6 Replies Latest reply: Jul 1, 2013 3:39 PM by Kappy
Tedalien Level 1 (0 points)

Hi All,


I read lot of threads having as topic "selling my old iMac" but I haven't found a clear answer on:



If I do sell my old iMac (2008) with an upgraded OSX (Mnt Lion) as I don't have the original softwares any longer.


  • Is this legal?
  • Is the buyer using my version illegally?
  • Will be able the buyer to use it without issue?
  • Will he/she obliged to buy the software when entering the new apple ID?
  • Do I loose the licence on my version of the OSX?
  • Does some details of my apple account remain in the installed version?


Thank you very much for your attention and support.


iMac, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.4)
  • mende1 Level 10 (92,171 points)

    Welcome to Apple Support Communities


    If you sell the iMac with OS X Mountain Lion, it would be illegal, the buyer will be using Mountain Lion illegally (the license isn't transferrable), the buyer will be able to use it without issue (unless he/she wants to reinstall OS X or update App Store apps, that he/she won't be able to do it), the buyer will have to purchase Mountain Lion again even if it's impossible to do it with Mountain Lion installed, you can still use Mountain Lion if you have another Mac and no details will be left on your iMac unless you don't have logged out of App Store.


    As you can see, it's much better to install Snow Leopard or the original Mac OS X version, so the buyer won't have problems

  • Kappy Level 10 (265,756 points)

    Follow these instructions step by step to prepare a Mac for sale:


    Step One - Back up your data:


           A. If you have any Virtual PCs shut them down. They cannot be in their "fast saved" state. They must be shut down from inside Windows.

           B. Clone to an external drive using using Carbon Copy Cloner.


              1. Open Carbon Copy Cloner.

              2. Select the Source volume from the Select a source drop down menu on the left side.

              3. Select the Destination volume from the Select a destination drop down menu on the right


              4. Click on the Clone button. If you are prompted about creating a clone of the Recovery HD be

                  sure to opt for that.


                   Destination means a freshly erased external backup drive. Source means the internal

                   startup drive.


    Step Two - Prepare the machine for the new buyer:


              1. De-authorize the computer in iTunes! De-authorize both iTunes and Audible accounts.

              2, Remove any Open Firmware passwords or Firmware passwords.

              3. Turn the brightness full up and volume nearly so.

              4. Turn off File Vault, if enabled.

              5. Disable iCloud, if enabled: See.What to do with iCloud before selling your computer


    Step Three - Install a fresh OS:


         A. Snow Leopard and earlier versions of OS X


              1. Insert the original OS X install CD/DVD that came with your computer.

              2. Restart the computer while holding down the C key to boot from the CD/DVD.

              3. Select Disk Utility from the Utilities menu; repartition and reformat the internal hard drive.

                  Optionally, click on the Security button and set the Zero Data option to one-pass.

              4. Install OS X.

              5. Upon completion DO NOT restart the computer.

              6. Shutdown the computer.


         B. Lion and Mountain Lion (if pre-installed on the computer at purchase*)


             Note: You will need an active Internet connection. I suggest using Ethernet if possible because

                       it is three times faster than wireless.


              1. Restart the computer while holding down the COMMAND and R keys until the Mac OS X

                  Utilities window appears.

              2. Select Disk Utility from the Mac OS X Utilities window and click on the Continue button.

              3. After DU loads select your startup volume (usually Macintosh HD) from the left side list. Click

                  on the Erase tab in the DU main window.

              4. Set the format type to Mac OS Extended (Journaled.) Optionally, click on the Security button

                  and set the Zero Data option to one-pass.

              5. Click on the Erase button and wait until the process has completed.

              6. Quit DU and return to the Mac OS X Utilities window.

              7. Select Reinstall Lion/Mountain Lion and click on the Install button.

              8. Upon completion shutdown the computer.


    *If your computer came with Lion or Mountain Lion pre-installed then you are entitled to transfer your license once. If you purchased Lion or Mountain Lion from the App Store then you cannot transfer your license to another party. In the case of the latter you should install the original version of OS X that came with your computer. You need to repartition the hard drive as well as reformat it; this will assure that the Recovery HD partition is removed. See Step Three above. You may verify these requirements by reviewing your OS X Software License.

  • Tedalien Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you for your answer, it is clear what you mean.


    However also installing the Snow Leopard would be illegal unless I sell the cd with the iMac.

    Right? I guess at least would not be the latest version which on the pther side would push the purchaser

    on buying its own new version of the OSX ...




  • mende1 Level 10 (92,171 points)

    From what I know, you can make a one-time transfer to another user, always that you give him/her all the Apple software you have. Read Transfer > http://store.apple.com/Catalog/US/Images/MacOSX.htm

  • Tedalien Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you Mende1,

    all very usefull.

    Regards, Ted

  • Kappy Level 10 (265,756 points)

    Installing the original software is never illegal whether you have the DVDs or not. But you need to inform the buyer when you don't have the DVDs because buying a replacement set from Apple will be around $50.00. Buying a retail Snow Leopard DVD is $20.00. At the very least you should either offer a $50 discount for the missing discs or buy the replacements in advance so they can be included with the computer.


    What is illegal is installing Lion or Mountain Lion when you purchased the license through the App Store. If they came pre-installed then you can transfer the ownership one time according to Apple's software license for the pre-installed versions.