6 Things You Need to Do Before Selling Your Mac

Now, when you have decided to sell your old computer, it’s time to make your device ready for its new owner. To get started, backup your data, restore the computer to factory settings, tweak several settings, and finally reinstall the operating system. Once done, use Migration Assistant to move data to another computer.

By using the information given in this article, you can prepare your old Mac for its new user. So, let’s get started.

Things You Need to Do Before Selling Your Mac

Back-Up Your Computer

You must backup your computer before you do something new on it, be it deleting files, moving data to Cloud, reinstalling or upgrading the operating system, clearing space, or doing similar tasks. Follow the same tip for other digital devices as well. Create a backup for files, applications, images, videos, system files, passwords, and other important data stored on the computer.

On your Apple computer, use the native Time Machine to back up data; however, keep in mind that you need external storage to move data. Another option is to connect a Network-Attached Storage device or AirPort Time Capsule for creating Time Machine backups.

If you wish to move data to your iCloud account, make sure to update your computer to the latest macOS. You need to sign up to iCloud Drive with your Apple ID. To get started, click on the Apple menu, tap on Apple ID under System Preferences, select iCloud, provide Apple ID, and then click on iCloud Drive.

Sign Out of iMessage

This is rare, but your computer might be running Mac OS X Mountain Lion or a later version; you will have to sign out of the iMessage app. To do this, open the Messages app, click Messages, tap Preferences from the menu bar, tap on iMessages, and click Sign Out.

Sign Out of iCloud Drive

On macOS Mojave or previous versions, tap on the Apple menu, navigate to System Preferences, select iCloud, and tap Sign Out. On macOS Catalina or later versions, go to System Preferences available under the Apple menu, and select Apple ID. Click Overview in the Sidebar and click Sign Out.

Your computer will prompt you if you wish to keep a copy of the iCloud data on Mac, select Keep a Copy because you will erase your Mac later to complete the cleanup process. Selecting this option will keep the iCloud data safe on other Apple devices, so you can view it using your Apple ID.

Sign Out of iTunes

On macOS Mojave or earlier versions of the operating system, you will need to sign out of iTunes before you sell your Mac. To sign out of the iTunes account on your computer, open iTunes, choose Account from the menu bar, click Accounts, select Authorizations, and next click on Deauthorize This Computer.

You will have to provide your Apple ID and Password credentials to Deauthorize the computer. Make sure to follow the process carefully and make sure to back up data stored in the iTunes account so that you can restore it when required.

Unpair BlueTooth Devices

While this is optional, you can unpair all the BlueTooth devices to remove traces of information before selling your computer. See if your Mac is paired with any BlueTooth mouse, keyboard, speaker, trackpad, unpair all of them. This will prevent your computer from connecting to your device accidentally after you sell it to someone in close proximity.

To unpair the connected BlueTooth devices, go to the Apple menu, tap on System Preferences, click BlueTooth, select the device that you want to unpair, and click on the remove (x) button to complete the process. To complete the following steps, you will have to connect a USB keyboard to your computer.

Erase Your Mac Drive and Reinstall macOS

You may use Disk Utility to erase your Mac drive and make it ready to use for its new owner. To start up your Mac in macOS Recovery:

  1. Turn on your Mac and press the Command + R keys immediately.
  2. Select a user and enter administrator login credentials.
  3. Go to the Utilities window, tap Disk Utility, click Continue and tap on Macintosh HD from the sidebar.

Next, click on the Erase button from the toolbar, then enter Macintosh HD in the Name and select APFS or Mac OS Extended (Journaled) in the Format field. Next, click Erase Volume Group, or if you do not see this option, click Erase. If your system prompts, provide your Apple ID. Once the erase process completes, select other internal volumes in the sidebar and click on (-) to delete the volume.

Next, use macOS Recovery to reinstall the Mac operating system. In the macOS Recovery, select Reinstall macOS from the Utilities window, click Continue and follow the instructions on the screen. Once you reinstall the macOS, your computer is all set for the new owner.

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