I just sold my MacBook Pro. It originally came with OS X 10.6.6 (snow leopard). I since upgraded it, through the App Store, to OS X 10.7.5 (lion).

I want to wipe everything clean on the hard drive so the new owner starts fresh. I have the original Install DVD. Should I just insert that and format the drive? Is there an easier way, like with iPhones, that I can click on something?

After resetting everything, do I then need to go to the App Store with my Apple ID, install Lion, and then erase my Apple ID?


It's much easier to just reboot to the Recovery HD (restart and hold down command and R).

Then use Disk Utility to erase the hard drive. Everything will be gone and if you want to be paranoid, you can zero the entire drive one or more times. Once that erase is done, you can re-install Lion from Apple's image over the network. You could also use the DVD at that point, but the erase is quite easy and best done using the Recovery HD on the Mac's drive.

I don't think you'll need to sign in to get Lion, but if you do, then you can just put Snow Leopard on the Mac. That would be the best thing to do licensing wise, since the App Store terms require you to erase software before selling your Mac.

  • How do I "re-install the Lion from Apple's image over the network?" I can install over the internet? Otherwise, I'm not allowed to transfer my Lion upgrade when I sell my computer?
    – at01
    Oct 6 '12 at 23:15
  • I edited the answer to link to Apple's description of internet recovery. You can (actually must) transfer the license of the OS that came with the hardware when you sell it. Since this shipped with Snow Leopard, your upgrade to Lion belongs to your Apple ID, not the hardware/CPU. That license says you can't sell it, but only a court of law can make it illegal to do so, and I know of no case where that's been adjudicated.
    – bmike
    Oct 6 '12 at 23:25

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .