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How To Factory Reset Your MacBook Air

Dec 26, 2017 9:00:47 PM / by BaseQi

How To Factory Reset Your MacBook Air

Anyone who has ever invested in a MacBook (or at the very least, has planned to buy one and done their research) would know that these sophisticated pieces of technology tend to come with a rather hefty price tag. However, the unique advantage inherent to MacBooks — most likely a direct result of the perpetually high demand for them — as opposed to other laptops is that they retain their value longer, which makes them great for reselling. Of course, the MacBook Air is no exception.

Plenty of people want the MacBook Air, and really, can you blame them? This powerful machine is lightweight, sleek, and most importantly, affordable. So, whether you want to upgrade, shift operating systems, or have some spare cash on hand, now may actually be the best time and opportunity for you to think of selling your MacBook Air.

To prepare your MacBook Air for a new owner, you need to reset it to its factory settings first. So take note of these instructions.

Backup your data

You need to back up your machine prior to resetting it, in order to keep all your important files intact. If you’ve never backed up your Mac, there’s no need to worry. With Time Machine (the built-in backup function for Macs), backing up your MacBook Air is simple—all you need is a dedicated external hard drive, or even a Micro SD card. (In case you need an adapter for your Micro SD card, you may want to check out our list of available options here.)

Various brands offer external hard drives that are MacBook-compatible, so they’re easy to find anywhere. Depending on the amount of data you’re going to back up, you may need either a 1-terabyte drive or a 2-terabyte drive. Once you have an external hard drive, take these steps:

  1. Connect the external hard drive to your MacBook Air.

  2. A prompt will appear asking if you want to use the external hard drive as a backup disk. Click on Use as Backup Disk.

If no option appears:

  1. Open Time Machine yourself by going to the Apple menu, choosing System Preferences, then clicking on Time Machine.

  2. Click Select Backup Disk then choose your device from the list.

  3. Click on Use Disk.

  4. Once Time Machine is set up, choose Back Up Now from the Time Machine menu.

All your data will now be backed up. This may take a while if it’s your first time backing up your data, so just be patient.

Reset your MacBook Air

After your data backup is complete, you can proceed to resetting your MacBook Air to its factory settings. The macOS has a built-in recovery disk utility for this purpose. Deleting and reinstalling the operating system (OS) on your MacBook Air is going to be such a breeze.

Before you the reset, make sure that your internet connection is working. Done checking? You can begin.

  1. From your MacBook Air’s menu bar, click on the Apple Menu and choose Restart.

  2. As your MacBook Air restarts, hold the Command + R.

  3. When the macOS Utilities window appears, release the Command and R keys.

  4. From the macOS Utilities window, select Disk Utility at the bottom of the list and click on Continue.

  5. Click on your MacBook Air’s startup disk from the left side of the menu. It’s usually the only disk listed.

  6. Click on the Erase button inside the Disk Utility.

  7. Click on the Format pop-up menu, choose Mac OS Extended, then name the disk.

  8. Click on Erase.

  9. Your disk will be erased after the process is complete.

Now that your MacBook Air’s OS is completely erased, you need to install it back. Just follow these instructions.

  1. Click on Disk Utility then click on Quit. This will bring you back to the macOS Utilities window.

  2. Select Reinstall macOS on the macOS Utilities window. It should appear as the second option on the list.

  3. The macOS installer window will appear, prompting you to choose the disk to reinstall your OS on. As previously stated, the MacBook Air has only one startup disk.

  4. Click on the arrow pointing right that says Install.

  5. After asking you to allow certain permissions, your MacBook Air will start reinstalling the latest macOS available (macOS High Sierra as of September 25, 2017).

It will take a few hours for your OS to be reinstalled, so you can just set your MacBook Air on a table and go about your day while you wait for the download to finish.


Are you done backing up your data, and erasing your OS and then reinstalling it again? Congratulations. Your MacBook Air has now been reset to its factory settings and is ready for a new owner.


A lot of people out there are looking for great MacBook deals. You won’t have any trouble finding a buyer for your MacBook, especially if you kept it in great condition.


Hi, we are team Baseqi, thank you for reading our blog! We are a technology startup founded by a team of passionate designers and Apple fanatics. Our goal is to design unique and high-quality accessories at cutting edge prices for all Apple lovers.


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Written by BaseQi

Our company officially started in 2013. Since then, we have fans purchasing our products from all over the world. Our mission is to invent stylish accessories and gadgets for fans around the world.

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