How to clean up macOS Easy Install

macOS Monterey offers the ability to factory reset your Mac with just a few clicks, without having to restart in recovery mode. This is perfect if you’re selling or giving away your laptop, but it only works on the latest Apple devices.

Apple Silicon or a T2 chip required

The feature is limited to most Mac computers released after 2017 that contain the T2 security chip, as well as newer machines that use ARM-based Apple silicon chips like the M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max.

Apple Silicon Mac models include:

  • 2020 M1 MacBook Air
  • 2020 M1 Mac Mini
  • 2021 24-inch iMac
  • 2020 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro
  • 2021 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro

Intel Mac models with a T2 chip include:

  • MacBook Air (2018 and newer)
  • MacBook Pro (2018 and newer)
  • Mac mini (2018 and newer)
  • iMac Pro (2017)

You can find out which Mac you have by clicking the Apple logo in the upper left corner and clicking About This Mac. If you have an Intel Mac, you can click on “System Report” followed by “Controller” or “Bridge” to see if there is a T2 chip in it.

You’ll also need to update your Mac to macOS Monterey or later.

Here’s how to update your Mac and keep apps updated

Here’s how to erase your Mac and quickly reinstall macOS

Before you begin, make sure you have backed up your Mac using Time Machine or another backup solution of your choice.

This process will completely erase your Mac, removing all of your personal files, settings, and software. You need a user account with administrator rights and all other user accounts will be removed at the same time.

First start the system settings.

From the menu bar at the top of the screen, click System Preferences> Erase All Content and Settings.

Options in the menu bar of the system settings

Enter the password you use to unlock your Mac.

macOS Erase Assistant authentication prompt

macOS provides a summary of all the items that will be removed from your Mac if you continue.

Summary of items to be removed from your Mac

Now enter your Apple ID password to sign out of your Apple ID and turn off Find My Mac.

Remove Apple ID from Mac

You will be asked one last time if you want to continue. Click on “Erase all content and settings” to confirm.


Your Mac will begin the process. During this time it can be restarted several times. Let the process complete until you see that familiar “Hello” message that greeted you the first time you turned on your Mac.

You can sell or give away your Mac now, or start migrating back data from your Time Machine backup. You can also set up the Mac as a “new” computer.

How to Sell Your Laptop, Phone, or Tablet for Top Bucks

Older Mac models will need to use Recovery Mode

If you have an older Mac that lacks the T2 chip (many of which are not officially supported in macOS Monterey), you’ll have to do it the old-fashioned way of restarting your Mac in recovery mode.

You can also create a bootable USB drive with a supported version of macOS (or OS X) on your computer and reinstall the operating system that way instead.

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