How to Factory Reset a MacBook Air

Aamir Khan

Suppose you are a Macbook user facing too many affected items in your laptop, or you plan to sell your Apple Macbook Air. In that case, you should reset your computer to ensure that your important files and data will not be in the wrong hands after you sell it. So, today we will show you how to factory reset a Macbook Air to its original settings when you first purchase.

Follow the guide if you want to reset your Macbook Air to the original factory settings. Note that this process is for those on macOS Big Sur or earlier versions. If you’re running macOS Monterey or later, the process is different, but we’ve linked to it in the factory reset section below.

Create a Backup

Always remember that if you are going into some irreversible process, remember to create a backup of your data and files. If something goes wrong, you should have the option to return to your original files and be safe from substantial data loss and system settings.

To create a Backup on Mac, you can use Time Machine, the built-in backup feature on your Mac. All you need is an external device compatible with macOS and enough storage to back up your data.

Follow the given steps to create a backup carefully;

  • First of all, connect your external storage device with your Macbook.
  • Open Time Machine Preferences from the Time Machine menu in the menu bar.
  • Select the external storage device and click on Encrypt backups and Use Disk.
  • After you select a backup disk, Time Machine should immediately begin making a backup.
  • To start a backup manually, choose Back Up Now from the Time Machine menu in the menu bar. Use the same menu to check the status of a backup or skip a backup in progress.
Factory Reset a MacBook Air

Sign out of iCloud and other services

If you have successfully created a backup, now is the time to plunge into resetting. First, sign out of all services such as iTunes, iCloud, and iMessage. This is a necessary step, especially if you plan to sell your MacBook Air.

  • Open the Apple menu in the upper-left corner and click on System Preferences.
  • Click on Apple ID if you are using macOS Catalina (10.15) or later. If you’re using an older version of macOS, click iCloud instead.
  • On the left side, select Overview, and click on the Sign Out button at the bottom. Earlier versions of macOS should directly have the Sign Out button.
  • Next, sign out of your Apple Music account, or iTunes account if your MacBook Air is running on macOS Mojave (version 10.14 or below). Open the Music/iTunes app.
  • On the top menu bar, you should see the option for Account.
  • Open the drop-down menu, click on Authorizations, then Deauthorize This Computer.
  • You will be asked to enter your Apple ID and password to confirm the same.
  • Finally, you should sign out of the Messages app.
  • Open the Messages app on your MacBook Air, click Messages from the top menu bar, and choose Preferences.
  • Click on the iMessage tab and you should see the option to Sign Out next to your Apple ID.

Factory Reset a MacBook Air

Now is the time to move to our primary process of resetting, and all your settings, apps, and data will be removed. Keep in mind this process that you can’t recover this data and settings once the process is done. Before beginning this process, ensure you have created a backup of your Macbook Air on an external device.

 If you’re running macOS Monterey or later, head to this guide to erase all your data. The steps below are for those on macOS Big Sur and earlier versions.

  1. Power up your MacBook Air into recovery mode. This can be done by turning on your Mac and immediately pressing and holding the Command and R keys.
  2.  If asked, select a user you know the password for, then enter their administrator password.
  3.  From the utility window, select Disk Utility and click Continue.
  4.  Select Macintosh HD in the sidebar of Disk Utility and click the Erase button in the toolbar.
  5.  Select the disk format as APFS if you’re running macOS 10.13 High Sierra or later. It’s also better for newer SSDs. If you have an older MacBook Air, select Mac OS Extended (Journaled).
  6.  Click Erase Volume Group. If you don’t see this button, click Erase instead. After the erasure concludes, select any other internal volumes in the sidebar, then click the delete volume button in the toolbar to delete that volume.
  7.  Once you have erased your disks, quit Disk Utility and return to the utility window.
  8.  Select Reinstall macOS in the utility window, then click Continue and follow the onscreen instructions to reinstall macOS.
  9.  Ensure you don’t close the lid while the OS is installed.

By following our guide, you will know at the end that resetting a Macbook Air is straightforward. And by this process, you will not face any problems or obstacles.

If you are facing a problem with Mac screen sleep and want to prevent it from sleeping, then you can also do that by reading this guide.

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