Monday, August 05, 2013

Technical Information Day!

As a long standing IT technician, I have been advising family and friends for years about cleaning up their computers before selling them or giving them away.  I am very happy to see Apple, Inc. has finally taken the bull by the horns and posted a Support Page document explaining how to do this for a modern Mac, including how to do it without accidentally deleting your data in iCloud at the same time!

Simply follow these steps:

Important: Do not manually delete contacts, calendars, reminders, documents, photo streams, or any other iCloud data while signed in to your iCloud account. Doing so will not only delete that information from your Mac, but will also delete it from the iCloud servers and any other devices you also sync with iCloud. Instead, follow the steps below to remove your iCloud account from your Mac and leave your iCloud data intact on your other devices.
1.  Deauthorize your computer from iTunes (if applicable).
2.  Back up your data.
3.  If enabled, turn off Find My Mac and sign out of iCloud. To turn off the iCloud service on your Mac:
  • Choose System Preferences > iCloud.
  • Deselect Find My Mac to disconnect your devices from iCloud.
  • Click the Sign Out button on the left side.
  • The system automatically removes iCloud data from your Mac. 
4.  Reformat your hard drive with Disk Utility to erase all stored data and then reinstall OS X on your computer. For instructions specific to your operating system, select the appropriate article below:
Optional: If you want to return your Mac to its original "out-of-the-box" state, so the new owner can set up the computer with the Mac OS X Setup Assistant, follow these steps:
1.  After you reformat your hard drive and reinstall OS X, the Setup Assistant automatically starts and displays the Welcome screen that prompts you to choose your country or region. Do not continue with the setup of your system.
2.  Press Command-Q to shut down your Mac.
Your Mac is now ready for its new owner. When the Mac is turned on for the first time, the Setup Assistant will guide the new owner through the setup process. 

Simple! In fact, so simple a cave man could do it!

(Sorry, guys)

Back on a serious note, you really, really need to do something like this, so your data isn't left on your machine for anybody to steal after you no longer have it.  Once it is out of your hands, you can no longer control it, so be sure it is gone!

Windows users, I can't give you specific instructions like this, but the same principle applies, save your data, reformat the old hard drive and reinstall the Operating System from the original media.  That way, your data is gone, not simply deleted.

Happy Computing!!

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