Oct 08, 2019 macOS Catalina. The new version of macOS 10.15 has a beautiful name, taken from the island of Santa Catalina in the Pacific Ocean. We await its upcoming release in fall 2019, which promises new changes related to iTunes, Photos, Safari and other standard macOS apps. IPad will be better configured to work with Mac, including the ability to use the iPad as a second display. Oct 07, 2019 Before you get started, you should make sure your Mac is ready for the download and installation process. If you're wondering what macOS Catalina is all about, check out our FAQ: macOS Catalina FAQ: Everything you need to know! What to know before you start: Is my Mac eligible for macOS Catalina? Step 1: Clean up your Mac; Step 2: Back up your Mac.
- Will My Mac Run Catalina
- Is Mac Catalina Worth It
- Is Mac Catalina Good
- Is My Mac Ready For Catalina Islands
- Prepping your Mac for Sale
It is that time again. Time to decide whether to keep or replace your Mac laptop or desktop computer. If you are reading this article, chances are you've already come to the decision to replace your Mac with the newes model (or maybe you just got a new Mac as a present!), and you're thinking about selling your old one.
The first thing you should do before hitting the streets to sell your old Mac is clear it of any and all personal data. You don't want to accidentally sell your computer to a stranger when you are still logged into iCloud.
The next step is to reinstall the Mac's operating system so that the new owner can get started without having to figure out how to start up in recovering mode. Believe me, that can be a pain.
If you're going through the process of erasing your old Mac and reinstalling the operating system, we've got some common troubleshooting tips to help you out. Don't forget to follow the additional steps if you're selling a MacBook with Touch ID.
Clean the Mac of your personal data before erasing it
If you're about to sell your old Mac, the one thing you don't want to do is to give away the data you've been storing on it all these years. It's a security and privacy thing for you, but it's also important for the buyer. If you leave behind anything that needs to be logged into with a password, that buyer is going to have to track you down and get your password in order to change ownership. A completely fresh-from-scratch Mac is the best way to do this.
Step 1: Back up your Mac
If you already have your new Mac on hand, you can transfer all of your data from your old Mac or use an older Time Machine backup. If you don't have your new Mac yet, well .. then you probably shouldn't be selling your old one yet. But, if you really don't think you'll need your old computer before getting your new one, just make sure to back up your data so that nothing happens to it before you get what you need onto your new Mac.
Step 2: Sign out of everything
The software you have on your Mac is licensed to you, which means it doesn't get transferred to the new owner of your computer (except the operating system). In order to avoid complications with the new owner attempting to download and install software that is licensed by you, make sure to sign out of everything your personal information is connected to.
How to sign out of iTunes (macOS Mojave and older)
- Open iTunes on your Mac.
- Click Account in the Menu bar on the left side of your screen.
Click on Sign Out.
How to sign out of iMessage
- Open Messages on your Mac.
- Click Messages in the Menu bar at the top left corner of your screen.
- Click Preferences from the drop-down menu.
- Select your iMessage account.
Click on Sign Out.
How to sign out of iCloud
- Click on the Apple icon in the upper-left corner of your Mac's screen.
- Click System Preferences from the drop-down menu.
Click on Apple ID (on macOS Mojave and older, click on iCloud).
- Un-tick the box for Find My Mac.
- Enter your system password when prompted.
- Click on Sign Out.
- Click Remove data from this Mac when prompted.
Step 3: Unpair your Bluetooth devices
If you're keeping your Bluetooth devices, you don't want to leave them paired to a Mac that you're getting rid of. It isn't really that important of a step, but if you sell your old Mac to, say, a roommate or someone living in the same house as you, you may experience accidentally connecting back to it.
- Click on the Apple icon in the upper-left corner of your Mac's screen.
- Click System Preferences from the drop-down menu.
- Click on Bluetooth.
- Hover over the device you want to unpair.
- Click on the X next to the device.
Note: If you're unpairing a keyboard, trackpad, or mouse on a desktop Mac, be sure to have a wired one plugged in or you won't be able to type or use a curser and you'll have to repair it all again.
