How To Wipe An Imac

If you are planning to sell your iMac or give it away, wiping it clean is an important step to protect your personal information. In this article, we will guide you through the process of how to wipe an iMac.

Step 1: Backup Your Data

Before wiping your iMac, make sure to backup all of your important data. This can be done through Time Machine or by manually transferring your files to an external hard drive.

Step 2: Sign Out of Your Accounts

To ensure that your personal accounts are not accessible after the wipe, sign out of all accounts including iCloud, iTunes, and iMessage.

Step 3: Erase Your iMac

Once you have backed up your data and signed out of your accounts, it is time to erase your iMac. Go to the Apple menu and select “Restart…” while holding down the Command and R keys. This will bring up the macOS Utilities window.

Option 1: Erase the Entire Disk

If you want to completely wipe your iMac, select the “Disk Utility” option and choose your hard drive. Click “Erase” and select “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)” as the format. Click “Erase” again to confirm.

Option 2: Reinstall macOS

If you want to keep your iMac but reinstall macOS, select the “Reinstall macOS” option and follow the prompts to complete the process.

Step 4: Reinstall Your Applications

After wiping your iMac, you will need to reinstall your applications. This can be done through the App Store or by manually downloading them from the internet.


Q: Will wiping my iMac delete the operating system?

A: Yes, wiping your iMac will delete the operating system. You will need to reinstall macOS after the wipe.

Q: Can I wipe my iMac without erasing the entire disk?

A: Yes, you can choose to reinstall macOS instead of erasing the entire disk.

Q: How long does it take to wipe an iMac?

A: The time it takes to wipe an iMac depends on the size of your hard drive and the method you choose. It can take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours.


Wiping your iMac is an important step to protect your personal information. By following these steps, you can ensure that your iMac is clean and ready to be sold or given away. Remember to backup your data, sign out of your accounts, erase your iMac, and reinstall your applications.