How to Clean Install OS X Mavericks on Your Mac

OS X Mavericks Clean Install Guide

Clean Installing OS X Mavericks | The three things you should do when clean installing OS X Mavericks

OS X Mavericks is fantastic. There are so many things you can do with it and it operates flawlessly. So if you’re looking to give your Mac a fresh start with just a brand new OS X and nothing else, a clean install is the best option for you.

To clean install OS X Mavericks on your Mac, there are three things you should do. First, you should clean up your Mac. It’s easy to do with CleanMyMac 2. It’ll take care of everything and all it takes is a few clicks. Once it’s all cleaned up, the second thing you should do is backup your newly cleaned Mac. And finally, after doing a backup, you can clean install OS X Mavericks.

We’ve got the steps outlined below, so let’s get to it.


Step 1: Clean up your Mac with CleanMyMac 2

Cleaning up your Mac with CleanMyMac 2 will save you tons of time on backing up your Mac, and backing it up is essential. You could do it manually, but CleanMyMac 2 only takes a minute or two and you’re ready-to-go. Download CleanMyMac 2 (it’s free!) and follow these steps before backing up your Mac:

  1. Launch CleanMyMac 2.
  2. Click Scan.
  3. Click Remove.

And you’re done. If you want to clean up more junk on your Mac, go through each of the modules located on the left side of the app. It’ll help you clear out gigabytes of junk that you probably didn’t even realize was there. Seriously, give CleanMyMac 2 a look-see and then, once you’ve finished cleaning up, head to the next step.


Step 2: Back up your Mac

Before you can start clean installing OS X Mavericks, you should back up your Mac. Note: If you don’t do this step, you will not be able to recover files, nor restore anything if something goes wrong. To back up your Mac:

  1. Open an app called Time Machine.
  2. Click “Select Disk.”
  3. Select where you wish to save your files (an external drive works best, Apple Time Capsule is a safe bet).
  4. Click “On” on left hand side of the screen to turn Time Machine on.
  5. On the right, under the name of the storage device, there are three lines that say, “Oldest backup,” “Latest backup,” and “Next backup.” Your backup should be scheduled within the next 5 minutes.
  6. Don’t want to wait? In the menu bar at the top of your screen, a few icons left of the Date & Time, click on the “arrow clock” icon and select “Back Up Now.”

Step 3: Clean Install OS X Mavericks

Once you’re all backed up, it’s time to clean install Mavericks. Follow the steps below:

  1. Create a bootable drive using a USB for OS X Mavericks. Don’t know how? OSXDaily has a nice little article on how to create one.
  2. Plug in your bootable USB drive and Restart your Mac while holding the Option key. Make sure to keep it pressed down!
  3. When it restarts, you’ll have a few options. Choose your USB Installer.
  4. Next, select the Disk Utility option.
  5. In the window, at the top of the left bar, select your Mac’s Main Drive.
  6. Next to the First Aid button at the top, click the Erase button. 
  7. Now, near the center of the window, select the Format drop-down list and select “Mac OS X Extended (Journaled)” as the type.
  8. Click Erase (this will erase your main drive) and allow time for the drive to format.
  9. When it’s finished, close out Disk Utility and select “Install OS X” from the menu.
  10. Select your main drive and install a brand new OS X Mavericks on it. 

Follow the install instructions and enjoy your newly clean-installed OS X Mavericks.


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About the Author

Joseph Valle, MacPaw Joseph Valle is a Mac enthusiast and writer for MacPaw. He writes about anything and everything Mac, and can be found on the weekends tech'ing around Kyiv, Ukraine.

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