How to Wipe a Mac Hard Disk Drive

Buying a new Mac or upgrading your device? Well, it is quite crucial to completely wipe a Mac hard drive before you hand over your system to anyone else. The hard drive consists of all personal data, including pictures, documents, videos, audio, notes, and everything else. So, if you’ve decided to sell your device or simply lend it to a friend or family member for a few days, you should always erase everything that is stored on the hard drive so that nobody can access your files.


Image source: Intego

Wondering how to wipe a Mac hard drive and restore it to default factory settings? You’ve come to the right place. In this post, we have covered a complete guide to which you can refer for erasing everything on the hard drive and loading macOS to default settings.

Let’s get started.

Also read: How To Erase Hard Drive On Mac Before Selling It

How to Wipe a Mac Hard Disk Drive

Step 1: Backup your Mac Using Time Machine

First things first, as they say! Before you delete everything that is stored on the hard drive, it is important to take a backup of all your data. In this way, you can attain a safe copy of all personal files before you wipe a Mac hard drive.

To backup your Mac using Time Machine, follow these steps:

Tap the Apple icon placed on the top menu bar, select “System Preferences”.


Now select “Time Machine” to backup your data.


Tap the “Select Disk” button and pick the hard drive that needs to be backed up like whether you need to back up the internal drive or external hard drive connected to your Mac.

After choosing the disk, Mac will automatically start creating a copy of all your data. Wait for a few minutes until this process is completed.

Also read: How to Restore Your Mac With Time Machine

Step 2: Deauthorize Your iTunes Account

The next step in the process to wipe a Mac hard drive is to deauthorize your iTunes account. Here’s what you need to do:

Launch the iTunes application on your Mac.

Head on to the top menu bar and select “Accounts”. Now select “Authorizations” and then hit on the “Deauthorize this computer” option from the context menu.


To authenticate your identity, Apple will now ask you to enter your iTunes ID and password. Enter the credentials and initiate the de-authorization process.

Also read: Time Machine Backup Failed? 5 Easy Ways To Fix Time Machine Problem (2021)

Step 3: Log Out your iCloud Account

Once you’ve deauthorized your iTunes account, the next step is to log out your iCloud and iMessage accounts from Mac.

Tap the Apple icon placed on the top menu bar, select “System Preferences”, and then tap on “iCloud”.


Hit the “Sign Out” button placed on the bottom-left corner of the screen.

And that’s it!

Step 4: Reformat the Hard Drive

Well, here comes the last step to wipe a Mac hard drive. Once you’re done completing the above-listed steps, we will now reformat the hard drive to erase all the stored data. Most users often get confused with the term “Reformat”. Well, in Apple terminology, reformatting refers to the process of wiping the hard drive.

Note: Here’s a quick reminder. Reformatting the hard drive will erase everything that is stored on the hard drive. So, before you begin this process, make sure that you’ve got a safe copy backed up of all your important files and data.

After backing up your data, follow these steps to reformat the hard drive.

Turn off your Mac. Now, when you restart your device, press the Command + R key combination to boot Mac in Recovery Mode.


Image source: Guiding Tech

Keep holding the Command + R key combination until you see the Apple logo on the screen.

When your Mac loads in Recovery Mode, you will see a bunch of options listed on the screen. Select “Disk Utility”.


Select the drive that you need to reformat. Hit the “Erase” button placed underneath.


Apple also offers you 4 different options to choose the comprehensiveness of the erasing process. Pick your preferred option and then hit on “Erase”.


Wait for a few minutes until all the data stored on the hard drive is completely wiped off.

And that’s it, fellas! This is how you can easily wipe a Mac Hard Drive in just a few simple steps.

Also read: How to Erase and Format an External Hard Drive on Mac and Windows


How do I completely wipe my Mac?

To wipe your Mac’s hard drive, you can use the Disk Utility feature on macOS. But yes, before you decide on completely wiping your Mac, make sure you create a backup of all your important files and data using Time Machine.

Does erasing Mac hard drive erase everything?


Yes, erasing the Mac hard drive will load your device to default factory settings and all of your files and data will be erased. Before you wipe off a hard drive, make sure you transfer your data to another storage media.

How do I wipe my Mac hard drive before selling it?

Well, first back up your data using Time Machine. The next step is to deauthorize your iTunes and iCloud accounts. Once you’re done backing up your data, use the Disk Utility tool (Recovery Mode) to reformat the hard drive.


This wraps up our guide on how to wipe a Mac hard drive. We hope you can use this post as a reference before you decide on wiping off your Mac’s hard drive. Erasing all the contents stored on your hard drive is not as challenging as you think. The Disk Utility tool on macOS proves out to be of great help as it guides you through the reformatting process.

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