A fresh install helps the computer run smoother and faster.

How-To: Clean Install OS X El Capitan 3 If you are like me then every year when a new OS arrives I find myself preparing to backup my devices and get them ready for a nice clean install. This is really not necessary because iOS and OS X both allow for the installations to happen over top of the previous OS. I prefer to remove junk files, documents, and other random stuff that have accumulated over the year before completing the OS upgrade. So, if you’re reading this and you want to know how to do a clean install of OS X El Capitan, follow the steps below to get started. Be sure to backup your system before starting this process.

  1. First, start by installing OS X 10.11 El Capitan from the Mac App Store. This will complete the install over the previous OS and once it finishes, doing the clean install becomes easier.
  2. Once you’ve installed El Capitan from the Mac App Store, restart your Mac and hold down both the Command Key and the R key.
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  3. When the computer reboots, it will come up with a disk utility screen. From here, you can use disk utility to erase your Mac’s hard drive. Remember that this deletes everything on your system. You need to backup your files before doing this. Once your system is backed up and you are ready to erase your HD, the time to wipe the drive won’t take too long if your running on a Mac using an SSD.
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  4. After the Mac has been erased, name your hard drive so you will know what it is when seeing it in the Finder window. I just keep the original name Macintosh.
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  5. Once you have renamed the hard drive, click on the red dot in the left corner to close disk utility and a set of options will appear asking if you want to restore from Time Machine or to install El Capitan. The bottom option to install a new copy is what you want to do. After choosing this you will need to enter your WiFi password up at the top right hand corner and follow the next steps provided by your OS, but you’re all set.

Yes, it’s always a bit of a hassle setting up your computer fresh, but this way everything should work correctly and you are freeing up space on your Mac. Get ready for a clean, fast El Capitan install.

If you would like to learn more about the details of El Capitan, visit https://help.apple.com/osx-elcapitan/from-yosemite/#/intro.