Nuke and Paving M1 Macs

Those of us getting the new M1 Macs quickly found out that the traditional way of wiping a Mac using Disk Utility no longer works as expected. When using this method we’ve found numerous bugs and it typically leads us to needing to DFU the M1 Mac and use Apple Configurator 2 to completely wipe and restore it.

Here is the best way that I’ve found to completely wipe and reload an M1 Mac.


  • The M1 Mac must be able to contact the internet to reactivate after wiping.
  • This will wipe all of the internal SSD containers (I haven’t tested with partitions, but I’m assuming anything on the primary SSD will be completely wiped.)
  • If you’re using a USB installer you need to boot to the main recovery menu and select to install macOS from that menu. If you boot into options and select to install macOS from the Recovery Utilities menu it will download the installer from Apple.


  1. Boot into recovery
  2. Select Options at the initial recovery menu
  3. Click Recovery Assistant in the menu bar
  4. Click Erase Mac…
  5. Click the blue Erase Mac… “button” on the Erase Mac window
  6. Click Erase Mac on the prompt

This will take a minute or so to erase the Mac and then it will reboot to activation.

  1. Select your language
  2. Connect to Wi-Fi or Ethernet to activate the Mac
  3. After activation, click Exit to Recovery Utilities
  4. Reinstall macOS – see note #3