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How to Securely Erase Your Data Before Selling Your Mac

If you’re planning to sell or donate your Mac, it’s important to ensure that all of your personal data is completely and securely erased. Here’s how you can do it:

Backup Your Data

Before you erase your Mac, make sure to backup your data to an external hard drive, iCloud, or another storage solution. This will ensure that you have a copy of your important files and data in case you need them in the future.

Sign Out of Everything

Before you erase your Mac, sign out of all the apps and services that you’re currently signed into, such as iCloud, iTunes, and iMessage. This will help ensure that you don’t accidentally leave any personal data behind.

Erase Your Mac

Once you’ve backed up your data and signed out of all your accounts, it’s time to erase your Mac. To do this, go to “System Preferences” > “Security & Privacy” > “General” and click on the lock icon to make changes. Then, select “Erase all data on this Mac” and follow the prompts to complete the process. Note that this will erase all of the data on your Mac, including the operating system and all applications.

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Securely Erase Your Data

To ensure that your personal data cannot be recovered, you should securely erase your data. There are several ways to do this, but one of the most effective methods is to use the built-in Disk Utility tool. Here’s how to do it:

  • Open Disk Utility (you can find it in the Applications > Utilities folder).
  • Select the disk you want to erase (usually “Macintosh HD”).
  • Click on the “Erase” button and select “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)” as the format.
  • Click on the “Security Options” button and select “Most Secure” (this will overwrite the data with zeros seven times, making it nearly impossible to recover).
  • Click on “OK” to begin the erasing process.

Reinstall macOS

After you’ve securely erased your data, you should reinstall macOS. This will ensure that the next owner of your Mac has a clean, fresh installation of the operating system. To do this, restart your Mac and hold down the “Command” and “R” keys until the Apple logo appears. This will boot your Mac into Recovery mode, where you can select “Reinstall macOS” and follow the prompts to complete the process.

By following these steps, you can ensure that all of your personal data is completely and securely erased from your Mac before you sell or donate it.