How To Factory Reset a MacBook Air: Everything You Need To Know

How To Factory Reset a MacBook Air: Everything You Need To Know

You may need to factory reset a MacBook Air when it gets slow or you need to sell it. Factory reset clears the cache improves device performance and security and ensures all your private data is deleted before you hand it over to someone else.

What is Factory Reset A Macbook Air and Why Do You Need To Do It?

What is Factory Reset A Macbook Air and Why Do You Need To Do It?

Factory reset a Macbook Air is usually done to erase all the data present within the device. This is a serious decision to delete all your current data including files, images, screenshots, contacts, and apps. Once you start with the factory reset option, you will lose; the data from your Macbook. 

There are certain situations when you have to opt for a factory reset a Macbook Air. These may include:

  1. When you find out that the device is showing a slow performance and lot of cache is accumulated in thememory. In that case, factory restore would be the only solution to improve device performance and clear the clutter from the MacBook Air.
  2. Sometimes you have to sell or hand over your Macbook and this will be a good idea to do a factory reset beforehand. This will protect your data from potential misuse and you can offer a better-performing clean Macbook.
  3. You have to factory reset a Macbook Air if you want to replace or return it to the seller. In that case, you will have to clear all your data before sending it back.

What Should You Do Before A Factory Reset a Macbook Air?

Whether you are thinking about factory resetting your MacBook Air or Macbook Pro, there are certain important things you need to do before doing so:

1. Backup your device data

This is one of the first and foremost steps to take before you initiate a factory reset a Macbook Air. Back up all your data within the device to keep it secure. There are certain easy ways to perform the backup procedure. Like:

Data Backup with Time Machine 

Data Backup with Time Machine 

With this method. You can make a digital copy of your data with external storage. Follow the steps below to do it correctly:

  1. Switch your external drive into your computer and open the Time Machine application on your Mac.
  2. Next, you will click on the Time Machine symbol in the top toolbar and select the ‘Open Time Machine Preferences’ option.
  3. Now click ‘Select Backup Disk’ and select your external drive by clicking on the Use Disk option.
  4. From here you will choose Back Up Now from your Time Machine menu.

Data Backup with iCloud

This is a wireless syncing app making it easier to access your Mac apps from any Apple device. Follow the steps below to back up your Macbook data:

  1. Move into the Apple menu bar and select App Store then Updates. Update your Macbook to the latest version.
  2. Now start again with the Apple menu and select ‘System Preferences’> then ‘iCloud’.
  3. Log in with your Apple account and select the ‘Use your Apple ID’ option to log in.
  4. Now select iCloud for data backup.

Sign Out of iMessage 

Follow the steps below to do so:

  1. Move into the messages section by selecting its option and then select Settings.
  2. Open Settings on your Macbook and click on the @ icon with iMessage on it. 
  3. Finally, select the Sign-out option.

Sign Out of iCloud 

  1. Jump into your System Settings and select Apple ID.
  2. Now move down and click on ‘Sign out’. 

Sign Out of iTunes 

  1. Move into the Music app.
  2. Now you will click on Account and select the ‘Sign Out’ option. 
  3. Select the ‘Authorizations’ option to sign out from iTunes

Unpair Bluetooth Devices 

  1. Move into your system settings and select the Bluetooth option.
  2. Now ‘Under the My Devices Option, find out the paired Bluetooth devices option. 
  3. Click on the ‘X’ button to unpair all the devices to your MacBook.
  4. Now you are all set and well prepared to move on to factory reset Macbook Air.

Starting With The Factory Reset A Macbook Air Without Disk

  1. Shut down the device and turn it on by pressing Command (⌘) + R. 
  2. Stay on this page until you see an Apple icon or a spinning globe animation on the screen.
  3. Wait for some seconds to see the macOS utility window named Recovery Mode.
  4. From here ‘Disk Utility’ and click ‘Continue’.
  5. The next step is to move to the menu bar and select View then Show All Devices.
  6. In Disk Utility’s sidebar, click on the drive you want to erase from the list.
  7. From here, click on the ‘Erase’ button at the top of the screen. You will see a window with some fields to fill.
    Fill in the disk name select the format and choose the scheme if required.
  8. From here click on ‘Erase’.
  9. This process will take some time. Let it complete click the Apple icon and select ‘Quick Disk Utility’. This is the same way that is used to factory reset an old MacBook and to  factory reset a MacBook big sur,

There are some other ways to factory reset a Macbook Air. Here we are explaining the methods in detail:

How to Factory Reset A MacBook Air Without a Password?

