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How to Factory Reset Macbook Pro M1 and Intel

Written by John

Reinstalling macOS Big Sur may be a necessary step to troubleshoot any issues with the system software you have on your Mac. If you are wondering how to factory reset MacBook Pro M1, you should know that the reset process is different from that of the Intel MacBook Pro. This is due to the new Mac architecture brought about by Apple Silicon chips.

You will be booting into the recovery mode on M1-powered Macs to factory reset your MacBook Pro M1. In addition to factory reset, you can also reinstall macOS with the current settings, restore backups, and more.

Due to the introduction of the Apple Silicon chips, the process to boot into recovery mode is different for M1-powered MacBooks. If you’re an existing Mac user or a Windows user switching to macOS for the first time, the steps detailed below will enable you to perform MacBook Pro reset to factory settings.

There are two distinct processes to factory reset your MacBook Pro M1. You will be erasing disks and reinstalling macOS Big Sur to complete resetting MacBook Pro M1.

How to Factory Reset Macbook Pro M1 and Intel

The first step to reset MacBook Pro M1 to factory settings is to completely erase the disk storage. Make sure you have a backup of the internal disk and files before proceeding with this process. There are two ways to erase disks on MacBook Pro M1.

You will understand how to reset MacBook Pro to factory settings with the detailed steps below. Unlike Intel Macs where you press Command + R to enter the macOS Utilities screen, the process to enter recovery mode is different on M1-based Macs.

Step 1: Shut down your Mac by clicking on the Apple logo on the top-left corner of the screen and by choosing ‘Shut Down’ from the dropdown menu.

Shutdown your Mac

Step 2: Press and hold the Touch ID / Power Button on the MacBook Pro M1 to boot up the laptop. Keep pressing the button even after the Apple logo is displayed and only let go when you see the ‘Loading startup options…’ appear on the screen below the logo.

Boot to Recovery Assistant on Macbook Pro M1

Step 3: Click on ‘Options’ to enter the Recovery Assistant. If you can’t open Recovery Assistant on Intel Mac, you need enable FileVault to use this option.

Enable FileVault in Intel Mac

Go to System Preferences, then click Security & Privacy. Click the FileVault tab.

Turn on FileVault in Intel Mac

Step 4: You will see the screen where you need to select the admin user and enter the admin password. However, you can easily erase your disk by clicking on ‘Recovery Assistant’ on the top-left corner near the Apple logo. Choose ‘Erase Mac’ under the ‘Recovery Assistant’ dropdown menu.

Erase Mac with Recovery Assistant

Step 6: In the Erase Mac screen, click on the ‘Erase Mac…’ button and then choose ‘Erase Mac’ in the popup option. This will erase the disks on your MacBook Pro M1. An internet connection will be required to install new macOS Big Sur.

Fully Erase Macbook Pro M1 and Reinstall macOS

Step 7: After you’ve erased the MacBook Pro M1, choose the language of your choice and click on the ‘Next’ button. You will see the ‘Activate Mac’ screen. You need an internet connection to proceed. Either choose a Wi-Fi network from the top-right corner of the screen or attach an ethernet cable to proceed. Click on ‘Next’ to continue.

Select your Language

Step 8: Click on ‘Disk Utility’ and erase the Mac Disk by choosing them and clicking on the ‘Erase’ option on the top.

Erase Mac Disk with Disk Utility

Select your Mac Disk and click on "Erase" button, format your Disk with APFS Partition.

Format Mac Disk with APFS Partition

Step 9: Once you erase your Mac, you will be ready to reinstall macOS Big Sur to complete the MacBook Pro reset to factory settings.

Reinstall macOS Big Sur on your Mac

Throughout the entire installation process, ensure that your MacBook Pro M1 is connected to a power source to avoid shut down due to low battery. Also, make sure there are no interruptions to the internet connection to avoid delays in the installation of the macOS.

Install new macOS Big Sur on Mac

Depending on the speed of your internet connection, the installation process will take anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes. It can take longer if your internet speed is slower. Once the process is complete, you will see the setup screen for macOS Big Sur.

You can follow the instructions on the screen to finish resetting MacBook Pro M1 and Intel to factory settings. You will now have a fresh working version of macOS Big Sur on your MacBook Pro.

This is the process to follow to reinstall macOS on your Mac. This can resolve system crashes, app issues, unexpected system behavior, poor overall performance, and other issues that can’t be easily identified and fixed.

It is important to remember that the MacBook Pro reset process is different on the M1-powered Macs not due to software changes but due to the architectural changes with the Apple Silicon chip. While the initial steps to enter the Utilities screen are different for M1-based Macs and Intel Macs, the steps are pretty much the same once you enter the macOS Utilities screen.

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