iCloud services can make decommissioning your Mac more complicated

iCloud services can make decommissioning your Mac more complicated

Summary: A recent update to an Apple Support article offers some warnings on how to safely back up and remove your data from a old Mac that is connected to Apple's iCloud services.

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The Support Article What to do before selling or giving away your Mac offers a step-by-step process on decommissioning a Mac without creating syncing issues with iCloud.

Important: Do not manually delete contacts, calendars, reminders, documents, photo streams, or any other iCloud data while signed in to your iCloud account. Doing so will not only delete that information from your Mac, but will also delete it from the iCloud servers and any other devices you also sync with iCloud. Instead, follow the steps below to remove your iCloud account from your Mac and leave your iCloud data intact on your other devices.

This would not be a good thing, since one of the following steps is to reformat your drive.

Interestingly, the article lets you put the Mac into the state that a new user would find when opening up a new Mac for the first time. After formatting the drive and reinstalling a flavor of Lion OS X (Lion and Mountain Lion), Setup Assistant will automatically start up and show the Welcome screen. Instead of selecting a country or region, you click Command-Q, which will shut down the Mac — Go figure!

The next time the Mac is started, it will launch into Setup Assistant.

Topics: Apple, Cloud, Laptops, Operating Systems

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6 comments
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  • No Separation Between System Files And User Files?

    On rationally designed *nix systems (like Linux), there is a clear separation between system files and user files, so it is easy to wipe the latter without touching the former, or vice versa.

    OSX seems to have adopted one of the worst feature of Microsoft Windows, namely munging everything together.
    ldo17
    • Give it a rest.

      "On rationally designed *nix systems (like Linux), there is a clear separation between system files and user files, so it is easy to wipe the latter without touching the former, or vice versa."

      As it is on OSX.

      If you can make a case otherwise then give some examples.

      Otherwise please quit the attempts to start groundless rumours.
      Henry 3 Dogg
  • Why can't you just sign out of iCloud,

    Delete your credentials on the device and then delete all the files? As long as your not still signed into iCloud at the time it should not delete everything on iCloud.
    Sam Wagner
    • That is...

      what the article says you need to do.

      Formatting is overkill, but probably quicker than binning each app individually and deleting each user account one by one.
      wright_is
  • This is a little "iCloud 101 for Dummies"...

    It must have been a slow news day.
    mattmuir
  • No, It Doesn't

    To kill off everything personally identifiable in your old system, do the following after you've copied the data off your machine:
    1. make another Admin account on old Mac
    2. sign into new Admin account and delete all the other accounts. EVERYTHING will be gone.
    3. Sell old mac on Craigs list and make some money.
    ronphlf@...