Apple’s upcoming macOS Monterey update will make it easier for users to wipe all data from a Mac. A new “erase all contents and settings” option allows a system to be wiped without removing macOS.
Apple says the process — similar to that available on iPhone and iPad — is instant and secure, destroying all encryption keys.
You should always remove all data from your Mac before selling it or giving it away. You may also want to wipe it before sending it in for repair. But so that it can be used by others, it needs to be running macOS.
This makes the process of erasing a Mac today rather complicated and time-consuming. You first need to wipe its storage drive, then reinstall a fresh copy of the latest operating system. But not for long.
macOS Monterey makes erasing Macs super-simple
macOS Monterey introduces a new “erase all contents and settings” option, just like that on iPhone and iPad. The feature securely wipes all your software and personal data without removing macOS itself.
“System Preferences now offers an option to erase all user data and user-installed apps from the system, while maintaining the operating system currently installed,” Apple explains on its Monterey preview page.
“Because storage is always encrypted on Mac systems with Apple silicon or the T2 chip, the system is instantly and securely ‘erased’ by destroying the encryption keys.”
The feature will be incredibly handy to the average Mac user, but perhaps even more important to enterprises that are more regularly decommissioning and transferring devices.
Coming this fall
This feature isn’t yet available in the first macOS Monterey beta, but Apple says it will be added by the time the update makes its public debut this fall. Monterey will be free to install on all compatible machines.