What to do before selling or giving away your MAC

Thinking of trading, selling, or giving away your Mac? There are some things to do before you part with your Mac.

Since you have been using your system, different types of data and information are scattered across the device. These may include documents, images, videos, downloads, email attachments, and logged-in accounts.

Your device may even store sensitive data that must not fall into the wrong hands. Therefore, before selling or giving away your Mac, you must take proper steps to erase all data.

what to do before giving away your mac


Erase All Content and Settings

Devices running macOS Monterey or Ventura do not need to go through the daunting, laborious process of removing data one by one. Instead, you can use the Erase All Content and Settings feature to quickly erase all data and retain the current operating system so that the next user does not need to reinstall the OS.

All you need to do is click the Apple logo > go to System Preferences or Settings > click Erase All Content and Settings > follow the on-screen prompts. For more information, click https://setapp.com/how-to/erase-your-mac.

If your device runs an older macOS version, erasing all content and settings will not be as straightforward as mentioned above. You have your work cut out for you; what needs to be done will be found below.


Backup All Data

Before giving away or resetting your Mac, it is essential to back up all essential data. Then, you can transfer this data to your new device.

You can back up data using Time Machine, which is an in-built feature. Or, you can use an external drive to transfer and store your essential data. If you have an iCloud account, you can send files to the cloud storage account and enable sync. This will ensure the stored data is readily available across all your Apple devices.


Deauthorize from Apple TV, Podcasts, and Apple Music

If the device is authorized, it will have complete access to all of the Apple Music content. Under a single Apple ID, Apple Music lets users authorize up to five devices. If you don’t want the new Mac owner to have access to your Apple Music content, you must deauthorize it.

Open the Music application to deauthorize > click Account > Authorizations > Deauthorize This Computer.

Similarly, deauthorize from Apple TV by opening the app > Account > Authorizations > Deauthorize This Computer.

For Podcasts, launch the app > Account > Sign Out.


Log out of Apple ID and ICloud

As a Mac user, you are already aware that iCloud syncs everywhere across Apple devices. Therefore, if you use it to upload and sync data, you must sign out of the account.

  • If you sign out of iCloud, you will be automatically signed out of iMessage, the App Store, and FaceTime.
  • If you are running macOS Catalina or later, click the Apple logo > System Preferences > Apple ID > Overview > Sign Out.
  • If you are running macOS Mojave or earlier, click the Apple logo > System Preferences > iCloud > Sign Out.

Before logging out, you will be asked whether you wish to keep a copy of your Keychain, Calendars, and Contacts. It would be best to unselect this option as you don’t want the new Mac owner to access such data from your device.


Unpair Accessories

Are you using Bluetooth devices with your Mac? You must unpair them before selling or trading your old Mac. You do not want your devices to connect accidentally to your old Mac.

Head to System Preferences > Bluetooth and go through the list of paired devices. Then, hover over them and click the X or remove button to unpair those devices.


Disable FileVault

FileVault is an in-built encryption software that secures all the information on your device. This software prevents cybercriminals and hackers from hacking or stealing your data or gaining access to your system.

If you have turned on this feature to protect your files, you must turn it off. This will help to decrypt your disk. If you forget to do this, your old Mac will ask for the password you have set for FileVault. Naturally, this will hinder the new owner of your Mac from setting up their device.

You can do this by going to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > choosing the FileVault tab > clicking Turn Off FileVault.


Remove Your Old Mac as a Trusted Device

Is your Mac set as a Trusted Device for your other Apple devices? You must remove it from that list before trading or selling your Mac. This will prevent your devices from sending verification code requests to your old system.

Go to Settings > tap your name > old Mac > Remove from the account on your iPad or iPhone.


Protecting your personal information must be your number one priority when selling, trading, or giving away your Mac. Follow the steps mentioned above so your data remains safe and the new Mac owner doesn’t face any problems.