How to Factory Reset a MacBook Air

MacBook Air has been popular among Apple users given its fair performance as well as affordable prices, but it’s not flawless as well.Suppose most of you have run into some trouble with the device. Let’s say, you may find it unable to turn on after macOS upgrade, see nothing but a black or white screen, or suffer from super slow processing speed. After trying multiple methods such as rebooting the Mac, resetting SMC or NVRAM, the issue still leaves there. Another chance is that you want to sell your computer, give it to someone else, or you want to trade it in with no data on it.

Under these two circumstances, you may take factory reset into consideration. But how to reset MacBook Air to factory settings? This post may shed some light on the issue.

Things to do before factory resetting MacBook Air

1. Back up your files

Generally speaking, most users will prefer the documents to be saved before wiping out all data. Therefore, it’s essential to create a backup of previous files. You can do it with Time Machine or other backup software

2. Sign out of iTunes/iCloud/iMessage

If you don’t sigh out your iTunes, iCloud, or iMessage, it’s highly possible there will be sometrouble for the new holder to sign in. Also, your private information may be exposed to the nest user. So, it’s quite important to disconnect all your previous accounts before factory reset.

To sign out your iTunes:

1. Open iTunes app.

2. Click on “iTunes” at the top menu bar.

3. Go to Account > Authorizations > Deauthorize This Computer.

4. Enter your Apple ID and password.

5. Click on “Deauthorize”.

To sign out your iCloud:

1. Go to Apple icon > System Preferences… > iCloud.

2. Click on “Sign out”.

3. Click “Keep a copy” when a dialog pops up.

To sign out your iMessage

1. Open Messages app.

2. Click on “Message” at the top menu bar and choose “Preferences”.

3. Click “iMessages” at the toolbar to find your iMessage account and click “Sign out”.

Apart from the above two, there are other things you need to take a look at. For example, if you can’t log in, remember to reset the login password. It is also necessary to unpair your devices with the Bluetooth. Moreover, if you have turned on FileVault before, do turn it off before resetting your device to factory reset.

Steps to factory reset a MacBook Air

Make sure your Mac is connected to the Internet and is powered well. Then you are good to go. Follow the guide below.

Step 1: Reboot your Mac into Recovery Mode

1. Click on Apple icon at the left top corner of menu bar, choose “Restart” and hold down key combination Command + R immediately.

2. Let go of the keys until you see the Apple logo.

3. Wait for the Mac to restart in macOS Recovery mode.

Step 2: Erase the Macintosh disk

1. Choose “Disk Utility” and click on “Continue”.

2. Choose the startup disk (usually named Macintosh HD) at the sidebar.

3. Click on “Erase” at the toolbar in the Disk Utility window.

4. Give the startup disk a name and reformat it.

5. Click on “Erase” button. Wait for the process.

6. Click “Done”.

7. Go to the Disk Utility menu at the top to quit Disk Utility.

Step 3: Reinstall macOS

Apple has a detailed macOS reinstallation guide, you can check it here. So far, things are all done if you intend to leave your Mac for another person to use. However, if you want to keep it for yourself, perhaps you’ll continue restoring your data with your previous backups.


If you intend to factory reset your Mac, it’s strongly suggested to have a backup before doing so. Also, during the process of resetting, follow the steps with caution in case of unexpected incidents.

Author: 99 Tech Post

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