5 things to do before reinstalling your mac

macOS productivity tips

I've been using my mac since mid-2018 without performing any clean installation and, despite I always try to keep my computers as "mess-free" as possible, this time I couldn't make it: I had a real mess.


Mainly due to I'm currently working with a lot of different technologies like Angular, .Net core, Swift, Node.js, Svelte, SQL Server, Docker, Raspberry Pi VM's, etc.

Mission: Cleaning my mess before end of the year

So I decided to clean up my mess once for all by performing a clean installation of macOS Catalina.

As I've been working on a lot of things lately, I was scared to loose code changes, configurations, assets or important documents.

That's why I came up with a "TO-DO list" of things I needed to check before erasing my disk. Here is my list:

1 - Make a list of applications you need to reinstall

As I said before, I use a lot of apps to do my work. So I didn't want to forget to install anything. Here's the list I came up with:

  • Figma
  • Visual Studio Code
    • C# extension
    • Material Theme, Material Icon Theme
    • Tailwind CSS Intellisense extension
  • Angular CLI
  • Xcode
    • Cocoapods
  • Chrome
  • Filezilla
  • Microsoft Remote Desktop
  • Teams
  • 1Password
  • Microsoft Office
  • Spotify
  • Postman
  • The Unarchiver
  • Slack
  • Docker
  • Azure Data Studio
  • Realm browser
  • Git
  • Net Core SDK
  • Sourcetree

2 - Don't forget to push

It would be really bad if you forget to commit the last changes you've been working on right? That's why you should make sure to open all your repos and check out the current state by running git status. If everything was pushed, you should see a message saying nothing to commit, working tree clean.

3 - Make a list of your repos

I'm currently working on 7 repositories so I made a list as a reminder because I need them configured and running all the time.

4 - Backup your documents, assets, ssh keys

When performing a clean installation is the best time to check your Downloads and Documents folders and delete those files you don't really need.

Be sure to make at least one copy of those files you need before erasing your disk. In my case, I made 2 backups of my ssh keys just in case.

5 - Sync your notes

I had my iCloud account full of images and videos from past years and, as I didn't have free space left, my notes were only available on my pc.

Make sure your notes are available on iCloud and if you need to free some space, make sure to backup your images and videos before deleting them from iCloud. A useful alternative I found is Google Photos because they offer unlimited storage for images and videos.

Additional Pro Tip: Use a Password Manager

I've been using 1Password as my password manager for the last two months and I cannot believe I use to live without it :smile: It's super useful and will let you access all your passwords in one place from any device. A personal recommendation is to set up a 32 digits unique password for each service you use. 1Password has a cool feature that lets you generate random passwords with just one click.

Did I miss anything?

I sure hope not because I'm writing this article from my clean mac 🤣