How to erase memory on mac

After all, securely erasing your data ensures your personal and private information does not end up being found and abused by someone else. A few common scenarios that warrant a secure wipe of your drive include:. There are plenty of users out there who say, "It's ok, I have nothing to hide," when issues like these are brought up. Odds are everyone does these things.

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Whether it's the NSA, a burglar or someone who rummages through garbage for old hard drives with the intention of extracting data, we can rest assured or not so much that there are people out there who are after your data. Targeted or by accident, if a nefarious individual gets their hands on your data, you can very well end up in trouble.


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In all of the above mentioned scenarios that warrant a secure wipe of your drive, your data is leaving your possession, so making sure it is properly deleted is paramount. Whether your Mac is used to store school work, projects at work, personal files or just used for browsing the web, information from that Mac is valuable to someone other than you.

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Also think of photos, videos, chats and again email contents that may include sensitive and personal content that can be used to blackmail you or destroy your reputation. Of course, you can keep every hard drive and flash drive you've ever owned to reduce the chances of the above happening, but after a while this method starts taking up a lot of space. So the next best thing is to securely erase them. Even though all new Macs these days come with Flash storage which I'll cover later , there are still plenty of hard drives around and in use today.

Here's how:. Which Security Option should you choose?

How to Format a Drive on a Mac

From the available options that Disk Utility provides, Security Option 1 is, of course, the least secure. Someone will be able to recover your data without much effort. Security Option 4 is the most secure, but it is also widely believed to be a waste of time and electricity. Personally, I always go with option 2, but if you want to feel more confident your data is securely erased, or if you must comply with company rules, use option 3 or 4.

This works for any hard drive, internal or external. Just be aware that if you want to properly erase the hard drive that is also your startup drive, you will have to start your Mac from an external media first.

An external hard drive or thumb drive will do. For help creating a bootable external drive, have a look at Apple's page here , or use a popular tool such as DiskMaker X.

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How to Do an SMC and PRAM/NVRAM Reset on Your Mac

As you can imagine, having an external bootable drive or installer drive can come in handy. Some people say that the standard erasing of an SSD makes data recovery hard enough for it to be "secure. Technology such as wear leveling , which tries to ensure each memory block on an SSD is used the same amount of times, can really mess with a secure erase. It is possible to erase an SD card using a Mac; however, you may need to decide what format and possibly what security options you want.

Typically when you erase data, it still does reside on the device, whether it's a computer, cell phone or SD card. That data is simply marked as deleted, and the device is free to write over it in the future. Until that happens, the data still exists, and someone could potentially "resurrect. Instead you can format the card, which marks all data as deleted, and it also has security options available for thorough data removal. Formatting drives is also available in the Disk Utility, which marks all data on that drive as deleted and prepares the drive for future use.

Normally formatting an SD card doesn't require much time, though if you want apply security options to the format, the process may extend. Within the Disk Utility, you can format your SD card by clicking it in the left-hand pane and then clicking the "Erase" tab. Within the "Format" menu, you can select a specific format, which controls how data is stored on the card. Then you can type in a name in the "Name" text box if you would like to rename the disk.

How to Erase SD Cards Using a Mac

When you click the "Erase" button, the formatting begins. You can also set up the Disk Utility format process to thoroughly remove data by clicking "Security Options" before you begin the format.

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Depending on the size of the SD card, formatting it with one of these security options available could require up to several hours. Normally you do not need to perform any of these because a basic format should be acceptable unless you must ensure the data is irrecoverable.