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When you select a volume in Disk Utility and then the Erase tab, you can click Security Options to pick how many times the drive is overwritten: Once is considered enough for regular purposes, while three and seven correspond to different U. Restart a Mac and hold down Command-R after the startup chime sounds, and the computer boots into the recovery mode.
Select Disk Utility from the startup menu, and you can erase your startup drive securely. You'll save a little time if you do an erase without overwriting, then reinstall OS X, then Erase Free Space with an overwriting option.
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First, erase a drive without the overwriting part, and reinstall OS X. After you boot, launch Disk Utility, select the startup volume, and click the Erase tab. Now use the Erase Free Space option, which also offers 1, 3, and 7 passes of erase, and only empties out unused parts of the disk. The advantage is that your computer remains available though often slow while this operation is underway. If you use FileVault, any data "left behind" on your erased hard drive will be totally unreadable by your Mac's next owner.
Enter the password for any FileVault-enabled user account, and the disk is unlocked and can be erased.
Securely erase a Mac hard drive
Without the key, which is uncrackable in any realistic period of time by any current technology, the erased data is as good as gone as if it had been written over millions of times. You can then install OS X on that partition, either from the recovery system or via an external drive.
Reader Peter wondered how FileVault figures in to cloning a disk. Andrew Robertson writes that when he upgraded to Yosemite, his recovery drive remained out of date with You can reinstall Are you about to install macOS High Sierra or later on the disk?
How to erase a disk
If you need to erase your disk before installing High Sierra or later for the first time on that disk, choose Mac OS Extended Journaled. Are you preparing a Time Machine backup disk or bootable installer? Will you be using the disk with another Mac? Disk Utility tries to detect the type of storage and show the appropriate format in the Format menu.
How to erase a disk for Mac Use Disk Utility to erase format a hard disk, flash drive, or other storage device for Mac. How to erase a disk Disk Utility can erase disks, add volumes, check disks for errors, and more. You can also find it in the Utilities folder of your Applications folder.
From the sidebar in Disk Utility, select the disk or volume to erase. Click the Erase button or tab, then complete these fields: Enter a name for the disk or volume, such as "Macintosh HD". Disk Utility shows a compatible format by default.
How to Securely Erase Data from Your Mac and External Drives | The Mac Security Blog
Click Erase to begin erasing. Quit Disk Utility when done.
Why to erase a disk You can erase a disk or a volume on that disk at any time, including in circumstances such as these: You received a message that your disk isn't readable by this computer. The macOS installer doesn't see your disk or can't install on it.
For example, the installer might say that your disk isn't formatted correctly, isn't using a GUID partition scheme, contains a newer version of the operating system, or can't be used to start up your computer.