I am selling my 2010 Macboook and was wanting to back up all of my files and information and then wipe it clean and get it back to factory settings... Can anyone help me? Or point me in the right direction. Thank You.


From: http://kevin.kevandisa.com/2013/04/how-to-restore-macbook-to-factory-settings/

  1. Start Computer up, holding OPTION key
  2. You should now see two hard drive icons, select the one labelled “Recovery”
  3. Select your language
  4. Click on Disc Utility
  5. Click on Macintosh HD
  6. Select the “Erase” tab
  7. Erase the Disc
  8. Now go back to OSX Utilities – Select “Reinstall OSX”
  9. The recovery setup should be smart enough to download the latest licensed
  10. Operating System for your computer (in my case it was Mountain Lion 10.8.3)
  11. Reinstall to Macintosh HD

Also see: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4718 and https://discussions.apple.com/docs/DOC-4571

  • +1. Just a note that this does not clear contents on your HDD. I would recommend booting off a Linux live USB drive, write zeros to your OS X hard drive (using dd) before initiating the restore process.
    – segfault
    Aug 15 '13 at 19:25
  • If you have a "Recovery" partition, which is a hidden partition that Lion (10.7) and later creates automatically, you can boot from that, run Disk Utility and securely erase the drive more easily than downloading, installing and running a new OS.
    – Ɱark Ƭ
    Aug 15 '13 at 19:37
  • Make sure to increase how securely it is erased in step 6-7!!! Aug 16 '13 at 9:23

Actually if you do all of that first you have lost all of your data that you want to back up.

Get a USB (or firewire) HD at least the size of your current internal HD (which can be found under the Apple menu, about this Mac and system information). Plug it in and back up your HD using Time Machine. Optionally image it using Carbon Copy Cloner or Super Duper (two I am familiar with, there are others.

Once the backup is complete following the above procedure will wipe the drive and install a fresh OS on it.

You can use the Tools (?) menu in the installer to launch Disk Utility and wipe the hard drive, even write it with zeros without dealing with Linux utilities. But really if you just reformat the drive in Disk Utility and reinstall the OS MOST people won't know how to get any meaningful data off the drive. And besides installing a fresh OS will overwrite a lot of the old data anyway.

When I sell and old Mac I just reformat in Disk Utility and reinstall the OS... YMMV


If you have 10.7 or later, you can erase and reinstall OS X from the recovery partition. See http://support.apple.com/kb/PH4439.

  1. Hold command-R on startup.
  2. Open Disk Utility and erase the main OS X partition (like Macintosh HD, indented below a drive) or other partitions you have added.
  3. Choose Reinstall OS X.

If you erase the whole drive in the second step, the hidden recovery and EFI partitions are also erased. If the Mac supports Internet Recovery mode, it can download an image of the recovery system from Apple's servers, and you can reinstall OS X normally after that.

If you are selling the Mac, consider erasing the data securely so that it cannot be recovered with an application like DiskWarrior or Data Rescue. If you have an HDD, you can erase data on it securely by choosing the single pass option from the Security Options sheet in Disk Utility:

If you have an SSD, see this question.

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