How do I wipe my Mac and reinstall Big Sur?

Answered by Jeremy Urbaniak

To wipe your Mac and reinstall Big Sur, you can follow these steps:

1. Back up your data: Before performing a factory reset, it’s essential to back up your important files and data. You can use Apple’s built-in backup solution called Time Machine. Connect an external storage device and ensure it’s set up for Time Machine backups. Then, go to the Apple menu, click “System Preferences,” and select “Time Machine.” Follow the prompts to set up and initiate a backup of your Mac.

2. Prepare for reinstallation: Once your data is backed up, you can proceed with the factory reset. First, make sure your Mac is connected to a power source to prevent any interruptions during the reinstallation process. Also, ensure you have a stable internet connection as you’ll need to download the Big Sur installer.

3. Restart in macOS Recovery: Restart your Mac and hold down the Command (⌘) + R keys immediately upon hearing the startup chime. Keep holding the keys until you see the Apple logo or a spinning globe. This will boot your Mac into macOS Recovery mode.

4. Erase the Mac’s internal drive: In macOS Recovery, you’ll see the macOS Utilities window. Select “Disk Utility” and click “Continue.” In Disk Utility, choose your Mac’s internal drive (usually named “Macintosh HD”) from the sidebar. Then, click the “Erase” button at the top of the window. A dialog box will appear asking you to provide a name, format, and scheme for the drive. You can use the default settings or customize them as per your preference. click “Erase” to wipe the drive.

5. Reinstall macOS Big Sur: After erasing the drive, close Disk Utility to return to the macOS Utilities window. Select “Reinstall macOS” and click “Continue.” Follow the on-screen instructions to download and reinstall macOS Big Sur. This process requires an internet connection, and it may take some time to complete. Make sure not to interrupt the download or installation process.

6. Set up your Mac: Once the reinstallation is finished, your Mac will restart into the setup process. Follow the prompts to select your country, keyboard layout, and connect to a Wi-Fi network. You’ll also be asked to sign in with your Apple ID and set up various preferences, such as Siri and iCloud. you’ll reach the desktop of your freshly installed macOS Big Sur.

It’s worth noting that performing a factory reset will erase all the data on your Mac’s internal drive. Therefore, it’s crucial to back up your important files before proceeding. Additionally, ensure any software or licenses you need are available for reinstalling after the factory reset.

The process of wiping your Mac and reinstalling Big Sur may take some time, but it can help resolve persistent issues or provide a fresh start for your system.