I know there are about 50 threads dealing with this, but after reading quite a few of those I canot find quite what I need. I also admit that unlike Windows machines where I am a trained dog in doing a re-install , I've never done it on a Mac. The installation I have now on my iMac is now about 4-5 years old. Furthermore, the Mac has become the center of my digital life (I only have a windows machine for some very minor stuff). So my current install started as 10.6 (or was it a 10.5 still). Went through 3 or 4 machine changes where I always just recovered the full blown stuff from my time machine back up. Now I finally want to do something different. I feel I have a bloated machine with a lot of apps (or remainder of apps) I don't need, with a lot of mileage and it doesn't feel leen any more. So this is what I want to achieve: - Clean Re-install ML - what is the most efficient way of doing it? - I will not recover my applications - I want to re-install only the ones I really need. - I do want to recover my user data and in some cases application settings (most definitiely my Firefox user data and settings). Of course I will need to recover my itunes/iphoto libraries etc. And some more questions: - For this sort of situation is Time Machine the best utility to recover my data from (since I need some granularity in what I recover), or should I create another backup using different means? - Is there a good article describing these topics. Any useful links are welcome! Many thanks for all the help!