How to Restore Mac to Factory Settings without Losing Data

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A factory reset might be useful and necessary for the proper functioning of your Mac. Restoring your Mac to Factory setting can, for instance, help it to run smoothly and fast enough. However, you should backup all your data before you factory reset. Innovative tools such as Time Machine have made the process more straightforward than it was before. Backing up your data is crucial, because even though it will be erased during the factory reset, one is in a position to recover all the data later.

The procedures on how to correctly back up your data and then later recover the same data are explained in this article.

Use External Device to Backup Your Mac

This is the most integral part of ensuring that you do not lose data. Restoring your Mac without having backed up your data means that you may lose data. Fortunately, there are softwares such as the Time Machine which comes with all Mac operating systems and allows you to back up your data externally.

Time Machine

To back up data using this built-in backup application feature, you will need a separate storage device or MacOS Server to act as a backup destination. For instance, an external hard drive can be connected to the Mac using a USB, and it thus provides a backup destination.

Step 1. Connect the USB flash drive.

Step 2. Then your Mac will prompt a pop up asking how you wish to use that drive. If no pop up appears, you can go to Apple menu > System Preferences, to click Time Machine. You should select the option of using it as the backup disk.

use as a backup disk

Step 3: Following the above successful setup, Time Machine automatically carries out a first time full back up of your data. Given there is a lot of data to back up, this initial backup ends up taking a long time.

step 3 time machine

A great advantage of Time Machine is that it will continuously and automatically backup your files.

For example, if you have a document that you make changes to it after it was already backed up, Time Machine will back up the document with the new changes. Consequently, you will be able to access both the original document and the newly saved document. As long as the external drive that you connected to your Mac has available storage, Time Machine will continue to make daily, weekly, and monthly backups.

Once you have backed up your Mac with Time Machine, you can proceed with restoring your Mac to factory mode without worrying about the crucial data loss.

Step-by-Step Guide to Reset Mac to Factory Settings

Having backup up your data, it is essential that you also log out of your accounts and services before you restore to factory settings.

1. Begin initiating recovery mode. This can be done by clicking on the Apple logo that appears on your screen at the top left part. Once you click on that Apple logo, choose the 'Restart' option.

2. After your Mac has restarted, you ought to press and hold down the Command + R keys until when you will see an Apple logo displayed on your Mac screen. Continue the process by releasing both keys at the same time.

3. The next part of restoring your Mac to factory settings involves erasing data from the hard drive in your Mac. Given that your Mac is in recovery mode, the display on the screen is different as it does not include the login option.

macos utilities

4. The macOS Utilities window gives you the option of clicking on Disk Utility. Choose this option, then click continue. Once it has prompted an option that lets you choose your startup disk, click on the "Erase" option.

5.Select the Mac Os Extended as your preferred format.

6. Click Erase. Please note that by clicking this option, all the data on your Mac gets erased permanently.

Give it some minutes as you wait for the process to be completed. After it is finished, look out for the Disk Utility menu and press the quit option. By clicking quit you will be able to quit the program. At this point you would have successfully restored your Mac to factory setting.

After that, reinstall macOS on your Mac.

Recover Data on Mac by AnyRecover

As we had already highlighted earlier, restoring your Mac to factory settings leads to the loss of data, especially if you had not backed it up somewhere else. However, there are several data-recovery tools which can help you to recover any lost data. One such third party data recovery tool is AnyRecover.

AnyRecover is advantageous as it can recover deleted files from both Mac's hard drive memory and other external drives. Additionally, AnyRecover can recover all kinds of files, including documents, videos, photos, and other types of data. Another benefit that comes with using AnyRecover is that one has the option of previewing the different files that they had. This is great when one would like only to recover specific ones.


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Features of iMyFone AnyRecover:

  • Recover missing or deleted files of all types of storage mediums, including internal and external hard drives, memory cards, flash drives, etc.

  • It supports recover more than 1000 different formats via AnyRecover including emails, audio files, documents, videos, images, pictures, archives, and more.

  • You can preview files before recovery.

  • Won't overwrite any other files when recovering the lost/deleted files on your Mac, 100% safe to use.

  • Easy to use software interface and highest data recovery rate.

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Steps to use AnyRecover for data recovery

Step 1: 1.You will have to install Anyrecover on your Mac then launch it. Select the 'All-Round Recovery' mode.

anyrecover scan all round

Step 2: Choose the location in which your files were before the factory reset.

choose file locaation

Step 3: Choose the file type that you want to recover.

recover data

Step 4: Click the Recover button after scanning, all your lost data will be restored then.

recover data


If you’re searching for an easy and fast method to restore your Mac to factory settings, and want to recover data from your Mac, then the above tricks seem helpful to you. Download and try it now, you’ll find it never been so easy to recover data.

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By  Taylor Clark , to Deleted Files Recovery

Posted on Nov 27, 2019  ( Updated: Jan 13, 2020 )