I have an external SSD I would like to delete with ATA Secure Erase, I don't want to overwrite it with 0s or random bits. Can I do this with Mac OS (13.0.1) on my MacBook Air M1 / generally on Mac OS?

hdparm does not seem to exist for Mac OS, nor does Homebrew have it. A VM is not an option. The last time this question was asked and answered (How to securely erase an arbitrary SATA drive, utilizing the drive firmware to do so?) is 8 years ago. Are there any options since then?

  • See also apple.stackexchange.com/questions/146733/…
    – Tetsujin
    Dec 4, 2022 at 13:57
  • @Tetsujin That link points to information about a completely different type of secure erase that is not relevant to this question.
    – jksoegaard
    Dec 4, 2022 at 14:30
  • 2
    Of course, the best practice is to turn on FileVault from the start. Then you won't need to secure erase when you pass the SSD to someone else - just delete the keys.
    – benwiggy
    Dec 4, 2022 at 14:49
  • @benwiggy Yes I know, however I have an external SSD from another computer I want to sell.
    – TheBlob
    Dec 4, 2022 at 16:21

1 Answer 1


I know that you write it is not an option, although you do not specify why, but for the benefits of others, I would like to point out that the easiest and simplest way of doing this currently is to use a VM and run hdparm on Linux with its --security-erase option.

If you are a developer, there's nothing inherent about macOS that hinders you from running the ATA Secure Erase command manually. You could port that single feature of hdparm over.

If you are not a developer, and do not want to use a VM, then the best way forward would be to use the software that comes from the manufacturer of your SSD - just like you do on Windows. Unfortunately, many manufacturers of external SSDs only provide software with the secure option for Windows users.

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