How to: Restore your Mac to the original factory settings:

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What's up Icy Forums!

If you are here, that means that you either are:
A) Having trouble with your Macintosh computer.
B) Here to learn something new! :)

This is my tutorial on how to safely reset and restore your Macintosh computers and desktops to their original "out of box" settings.

This may help if you have recently received the computer or desktop from a relative, friend, or simply purchased a used Apple computer and you wanted to get the computer completely wiped clean.

Here is my in-depth 7-step process:

Step 1: Clone your hard drive (Optional)

The process of resetting a Mac to factory settings gets rid of all your data from the Mac. obviously you should transfer data from your old Mac to a new one, but it’s worth making a clone of the whole hard drive and keeping it around for a while. The best way to do this is using a program like Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper along with an external hard drive. Choose your main hard drive in the source, and your external hard drive in the destination. Now click on Clone. This step is only required if you are moving YOUR information from an older Mac to a new one.

Step 2: De-Authorizing iTunes

You should deauthorize your computer from iTunes. This means that it will no longer be linked to your iTunes account. You can only use up to five Macs to play music and movies that are locked to your iTunes account, so you shouldn’t pass that on to another person. Open iTunes and click Store > De-authorize this computer. Enter your Apple ID and password and click De-authorize.

Step 3: Turn off FileVault

FileVault encrypts the files on your hard drive, and it’s better to turn it off before going any further (you'll be wiping the files soon so security shouldn’t be a concern). Open System preferences and click on Security & Privacy and FileVault. Check that it says FileVault is turned off the for the disc [main hard drive]. If not click on the padlock icon in the bottom left, enter your password and click on Unlock. Now click Turn Off FileVault.

Step 4: Disable iCloud

Open System Preferences and click on iCloud and tap on Sign Out Now. To remove all your personal data click on Delete From Mac (although you’ll be wiping the hard drive in the next step). This is just an extra precaution to deleting all of your personal information. Safety is never too high.

Step 5: Restart the Mac in Recovery Mode

First of all make sure you are connected to the Internet (open Safari and browse around). You need an internet connection to install Mac OS X. Restart the Mac by clicking on Apple > Restart and hold down the Option key until the Recovery Mode Utilities window appears.

Step 6: Erase the drive

Select Disk Utility and click on continue. Now choose your Startup Disk in the sidebar on the left, and click on the Erase tab. If you want to securely erase the drive choose Security Zero Data One-Pass. Click Erase to delete the hard drive. Note that this permanently erases all data on the hard drive so don’t do this unless you’ve cloned the drive or are happy to never have to get something from that drive again. When it’s finished exit the program by choosing Disk Utility and Quit Disk Utility.

Step 7: Select Re-install Mavericks and Install

Now click on Reinstall OS X and continue. This will download and install a blank copy of Mac OS X Mavericks on the Mac. Do not enter your Apple ID and password though, and setup Mac OS X: allow the person to finish the setup process themselves. Once you have finished the setup, then you can finish it off by entering in all your information, and completing the switch with your copied materials.

And there you have it folks, your Mac tutorial on how to safely and quickly reset your Macintosh computers to factory defaults.
Credits: macworld
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Acrocide said:
Step 1: Lift trashcan lid.
Step 2: Throw away Mac laptop.
Step 3: Buy a real laptop that's worth the money.

Just kidding OP.

Or am I?

Wouldn't be a bad idea in some cases if the computer becomes beyond repairable.

Would make for good batting practice as well.


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Thanks for your sharing,that may helpful!you can also retrieve data by yourself. There are programs to do that. For example Ipad Manager

I used it few's free and it works as good as can be expected. The main thing is to stop using the external hard disk until you use this tool, and avoid writing any files to it.