How to factory reset a mac air

Last Updated: Mar 7, 2024 by

If you’re experiencing issues with your Mac Air, or simply want to start fresh, a factory reset may be necessary. A factory reset will erase all of your personal data and settings, returning your Mac Air to its original state. In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps of how to factory reset a Mac Air, so you can get your device back to optimal performance.

Why Factory Reset a Mac Air?

There are a few reasons why you may need to factory reset your Mac Air. Some common reasons include:

  • Your Mac Air is running slow or experiencing technical issues
  • You’re selling or giving away your Mac Air and want to erase all personal data
  • You want to start fresh with a clean slate

No matter the reason, a factory reset can help resolve any issues and give you a fresh start with your Mac Air.

Backup Your Data

Before proceeding with a factory reset, it’s important to backup any important data you have on your Mac Air. This includes documents, photos, and any other personal files. You can backup your data by transferring it to an external hard drive, using a cloud storage service, or using Time Machine to create a backup on an external drive.

Once you’ve backed up your data, you can proceed with the factory reset process.

How to Factory Reset a Mac Air

There are a few different methods for factory resetting a Mac Air, depending on the model and operating system. We’ll cover the steps for factory resetting a Mac Air with macOS Catalina (version 10.15) and macOS Mojave (version 10.14).

Factory Reset on macOS Catalina (version 10.15)

  1. Shut down your Mac Air by clicking on the Apple logo in the top left corner and selecting “Shut Down.”
  2. Once your Mac Air is completely shut down, press and hold the Command + R keys on your keyboard.
  3. While still holding the keys, press the power button to turn on your Mac Air.
  4. Continue holding the Command + R keys until the Apple logo appears on the screen.
  5. Release the keys and your Mac Air will boot into Recovery Mode.
  6. In the Recovery Mode menu, select “Disk Utility” and click “Continue.”
  7. In Disk Utility, select your Mac Air’s startup disk and click “Erase.”
  8. Choose a name for your disk and select “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)” as the format.
  9. Click “Erase” to confirm the erasure of your disk.
  10. Once the erasure is complete, close Disk Utility and select “Reinstall macOS” from the Recovery Mode menu.
  11. Follow the prompts to reinstall macOS on your Mac Air.

Factory Reset on macOS Mojave (version 10.14)

  1. Shut down your Mac Air by clicking on the Apple logo in the top left corner and selecting “Shut Down.”
  2. Once your Mac Air is completely shut down, press and hold the Command + R keys on your keyboard.
  3. While still holding the keys, press the power button to turn on your Mac Air.
  4. Continue holding the Command + R keys until the Apple logo appears on the screen.
  5. Release the keys and your Mac Air will boot into Recovery Mode.
  6. In the Recovery Mode menu, select “Disk Utility” and click “Continue.”
  7. In Disk Utility, select your Mac Air’s startup disk and click “Erase.”
  8. Choose a name for your disk and select “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)” as the format.
  9. Click “Erase” to confirm the erasure of your disk.
  10. Once the erasure is complete, close Disk Utility and select “Reinstall macOS” from the Recovery Mode menu.
  11. Follow the prompts to reinstall macOS on your Mac Air.

Other Options for Factory Resetting a Mac Air

If you’re unable to access Recovery Mode, there are a few other options for factory resetting your Mac Air.

Factory Reset Using Internet Recovery

If your Mac Air is running macOS Lion (version 10.7) or later, you can use Internet Recovery to factory reset your device. This method requires an internet connection and may take longer than using Recovery Mode.

  1. Shut down your Mac Air by clicking on the Apple logo in the top left corner and selecting “Shut Down.”
  2. Once your Mac Air is completely shut down, press and hold the Command + Option + R keys on your keyboard.
  3. While still holding the keys, press the power button to turn on your Mac Air.
  4. Continue holding the keys until the spinning globe appears on the screen.
  5. Release the keys and your Mac Air will boot into Internet Recovery.
  6. Follow the prompts to reinstall macOS on your Mac Air.

Factory Reset Using a Bootable USB Drive

If you have a bootable USB drive with a macOS installer, you can use it to factory reset your Mac Air. This method is useful if you don’t have an internet connection or if your Mac Air is unable to access Recovery Mode or Internet Recovery.

  1. Insert the bootable USB drive into your Mac Air.
  2. Restart your Mac Air and hold down the Option key while it boots up.
  3. Select the USB drive from the list of available startup disks.
  4. Follow the prompts to reinstall macOS on your Mac Air.

After the Factory Reset

Once the factory reset is complete, your Mac Air will restart and prompt you to set up your device as if it were brand new. You can then restore your data from your backup or start fresh.

In Conclusion

A factory reset can help resolve any issues with your Mac Air and give you a fresh start with your device. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can easily factory reset your Mac Air and get it back to optimal performance. Remember to always backup your data before proceeding with a factory reset, and choose the method that works best for your specific device and situation.

Gulrukh Ch

About the Author: Gulrukh Ch

Gulrukh Chaudhary, an accomplished digital marketer and technology writer with a passion for exploring the frontiers of innovation. Armed with a Master's degree in Information Technology, Gulrukh seamlessly blends her technical prowess with her creative flair, resulting in captivating insights into the world of emerging technologies. Discover more about her on her LinkedIn profile.