A factory reset of your MacBook is recommended if you are transferring ownership of the computer, but it is also often effective for resolving complex hardware issues. The process completely restores the laptop to its factory, out-of-the-box settings and clears all data -- including software, files and preferences -- that you have saved on the hard drive. Before performing the reset, you should completely back up any personal files you wish to keep.

Restore Using Recovery Disk Assistant

Step 1

Connect a removable storage device and back up any data you wish to keep for future use.

Step 2

Insert a removable storage device -- for example, an external hard drive or flash drive -- and click "Download" on Apple's OS X Recovery Disk Assistant site (link in Resources).

Step 3

Double-click the installer icon, agree to the installation confirmation screen and then select the removable drive and click "Continue."

Step 4

Enter your administrator user name and password to authorize installation. Allow a few moments for installation to the removable drive to complete and click "Quit" when it is done.

Step 5

Restart your MacBook while holding down the "Option" key. Select the removable drive storing the Recovery Disk Assistant when presented with a list of available boot sources.

Step 6

Select "Reinstall OS X" and follow the on-screen prompts to restore your MacBook to its original, factory-installed settings. When the process is complete, your hard drive will be completely devoid of any personal information, a state appropriate for ownership transfer or the reloading of backed up files.

OS X Recovery

Step 1

Connect a removable storage device and back up any data you wish to keep for future use.

Step 2

Restart your MacBook and hold down "Command-R" during startup. Alternately, you can hold down the "Option" key while starting up.

Step 3

Select "Reinstall OS X" from the list of available restore commands.

Step 4

Follow the on-screen prompts to restore your MacBook to its original, factory-installed settings. When the process is complete, your hard drive will be completely devoid of any personal information, a state appropriate for ownership transfer or the reloading of backed up files.