Do You Need To Secure Wipe a Mac Drive?

When you sell, donate or recycle a Mac, you should absolutely erase your drive before it leaves your possession. With older Macs that use spinning hard disk drives, you should secure erase it. But for newer Macs with solid-state drives you can't secure erase and it really isn't necessary. In most cases your old data was encrypted anyway.

Comments: 7 Responses to “Do You Need To Secure Wipe a Mac Drive?”

    Russell Tolman
    2 years ago

    Great video; especially the part about using FileVault. I discover that a little while back and it has been invaluable. I have been suggesting that to family and friends when ever they move to a new Mac.

    thanks again for all the great videos.

    Russ Winkler
    2 years ago

    Thanks for the great video. I plan to give my old 2014 MBP (Retina Display). I was planning to erase the drive and reinstall Big Sur. Should I also encrypt the drive. They are SSD's.

    2 years ago

    Russ: If you like, you can encrypt the drive now (with your old data on it) before erasing for a bit of extra security. But it really isn't necessary. You don't need to encrypt the drive after you wipe it. It just needs to be running macOS so the next person can test it out properly.

    Benton Wood
    2 years ago

    Helpful video if the computer is working. Unfortunately, we have several MacBooks whose screens come on but they won't boot up, and another old one we inherited for which we don't know the password. Any thoughts on how to handle recycling old computers when you can't get into them to wipe them?

    Thanks, BBW

    2 years ago

    Benton: It is unlikely that anything will happen if you just recycle them, especially if they are old and not working. You could always take them to a shop and pay someone to try some techniques to get in there to wipe the drives. But probably not worth it.

    Steve J
    2 years ago

    Excellent video Gary! Quick question, does it matter if it is a fusion drive (combo solid state and spinning drive?

    2 years ago

    Steve: Not sure what you can do with a Fusion drive. Never had one. If you have File Vault turned on, I guess it doesn't matter. Just erase and anything leftover will be indecipherable.

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