It is often recommended to perform a factory reset on any of your tech devices as a solution to many issues that may arise. In the case of a MacBook Air, this task can be performed to increase performance and restore your laptop to its former glory.
If you chose to sell your MacBook Air to someone else, a factory reset will ensure that all of your private and personal information is deleted. Ensuring another user can log in and start using your old MacBook Air is also important for seller ratings and avoids having to delete your information after the transaction is complete.
By backing up your MacBook Air with Time Machine and performing a factory reset on your MacBook Air, your machine will look like you just unboxed it for the first time.
With macOS Mojave available, now is the perfect time to get your computer up to date and running smoothly. Mojave is packed with new improvements and system changes that will keep your Air running smoothly for years to come. However, keep in mind that macOS Mojave is only compatible with MacBook Airs manufactured after mid-2012.
If you are unfamiliar with the process of factory resetting your MacBook Air, follow the steps below to ensure that all of your information is backed up and the reset is performed correctly.
Backing up your data with Time Machine
Apple really makes it easy to back up your data on your MacBook Air. Time Machine and an external hard drive will allow you to save all your documents, applications and other important information.
If you don't have a dedicated external hard drive, now is a great time to buy one. Apple offers the AirPort Time Capsule, which is specifically designed for Time Machine backups.
Alternatively, there are plenty of 1 and 2 terabyte drives on Amazon under $100, and if you're looking for a recommendation, check out the Western Digital MyPassport Drive or the Seagate Backup Plus drive, both of which are designed to work with macOS directly. out of the box.
- Plug your external drive into your computer and open the Time Machine application on your Mac (accessible either via Launching ramp or via System Preferences)
- Click on Select the backup disk and choose your external hard drive
- Select Use the disc and this will save your hard drive as a time machine backup drive
- To choose Save now from your Time Machine menu
- If you want to control what is saved and what is not, press the button Options button inside System Preferences in the Time Machine menu (if this is your first time performing a Time Machine backup, it may take a while)
Once you have completed your backup, make sure to safely eject your drive from your MacBook Air before unplugging the drive.
To properly eject your external hard drive: Open Finder and tap the device name. Click on the 'Eject' icon (an arrow with a line under it). If your MacBook does not allow you to perform this task, chances are the backup is not complete or another application is still using your external hard drive.
Factory reset your MacBook Air
Once you've backed up your user data to Time Machine or your backup app of choice, it's time to factory reset your Macbook Air. This process can help you fix most types of bugs and issues with your Macbook, including lagging issues, apps crashing.
A reset will usually increase the speed of your machine to what it was when you returned your machine to its original state. A factory reset is also a necessary process if you want to sell your MacBook Air, to remove any user data left behind on the computer.
macOS has a built-in recovery disk utility to help you erase and reinstall the operating system, which you can redownload from your Mac's Start screen.
Alternatively, you can also choose to download macOS Mojave from the Mac App Store onto your device, creating a bootable USB from the download file. You can find instructions for this here. But for now, we'll cover how to reset your MacBook Air from your device's boot screen. Please note that this requires an active internet connection.
- Tap the Apple icon in the upper left corner of your MacBook screen
- To choose Restart in the drop-down menu and be ready to press some keys on your keyboard
- When the Apple logo reappears on your MacBook Air screen, press and hold the ' keyOrder + R' on your keyboard. Don't let go until you see the macOS Utilities window appears on your screen
- If you want to reinstall macOS on your current file system, click Reinstall macOS
- However, to factory reset your device, click Disk Utility at the bottom of the list
- Once Disk Utility opens, locate and select your MacBook Air Boot disk on the left side. (For most users this is the primary and only disk listed)
- Click it Clear button inside disk utility
- Select the Size pop-up window and choose Mac OS Extended
- Give your reformatted drive a name and click Clear to confirm your deletion
You will now see a screen begin to erase the drive and data from your MacBook Air. When this process is complete, your disk is successfully erased, but you're not done yet.
Your computer no longer has an operating system installed, which means that whether you sell your laptop or simply reformat the drive to improve your computer's speed or performance, you will still need to reinstall your operating system. exploitation.
Reinstall macOS on your MacBook Air
- With your newly reset MacBook Air, start by quitting Disk Utility by selecting Disk Utility then leave
- Select Reinstall macOS in the list of macOS utilities and follow the prompts to reinstall the latest version of macOS
- When it asks you to choose which disk you want to install, select (as most MacBook Airs only have one storage drive built into their systems, unless you personally added another) the default player
When you tap Install, you may be asked to allow certain permissions, after which your computer will start downloading macOS. This download will take some time, especially if you are using a slower internet connection. Please be patient while the reinstallation is complete. This may take a few hours, so be sure to allow yourself time to reboot the system and get back to work.
Once the macOS download is complete, you may need to start the installation manually by accepting the installation on your computer. Once the laptop has finished installing your operating system, it should automatically reboot and boot into the macOS welcome screen, prompting you to create a new account on the system and configure your system.
If you plan to sell your laptop, you can more or less turn off the device here. Your MacBook Air has been restored to its factory condition and is safe to ship for another user. It also prevents the buyer from accessing your personal or private information.
Restoring a Time Machine Backup
When you're done setting up your reformatted Mac, you'll need to restore the files you saved to your external hard drive using a Time Machine backup. Time Machine makes it easy to restore from any of the backups saved on your device, and that includes performing this action on newly formatted computers. Here's how.
- Start by opening Time Machine, either from your dock or, if you removed the shortcut from your dock, by clicking the Apple icon in the menu bar at the top of your screen , selecting “System Preferences” and selecting “Time Machine”.
- With your external hard drive plugged into your Macbook Air, you can use Time Machine to browse through your files to find what you want to restore. The timeline on the right side of your MacBook screen will display the date and time of each backup, allowing you to browse the list and find the correct or most recent backup to restore from.
When you select the file(s), you can press the restore button to restore them to your device. To preview a file, select a specific file and press the space key on your keyboard.
Alternatively, if you want to restore everything from your Time Machine backup, you can use the same macOS recovery screen we used earlier in this guide to format and reinstall macOS.
Simply press "Restart" on your device in the Apple logo, wait for your machine to turn back on, and hold "Command + R" on your keyboard when the Apple icon appears on your screen.
When you're back in the macOS "Utilities" screen, select "Restore from Disk Utility," and follow the onscreen instructions to restore your backed up apps and files to your computer.
Errors while restoring
While it's not something you'll want to do on a regular basis, it's kind of surprising how a simple reinstall can make your aging Mac look like new again. To keep your MacBook Air running smoothly, perform this reset every two years.
If you're having trouble with the restore contact Apple Support. Some users have reported a “No bag entry” error when trying to restore older software. If it happens; your MacBook Air is having trouble connecting to the App Store and therefore fails to reinstall macOS.
You'll want to make sure your MacBook Air is connected to a strong wifi source. Users reported that public wifi won't allow your MacBook to restore.