How to Prepare Mac for Sale?

By Amanda | Posted to Home > News, on Octorber 14th, 2021

You have bought a new Mac and don’t know what to do with the old one? It’s rather cost-effective to sell your old Mac in exchange for some money than leave it aside in dust.

In the first place, you can move all your files from the old Mac to the new one with Migration Assistant, or transfer the desired files between the two Macs by using Target Disk Mode.

Then, to avoid your personal information being leaked out, you need to take some essential measures to clear your Mac, erasing all your footprints. Meanwhile, it also benefits the new owner to quickly set up the Mac.

Back up your Mac

From the very beginning, you’d better create a backup of the old Mac. If you find some important files on the old Mac lose, a backup gives a chance to restore it. Indeed, backup is the best way to avoid data loss.

Time Machine is Apple’s built-in program. It is reliable and safe to use. To back up Mac with Time Machine, you need to prepare an external drive with compatible files system to store the backup data. It also helps to restore files from Time Machine when necessary.

back up Mac with Time Machine

Besides, you can use iCloud to sync your important data. Head to Apple menu > System Preferences > Apple ID, and enable iCloud for the desired app such as notes, contacts, and more. Or sign in to in a browser, then upload important files from the Mac to iCloud.

Sign out all accounts

Apple ID keeps your settings and Apple services up to date on all of your devices. To keep your personal information safe, you need to sign out all the accounts with Apple ID signed in to deauthorize the computer before you sell your Mac to others, including iTunes, iMessage, Music app, iTunes Store, Apple Store, etc.

Sign out Apple ID on Mac


NVRAM is a small amount of memory in Intel Mac, storing all the Mac settings' information. Resetting NVRAM will clear user settings from memory and restore certain security features that might have been altered.

To reset the NVRAM of Mac, you just need to shut down the Mac, press the power button and simultaneously hold down the Option + Command + P + R keys for about 20 seconds, then release all the keys.

reset NVRAM on Mac

Note: If you have an Apple M1 Mac, you don't need to reset NVRAM by hand as it auto-resets if necessary at every time your Mac startup.

Unpair Bluetooth devices

This is an optional step. If you sell your Mac to a roommate or someone living within the range of Bluetooth, you should unpair all Bluetooth devices before that. In this way, you can avoid the Mac accidentally connecting to the devices that you are keeping.

It’s easy to unpair your Bluetooth devices such as keyboard, mouse, trackpad, AirPods, etc. Navigate to Apple Menu > System Preferences > Bluetooth, and click the remove (x) button behind the names of paired devices, then click Forget Device to make a confirmation.

unpair Bluetooth devices on Mac

Erase your hard drive and reinstall macOS

If you have finished all the steps above, now you can erase your had drive on MacBook Pro/MacBook Air/iMac. It will restore the device to the state when it left the factory and remove all your personal data on it.

Six steps are covered to factory reset Macbook Pro/Macbook Air:

erase hard dirve on Mac

Then, you can boot your Mac into recovery mode again and reinstall macOS. After the reinstallation finish, the Mac will restart to a setup assistant that asks to choose a country or region. You can leave the setup process to the new owner and press Command-Q to shut down the Mac.