If you bought a new Macbook Air, Macbook Pro iMac, mac studio Where mac mini over the past two years, it almost certainly uses Apple’s own processor, which is the Apple Silicon M1 Where Apple Silicon M2, instead of an Intel chip. In your day-to-day use, you probably won’t notice any difference in operation, and that’s a good thing. However, when it comes time to reset the new Mac, whether you’re selling it, passing it on, or troubleshooting it, there are brand new steps to completely erase M1 and M2 based models.

Specifically, the steps to access Recovery Mode, the tool you need to use to reset your Mac, have changed. I’ll walk you through how to get into recovery mode and use all the options, as well as some workarounds for issues I’ve encountered. (Note: the easiest way to find out if you have an Apple Silicon Mac is to click the apple icon at the far left of the menu bar, followed by About This Mac and look at it Chip section.)

Apple's Recovery Mode splash screen with OS hard drive and Options icons in the middle, and Restart and Power Off at the bottom

The new recovery mode looks like previous versions, but you access it in a different way.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

How to Access MacOS Recovery on an Apple Silicon Mac

Click on the apple icon and Close your Mac. After your computer is completely off, press and hold the power button. When the Apple logo first appears, you’ll see text just below it telling you to keep pressing it to access boot options. Press it until the text changes to “Loading boot options”, which should take about five seconds. Then click on Choice > Continue.

Select a user with administrator privileges (this is probably you, if you originally set up the system) and enter the account password when prompted.

A screenshot of the macOS recovery mode options, which are restore from time machine, disk utility, safari, and reinstall macOS

You have several options in recovery mode to troubleshoot and diagnose your Mac.

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The new recovery tool gives you a few options

After logging into a user account, you will see a list of applications available in Recovery.

Restore from Time Machine: Use this option if you want to restore your Mac from a previous Time Machine backup. This is useful if you’ve lost a bunch of files, changed settings, or installed an app that caused serious issues with your Mac.

Reinstall macOS Monterey: If you have problems with MacOS, you can try this option to reinstall the latest version of MacOS without deleting any of your files or losing data.

Safari: You can use Apple’s browser to find and troubleshoot how to fix your Mac.

disk utility: The tool you will use to repair, troubleshoot or erase your hard drive.

In the menu bar at the top of the screen, you’ll also have access to other apps and tools like Terminal, Share Disk, and Startup Security Utility.

A MacOS Disk Utility screenshot showing deleting a partition

Resetting your Mac to a factory-like state shouldn’t take too long.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Erase hard drive, reinstall macOS

To completely delete all of your hard drive information and reinstall macOS, open Disk Utility, then select the internal drive, which is labeled MacintoshHD. If there is an option title Erase volume group, Check the box. Other, Click on Wipe off and follow the instructions. Leave the volume name and format alone, but for reference, it’s normally “Macintosh HD” for the name, and you should use AFPS for the format.

A few seconds later, the hard drive will be completely erased, taking with it all your files, user accounts, and applications.

Once done, close Disk Utility then select Reinstall macOS in the list of options. You’ll be asked to select where you want to install it, which should be Macintosh HD (or whatever name you gave your hard drive if you’ve decided to change it).

Your Mac will then download the latest version of macOS, install it, and when done, it will be as if it was never set up.

The 2022 MacBook Air in midnight blue, open, turned on, and tilted to the right on a wooden surface

The MacBook Air M2

Dan Ackerman/CNET

How to Fix “No User Available for Authorization” Error

I followed the steps I described above – the steps recommended by Apple on its support page – but eventually encountered an error message stating that there was no authorized user available to approve the reinstallation of MacOS. Following user reports of the same error, Apple has provided instructions to deal with it.

To complete the operating system reinstallation, use Disk Utility to select the “Data” drive that is grayed out and erase it. Once it’s cleared (again, using the AFPS format when promoting), you should be able to install macOS with no problem.

If you cannot create a new user account

I couldn’t create a new user account after reinstalling macOS: MacBook Pro would freeze when I tried to create the default user account. Basically, this happens because macOS is looking for account information in a place where it no longer exists.

If the system does not hang, try rebooting into recovery mode again, launch Terminal, type “Reset password” on the command line, choose the Reset Password option, then launch the Recovery Wizard from the menu bar and select Erase Mac or use Disk Utility to delete the data partition as in the note previous one. an old thread in the apple forums.

If it freezes, you need to try accessing it from a second device. You can connect it to another Mac and follow the process described in this StackExchange thread or delete your iPhone partition as shown in this Reddit Comment. (Note that I didn’t test the latter, since the former worked for me.)

Once you have reset your Mac, you can return it, sell it to someone Where put it back in place with a clean slate. Ready to become a MacOS Pro? here are a few tips it will help you make one.


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