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How to Factory Reset Macbook Pro without Password

by | Nov 16, 2023

Want to reset your MacBook Pro to its original settings but can’t remember the password? No need to worry! Apple provides a way to erase or restore a MacBook Pro to factory defaults without requiring any form of authentication.

Apple has implemented strong security measures in their MacBook Pro to protect user data from unauthorized access. One of these measures is the use of login passwords to ensure that only authorized users can access the system. However, it’s common for users to forget their authentication details, which can be quite inconvenient.

While there are methods to recover a forgotten Mac login password, they may not always work. In such cases, the only solution is to factory reset the MacBook Pro. This is particularly relevant when resetting a second-hand laptop that you’ve purchased without knowing the password.

Regardless of the specific situation, there is a simple way to bypass the authentication requirement when performing a factory reset on a MacBook Pro.

Things to Do Before Factory Resetting a MacBook Pro without a Password

Before factory resetting your MacBook Pro, there are a few important steps you should take to ensure a smooth process. Here are the things you need to do:

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1. Back up your Mac’s data

Before resetting your Mac to its factory settings, it’s crucial to create a backup of all your important files and data. You can do this by using the Time Machine software provided by Apple. 

Here is the steps to back up a Mac using Time Machine:

  • Connect an external hard drive to your Mac.
  • Click on the Apple icon in the top-left corner of your screen.
  • Select “System Preferences.”
Back up your Mac's data
  • Find and click on “Time Machine.”
Back up your Mac's data
  • Click on “Select Backup Disk.”
Back up your Mac's data
  • Choose a drive and click “Use Disk.”
Back up your Mac's data

Finally, check the box next to “Back Up Automatically” to start the backup process immediately.

Back up your Mac's data

These steps will help you back up your Mac using Time Machine.

2. Sign out of your iTunes account

If your MacBook is running an older version of macOS, such as Catalina, you’ll need to deauthorize your computer from the iTunes app. 

Here’s how you can do it:

Sign out of your iTunes account
  1. Open iTunes and go to the menu bar at the top of your screen.
  2. Select “Account” and then choose “Authorizations.”
  3. From the drop-down menu, click on “Deauthorize This Computer.”
  4. Enter your Apple ID and password when prompted, and then click “Deauthorize.”

3. Sign out of iCloud

To ensure a smooth reset process, you need to sign out of your iCloud account. Here’s how:

Sign out of iCloud
  1. Go to the Apple menu and select “System Preferences.”
  2. Click on “Apple ID” and choose “iCloud” from the side panel.

Also read How to Recover Permanently Deleted Photos from iCloud.

4. Turn off the “Find My Mac” feature

Turn off the "Find My Mac" feature
  1. Select “Overview” from the side panel and click on “Sign Out.”
  2. If you have macOS Mojave or an earlier version, go to the Apple menu, choose “System Preferences,” click on “iCloud,” and then sign out.
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4. Turn off FileVault

If FileVault encryption is enabled on your MacBook, it’s advisable to turn it off before proceeding with the factory reset. FileVault encrypts the files on your hard drive, and disabling it will make the reset process smoother. 

To turn off FileVault follow these steps: 

  1. Choose Apple menu > System Settings, click Privacy & Security in the sidebar, and next click FileVault. (You may need to scroll down.)
  2. Click Turn Off.
  3. Click Turn Off Encryption.
Turn off FileVault

How to Factory Reset Macbook Pro without Password

Here are the steps to factory reset your Apple MacBook Pro without using the login password:

Step 1: Start up in macOS Recovery mode

  • For Intel-based MacBook Pro: Turn on the laptop and immediately press and hold the Cmd+Q keys until you see the Apple icon or hear a sound. The startup options will appear.
  • For Apple Silicon-based MacBook Pro: Press and hold the power button until the startup options appear. Select the gear icon marked Options and then choose Continue.

Step 2: Select Erase Mac from the Recovery Assistant menu

  • When prompted to select an admin user, choose Erase Mac from the Recovery Assistant menu in the menu bar. 
  • In the Erase Mac window, select the Erase Mac option and confirm the process.

Step 3: Reinstall macOS

Reinstall macOS
  • After the previous step, your MacBook may restart and display a flashing question mark. If that happens, press and hold the power button until the laptop turns off.
  • To reinstall macOS, ensure that your laptop has internet access. Start the MacBook in macOS recovery mode as described earlier and proceed with the operating system reinstallation.
  • Choose the Reinstall macOS option from the utilities window in macOS Recovery. If prompted to choose between Macintosh HD or Macintosh HD – Data for the reinstallation, select Macintosh HD. Allow the installation to complete without putting the computer to sleep or closing its lid. The process may take several minutes.
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Now you know how to factory reset Macbook Pro without password. After reinstalling macOS, your MacBook will restart and display a setup assistant. If you want to keep the laptop and use it yourself, you can enter your information during the setup process.

But if you plan to sell or give the laptop to someone else, you can simply turn off the device at this point and pass it on as it is. The new owner can then use the setup assistant to enter their own information when they turn on the device.

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