Step 4: Erase your hard drive
Once your data is backed up and you've signed out of everything that might connect your old Mac to your personal information, you can erase everything on it by reformatting the hard drive.
- Restart your Mac.
- While the startup disc is waking up, hold down the Command+R keys simultaneously. Your Mac will boot into macOS Recover.
- Select Disk Utility.
Click on Continue.
- Click on View.
- Click on Show all Devices.
- Find your Startup disk (it should be named 'Machintosh HD' unless you renamed it) in the sidebar.
- Select the data disk under the startup disk.
- Click Edit.
- Click Delete APFS Volume from the menu bar or click the Remove button in the disk utility bar.
- Confirm by clicking Delete when prompted.
Repeat this process for all data disks under your startup disk. Do not use Delete Volume Group. Once you've deleted all of your data drives, you'll move on to erasing your startup disk.
- Select your Startup Disk (it should be named 'Machintosh HD' unless you renamed it) in the sidebar.
- Click the Erase button at the top of the Disk Utility window.
- If your Mac is using HFS+, select Mac OS Extended (Journaled) from the format list. If your Mac is using APFS, select APFS from the format list. See Troubleshooting for more information on which format to select.
- If Scheme is available, select GUID Partition Map.
After the process is complete, select Quit Disk Utility from the Disk Utility drop-down menu in the upper left corner of the screen.
Source: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore
After you erase your hard drive it will be ready for a clean installation of the operating system. You should already be in the Utilities window after erasing your Mac. If not, restart your computer and hold down Command and R at the same time until you see the Apple logo.
Make sure to reinstall macOS through Recovery Mode, holding down Command+R. You may be asked to sign in with your Apple ID.
If you get stuck during reinstallation, see our troubleshooting section for additional help.
Note: Make sure your Mac is connected to the internet in order to verify the software. You'll be asked to do so during the installation process.
If, while reinstalling macOS, you're asked to enter a password, enter the password you use to unlock your Mac, not your Apple ID.
- Restart your Mac.
- While the startup disc is waking up, hold down the Command+R keys simultaneously. You're Mac will boot into macOS Recover.
- Click on Reinstall macOS (or Reinstall OS X where applicable) to reinstall the operating system that came with your Mac.
- Click on Continue.
- Select your hard drive ('Machintosh HD), when asked to select your disk.
Click on Install to install the latest operating system that was on your Mac. Your Mac will restart after the installation is complete.
- Make sure you don't close the lid on a MacBook or put your Mac to sleep during this reinstallation period, even if it takes a while. If the computer goes to sleep, it will stop the installation process from continuing and you'll have to start over. Your screen will go blank, show the restart Apple logo, and show a progress bar several different times.
- Hold down Command and Q after the installation is complete. Do not follow the setup instructions. Leave that part for the new owner.
Click Shut Down to shut down your Mac.
Your Mac is now clean and ready for a new owner. They will complete the setup instructions to get started using the Mac, as well as download the latest macOS operating system that is available and supported on their Mac.
Troubleshooting erasing your hard drive or reinstalling macOS
I've gotten a lot of very specific questions about issues some readers have with erasing or reinstalling macOS (usually reinstalling). Sometimes, the easiest way to fix issues with reinstalling macOS is to start by holding Shift+Option+Command+R which will put your Mac into an alternate version of Recovery Mode that allows you to install the original macOS that came with your Mac. From here, you can either keep that operating system and let the new owner update to their preferred macOS, or go through the macOS update process.
If, during the macOS reinstallation process, the installer doesn't see your disk or says you can't install the operating system on the disk, you may need to try erasing your hard drive again. Restart your Mac and hold down Command+R to bring up Recovery mode and repeat Step 4.
Since macOS changed to APFS, some readers have struggled with which format option to choose when erasing their disk. Here are some other possible troubleshooting issues from Apple's support document that may help you.
Are you formatting the disk that came built into your Mac?
