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Can a MacBook Be Tracked by Former User After Factory Reset?

Hi, a question that I am probably asking a bit too late, but still, I'd rather have it cleared out. Mid-2021, I purchased a used 12-inch MacBook (my first Apple device and I do enjoy using it) that came to me wiped out (factory reset I believe, I do not know the exact term for it). When I turned it on, I had to create my own iCloud account, and only then could I start using it. My question is - is there any risk of the former owner still having visibility to any of my activity on the MacBook given that it was logged out before he sold it to me? Is there any way of checking what tracking activity may be happening, if any? Thanks in advance!

Best Answered by

iBoysoft author Jenny Zeng

Jenny Zeng

Answered on Monday, September 4, 2023

Yes, the former user can still track your Mac's location if you didn't sign into your iCloud account.

If the former user didn't strictly follow Apple's advice to sign out of iCloud and remove the device from Find My Mac, he or she could still locate your Mac from Find My Mac until you log into the Mac with your account. That's because the device is still associated with the former user's iCloud account even if it's not logged in.

So, the previous user can potentially erase your Mac remotely or lock you out. This is actually a feature for users to track and lock down a stolen device. Anyway, it's recommended to log into a second-hand Mac once you acquire it.

Also read:

How to Factory Reset M1 Mac (MacBook Air/Pro, Mac mini, iMac)


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