Erase all data from Macbook Pro

Erase all data from Macbook Pro

Note: This post is part of the the series: Reformat Macbook Pro to make brand new. You can always refer back to the table of contents to follow the entire process.

In the last chapter, I showed you how to create an OS X Mavericks boot drive so you can bring your Macbook Pro back to life once it’s wiped completely clean of its contents. We are now at that crucial step. It’s time to erase all of your data from your Macbook Pro (including all the files that are guilty of slowing it down!)

Lets get started and erase all that precious data.

WARNING: If you haven’t already backed up your data, it’s imperative you do so. If you haven’t read or listened to my post on backing up Macbook Pro to Time Machine, please do so. You’ll have a full copy of your data in the event something goes wrong.

Erase all data from Macbook Pro

I know. It’s a scary title. But the reason why you’re doing this is because you’ve gummed up the hard drive and you want it to work better. So we need to unclog it. Erasing data is the answer. But you’ve backed up your data, you’ve got your boot disk, so you’re ready to go. So let’s do it.

  1. Start by shutting your MacBook off.
  2. Restart and quickly press the CMD and the R keys together. Make sure you do this before you hear the startup sound. Hold the keys together for a bit and you’ll be taken to the OSX Utilities screen.
  3. Click Disk Utility and click Continue.
  4. Go to Applications ›› Utilities ›› Disk Utility
  5. Be sure all your external hard drives are unplugged from your Mac.
  6. You will see your hard drive name listed twice. You’ll want to click on the 2nd name.
  7. Click the Erase tab at the top. Don’t worry. Not erasing yet.
  8. Under Format, choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled). Name can remain what it is or you can change it.
  9. If you really want to delete as much content as possible, run Erase Free Space before you finish the steps. Running it after the next steps will waste your time. Essentially, Erase Free Space overwrites and unused space (not the master content itself).
  10. Choose how secure you want the hard drive by clicking Security Options. If you’re selling your computer, drag the slider to the far right (Overwritten 7 times!). I chose the middle option because I want it cleaned up as much as possible, but don’t mind if some files remain (the less secure, the faster the erase process). The middle option erases over the content three times. Perfecto.
  11. WARNING: This is where the magic happens! Once you click Erase, it’ll start erasing. Bye-bye content.
  12. Now sit back and have more coffee. I’m onto wine now. This will take an hour or two. Take a break.

Congratulations, you’re now on your way to a faster, cleaner Mac.

To continue with the series, head to the next chapter where we boot your new Mac with the flash drive we created with OS X Mavericks. This will tell the computer to come alive once again and install Mavericks – the first piece of software on your empty Macbook Pro.

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Josh Benson

Josh Benson writes about the web, technology, TV News and life in general. He's a self-admitted geek and loves being a Dad. He covers the day's news on WFLA-TV in Tampa, Florida. He struggles to learn code and work out but loves all things tech and web!

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