If the built-in disk came APFS-formatted, don't change it to Mac OS Extended.
Are you about to install macOS High Sierra or later on the disk?
If you need to erase your disk before installing High Sierra or later for the first time on that disk, choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled). During installation, the macOS installer decides whether to automatically convert to APFS—without erasing your files:
- macOS Mojave and Catalina: The installer converts from Mac OS Extended to APFS.
- macOS High Sierra: The installer converts from Mac OS Extended to APFS only if the volume is on an SSD or another all-flash storage device. Fusion Drives and traditional hard disk drives (HDDs) aren't converted.
Are you preparing a Time Machine backup disk or bootable installer?
Choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled) for any disk that you plan to use with Time Machine or as a bootable installer.
Will you be using the disk with another Mac?
If the other Mac isn't using High Sierra or later, choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled). Earlier versions of macOS don't mount APFS-formatted volumes.
To learn which format is currently in use, use any of these methods:
- Select the volume in the Disk Utility sidebar, then check the information on the right. For more detail, choose File > Get Info from the Disk Utility menu bar.
- Open System Information and select Storage in the sidebar. The File System column on the right shows the format of each volume.
- Select the volume in the Finder, then choose File > Get Info from the menu bar. The Get Info window shows the Format of that volume.
If you're still having trouble with either erasing your hard drive or reinstalling macOS, please reach out to us in the forums. We have a wonderful community of Apple users that are happy to help someone in need.
Is there anything about resetting your Mac to prepare it for sale that you need help with? Let me know in the comments and I'll get you squared away.
Updated May 2020: Updated for macOS Catalina.
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Make your Mac invincible
September 2019 is a big month for your Mac. As Mojave is reaching its well-deserved retirement, the new macOS 10.15 is ready to enter the game. It’s called Catalina and it arrives with tons of small and major enhancements catered for your computer. Announced at the 2019 WWDC event, all of them have been available since June 2019 in the beta version.
As powerful as it is, macOS 10.15 kills 32-bit app support and breaks iTunes into separate apps. So you have every right to hate it. Just as you have every right to love the new features in Catalina. To make it reasonable, we’ve compared the functionality of Catalina versus Mojave.
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To switch or not to switch, that’s the question. Let’s solve it with facts.
Catalina VS Mojave Compatibility
There’s no big difference, really. So if your device runs on Mojave, it will run on Catalina as well. That being said, there’s one exception you should be aware of: macOS 10.14 had a support for some of the older MacPro models with Metal-cable GPU — these are no longer available in Catalina.
Will My Mac Run Catalina
32-bit apps support
Ok, it’s not as if you haven’t been warned. Catalina stops supporting 32-bit, so if you have any software based on this type of architecture, it won’t work after the upgrade.
Apple started talking about the upcoming transition in High Sierra. When Mojave was released, it was announced to be the last macOS with 32-bit support, encouraging developers to update their software.
Moving to 64-bit architecture in Catalina is definitely a good thing. While 32-bit processors and operating systems are long outdated, it makes much sense to take the apps to the new level as well. The update ensures better performance and allows access to more than 4GB of RAM, in contrast to 32-bit architecture. So if you’ve decided to move to Catalina, here are two things to do:
Check your macOS for 32-bit apps
There’s a manual way to search 32-bit programs on Mac:
- Go to the Apple menu and select About This Mac
- Click on System Report
- Find Software on the left of the window > Applications
- If you see “No” next to any app under the 64-Bit tab, it means the app requires an upgrade.
Let go of the past
Next, you’ll have to look for available updates on the Mac App Store—for the 32-bit apps you want to continue using. Note that some apps will go anyway though. For instance, Apple warned Mac users that Aperture is not going to work on macOS 10.15.
The easiest way to both find and uninstall outdated 32-bit apps would be to use CleanMyMac X Uninstaller. It has a dedicated module that allows filtering apps by 32-bit:
iTunes: Dead or alive?
