If you’re planning on selling your Mac, you probably don’t want the buyer to have access to your data and information available on your machine. Therefore, you will need to get rid of your data stored on your Mac before giving it away.

This deletion process includes removing your data from your Mac and ensuring that all your accounts are completely removed. This way, the new owner of your Mac won’t have access to any of your data and won’t even be able to restore anything.

Do this before you sell your Mac

They will then be able to set up the Mac with their own account and data. The following article outlines the nine things you should do before selling your Mac. Also, be sure to check out our previous post on the 5 things you should do before selling your iPhone.

Create a backup of your Mac

The first thing you will want to do before selling your Mac is to create a full backup. That way, when you get a new Mac, you can easily restore all your data with just a few clicks.

Your Mac allows you to back up your files in various ways. Most of you will prefer the Time Machine method as it is built right into macOS and is a fairly easy way to make backups.

Backup your Mac using Time Machine

  • Connect your external drive to your Mac which will be used to store your Mac files.
  • Click the Time Machine icon in the menu bar and choose the option that says Time machine preferences.
Open Time Machine Preferences in the Time Machine menu
  • When it opens, click Select Backup disk to choose your disk.
Select Disk Backup in Time Machine settings
  • Click on your disk in the list and then press the Use disk button at the bottom.
Selected external drive and Use disk button
  • To start creating a backup of your machine, click the Time Machine icon in the menu bar and select Back up now.

You will be notified when the backup is ready.

Backup your Mac to iCloud

Another option for backing up your files is to use a service like iCloud. This will allow you to restore your files to any device that supports iCloud.

  • Launch a Finder window and click iCloud Drive in the left sidebar.
iCloud Drive in the Finder
  • Open another Finder window and drag all the files you want to back up into the first window you open.

You will have to wait until the files are finished uploading to iCloud Drive.

Deauthorize your Mac in the iTunes app

If you’re still using a macOS version with the iTunes app, you’ll need to deauthorize the Mac in the app. It is telling iTunes that you will no longer use the app on this device.

  • Start the iTunes app using the preferred way on your Mac.
  • Click on Account top menu, select Authorizationsand click Remove authorization from this computer.
De-authorize this submenu on your computer
  • You will be asked to enter your Apple ID logins. Enter your username and password and click on Cancel the authorization.
Enter your Apple ID and password request

Sign out of iCloud on your Mac

You will need to disable Find My Mac and also sign out of your iCloud account.

  • Click the Apple logo in the upper left corner and select System Preferences.
System Preferences in the Apple menu
  • Click on iCloud on the following screen to manage iCloud settings.
iCloud in System Preferences
  • Uncheck the box that says Find my Mac to disable the function.
Find my Mac on iCloud
  • Click on Disconnection button in the left sidebar to log out of your iCloud account on your Mac.
Exit button in iCloud
  • When it asks if you want to keep a copy of your iCloud data on your Mac, select Keep a copy. However you will delete the drive in one of the following sections.

Exit iMessage

Another thing you will want to do before selling your mac is to also disconnect from the iMessage service on your Mac.

  • Click on Springboard in the Dock, search Messagesand click on it.
Messages in the space bar
  • When it opens, click Messages top menu and select Preferences.
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<li>Select the <strong>Accounts</strong> tab to view the list of your accounts.  Then click on your iMessage account in the left sidebar and select <strong>Disconnection</strong> from the right pane.</li>
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Sign out button in Account

Remove paired Bluetooth devices

If you have any Bluetooth devices saved on your Mac, you want to clean them up too.

  • Click the Bluetooth icon in the menu bar and select Open Bluetooth Preferences.
Open Bluetooth Preferences in the Bluetooth menu
  • Right-click on each of your devices and select To remove. It will remove the device from the list.
Context menu with Remove selected

Disable FileVault on your Mac

You want to decrypt the contents of your drive by disabling FileVault.

  • Click the Apple logo at the top and select System Preferences.
  • Click on Security and privacy option.
Security and privacy in System Preferences
  • Select the FileVault tab and click Disable FileVault.
Disable FileVault in Security & Privacy

Log out of your other accounts

You may want to sign out of your other accounts like Google Drive, Dropbox, Skype and other apps as well.

Finding the sign out option in most apps should be easy and all you have to do is click on that option and you are good to go.

Clean your Mac Drive

The most important thing to do before selling your Mac is to delete all content on your drive so that the new buyer can’t access any of your data. You will need to do this from recovery mode on your Mac.

  • Restart your Mac and hold Command + R keys when the Mac starts to boot.
  • To select Disk utility from the options available on the screen.
Disk Utility in the macOS Utilities window
  • Choose your main Mac hard drive and click (minus) sign in the toolbar. Proceed with deleting the unit.
Delete volume button and Macintosh HD selected
  • Select your Mac’s main hard drive and click To delete top option.
Erase button and Macintosh HD selected in Disk Utility
  • Enter a name for the drive and click To delete. It will start erasing the contents of your drive.
Clear Disc Alert

Reinstall macOS on your Mac

Finally, you want to install a new version of macOS on your Mac.

  • Boot your Mac into recovery mode by pressing Command + R while your Mac is on the startup screen.
  • To select Reinstall macOS on your screen.
Reinstall macOS in the Utilities window
  • When macOS is installed, press Command + Q and shut down your Mac. Do not proceed with the setup so that the new buyer can set it up with their own account.

Your Mac is now ready to go.

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