MacOS Monterey will allow removal of personal data without needing to reinstall the operating system

A big YES!! to this one. I had the unfortunate experience of removing everything from a MacBook Air that I was about to sell — including the operating system — without keeping a record of the essential password without which I could not reinstall the operating system. That failure on my part produced a very expensive brick.

Fortunately Apple is aware that there are idiots in the world. By proving ownership of the useless laptop and giving it to the Genius Bar overnight, their genie (who’s kept in a small room in an unknown location) was convinced to produce the never-to-disclosed-to-mortals master password that allowed the OS to be put back onto the MacBook. I felt very, very lucky as I left the store with a functional device that could be sold.

https://www.macrumors.com/2021/06/09/macos-monterey-erase-all-content-settings/

macOS Monterey Allows You to Erase a Mac Without Needing to Reinstall the Operating System

Wednesday June 9, 2021 4:41 pm PDT by Joe Rossignol

It’s been a few days since Apple announced macOS Monterey, and we continue to dig through new features that weren’t mentioned during the WWDC keynote, including a much more convenient way of erasing a Mac.

macos monterey setup assistant


Following in the footsteps of the iPhone and iPad, the Mac has gained an “Erase All Content and Settings” option on macOS Monterey. The option allows you to erase all user data and user-installed apps from your Mac without needing to reinstall the macOS operating system, making it far easier to restore a Mac to like-new factory settings.

From the macOS Monterey features page on Apple’s website:

Erase all contents and settings
System Preferences now offers an option to erase all user data and user-installed apps from the system, while maintaining the operating system currently installed. Because storage is always encrypted on Mac systems with Apple silicon or the T2 chip, the system is instantly and securely “erased” by destroying the encryption keys.

In the macOS Monterey beta, the new option can be found by opening the System Preferences app, clicking on System Preferences in the menu bar at the top of the screen, and clicking on “Erase All Content and Settings” in the drop-down menu. An administrator password is required to proceed with restoring the Mac to factory settings.

Erasing a Mac running an earlier version of macOS requires formatting the startup disk and reinstalling macOS, so this new option will make it far more convenient to restore your Mac to factory settings, whether you simply want to start fresh with your Mac or are planning to sell or gift the Mac to another person. After erasing a Mac, it will display the Setup Assistant and be ready to be set up like new.

macOS Monterey is available now in beta for developers, with a public beta to follow in July.

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