What You Should Do Before You Sell or Give Away a MacBook


So, you have decided to give away your Mac computer, and it’s time to get it ready for its to-be owner. The first step in this entire journey would be data backup for yourself, followed by restoring the Mac device to factory settings. Then modify settings to make it appropriate for the new users and then reinstall macOS. 

At last, use Apple’s native Migration Assistant to move data from your old Mac to your new computer, in case you have bought one. So, this is the overall synopsis of what you need to do, and we will discuss this in detail in this article. Let’s understand all these steps in detail. 

Back Up Your Computer Data

Backing up your data is essential before you sell or give away your computer. So, before you initiate any action to delete files, or reinstall the OS to improve the device’s performance, make sure you have an additional copy of data available with you. That’s something that you should consider for all your digital devices and not just computers.

Create a backup for documents, photos, video clips, graphic files, apps, system files, and all other elements stored on your computer. On Mac, you can use the Time Machine utility to backup your data by connecting an external drive to the system. You can move data to iCloud, Google Drive, One Drive, or Dropbox and restore it on your new computer. 

Update to new macOS to be able to transfer data to iCloud. Navigate to the Apple menu, Click on Apple ID in System Preferences and tap iCloud. Next, provide your Apple ID details and click on iCloud Drive to complete the process. 

Sign Out of iTunes

If your Mac is running macOS Mojave or an earlier version, you must sign out of your iTunes account before selling your computer. To log out of iTunes, launch iTunes, click on Accounts in the menu bar, tap Accounts, click on Authorizations and then click Deauthorize This Computer. 

To continue the process to deauthorize the computer, you will need to enter your Apple ID and password details. Follow the process carefully and backup important data stored in iTunes on an external storage media.  

Sign Out of iCloud

Signing out of an iCloud account is important to keep your account secure and safe from any unethical attempt. iCloud syncs data across devices while giving you access to shared photo albums, continuity services like Handoff, Game Center, Apple pay, etc. If you have entered your credit card details into the Apple Pay account, signing out becomes even more important. 

There are two different ways to sign out of your iCloud account. You can either visit iCloud’s website and log off from there or you can sign out of the iCloud account on all your Apple devices. 

Remove BlueTooth Devices

Unpair and remove all the connected BlueTooth devices and delete the details of passwords, device names, and other relevant information related to BlueTooth stored in the computer. This will not let others connect to your devices intentionally or unintentionally, if you are selling them to your roommate, neighbor, or another person. 

The process for unpairing the BlueTooth devices is simple and takes only a few seconds. In the Apple menu, go to System Preferences, select BlueTooth, select the name of the device, and then tap the X sign to remove it from the list of paired devices.

Erase Your Hard Disk & Reinstall macOS

Disk Utility will allow you to erase the hard drive and clean it for its to-be owner. Delete other storage to remove all the traces of browsing history, payment details, or any important information. To erase the drive, you need to start your computer in Recovery Mode. 

  1. Turn on your Mac desktop or MacBook and immediately press Command + R.
  2. Tap on your username and provide administrator login details.
  3. Navigate to Utilities, click on Disk Utility, tap Continue, and then click on Macintosh HD.
  4. Click the Erase button given in the toolbar. In the Name field, enter select Macintosh HD. Next, in the Format field, select AFPS or Extended (Journaled) option. 
  5. Tap on Erase Volume Group or click on Erase. 
  6. Next, enter your Apple ID details when prompted. 

Now, you need to reinstall macOS on your computer. Go to the macOS Recovery, click on Reinstall macOS in the Utilities window, tap on Continue. Next, follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process. After reinstalling the operating system, you can securely give your MacBook to its new owner.