How to sell your MacBook

4 min read

Looking to sell your MacBook Pro? Before you hit your local online seller groups, make sure you know how to fully prepare your device for resale. 

We've put together this useful guide, including tips for removing all your old personal data and the best places to sell your old machine.

So, let's begin!

Before you sell your MacBook Pro

For all Mac users, eventually, there comes a moment in time when you might need to upgrade your device. But before you head to your local Apple store to purchase a new one, it's essential to properly prepare your old device for new ownership — that's where we come in.

If you're selling your old Mac because you're tired of slow performance, don't give up on it just yet. You could save a significant amount of money by simply cleaning up and clearing out your device to boost its output and performance.

The Apple notarized MacBook utility tool, CleanMyMac X, has a powerful Smart Scan module that analyzes your system and dives deep into all the forgotten corners of your Mac, locating tons of system junk and identifying potential harmful threats while boosting your Mac speed all in one go! 

Before you put your Mac up for sale, try this:

CleanMyMac X - Smart Scan complete

  1. Open the app or test it first for 7 days free.

  2. Select Smart Scan > Scan > Run.

If your Mac is destined for new ownership, then follow the steps below to prepare it correctly for resale.

How to completely erase MacBook Pro data 

So, when it comes to selling your MacBook, you need to ensure you've first erased its entire contents and reset it back to factory settings.

We'll break down the steps below.

Step one: Back up any old data

Before you go ahead and erase all the contents of your Mac, it's wise to back up any important or private files that you might need later. Use an external drive or cloud storage account.

Step two: Sign out and unpair

Next, it's time to unpair your Bluetooth devices. If you're selling or passing your Mac on to a family member or someone you know, then it's possible you might be in the same location, so unpairing your devices will ensure they don't connect again in the future. Here's how:

  1. Select System Settings > Bluetooth from the Apple menu.

  2. Disconnect from your devices.

System Preferences - Bluetooth

Now, it's time to sign out from your Apple ID; here's how:

  1. Go to System Settings from the Apple menu.

  2. Select your name at the top in the circle.

  3. Scroll down to the bottom of the window and click Sign Out.

How to sign out from Apple ID

Just take a moment to double-check you are now signed out from the following places:

  • Messages

  • App Store

  • Music

Step three: Erase your disk

Depending on your make and model, the process to completely erase your Mac varies.

For Apple silicon / For T2 Security chip Mac'sMac's / For MacBooks operating macOS Ventura or later

For users operating the latest devices, you can take advantage of the simple erase-all feature; here's how:

  1. Select System Settings > General from the Apple menu.

  2. Select Transfer or Reset.

  3. Click Erase All Content and Settings

System Preferences - Transfer or Reset

If you have a Mac running macOS Monterey, open System Preferences and click System Preferences from the menu bar. From there, select Erase All Content and Settings. 

Next, the erase assistant will load up. Here, you'll need to follow the steps to erase your MacBook and restore it back to its original factory settings. 

Notice a summary of all the data, settings, and items that will be erased. You might be asked to enter your admin password and your Apple ID.

For older Intel-based Macs

Sadly, there isn't a simple erase-all feature, but it's relatively simple; here's how:

  1. You'll need to start your device up from macOS Recovery (read the Apple guide on how to do it here).
    macOS Recovery
  2. Select Disk Utility to erase your device; you might need to enter your admin password.
  3. Choose your Macintosh HD from the sidebar. From the top toolbar, click the Erase button.
  4. You'll now need to enter the following details.
    Format: Select APFS or Mac OS Extended (Journaled), as recommended by Disk Utility
    Name: Macintosh HD
  5. Click Erase Group.

Disk Utility window

Now, you'll need to reinstall macOS while you're still in recovery mode. You can follow Apple's official guide here.

Now, you're ready to sell your MacBook Air. Head to the next step for some handy tips.

Best places to sell my MacBook

When it comes to selling your MacBook, it's always worth checking out Apple's Trade-In program.

Apple's Trade-In program

You can check your trade-in value online and put the money towards a new device. It's worth a look. 

The Apple Trade-in program is often considered a safe option, but it's widely known that you won't get the best price. To get the maximum for your device, you'll likely need to sell privately.

Private selling options include:

  • eBay

  • Craigslist

  • Amazon

  • Gumtree

  • Facebook groups

You could always put an advert in a local newspaper or via a notice board at your university, school, or mall. If you have the original packaging, charger, and accessories, you'll be able to make a nice package deal.

But how much is my Mac worth?

It's really going to depend on your model and condition, but also market demand. For instance, there's, of course, going to be less demand for older models.

You can research similar models on any of the sites I mentioned above to get an idea of what devices are going for.

If you're based in the US, then you could consider selling through the popular SellYourMac service.

If you're based in the UK, then MacBack is a popular option.

So, no matter the reason for upgrading, now you know how to sell your MacBook, including how to safely and correctly prepare it.

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