2 Replies Latest reply: Sep 19, 2013 8:08 PM by Linc Davis
lauracarless Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I am selling my iMac and need to delete all personal data but I have some programs that I would like to sell with the iMac instead completely resetting it. How can I go about doing this?


I also need to transfer these files from one mac to another before deleting - what is the quickest way of doing this for large amounts of files?



iMac (21.5-inch Mid 2010), OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)
  • macjack Level 9 Level 9 (50,650 points)

    You migrate the apps but if you migrate your data it will probably create a new account, so I'd advise copying the data by just dragging into ~/Documents. Firewire is your best bet, unless you have Thunderbolt.


    Use SuperDuper or CarbonCopy Cloner to back up your entire system, this way you'll have a complete backup in case at a later date there's something you missed.


    As far as selling, you need to erase the drive and install from the original install disk that Mac shipped with. This is required by license agreement. Also right now, it is tied to your Apple ID. Without your password the new owner won't be able to upgrade or purchase anything from the app store. With it he'll be able to run up quite a bill for you. You also risk leaving behind easily recoverable pesonal files, if you don't do a full security erase.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (177,390 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.")