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How Do I Safely Delete/Erase a Completely Synced Device?

Gary, I have 2 iMac desktops, an iPhone, an iPad, a 9-year-old MacBook Pro, and now a new 2020 MacBook Air. I would like to abandon the slow MacBook Pro, but I am concerned that any actions I take might affect my 80,000 photos, synced emails, and 20 years of synced documents through iCloud. What is the SAFE procedure for removing the laptop from iCloud and, I assume, from my Apple ID before I start erasing things?

Comments: 2 Responses to “How Do I Safely Delete/Erase a Completely Synced Device?”

    2 years ago

    First make sure you have everything off the computer that you need. It sounds like you are mostly using iCloud, but check for any local documents too, like things in non-iCloud Drive folders, Movies folder, things other than your iCloud Photos library in your Photos folder, etc.

    Then just go into System Preferences and remove iCloud. Click on your Apple ID and then Sign Out. You can choose to “keep” data on your Mac at this point. If you want to be extra-safe, you can do that and then check to make sure you see all of your stuff on your new MacBook Air when you are done. Also it is good practice to look in Messages and FaceTime to make sure you are signed out there. And iTunes too. Remember to “deauthorize” in iTunes/Music.

    Signing out will “remove” these iCloud items from that MacBook, but not delete anything from iCloud Drive.

    Once it is all disconnected from iCloud, then you can erase the Mac in recovery mode to clear it off.

    2 years ago

    Your response is clear and helpful, Gary. You have reminded me of a few things and given me full confidence to continue (safely!). Thank you.

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