How to Factory Reset A MacBook Air Without a Password?

You can unlock Macbook Pro without password and do a factory reset a Macbook Air with the following steps:

  1. Start by clicking on the Apple logo and select Restart.
  2. Keep on holding down the Command + R keys until you see an Apple logo or spinning globe.
  3. Wait for a few seconds to see Mac startup mode.
  4. Here you will see the Recovery Mode utility window.
  5. Choose the option of Disk Utility and click Continue.
  6. Here you will see two options for disks – Macintosh HD and Macintosh HD – data in Catalina.
  7. In the first place delete the Macintosh HD-Data partition before erasing your main hard drive.
  8. Now click on this Macintosh HD – Data drive to select it.
  9. Next, you will choose Edit then Delete APFS volume from the menu bar.
  10. In the dialogue box asking for confirmation, click on delete.
  11. Select Macintosh HD in the sidebar.
  12. Select the option that reads ‘Erase All Data’ by pressing the Enter key. This will initiate a factory reset.
  13. After completion, quit the Disk Utility.

Can I Factory Reset A Macbook Catalina

You can factory reset Macbook Catalina by following different ways. The first method is to try the disk utility application already available on your MacBook. For this, you will first open the application and select the erase option by confirming the drive from where you want to erase data. The second method is to use the reset feature of your device available in the system preference application. The third way is to choose the ‘Erase All Data’ option. This option is available in disk utility applications. You will erase all content and settings of your device including Catalina by choosing this option.

What is the Method to Reinstall macOS on MacBook Air & Pro

Once you have erased all your data from’s time to reinstall macOS on your device. You need to be connected to the internet to start this process and follow the steps below:

  1. First of all, shut down your Macbook.
  2. Turn it on again by holding on the button to load start-up options. Press and hold the power button. Your Mac will turn on and load startup options.
  3. Release the button when you see ‘Options’. Click on it then click on the Continue option.
  4. Now click on next and enter the administrator password.
  5. Here you will see a window with the option to reinstall macOS.
  6. Click on it and then click on the ‘Continue’ option by following the onscreen instructions. Select “Reinstall macOS. 
  7. Wait for the complete process and do not let the screen sleep during this time.

How Can You Get Back Data After Factory Reset A Macbook Air

Methods to recover files after Factory reset a Macbook Air

You can try the following methods.

1. Time Machine backup 

You can find this backup feature in the Mac device and get back lost data and files. There are some steps for doing so:

  1. Connect the Time Machine backup drive to your Mac.
  2. Now boot your Mac in macOS Recovery mode
  3. Here you will find out the Restore from Time Machine option in the macOS Utilities window. You will click on it and continue.
  4. No choice but to back up and wait for the restore to finish.

2. iCloud for data restore

iCloud for data restore

It works to save Mac data files only if you have allowed the data to sync, Unlike the Time Machine, you cannot get back all the data after a factory reset.

Follow the steps below to carry on this restore:

  1. Launch System Preferences and sign in to your Apple ID.
  2. Now click on iCloud.
  3. Select the iCloud drive and turn on the feature
  4. The next step is to click on Options and check the Desktop & Documents Folders.
  5. Now wait for your folders and files to sync to your Mac.


Factory reset of a MacBook Air is done under special circumstances. You do it when the device works slowly or you want to hand over or sell out your macbook to someone else. You should carry on this process carefully as once you choose this option, it takes a lot of work to restore the lost data. Always get a backup option before deleting and erasing data files from macbook.


1.What is the error ‘Erase Assistant not supported on this Mac’?

This error occurs due to absence of  Apple Silicon or it’s not an Intel-based Mac with a T2 security chip in your macOS. Sometimes it happens due to some device support error.

2.Why is factory reset good for Mac?

Doing factory reset is good while you think about selling out your device. This process will remove all your personal data from this device and make it protected for any unauthorized use. Moreover factory reset makes the device work like a new and fast device.

3.Do you lose all your data on your laptop after factory reset?

Yes, a factory reset will erase all data on the laptop’s hard drive, like your personal files, app passwords, logins, and their settings. 

Meet Rizwana Naeem, a passionate content writer who spreads useful information in innovative ways, captivating readers with her unique style. She connects deeply with people through her words, forging meaningful relationships and leaving a lasting impact.

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