How to Restore a Mac Computer

By Jory Spadea

Responding to your Mac's problems immediately can deter permanent software damage. Whether it's a sneaky virus that infiltrated your hard drive or a hardware issue such as a logic board failure, sometimes it's necessary to wipe the slate clean and start all over. By restoring your computer carefully, you not only purge your computer of the problem at hand, but you breathe new life into it.

Things You'll Need

  • External hard drive or USB flash drive
  • Mac manual
  • Restoration CDs
  • Power adapter (for Laptops)

Step 1

Back up any desired files to an external hard drive or a USB flash drive, as all files will be erased during the restoration process.

Step 2

Make sure if you are restoring your laptop that it is plugged into an outlet power source with your power adapter.

Step 3

Insert the "Mac Install/Restore DVD" included with your computer. Click on the icon "Install OSX" (or whatever operating system your computer uses) and follow the guidelines on your screen.

Step 4

Choose the "Erase & Install" option for best results, which will delete everything on your computer and restore your Mac to its factory settings.

Step 5

Restart your Mac and follow the instructions on the screen for setting up your new user account.

Step 6

Insert the "Applications Install DVD" in your computer to reinstall basic software onto your newly restored Mac. Click on the icon "Install Bundled Software" and follow the instructions.

Step 7

Install and upload any other software programs or files you want onto your newly restored Mac.

Tips & Warnings

  • When reinstalling software programs from the "Applications Install DVD," you'll be given the option to customize which software you'd like to install during the process.
  • If you experience similar problems after restoring your computer, seek professional assistance immediately, as this may be an indication of a larger problem.
  • Using any other restoration CDs that did not come with your computer may damage your Mac.