Ultimate Guide to Erase and Reformat Mac

March 17, 2022Ashley Mae

For different reasons, you choose to reformat your Mac. For instance, you plan to sell, give away, or trade-in your Mac, or you have to reformat Mac to fix some issues. Question is, do you know how to erase all data on a Mac and perform a factory reset?

This post gives you a detailed guide to reformat Mac. Whether you want to reformat a hard drive on Mac, or erase Mac and reinstall a clean version of the new macOS, you can keep reading and use the specific method to do that.

Reformat Mac

Part 1: Erase All Content and Settings to Reformat Mac

If you only mean to reformat a hard drive on Mac or quickly remove all your personal data from your Mac, you can use its Erase Assistant to reset your Mac to factory settings with ease. Before you reformat Mac, make sure you have backed up all useful Mac data.

Step 1:
On your Mac, click the Apple menu in the top-left corner and then choose the System Preferences option from its dropdown.
Step 2:
Click the System Preferences on the top menu bar and select the Erase All Content and Settings to erase your Mac.
System Preferences Erase All Content and Settings
Step 3:
In the new Erase Assistant window, you are required to sign in with your administrator credentials. You need to enter your password to log in to your Mac. After that, you can choose to back up your Mac data before reformatting it. Click on the Continue button to move on.
Step 4:
When you are taken to the Erase All Content & Settings, you can view your settings, media, data, and others listed there to be removed. Click Continue and then follow the instructions to confirm the Mac resetting.
Erase All Content Settings on Mac

With this method, you can handily delete all your accounts and related data, sign you out of all Apple services, and turn off Find My and Activation Lock on the Mac.

Part 2: How to Reformat a Mac Using Disk Utility

When you plan to wipe a Mac and return it to the factory settings, you can rely on Disk Utility. You can follow the steps below to reformat your Mac using it.

Step 1:
You need to put your Mac into Recovery mode to access the Disk Utility. To do that, you should shut down your Mac first, press on the power button to restart it, and immediately press and hold Command + R keys to boot this Mac into macOS Recovery mode.
Step 2:
When you see the macOS Utilities window, you can choose the Disk Utility option and click on the Continue button.
Macos Utilities Window
Step 3:
Select Macintosh HD in the left sidebar and then click on the Erase button in the toolbar. During this step, you are allowed to enter a name you want the drive to have after erasing it. Also, you can choose a format like APFS or Mac OS Extended. Enter your Apple ID if asked.
Reformat Mac Disk Utility
Step 4:
After you reformat Mac, you can choose Quit Disk Utility from the Disk Utility menu.

Part 3: How to Free Up Mac Storage Space and Fix macOS Issues

If you only want to uninstall some unused applications, remove useless data to free up Mac space, or protect your Mac from viruses, malware, adware, and others, you can use the all-featured Mac Cleaner. It provides you with a simple way to optimize Mac performance and keep it in good status.

Mac Cleaner


Mac Cleaner

  • Manage all types of data on Mac and get more available storage space.
  • Fix different macOS issues and remove viruses, adware, malware, etc. from Mac.
  • Delete system junk, large and old data, duplicates, and other useless data.
  • Monitor current Mac status and speed up Mac in real-time.
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Step 1:
Free download, install, and open this Mac Cleaner, and you can see its 3 main features, Status, Cleaner, and ToolKit. You can click on Status to view the current status of your Mac, click Cleaner to get many data cleaning solutions, and click ToolKit to access other useful tools.
Getting Started
Step 2:
When you want to manage various files and free up Mac space, you can select the Cleaner. It gives you 8 solutions to deal with different data, such as junk, large and old files, duplicates, data in Trash Bin, and more.
Main Interface
Step 3:
To protect your privacy, hide files or folders, uninstall applications like Spotify, and do more operations, you can use different tools in ToolKit.
Mac Cleaner Toolkit

Part 4. FAQs of How to Reformat a Mac

1. How can I reinstall macOS?

You can follow the steps above to boot your Mac into Recovery mode and open the macOS Utilities window. Here you can choose the Reinstall macOS option and follow the instructions to install a fresh macOS version.

2. How to restore data after I reformat my Mac?

If you have backed up your Mac data on an external drive, you should connect it to Mac. Click Finder on the Dock, click Applications on the left panel, and then choose Utilities. Click the Migration Assistant and then click on the Continue button. Now you can select the right way to restore your Mac data.

3. How can I quickly factory reset an iPhone?

iOS is designed with a built-in feature to bring an iPhone or iPad to its factory settings and erase all data on it. You can open the Settings app, tap on General and then scroll down to the bottom to locate the Reset option. Tap on it and then select the Erase all content and settings. Now you need to enter your password and tap on Erase iPhone again to confirm your operation. Then you can erase data on iPhone securely.


In some certain cases, you need to reformat Mac and wipe all data and settings on it. After reading this post, you can learn 2 effective methods to bring your Mac to the factory settings. Moreover, you are introduced to a great Mac data management and cleaning tool.

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Mac Cleaner box

Mac Cleaner is a professional Mac management tool to remove junk files, clutter, large/old files, delete duplicate files and monitor your Mac performance.

Free DownloadFor macOS

Secure100% Secure. No Ads.

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