It’s been a few days since Apple announced macOS Monterey, and we continue to dig through new features not mentioned under WWDC keynote, including a much more convenient way to delete a Mac.
In the footsteps of the iPhone and iPad, the Mac has been given a “Delete all content and settings” option on macOS Monterey. This option allows you to delete all user data and user-installed apps from your Mac without having to reinstall the macOS operating system, making it much easier to restore a Mac to new factory settings.
From the macOS Monterey features page on the Apple website:
Delete all content and settings
System Preferences now offers an option to delete all user data and user-installed apps from the system while maintaining the currently installed operating system. Since storage is always encrypted on Mac systems with Apple silicon or T2 chip, the system is “deleted” immediately and securely by destroying the encryption keys.
In macOS Monterey beta, the new option can be found by opening the System Preferences app, clicking System Preferences in the menu bar at the top of the screen, and clicking “Delete All Content and Preferences” in the drop-down menu. An administrator password is required to continue restoring the Mac to factory settings.
Deleting a Mac running an earlier version of macOS requires formatting the boot disk and reinstalling macOS, so this new option makes it much more convenient to restore your Mac to factory settings, whether you just want to boot fresh with your Mac or are planning sell or give the Mac to another person. After deleting a Mac, it will display the installation wizard and be ready to be configured as new.
macOS Monterey is available now in beta for developers, with a public beta coming in July.