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How to wipe your MacBook, iMac, Mac Pro, or Mac mini

How to wipe your MacBook, iMac, Mac Pro, or Mac mini


For newer systems, the process is slightly more involved

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Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

If you own an older Mac computer, wiping the hard drive to prep it for sale is simple. But for newer models, including the iMac Pro, the 2018 Mac mini, and all MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models released since 2018, the process of fully resetting them is more involved.

That’s because of Apple’s new T2 security chip, which adds Activation Lock, another layer of security that makes things harder for thieves. That’s great and all, but if you forget to disarm the feature that utilizes the T2 chip before you ship your computer to a new user, or even before you send it in for service, it will make things harder for you, too.

We’re going to walk through the steps of removing the Activation Lock feature so that the T2 chip doesn’t cause you grief later on. Here’s how to do that.

How to reset your T2-equipped Mac

  • First, find out if you have Activation Lock turned on, so you don’t unnecessarily waste any time. To do this, click the Apple logo at the top left corner of your screen, then click About this Mac.
  • Click System Report. On the first screen that you see, your Activation Lock Status will be displayed (note the red arrow in the photo below). If it says “Enabled,” then carry on with this guide. If it says “Disabled,” you can go ahead and reset your computer.
activation lock
  • The next step is to open System Preferences. Click Apple ID followed by iCloud.
  • The feature Find My Mac will be listed. Uncheck it.
  • Finally, click Sign Out.

How to reset a T2-equipped device remotely

If you’re using a browser on a different computer, phone, or tablet, you can remotely erase your T2-equipped machine.

  • First, log into your iCloud account on and sign on with the Apple ID associated with the Mac in question.
  • Click on the Find iPhone icon (yes, even though it’s a Mac that you’re dealing with).
  • Select All Devices and then find your Mac in the list.
  • Click on Erase Mac. Once it’s erased, click the “X” button next to your Mac in the list.
  • Now, you’re good to sell your machine, or send it in for service.

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