Here is the Quickest Solution to Erase All Content material and Settings on Your Mac

Over time, macOS and iOS have become more and more similar. Icons look similar, functions match, and the seamless connection between the two operating systems increases. These days, factory resetting your Mac is similar to iOS.

Previously, if you wanted to factory reset your Mac, you had to do it from the recovery partition, which included wiping the hard drive and reinstalling the software. However, with the release of macOS Monterey, Apple added the option to erase all content and settings to System Preferences, reflecting a similar feature in iOS.

Let's take a closer look at the new addition.

When to delete all content and settings

You might encounter several situations where it is necessary to do a factory reset on your Mac. Here are some common reasons to erase all content and settings:

  • You are giving away or selling your Mac to someone else

  • There is a severe malware infection

  • You want a fresh start

If you give your Mac to someone else, it is highly recommended that you erase all of its contents and settings beforehand. Otherwise, the new owner may have access to your private data and information. Erasing all content and settings in macOS will securely erase the device, but the operating system will remain intact, so once the Mac is handed over to the new owner, it is ready to set up.


Related: Signs It's Time to Replace Your Mac

Security tools built into macOS have become very effective at protecting your system. However, sometimes a particularly persistent malware can prove impossible. In this case, deleting all content and settings will solve the problem.

Plus, our Macs can get quite cluttered over time, and sometimes cleaning up is more of a hassle than it's worth. If your system is running slowly and you are not particularly tied to your data, you can clean up the slate and start over. We don't recommend this as the first solution, but it can be the easiest option in certain situations.

How to erase all content and settings in macOS

Before even thinking about deleting any content or even some settings, it is a good idea to back up all of your important data first. Fortunately, 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 taste.

Related: How to Back Up Your Mac

Once your data is safe and secure, you can begin a factory reset. Follow these steps to erase all content and settings on your Mac:

  1. begin System settings.

  2. click System settings by doing Menu bar and choose Erase all content and settings.

  3. Enter your admin password when prompted.

  4. click Keep going to confirm that all items will be deleted.

  5. Enter your Apple ID and password when prompted to sign out.

  6. click Erase all content and settings to begin the process.

After your Mac restarts, a progress bar will appear and fill in until the process is complete. Once the factory reset is complete, you can either turn off your device to give it to someone else, or go through the setup wizard yourself.

Your Mac must be running macOS Monterey or later and must 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 use the traditional method to do a factory reset.

Erasing all content and settings makes factory reset easy

Adding an option to erase all content and settings in macOS may seem minor, but the alternative route to the recovery partition can be long and confusing. Mirroring a feature 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 undesirable simplification of the operating system, but sometimes simplicity is the best option. The Erase Assistant provides many warnings during the process so that less tech-savvy users don't accidentally erase their data. And if you want to erase your Mac the old-fashioned way, the option is still there.

A Complete Guide to MacOS Recovery: 8 Ways to Use

Here is everything you need to know to get the most out of macOS Recovery in case you run into problems with your Mac.

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About the author

Matt Moore
(39 published articles)

Matt is an Australian freelance writer with a degree in creative and critical writing. Before his studies, he worked in technical support and gained valuable insights into the technology and its users. His real passion is storytelling and he hopes one day he will be able to write a well-published novel.

By Matt Moore

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