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macOS Monterey can 'erase all contents and settings' like iPhone and iPad

macOS Monterey
macOS Monterey (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • macOS Monterey will allow users to 'erase all contents and settings.'
  • The feature will completely wipe a Mac ready for sale or recycling.

Apple announced macOS Monterey yesterday and it brings with it a ton of great features. One of those features wasn't actually announced yesterday, but it does exist and it will make it easier for Mac users to wipe their machines before selling to recycling them.

Just like iOS and iPadOS, a new 'erase all contents and settings' option will delete all user data and settings from a Mac, making it ready to be handed to someone else. It's set to be the easiest way to remove personal data from a Mac.

Apple explains how the feature will work:

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.

Now, erasing a Mac is a multi-part process and it is far from easy – especially beside a single button option like the one macOS Monterey is going to bring to the table.

One of the main reasons to do this is because you're buying a new machine and removing all of your data is an important part of saying goodbye to an old one. The exciting part is always going to be getting a new Mac though and the new M1 Mac mini is a great option. Be sure to check out our list of the best Mac mini deals before you make a purchase, though!

Oliver Haslam
Contributor

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.

3 Comments
  • Hopefully it also prompts the user to disable "Find My" before proceeding. Otherwise there may be a lot of "erased" Macs being sold with Activation Lock enabled.
  • I'm betting that's the first thing that happens when you start the erase process.
  • This is a great idea that should have been on Mac a long time ago.
    Simple way to quickly and securely erase the Mac