How to Factory Reset Mac and Reinstall macOS

If your MacBook is getting slower with time and you have done all basic troubleshooting, then it’s time to factory reset your Mac. Besides that, if you are planning to resell or give away your MacBook, it’s a good idea to perform a factory reset and reinstall macOS to clean your personal data from it.

Factory resetting and reinstalling macOS on your Mac will also speed it up. Besides that, if your Mac is not compatible with the latest macOS version, you can also install an older version of macOS. But you will have to create a bootable installation media for your MacBook.

SEE ALSO: How to Factory Reset your Chromebook (4-Methods Explained)?

Perform Factory Reset on Mac and Clean Install macOS

In this tutorial, we will show you how to factory reset your Mac and reinstall macOS from the cloud. Besides that, we will also show you how to create a bootable macOS installation USB and install macOS using it.

So, we have divided the tutorial into two parts. In the first part, we will show you how to reset and reinstall macOS on your Mac using Recovery Mode. And in the second part, we will show you how to install macOS from a bootable USB.

A) Erase and Factory Reset Your Mac using Recovery Mode

First, we will use Recovery Mode on Mac to erase your MacBook, and then we will install a fresh copy of macOS. Remember, you would need an active internet connection to download macOS.

We also recommend you take the backup of your precious data as your HDD will be wiped clean. Now that you have been warned, let’s check the steps.

Step 1: Boot your Mac into Recovery Mode

First of all, we need to get into Recovery Mode on Mac. So, shut down your MacBook and use the following key combinations while starting it up. In this tutorial, we have used macOS Monterey.

Apple M1 Pro (Apple Silicon) CPU: Press and hold the power button until you see the startup options window. Then select Options to continue. Also, log in to your account if prompted.

Intel CPU: Press and hold the Command (⌘)+R keyboard shortcut until you see the Apple logo. After that, you will get into Recovery Mode on your Mac.

Press Command And R Keys While Booting Up To Boot Into Recovery Mode
Press Command (⌘)+R keys while booting up to get into Recovery Mode

SEE ALSO: How to Fix the “Can’t Turn On FileVault” Issue on Mac?

Step 2: Erase your Mac HDD using Disk Utility to Factory Reset your Mac

Select the Disk Utility option from macOS Utilities in Recovery Mode and click Continue.

Select Disk Utility From Macos Utilities And Click Continue Button - Factory Reset your Mac
Select Disk Utility and click Continue

Now, select your Mac HDD and click Erase to wipe all the data along with installing macOS on it. You will see a prompt, type the name of your Macintosh HDD, and click the Erase button to continue.

Erase The Disk To Factory Reset Your Mac
Erase the disk

SEE ALSO: How to Factory Reset Android Phone?

Step 3: Reinstall macOS from Recovery Mode

Now, you have successfully factory reset your Mac by erasing the HDD. It’s time to install a clean or fresh copy of macOS on your MacBook.

So, go back to the “macOS Utilities” menu and select “Reinstall macOS“. After that, click the Continue button at the bottom to continue. Make sure to connect your Wi-Fi as it will download a fresh copy of macOS.

Select Reinstall Macos Monterey To Factory Reset Mac
Select Reinstall macOS Monterey and click Continue

After the download is finished, the macOS setup will start. Just follow the on-screen instructions to reinstall macOS on your Mac.

Install Macos Monterey Using Recovery Mode - Factory Reset Mac
macOS Monterey Setup

SEE ALSO: How to Create Light and Dark Mode Switch on your Mac?

B) Clean Install macOS using a Bootable USB Disk

Besides doing a factory reset of your Mac and cloud reinstallation, you can also install a clean copy of macOS using a bootable USB disk. Bootable USB is especially useful if you want to downgrade your macOS from a higher version to a lower version because you can not do that from Recovery Mode.

First things first, you would need a fast USB disk of size 16 GB. Plus you would also need to download the desired version of macOS on your Mac to create a bootable USB. So, let’s check the steps.

Step 1: Download macOS from the App Store

Before proceeding further, you need to download the desired version of macOS from the App Store. In this tutorial, we have downloaded macOS Catalina. You can download the version you want to install. Check the following links for other macOS versions.

macOS Sonoma | macOS Ventura | macOS Monterey | macOS Big Sur | macOS Mojave | macOS High Sierra

Download Macos Catalina From Appstore
Download macOS Catalina from the App Store

SEE ALSO: How to Convert Automator Actions to Apps in macOS?

Step 2: Insert the USB Disk and Launch Terminal

After downloading the macOS, insert the USB disk into your Mac. Now, search and launch Terminal using Spotlight on your Mac.

Search And Open Terminal on your Mac
Search and open Terminal on your Mac

Step 3: Create a Bootable USB for macOS

In the Terminal, type the following command for macOS Catalina and press Enter.

sudo /Applications/Install macOS --volume /Volumes/MyVolume

Make sure to replace the MyVolume with the name of your USB drive. For other versions of macOS, check this support article.

You may be prompted for your password. So, type your password and press Enter. It will ask you for final confirmation, type y , and press Enter.

Now, your Mac will create a bootable USB disk for macOS. You can eject the USB disk after the process is complete. We will use this USB disk to clean-install macOS after you have factory reset your Mac.

Create Bootable Installation Media For Reinstalling Macos Catalina
Create a bootable USB for reinstalling macOS Catalina

SEE ALSO: How to Hide Files and Folders on Mac using Terminal?

Step 4: Reinstall macOS using the USB Disk

Now, it’s time to boot from the USB disk and reinstall macOS. So, insert the USB disk and shut down your Mac. After that press the following key combination while it’s restarting to boot from USB.

Apple M1 Pro (Apple Silicon) CPU: Press and hold the power button until you see startup options. Then select the “Install macOS Catalina” option.

Intel CPU: Press and hold the Option (Alt) ⌥ key while turning on your Mac. Release the key when you see boot options. Now, select Install macOS Catalina to reinstall macOS.

Select Install Macos Catalina From Boot Options And Follow On Screen Instructions
Select Install macOS Catalina from the boot Options

SEE ALSO: How to Reset your Windows 10 PC using Recovery Options?

Factory Reset your Mac and Reinstall macOS

The process of factory resetting and reinstalling macOS is quite simple. However, you may sometimes face issues with drivers, so, we recommend you use bootable USB in such cases. Reinstalling macOS from Recovery Mode requires an internet (Wi-Fi) connection and you can’t downgrade the macOS version. But using bootable USB, you can easily install a lower version of macOS as well.

Well, we hope you found this tutorial useful. In case you are facing issues with any of the steps, feel free to write it down in the comments below.

Editorial Staff

Hi there, we are the editorial staff at WINDOSPC (former HELLPC). We are a team of funny and technical people. Feel free to get in touch with us via Contact-Us page.

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