – Nemus
    Commented Nov 23, 2020 at 11:33

This trips up so many people.

You just need to select the top item. AppleAPFSMedia

Erase that, then you can reinstall.

The screen shots here are a little newer, but the problem is trying to erase the wrong choice.

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