Just as many other macOS versions of the past, Mojave used to pack all your media into iTunes. Including the store where you could acquire new stuff. This is going to change with Catalina. Apparently, the reason behind splitting iTunes into three separate apps is very simple: It’s just too much for one app. So if you’re switching to macOS 10.15, your music goes to Apple Music, movies—to Apple TV, and you also get a dedicated application for podcasts. iTunes Store continues to live in its usual shape, inside the Apple Music app.
If you’re worried about what’s going to happen to your current library, here are the answers provided by Apple:
- No need to manually transfer any of your media files, the entire library will be moved automatically.
- Your iTunes Store purchases won’t disappear anywhere and you’ll be able to access them in corresponding apps.
- Your backups and all the syncing settings will be securely moved to Finder.
In general, dedicated apps should feel way more convenient—with a focus on different types of media. So if you’re up for improved file organization, Catalina is your choice.
Mojave enriched your Mac with Stacks for better desktop file management as well as gave you the Dark Mode to make Mac’s display adjust to your workflow. Catalina goes even further. It expands your workspace and ensures a healthy Mac-life balance:
Is Mac Catalina Worth It
- Sidecar: An important feature that makes Catalina worth upgrading to is an extra screen. Mirror your Mac’s screen to iPad, add iPad’s screen to create a bigger workspace on Mac, or use it as a graphics tablet with Apple Pencil.
- Screen Time: Previously available on iOS, the app moves to macOS with Catalina to take control of your usage routine. Set time limits on how long you should use your computer— live a healthier Mac life.
Apart from going darker, Mojave also went more stable and secure. New permission settings appeared, along with the limitations on tracking your activity by websites. In Mojave 10.14.4, the Safari autofill feature evolved, allowing users with Touch ID to add autofills to Safari in a single tap.
Catalina magnifies on the overall data access settings. The new macOS introduces Activation Lock, enabling you to own all the rights for erasing and reactivating your Mac. For the first time, the macOS is running on a dedicated real-only volume system, so no data is lost in the shuffle. In other words, you own the full control. You’ll be prompted whenever an app tries to access your data — whether it’s iCloud Drive, desktop files, or Downloads folder. Plus, you’ll have to give your permission to the apps trying to record screen.
Powerful app enhancements
All the flavour is in the apps. Apple enriches a number of default programs with new functionality as well as adds new apps every time a macOS comes out. Catalina is particularly rich. Not only does it appear with brand-new applications like Find My, macOS 10.15 also introduces the new native development approach.
Porting iOS apps to macOS
Catalina kick-starts Project Catalyst — simplified development of native macOS apps, based on their iOS counterparts. Basically, it’s about streamlining the existing code base to bring iOS apps to Mac with minimum effort. Apple kind of run a test drive in Mojave, transitioning native iOS apps — News, Stocks, Home, and Voice Memos — to macOS. It went well. Now it’s an instrument every developer owns.
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Find My: Never lose your Mac
Before Catalina, the only way to track down a stolen Mac was via iCloud, which was impossible in case your computer was disconnected from the network. Find My locates your devices in a completely different way — via Bluetooth signals intercepted by nearby devices. Whether your Mac is shut down or sleeping, it’s location can still be found. The tracking is totally secure thanks to powerful encryption settings.
The new apps are not the only perks. With macOS 10.15, the functionality of your default programs expands. Photos now organizes your pictures by separate views for easy navigation. There are some major Notes, Reminders, and Maps updates. Plus, you get more personalization in Safari — with iCloud tabs and Siri suggestions.
So who’s the winner?
Clearly, macOS Catalina beefs up the functionality and security base on your Mac. But if you can’t put up with the new shape of iTunes and the death of 32-bit apps, you might consider staying with Mojave.
Is Mac Catalina Good
Still, we recommend giving Catalina a try. Spoiler: The default desktop wallpaper is beautiful. After all, you can test drive it and go back to the previous macOS if you don’t like the new functionality. Just make sure your Mac is ready for switching to Catalina.
Is My Mac Ready For Catalina Islands
For a final comparison, check the infographic below: