A Guide to Reformatting Your Mac

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Macintosh owners rarely have to reformat their computers. This is a pretty drastic step and should only be considered in dire circumstances. However, occasionally, if your boot drive is irreparably corrupt, this may be your only option. Most likely you would want to reformat an external hard drive or USB stick; perhaps one that you bought or received that was formatted for PC.

However, if you do not want to reformat your device, then you should use Mac Optimizer Pro software. This tool is the best Mac cleaner and optimizer and it optimizes the devices and lessens the urge to reformatting.

But, first, we will stick to the main topic, and in this article, we will show you how to reformat your Mac, whatever your reason for doing so.

The difference between formatting and reformatting

Essentially, formatting a disk is the process of preparing it for use after wiping it clean of data. Reformatting it refers to the process of preparing it for use for the first time. It involves several steps, including:

  • Getting rid of the files on the hard drive (or, in reality, destroying the file structure so that no references to the files remain. The files themselves remain until they are overwritten);
  • Make sure that there are no bad sectors or other errors;
  • Create a new file system that your operating system can read and write. File systems such as HFS+ (Mac OS Extended Journaled) and APFS (Apple File System) are available for Macs.

When you reformat a drive, you have the option of choosing the file system. When installing APFS as your main drive, you will be installing Apple’s preferred file system for macOS. If you are reformatting a portable hard drive or USB stick, you may want to use APFS encrypted to protect your data in case the drive is lost or stolen.

Why it may be necessary to reformat your Mac’s hard drive

In most cases, you will need to reformat your Mac if the startup drive develops a problem that can’t be fixed with Disk Utility or a third-party disk management tool. If your Mac refuses to boot up or crashes or performs erratically, reinstalling macOS or reformatting might be necessary.

You may not need to reformat your Mac if your Mac is having problems that are causing it to crash. Junk clearing with Mac Optimizer Pro is an effective way to remove old junk and unused files that can cause problems with your Mac. Furthermore, it has a maintenance function that fixes the disk and allows users to maintain an optimized Mac. By using this best Mac cleaner, you can free up RAM and run maintenance scripts to repair Mac performance problems.    

How to format the boot disk on your Macintosh

In our introduction, we said that this was the last resort. In any case, here are the steps you should take if you have to do it.

Backup your hard drive

In this process, the most crucial step is to initiate the process. You will lose all the data from the disk when you reformat it, so be sure to back it up before you start. If Time Machine is not available, use another backup program. Alternately, you can create a copy of your drive. When you back up everything, it doesn’t matter how you do it. Just make sure you do it.

How to format an Intel-based Mac

We will explain the steps separately for an Apple Mac and an Intel Mac since they require different steps. 

  1. Turn off your Mac.
  2. When you see the Apple logo or another image, press Command + R to take your Mac into Recovery mode.
  3. Choose an admin user and enter their password.
  4. Select Disk Utility from the macOS Utilities.
  5. Next, choose Macintosh HD, or whatever name your boot drive has, from the list in the sidebar.
  6. Click the Erase button.
  7. Assign the target disk a name and choose a format. For example, Macintosh HD
  8. Delete the Volume Group if it is available. Otherwise, press Erase.
  9. If you are asked, enter your Apple ID.
  10.  After that, see if any volumes with names other than Macintosh HD or Macintosh HD – Data appear in the sidebar. You can delete any you find by selecting them and pressing ‘-‘.
  11.  You can now return to macOS Utilities by closing Disk Utility.
  12.  In the absence of an external boot disk, you will need to reinstall macOS to be able to start your Mac. To do that, select Reinstall macOS from macOS Utilities and follow the instructions. Learn about iMac pro i7 4k

Reformatting an Apple silicon Mac

While they do have a few differences, the two processes are remarkably similar.

  1. Turn off your Mac.
  2. Hold down the power key as you start up the Mac until you see the startup options. Choose Options, and then click Continue.
  3. Close Utilities by choosing Exit when your Mac is active.
  4. After that, choose the language of your Mac when it restarts.
  5. By clicking on the Wi-Fi symbol, you can choose from a variety of Wi-Fi networks.
  6. When your Mac is activated, choose Exit to close Utilities.
  7. You can choose Reinstall macOS in the utility window to reinstall macOS even if you do not have an external boot disk. Learn More

Reformatting an external hard drive

It is the same procedure for reformatting an external drive as it is for reformatting your startup disk with Disk Utility. Nevertheless, you do not need to reboot into Recovery mode.

Open Disk Utility from the Utilities menu under Applications. After you’ve selected the Erase tab, you should format the disk as described above. You should only format your boot drive as a last resort after exhausting all other options, including using Mac Optimizer Pro for cleaning and optimization. Do not attempt to reformat your disk unless you have a backup first. After you’ve reformatted and have installed macOS Utilities, make sure your Mac is running the latest version of macOS.

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