If you want to pass on or sell your Apple iMac , you should first take a few important steps. Because especially if the Apple computer was previously networked with iCloud and used with other devices such as iPhone and iPad, you first have to log out of the respective services in order to reset the Mac to the factory settings.
In addition, of course, all personal data and files, photos, videos, music collections, documents and the like should also be removed from the hard drive. The quickest way to do this is to create a backup, sign out of major services, and then reinstall macOS.
Prepare iMac for sale and reset: Here's how!
A special case is the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, because to be on the safe side, it should be deleted using the terminal command xartutil –erase-all .
Leaving aside this point on the iMac, the steps are as follows:
- Back up all your important data onto an external hard drive
- Sign out of iTunes via "Account" -> "Authorizations" -> "Deauthorize this computer" and enter your Apple ID and password (only up to macOS 10.14 Mojave)
- Sign out of iCloud via "System Preferences" -> "Apple ID" -> "Overview" -> "Sign Out" (up to macOS 10.14 Mojave "System Preferences" -> "iCloud" -> "Sign Out")
- Sign out of iMessage by clicking on "iMessage" in the "Settings" in the Messages app and then selecting "Sign out".
- Reset the NVRAM by holding down the Option + Command + P + R keys for about 20 seconds at Mac startup (Option = Alt, Command = cmd)
- Unpair Bluetooth devices , which is possible via the Bluetooth settings via the menu bar or system settings
- Erase hard drive and reinstall macOS , which is fastest via Recovery Mode, which is started at Mac startup via Command + R (cmd+R) (internet connection required)
- Don't set up Mac , which is possible if you ignore the setup wizard after reinstalling and instead use the Command + Q (cmd+Q) shortcut to shut down the Mac
Prepare Mac for distribution: Apple official document
The steps above can be used to reset an Apple computer so that it can then be given away or sold. But even if it's been selected for a trade-in when buying a new Mac, it should be properly prepared before sending it in.
With new Mac, MacBook, iMac and Mac mini versions, new hardware is constantly being used over the years. These and updates in the software, e.g. in the macOS operating system, ensure that the steps listed above change or have to be carried out in a different order. The Apple support document HT201065 therefore always provides up-to-date information on the procedure.