Did your kid find his iMac and start browsing the Internet? Did your spouse catch you looking at cat videos on it again? Did a guest leave behind their browsing history and browser cookies? Or did someone just press all the wrong buttons on your desktop machine while trying to figure out how it works? If any of these situations sounds like something that happened with your iMac, we have good news — and bad news. The good news is that you can factory reset it without a password. The bad news is that it’s not as simple as turning it off and back on again. This article covers everything you need to know about resetting an iMac without a password.
How To Factory Reset iMac Without Password
- Shut down the iMac.
- Press the power button to turn it back on again.
- Hold down Command-Option-P-R at the same time and let go when you see the Apple logo appear on the screen. If you see a spinning disc cursor instead, try holding down Shift as well, then let go of all keys when you see the Apple logo appear on the screen.
- Wait until you hear a second startup tone (about five seconds long). Let go of Command-Option-P-R for now, but keep holding down Option and R until your Mac restarts again. You will hear another startup tone here, which means that booting is complete and your computer is now reset to factory settings!
- Type in your username and password (if you have one set) when prompted to log in with administrator rights, then enjoy using your newly reset iMac!
How To Reset An iMac And Erase All Data
- Press the power button to turn the iMac off.
- Shut down your iMac by holding down the power button until you see a slider with options to shut down, restart, or put it to sleep. Click on Restart.
- After a few seconds, you’ll see an Apple logo on your screen and then you will be greeted by a gray screen with multiple language options and buttons for Utilities, System Information, Disk Utility, Network Utility, and Terminal. Click on Utilities in the menu bar at the top of your screen to access Disk Utility or click on System Information if you want to look up information about your system’s hardware configuration instead of erasing it completely.
- Click on the Erase tab in Disk Utility and then click Continue in the box that pops up asking you if you are sure that you want to erase your disk using Disk Utility. This will erase all data from your hard drive so make sure that anything important is backed up or you can get it back from iCloud.
- You will see a box that shows your hard drive as well as the name of the disk. Click on Erase in the menu bar at the top of your screen and then enter a new name for your iMac in the box that pops up asking you to name your disk. This is where you can enter something like “iMac Clean” or “Happy Kid” if you are resetting it because of something that happened on it recently.
- After entering a new name for your iMac, click on Erase and then click on Disk Utility again to return to Disk Utility after erasing all data from your iMac’s hard drive.…” but you can name your iMac whatever you want.
- Click on the Erase button in the bottom-right corner of your screen and Disk Utility will begin the erasing process. This could take a while, depending on how much data is on your iMac, but the progress bar will let you know where it’s at in the process
- After a while, you will see a box that says “Congratulations! The disk XXXXXX has been erased successfully” and then it will show a message that says “Do you want to log out now?” Click on Continue Logout if you are ready to shut down your iMac for good or click on Restart if you want to go back and do some more things before erasing everything from it. If you click on Restart, just go back to step 1 and start over again from there.
What Happens When You Reset An iMac
You’ll lose all your personal data
That means all your settings, your apps, the files in your home folder, and anything else you have stored on the computer will be erased.
You’ll recover from any problems that caused you to reset it in the first place
If you reset an iMac because a program was hogging processor time, for example, that program won’t be running anymore when you turn it back on (unless it was a system file that was causing the problem). In other words, resetting an iMac is like rebooting a Windows computer: It will fix many problems but not all of them.
You’ll lose any upgrades you made
If you installed a new version of Mac OS X, added RAM, or upgraded your hard drive since the last time you backed up your iMac, those changes will be lost.
You’ll have to reinstall all your applications and restore any files from a backup
You may not have to do this if you keep your applications in the Applications folder and store all your other files in the Documents folder those items should be automatically restored when you log back in but it’s a good idea to make sure everything is there before you log back in any way. Make sure any applications that are set up to store their data somewhere other than the Documents folder are correctly configured again after restoration from backup. comments folder doesn’t have any important data stored in them. If you have a bunch of applications that are set up to store their data in the Documents folder, you can just copy and paste them back into the Documents folder once you’re logged in again.
You’ll need to re-enable FileVault
If you encrypted your hard drive using FileVault before resetting the computer, you’ll need to re-enable it after logging back in.
You may need to re-authorize all your Apple software and services
This includes apps like Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro, or Garageband; iWork apps like Pages, Keynote, or Numbers; iCloud and FaceTime; Apple Music; iCloud Keychain; Find My iPhone and Find My Friends; and so on. This will vary depending on what software you use and how much time has passed since you last used the itcuments folder to have copies of that data stored elsewhere.
Resetting your iMac can be a helpful way to fix minor issues, reset the settings, or start from scratch. Make sure to back up your data before resetting your Mac, as everything will be erased. You can reset your iMac while erasing all data, or you can choose to reset it to the original settings. You can also click one button to erase everything on your iMac. When you reset an iMac, all data and files are erased, and all apps are removed.