4 Replies Latest reply: Sep 13, 2013 10:23 PM by Jeremy R W Christie Brown
Jeremy R W Christie Brown Level 1 (5 points)

I am returning my macbook air 11" to the seller as the screen is too small for me.  How do I remove myself as user without installing a new admin user and so that the machine comes on with the original setup page?

MacBook Air, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.4)
  • Kappy Level 10 (265,726 points)

    Install or Reinstall Lion/Mountain Lion from Scratch


    Be sure you backup your files to an external drive or second internal drive because the following procedure will remove everything from the hard drive.


    Boot to the Recovery HD:


    Restart the computer and after the chime press and hold down the COMMAND and R keys until the menu screen appears. Alternatively, restart the computer and after the chime press and hold down the OPTION key until the boot manager screen appears. Select the Recovery HD and click on the downward pointing arrow button.


    Erase the hard drive:


      1. Select Disk Utility from the main menu and click on the Continue button.


      2. 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.


      3. Set the format type to Mac OS Extended (Journaled.) Click on

           the Security button and set the Zero Data option to one-pass. Click on

          the Erase button and wait until the process has completed.


      4. Quit DU and return to the main menu.


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


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

                because it is three times faster than wireless.


    Once the OS is installed the computer will normally restart. Before it does shut down the computer.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 (192,265 points)

    To prepare a computer for sale or donation, in addition to the steps mentioned in this support article, take these steps:


    • If you set a firmware password, remove it by running Firmware Password Utility in Recovery mode.
    • If you activated FileVault in OS X 10.7 or later, turn it off.
    • If you use Boot Camp, the partition must be deleted
    • If you created any other data partitions on the internal drive, remove them in Disk Utility.
    • If privacy is a concern, erase the data partition(s) with the option to zero out data. An SSD doesn't need to be zeroed.




    You can't legally or practically transfer any software downloaded from the Mac App Store to the new owner of the machine, even if it was free. That includes OS X, so if you paid for an upgrade OS X 10.7 or later, you must reinstallthe original OS, either from the installation media, if applicable, or by booting into Internet Recovery (option-command-R at the startup chime.)

    The new owner will have to repurchase the software, if need be, under his or her Apple ID. If you ever updated the bundled iLife applications (Garage Band, iMovie, and iPhoto) through the App Store, you can't transfer them either.

    Remove the machine from your list of registered products. If it's still covered by an AppleCare Protection Plan, transfer the coverage to the new owner by following the instructions in the AppleCare Terms and Conditions (under the heading "Transfer of Plan.")

  • Jeremy R W Christie Brown Level 1 (5 points)

    Many thanks. I have no files on the computer that I want to keep; indeed I want to get it back as near as possible to its original unused state and so that it will come on with the original set up screen. Am i right that i do not therefore need to make a back up? I


    I have OS X 10.8.4. Presumably the recovery downloads this from Apple. Will it automatically download the same. I don't want to risk getting 10.8.5.


    Of course all that I would really like to do is remove the user data (name& password) but it seems that there is no simpler way.


    My macbook air has no ethernet connection, so i can only do this with wi-fi.  Any idea roughly how long it will take?

  • Jeremy R W Christie Brown Level 1 (5 points)

    Many thanks. Please see my reply to Kappy.