Over time, macOS and iOS have begun to resemble each other more and more. Icons look similar, features match, and seamlessness between the two operating systems increases. These days, the way to factory reset your Mac is similar to iOS as well.
Previously, if you wanted to factory reset your Mac, you had to do so from the recovery partition, which involved wiping the hard drive and reinstalling the software. With the release of macOS Monterey, however, Apple has added the option to erase all content and settings to the System Preferences, which mirrors a similar feature in iOS.
Let’s examine the new addition in more detail.
You may experience several situations in which factory resetting your Mac is necessary. Here are some common reasons to erase all content and settings:
If you’re giving your Mac to someone else, erasing all the content and settings beforehand is highly recommended. Failure to do so could mean the new owner can gain access to your private data and personal information. Erasing all content and settings in macOS securely wipes the device but leaves the operating system intact, so the Mac is ready for the new owner to set up once you’ve handed it over.MAKEUSEOF VIDEO OF THE DAY
Related: Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Mac
Security tools built into macOS have grown quite effective at safeguarding your system. However, sometimes a particularly stubborn piece of malware can prove impossible to remove. In which case, erasing all content and settings will wipe the problem away.
Also, our Macs can get quite cluttered over time, and sometimes cleaning up is more effort than it’s worth. If your system is running slow, and you’re not particularly attached to your data, you could wipe the slate clean and start fresh. We don’t recommend this as a first solution, but in certain situations it can be the easiest option.
Before you consider erasing any content or even a few settings, you should first back up all of your important data. Luckily, Time Machine is one of the best tools for backing up your Mac, although you can opt for an alternative backup method if that’s more your flavor.
Related: How to Back Up Your Mac
Once your data is safe and secure, you can begin the factory reset process. Follow these steps to erase all content and settings on your Mac:
After your Mac restarts, a progress bar will appear and fill until the process completes. Once the factory reset finishes, you can either switch off your device to give to someone else or go through the setup assistant yourself.
Your Mac must be running macOS Monterey or later and have an Apple silicon or T2 chip for the option to erase all content and settings to be available. However, if you don’t have a compatible device, you can still perform a factory reset using the traditional method.
The addition of an erase all content and settings option in macOS may seem minor, but the alternative trip to the recovery partition can be long and confusing. Mirroring a feature that iOS users are already familiar with is a smart move by Apple, and the new process is much more intuitive than the old method.
Some may view the change as an unwelcome simplification of the operating system, but sometimes simplicity is the best option. The Erase Assistant provides plenty of warnings during the process, so less tech-savvy users shouldn’t end up accidentally wiping their data. And if you want to erase your Mac the old-fashioned way, the option still exists.A Complete Guide to macOS Recovery: 8 Ways to Use It Read NextShareTweetShareEmail Related TopicsAbout The AuthorMatt Moore(75 Articles Published)
Matt is an Australian freelance writer with a degree in creative and critical writing. Prior to commencing his studies, he worked in tech support and gained valuable insights into technology and its users. His true passion is telling stories, and he hopes to one day write a novel worthy of publication.MoreFrom Matt Moore
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