I bought a used Mac Mini (2018) from a (used Mac reseller), and today I've noticed that the previous owner is still signed in to Find My Mac (but it is me who is signed in to this Mac's iCloud).

Looking at: Preferences -> Internet Accounts -> iCloud -> Find my Mac I see: Find my Mac already in use (as on the attached screenshot).

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When I click on that option it displays the previous owner appleid email and asks me for his password (which obviously I don't and I won't have).

While doing the clean reinstall I went through the NVRAM clear procedure, so I assume it was cleared then, or this is a variables that cannot be cleared this way.

I found this article, although it is old, describing how to reset the appropriate NVRAM variables: https://tidbits.com/2016/07/22/disable-find-my-mac-by-resetting-nvram/

The solution from the article is to do: nvram -d fmm-computer-name nvram -d fmm-mobileme-token-FMM

I didn't do that yet, because: 1 - it should've been cleared already so it probably got recreated based on my Mac's serial, 2 - I read in some places that this doesn't work anymore, 3 - I'm not sure if that won't block or break current configuration of my Mac.

When I do: nvram -p | grep fmm it returns 3 vars:


The first one contains the email and some data of the previous owner like name and email plus some encoded data.

My questions:

  1. If I want to regain access to Find my Mac then the only option in that case is to try to contact the previous owner and ask him to remove this device from his iCloud?
  2. Can this user still block / erase remotely my Mac as long as it is present at his iCloud? Does it change anything that I'm successfully logged in to iCloud on this Mac?
  • Yes you have to contact the previous owner. If you did not have to then a thief could break the Find My Mac in the same way. Actually in this case you should ask for money back from the reseller as they have sold you faulty goods. – mmmmmm Feb 15 at 19:18
  • @mmmmmm Yeah but it seems like this procedure worked a few year ago :( OK, so this Mac in this state can still be locked remotely by the previous owner, right? – Picard Feb 15 at 19:21
  • They can lock it and wipe it, so back up your data. Should have checked before purchase. – Solar Mike Feb 15 at 20:59
  • The final of the story - the previous owner has turned out to be a really decent person and sent me the pass for his iCloud so I could remove the Mac from his Find my Mac. So good people are still there! :) But of course before buying a used Mac you should always make sure that the previous owner has followed all the Apple clean up instructions: support.apple.com/en-us/HT201065 – Picard Feb 20 at 12:59

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