How to restore iMac to Factory Settings

As the time passes, your system begins to slow down; and, when the performance slows down considerably, factory reset seems to be the only solution you can think of. However, doing a factory reset implies losing all the data existing on your Mac hard drive, unless you have created a backup. Therefore, you have enough time to back up your data as well as the entire partition to restore the data contents back to the machine after factory restore is done.

Restore iMac to Factory Settings

Now when the backup is created, let’s move further to the complete iMac restore procedure. It is important to note that the factory reset option will completely wipe off all the data including documents, images, photos, audio, music, presentations, and every individual component existing on iMac hard drive.

Follow the steps below to complete the iMac restore process:

Step 1: Reboot iMac and hold down Command and R keys together. It will load the Recovery function

Step 2: Next, select Recovery HD, a volume of Mac hard drive held in reserve for recovery function

Step 3: From the options that appear, select Disk Utility and click on Continue

Step 4: When utility gets loaded, all the hard disks connected to the system will be displayed within the window

Step 5: Select Macintosh HD drive and click on the Erase tab available on the top of the window.

Note: It is apparent that the disk might appear with a different name as the user might have custom-named the Macintosh HD name. Select the primary hard disk.

Step 6: In the then appeared window, select Mac OS Extended (Journaled) in drop-down format

Step 7: Next, click on the Erase button

The procedure will delete all the partitions on the hard drive and make it empty. The entire Erase process might take few minutes depending on the volume of data it incorporates.

Step 8: Now, exit Disk Utility window. You will be back on the Recovery menu

Step 9: From the upper right corner of the Mac window, click on the wireless icon and select the wireless network you use.

Note: A reliable wireless network for downloading and installing OS X could help completely accomplishing the procedure in a much efficient manner. Any internet interruption can lead to a time-consuming procedure.

Step 10: From the options that appear, click on Reinstall OS X and click on Continue. The operating system installation procedure is completed.

Step 11: Now, next step involves installation of the Mac OS X. After the installation procedure begins, system prompts to read and agree to the Terms and Conditions

Step 12: Once you accept the Terms and Conditions, system will ask for the hard drive details on which OS X needs to be installed

Tip: Wait till the uninstallation procedure gets completed successfully and do not interrupt in between as it may lead to serious consequences.

Why Factory Restore?

Some serious causes with Mac Operating system call upon the need to reset iMac to Factory Settings. Some of these reasons include degraded performance, a sudden crashing of applications or programs, and the system itself as well as constant error messages.

Doing this, all the inconsistencies and error messages that have appeared over time will disappear, and the system will perform flawlessly. You can now install all crucial programs and applications on the Mac system after the Operating System installation procedure completes.

You can select to Factory reset your iMac machine if you are thinking to hand over the possession of your machine to another user. You can also implement the same technique of reset to factory settings while you are selling your MacBook Pro, Mac Mini or any other device.


  • The entire procedure may take about 30-60 minutes to complete
  • If you have upgraded the Operating System after purchasing it online, you may be required to use your Apple ID and Password
  • Factory Reset will delete all the files existing on the Mac hard drive and reinstall the Operating System, hence make the system new and more efficient than before
  • You can select to backup data either by copying all Mac files to DVD or external storage device; clone iMac hard drive or via backing up all existing files using Mac built-in Time Machine feature

Even though the procedure to restore factory settings is a complex task, it is remarkably helpful in preventing important information from unauthorized access. Not only does it prevent integrity of data contents, but also improves device performance considerably.

Tom Parillo

Tom Parillo

I am interested in all things technology, especially automation, robotics and tech that helps change how society will live in the future.
Tom Parillo

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