How to Restore a MacBook Air to Factory Settings

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to wipe the hard drive of your MacBook Air and start over from scratch, take comfort in knowing that the process is fairly simple and straightforward. Follow the steps below to return your MacBook Air to factory settings. Just make sure you’ve backed up all personal data prior to beginning: this process will wipe your hard drive.

Step 1

With your MacBook Air powered up, use your AC adapter to plug the computer into an electrical outlet. Then, reset the computer. As the computer restarts and boots back up, hold down the Command and R keys together. This key combination will open up a utilities menu, from where you can restore your system.

Step 2

The utilities menu will provide you with a “Wi-Fi” option. Select it, choose your home or work network, and enter the necessary password information to connect to the Internet. Your system will need web access to download the necessary restore software.

Step 3

With your system connected to the Internet, you are free to go forward with the system restore. Look for a recovery option and select it. This action will open a menu that includes a “Reinstall OS X” option, which you should click. Your MacBook Air will connect to the Internet, download the necessary software, and launch the system restore. If necessary for the download, provide your Apple login information.

These steps will get your MacBook Air to a point where the hard drive reformats itself. Once this process is complete, you can restart your computer. When you log back in, your system will be entirely restored to the way it was when the computer first came out of the box!