If you own a current Apple Silicon Mac (M1, M1 Max, M1 Pro), it is relatively easy if you want to sell it or give it away. The process of factory reset these Macs and wiping out all private data is way easier than the Mac models with the Intel chip. There are currently the following models that contain such chips:
- MacBook Air
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, 14-inch, and 16-inch)
- Mac Mini
These devices can be reset very conveniently by proceeding as follows:
- Apple menu (top left in Finder)
- System Settings
- in the “System Settings” menu, select the “Erase Settings and Contents” option
Now you will be asked for the admin password and then you have to enter your Apple ID password to confirm the logout from the iCloud.
Then you will be guided through the deletion process, in which you can still create a backup of the current system. Once the reset has started, the Mac may restart itself a few times. In the end, however, he should wait for you with the start screen for the setup, which asks for the desired system language.
Chapter in this post:
I don't see the option “Erase settings and content”
If you - like me with my MacBook Pro M1 - also have the problem that you do not get this option to delete the settings and content, then it could be because you have not yet installed the latest macOS.
I had macOS Big Sur installed and I couldn't find the option to delete it. I then installed the latest version of macOS Monterey and after restarting I was given the option to delete settings and content.
Learn more about resetting other Apple devices
If you have other Apple devices besides a Mac, you may find a few other articles here that might be of interest to you:
- Uninstall programs from Mac and clean up any leftover files
- Create and delete iCloud aliases - here's the quick guide
- Factory data reset iPhone
- Reset AirPods Pro - how the reset works
- Instructions: Delete apps on the iPhone and iPad
Jens has been running the blog since 2012. He acts as Sir Apfelot for his readers and helps them with technical problems. In his spare time he rides electric unicycles, takes photos (preferably with the iPhone, of course), climbs around in the Hessian mountains or hikes with the family. His articles deal with Apple products, news from the world of drones or solutions to current bugs.