MacBook Pro Apple M1Source: Bryan M. Wolfe / iMore

Apple has changed the process for restoring a Mac to factory settings for Apple silicon devices. These steps should be followed for anyone who needs to reinstall macOS on an Apple M1 MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, or Mac mini. You should think about these changes when buying a new Mac.

These steps are part of a broader process that you should follow if you decide to sell your Mac or want to reinstall macOS Big Sur for any other reason.

Which Macs are covered?

These directions are only for late 2020 Macs that use the Apple M1 system-on-a-chip (SoC). These include all late 2020 MacBook Air models and select late 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro models. Some Mac minis (2020) also use Apple silicon.

To find your Mac version

You can confirm your computer version by following these steps:

  1. Click on the Apple icon at the top left.
  2. Choose About This Mac from the menu.
  3. Confirm the chip version on the pop-up box. Compatible devices say "Apple M1" next to Chip.

    To confirm your Mac version, click on the Apple icon at the top left, choose About This Mac from the menu. Confirm the chip version, which should say Apple M1.Source: iMore

If you're using an Apple M1 Mac, you're good to go and continue following these instructions.

What to do first

Before getting started, you should back up your Mac so you have a fresh copy of your data to restore, if applicable. You can restore this information as part of the overall macOS reinstall process.

Restoring your Mac to factory settings

To reinstall macOS on your Apple M1 computer and return it to factory settings:

  1. Shutdown your Mac.
  2. Hold the power button on your Mac until you see the startup options.

    To restore your Mac to factory settings, shutdown your Mac, then hold the power button until you see the startup optionsSource: iMore

  3. Select Options.
  4. Click Continue under Options.

    To restore your Mac to factory settings, select Options, then click Continue.Source: iMore

  5. Choose a user from the list who has administrative authority.
  6. Select Next

    To restore your Mac to factory settings, choose user from the list that has administrative authority. Select Next.Source: iMore

  7. Log into the user account using the password.
  8. Choose Continue.

    To restore your Mac to factory settings, log into the user account using the password. Choose Continue.Source: iMore

  9. Select Reinstall macOS from the list.

    To restore your Mac to factory settings, select Reinstall macOS.Source: iMore

From here, follow the on-screen instructions to reinstall a fresh copy of macOS.

Questions?

If you have any questions about reinstalling a fresh copy of macOS onto your Apple M1 device, let us know by leaving a comment below.