How to reset a MacBook Pro Offically

A helpful guide for Mac users

This is our guide on how to reset a MacBook Pro. There could be many reasons for wanting to do this. If your MacBook Pro is performing slow or you no longer have use for it, you will want to reset it to factory settings. 

This basically means putting it back into the condition it was when you took it out of the box or received it. Straight out of the factory.

This guide will go through the steps of unlinking your MacBook Pro from your Apple ID, backing up your data and then removing all your personal data from the system. We'll also be showing how you can reinstall the version of macOS that originally came with your MacBook Pro via an internet connection.

Unlinking your Apple ID

If you're going to be either selling or giving away your MacBook Pro, you'll need to unlink your Apple ID, otherwise the new owner won't be able to sign in via iCloud and apply their settings. This is very easy to do. 

When booting up your MacBook Pro, open System Preferences then choose iCloud and finally 'Sign Out'. You'll also be presented with an option to erase local copies of your iCloud data on your Mac, as they're backed up to Apple's servers. Therefore, stopping any traces of your account being left behind.

Alternatively, there is another option which will safely remove your Apple ID from your MacBook Pro. Firstly, open a web browser of your choice and visit the iCloud Website. You will then need to sign in using your Apple ID. Select 'Find my iPhone'. Your MacBook Pro will then be listed under 'All Devices'.

Proceed to select your MacBook Pro and click 'Remove from Account'. Make sure to repeat these steps for each person that has signed into your MacBook with their Apple ID. 

Backing up your data

We've made a blog which goes through the best ways to back up if you're wanting a more in depth explanation. Now you may want to reset your MacBook Pro and if you've got important files on there, will decide wether or not you'll want to backup. You may have data such as documents, photos, videos and many more.

Because you're using a Apple product you most likely have heard of Time Machine. This is a built-in backup feature in your Mac that automatically backs up all of your files. If this is the option you want to go with then insert your chosen drive into your MacBook Pro, click the Time Machine icon at the top of the screen and choose 'Back up Now'.

If you haven't backed up your MacBook Pro before, I recommend doing so incase any technical issues become apparent. To start using Time Machine first you will need a blank external hard drive with a capacity at least equal to that of your MacBook Pro. 

Connect your drive to the MacBook Pro. THe Mac Operating System will ask if you wish to use this dive for backup purposes. Click to confirm and the backup process will now begin automatically backing up. Depending on the amount of storage your MacBook Pro has, depends on how long this process can take. 

You don't need to worry about purchasing macOS specific drives as Time Machine will automatically format any external hard drive to be Mac compatible. This process would remove any previous data on the drive, so bare this in mind.

Erasing your hard drive

Once Time Machine has finished backing up your files to the external hard drive you need to safely disconnect your drive by opening Finder. You then need to click the eject symbol next to the drive name. You can then disconnect the external from your MacBook Pro and keep it safe.

Now we can start working on erasing your hard drive. You need to first shut down your MacBook Pro. You then need to restart your device while holding Cmd + Alt + R. This should then present you with a screen that says 'Starting Internet Recovery' alongside the image of a spinning globe.

You can now release holding the keys and wait for Internet Recovery to finish loading. Once the Recovery Area has been loaded, click 'Disk Utility' then 'Continue'. Your MacBook Pro's hard drive will be displayed on the left hand side with the default name as 'Macintosh HD'.

Click on this drive to highlight it in blue. Then choose the 'Erase' button. Double check that the 'Format' is set to macOS Extended, then click the 'Erase' button.

Reinstalling macOS

Once your hard drive has now been fully erased, click on 'Disk Utility' at the top left-hand corner of your screen, then choose 'Quit'. This will redirect you back to the main page of the Internet Recovery area. 

Click onto the Wi-Fi symbol at the top right of the screen and make sure you're connected to a wireless network. Once you've done this, click on 'Reinstall macOS' which is located in the middle of your screen, as a second option. This will begin the reinstall wizard. 

Then proceed by clicking 'Continue', then 'Agree' to the Terms and Conditions. The install wizard will now ask you to choose the destination drive. Click the one your erased in the previous step (e.g. 'Macintosh HD') then on 'Install'. The time it will take to reinstall will vary depending on your connection speed. Keep your MacBook Pro plugged into the mains to make sure it doesn't power out through installation.

Using Setup Assistant

Once your MacBook Pro has finished reinstalling the operating system you will be launched into the Setup Assistant. This is the install wizard that you will have went through when first purchasing the Mac. 

If it is in your interest to sell/give away your MacBook Pro, you can now shut down the device. This is because the new owner will be filling in the information required in the start up settings to make it their device. 

If you're in the position where you had to reset your MacBook Pro due to a technical issue, then click 'Next' to accept the default language. The Setup Assistant will offer you the chance to connect to WiFi. Do this by clicking the name of the network you want to connect to and enter your WiFi password.

The Assistant will then ask if you want to transfer information to this MacBook Pro. This migration feature from Apple is very useful for people who purchase new devices and want to move data over from an old Mac. In this case we don't want to be doing that. It could in fact restore a software issue that caused your MacBook to need resetting in the first place.

Next you need to choose 'Don't transfer' and 'Don't sign in', if you're asked to enter your Apple ID and password. Setup Assistant will now ask you to enter your 'Full name' and 'Password' to create an Administrator account.

Enter a very basic name and password such as 'Admin' and 'Password'. This will then take you to the macOS desktop. If you had received an issue previously such as Mail failing to open or anything software related, attempt to do the same now to see if the problem still persists. If it does, most likely that issue will be hardware related and will need troubleshooting via technician at Apple.

Need more help?

If you're still struggling with resetting your MacBook Pro or find that you cannot remove an issue you're facing make sure to get in touch! call us on 0114 296 0035 or email info@directcomputers.co.uk and we'll be sure to help you out.