What happens if I reinstall macOS?

Answered by Randy McIntyre

When you reinstall macOS, the operating system is essentially restored to its original state as if you had just installed it for the first time. This can be useful in a few different situations.

Firstly, reinstalling macOS can help resolve any software issues or glitches that you may be experiencing on your Mac. Over time, as you use your computer and install various applications, the system files can become corrupted or conflicts between different software can arise. Reinstalling macOS can help eliminate these problems and provide a fresh start for your Mac.

Secondly, reinstalling macOS can be beneficial if you are planning to sell or give away your Mac. By reinstalling the operating system, you ensure that all your personal data and settings are removed from the device, protecting your privacy and ensuring a clean slate for its new owner.

Now, let’s delve into the details of what actually happens when you reinstall macOS. When you initiate the reinstallation process, your Mac will download the necessary installation files from Apple’s servers. It will then restart and boot into the macOS Recovery mode.

In macOS Recovery, you will have a few options to choose from. One of these options is the “Reinstall macOS” option. Selecting this option will start the reinstallation process. Before proceeding, it is important to ensure that you have a backup of your important files, as the reinstallation process will erase your Mac’s hard drive.

During the reinstallation process, your Mac will erase the contents of its hard drive and install a fresh copy of macOS. It will only touch the operating system files that are part of the default macOS installation, leaving your personal files, applications, and custom settings untouched.

After the reinstallation is complete, your Mac will reboot and you will be greeted with the initial setup screen, just like when you first purchased your Mac. You will have the option to restore your files from a backup if you have one, or you can start afresh by setting up your Mac as a new device.

It’s important to note that reinstalling macOS will not fix hardware issues or problems caused by faulty hardware. If you are experiencing hardware-related problems, it is recommended to seek assistance from an authorized service provider.

Reinstalling macOS provides a fresh start for your Mac by restoring the operating system to its original state. It can help resolve software issues, prepare your Mac for sale or giveaway, and give you a clean slate for a new setup. However, remember to backup your files before proceeding and be aware that reinstalling macOS will not fix hardware problems.