Whether you bought a MacBook Pro with Touch Bar recently or just don’t want to use it anymore, no matter the reason, there are some important steps you need to take before you sell it.
Several of these steps apply to any MacBook, and there are also other additional steps specifically for the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar.
Step 1: Make sure to sign out of all accounts
You need to make sure you’re signed out of all your accounts. Before signing out, back up all of your files and data that you wish to keep, by backing up the data to iCloud, another online method, or even an external hard drive. When you’ve safely saved all of the data you want to save, here’s what you need to do:
Sign out of iCloud
- Head over to System Preferences > iCloud and click the Sign Out button.
Sign out of iTunes
- Open iTunes and go to Account > Authorizations > Deauthorize This Computer.
Sign out of iMessage
- It’s important you are signed out of iMessage on your laptop. Open the Message app and go to Messages > Preferences and click the Accounts tab. With your account selected on the left, click the Sign Out button on the right.
Unpair Any Connected Bluetooth Devices
If you’re selling your MacBook to your friend, roommate, or even your neighbor, this means your MacBook isn’t leaving the premises, just your possession. You need to then unpair any Bluetooth devices that you aren’t including in the sale.
To do so, go to System Preferences > Bluetooth, select a device you want to unpair, click the X button to the right of its name and then click Remove.
Step 2: Clear data from MacBook’s Touch Bar
If you head on over to Apple’s Support page, you can look at Step 6 where it outlines instructions on how to “clear any information stored by the Touch Bar.” It seems that Touch Bar does store some level of information that may be separate from the MacBook itself, perhaps storing the passcode and fingerprint data. According to Apple, this data is stored on a separate chip Apple called Secure Enclave. Perhaps this is what you’re erasing when deleting your data from the Touch Car.
To remove Touch ID fingerprints, go to System Preferences > Touch ID and mousing over a fingerprint profile and clicking the X button and then clicking Delete.
Apple Support on the other hand tells you to use a Terminal command while in recovery mode to clear any data stored by the Touch Bar.
Here’s what to do with this method:
Shut down your MacBook Pro and then power it back in MacOS Recovery mode by immediately holding down Command-R after hitting the power button. If you see the MacOS Utilities window, then you have successfully entered MacOS Recovery. Please ignore the options in the MacOS Utilities window and instead click Utilities in the menu bar and choose Terminal.
Enter this command in Terminal:
Hit Enter, type yes to confirm your intentions and then hit Enter again. Quit Terminal and restart your MacBook per usual. You can check to see if your Touch ID was, indeed, erased by going to System Preferences > Touch ID and looking to see if your fingerprint profiles were erased.
Step 3: Fully erase and reinstall MacOS software
After going through the previous steps, it’s now important to make sure you do a full wipe of your MacBook Pro. This means starting the MacBook on a clean slate, restoring the laptop back to its factory settings.
To erase your disk, go to MacOS Recovery and choose Disk Utility from the utilities window. Next, select your device or volume in the sidebar of Disk Utility and click the Erase tab. You should be able to leave the three fields for Name, Format and Scheme as their default selections before clicking Erase to erase your disk.
After everything is erased, start up again in MacOS Recovery mode and this time choose Reinstall MacOS from the utilities window. Select your disk, and then hit Install.
From here you don’t have to enter any information after the MacBook starts into the setup assistant. You can just shut it down and let the new user set everything up however they like.