How to Set a MacBook to Factory Reset Without Disks

By Jen Cordwainer

You can remove personal data from your MacBook by restoring it to factory settings.
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When Mac OS X Lion 10.7 was released in October 2010, it introduced the OS X Recovery tool, which is stored on a separate partition of your computer's internal hard drive. Apple has never released restore disks for Lion and the current operating system, Mountain Lion 10.8, because those operating systems have been distributed through the Mac App Store as digital downloads. If your Mac is currently running Lion 10.7 or later, then you can restore your computer to factory settings with the OS X Recovery tool .

Step 1

Restart your computer and hold down "Command-R" as your Mac boots up.

Step 2

Click on "Disk Utility" and select your computer's hard drive from the sidebar.

Step 3

Select the "Erase" tab and click on Erase" to remove all of your personal data from the computer.

Step 4

Close Disk Utility and click on "Reinstall Mac OS X" and your computer downloads the operating system, then restarts and begins the installation.