The things to do before selling a Mac

If you’re looking to hand over your Mac to a new owner, here are some important steps to take now to protect your data and security.

After you’ve used your Mac for a while, there’s a lot of data stored on the drive: It could be pictures, videos, documents, and signed in accounts. All sensitive data that you do not want to share with others. So before you sell your Mac, it’s important to back everything up and wipe that data. In this article, App New will guide you through 9 things to do before selling a Mac. These steps will help make sure you don’t allow strangers to access your personal data.

Back up all data 

To avoid losing your data in any of the following steps, it is important to create a backup copy.

If you did it manually by saving the data to another drive, we recommend doing it again. Because by default on Macs, Time Machine software is included, which allows you to back up everything, making sure you don’t miss anything. Of course, you can delete all unnecessary backed up files later if you want.

Deauthorize your Mac from Apple Music

Apple allows you to license up to five devices per Apple ID for the Music (formerly iTunes) app. Authorization essentially grants the device access to all of the content contained on your Apple Music account.

If you decide to sell your Mac without deauthorization, you’ll have fewer devices for your account to authorize. Plus, new owners of your Mac can access all of your content.

To deauthorize a Mac, open the Music app and from the menu bar go to Account > Authorizations > Deauthorize This Computer.

Then, click the OK button when you receive the following message: This computer has been successfully deauthorized, indicating that the computer has been successfully deauthorised . Again, from the Menu bar, go to Account > Sign Out to sign out of your Music account entirely.

Sign out of iCloud and Apple ID

If you use iCloud and have everything synced, sign out of your account. To do it, go to System Preferences > Internet Accounts menu, select iCloud  and uncheck all options. Then press the Minus button at the bottom left to delete the account.

Once done, go to System Preferences > Apple ID > Overview > Sign Out menu .

Again, make sure to do an iCloud backup before you sign out of this account.

Sign out of iMessage

Many users have synced iMessage with Mac version apps. If you are too, sign out properly so you don’t accidentally give access to the new owner. Here’s how to sign out of iMessage:

Step 1: Open iMessage and from the menu bar, go to Messages > Preferences.

Step 2: By default, the General tab will be selected, but you switch to the iMessage card and click the Sign Out button .

Step 3: A confirmation pop-up. Click the Sign Out button again and you will be signed out of your account.

Make sure all the latest messages are synced with your iCloud account before you sign out.

Unpair Bluetooth devices

If you sell your Mac to someone (or often may have) within Bluetooth range of your various devices, it’s better to remove them all first.

To do this, go to System Preferences > Bluetooth menu , then click the X icon next to the device you want to remove.

Next, click the Remove button in the window that appears and your Mac will not automatically reconnect to these devices.

Turn off FileVault

FileVault encrypts all data on your drive to prevent hackers from accessing it if they steal or gain access to your Mac. While it’s a good idea to make sure the FileVault feature is turned on normally, disabling it will help new owners make the settings the way they want.

To do this, just go to the System Preferences > Security & Privacy tab, select the FileVault tab, and then click the Turn Off FileVault button .

FileVault can take up to several hours to shut down, depending on how much data you have stored on your drive.

Reset Password Firmware and NVRAM

This step is only relevant if your Mac uses an Intel processor (late 2020 and earlier models).

Firmware Password Reset 

If you set up a Firmware password, anyone who doesn’t know the password can’t log into your Mac using the external drive. To give the new owner access and reset the NVRAM in the next step, it is important to reset the Firmware password by .

Step 1: Restart your Mac. On startup, press and hold Command + R until you see the loading screen.

Step 2: When you see the lock screen, enter the firmware password and continue.

Step 3: Next on the menu bar, go to Utilities > Startup Security Utility or Firmware Password Utility.

Step 4: Click the Turn Off Firmware  button and re-enter the password, if prompted.

Step 5: Finally, close the utility and reboot from the Apple menu in the top left corner.


After your firmware password is cleared, restart your Mac and immediately (press Option (Alt) + Command + P + R for about 20 seconds). If you’re using a Mac with a T2 security chip, release the keys after the Apple logo disappears again. 

Erase the drive and reinstall macOS

With all of the above steps in place, your Mac is now ready to erase the drive and reinstall macOS. 

Clean your Mac 

After all your data has been backed up and fresh macOS is installed, all that remains is to clean the surface, or if you know how, you can remove the case and clean the inside of the device. 

Also, if you still have your Mac’s original packaging and accessories, be sure to clean it and send it to the buyer of your Mac as well. Keeping your Mac clean and with original accessories will help you sell it faster at a better price. 

Macs are complex devices with many features that need to be turned off before you sell them. With all of the items on this list complete, your Mac is now ready to be handed over to its new owner.


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