From time to time, your Mac may need a little help getting back on track. Whether it’s because you’re experiencing system issues or you just want to start fresh, resetting the NVRAM, PRAM, and SMC on your Mac can be a big help. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it!
Note: The following steps are of advanced level and we don’t recommend doing it without having expert level knowledge. If you are not well aware of these terms we recommend using a reputable Mac repair service.
If your Mac is having trouble starting up, or certain settings seem to be stuck, resetting the NVRAM (non-volatile random-access memory) may help. NVRAM stores things like your computer’s time zone and volume settings, as well as your startup disk selection.
To reset your NVRAM:
1. Shut down your Mac.
2. Press and hold the power button for about 20 seconds. This step resets the SMC (System Management Controller).
3. When you see the startup options screen, release the power button.
4. Press and hold Option-Command-P-R until you hear the startup sound for a second time. You can let go of the keys after you hear the second startup sound.
PRAM is a small amount of memory on your Mac that stores certain settings. These settings include the default volume, display resolution, and startup disk selection. PRAM is reset automatically when you restart your Mac.
If you’re experiencing problems with your Mac, resetting PRAM may help. Here’s how:
1. Shut down your Mac.
2. Press and hold the Command (⌘) key, the Option key, and the P keys together while you turn on your Mac. Keep holding these keys until you hear the startup sound a second time.
3. If you’re using a MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, press and hold down the Touch ID button instead of the Option key.
4. Release the keys when you hear the startup sound a second time.
5. Your Mac should now be resetting PRAM.
If your Mac is acting up and you can’t figure out why one thing you can try is resetting the SMC (System Management Controller). This can fix a whole host of issues, from battery life problems to weird fan behavior. Here’s how to do it:
First, shut down your Mac. Then, unplug the power cord and wait 15 seconds. Plug the power cord back in and wait 5 seconds. Press and hold the power button for 10 seconds. Release the button and then turn your Mac back on as usual.
If that doesn’t solve the problem, you can also try resetting the NVRAM or PRAM.
How to reset each one
If your Mac is experiencing strange issues with settings and preferences, resetting the NVRAM may help. NVRAM stores certain settings in a location that persists even if you turn off your Mac, and thus it can become corrupted over time. You can reset NVRAM from the Recovery Mode menu.
PRAM stands for parameter random-access memory, and it stores similar information to NVRAM. However, PRAM is volatile, meaning that it gets wiped out when you turn off your Mac. Because of this, PRAM is less likely to become corrupted than NVRAM. You can reset PRAM by holding down Option-Command-P-R while your Mac is starting up. This will cause your Mac to restart and reset PRAM.
The System Management Controller (SMC) is responsible for a variety of low-level functions on your Mac. If you’re experiencing issues with power management, fans, or other hardware features, resetting the SMC may help. You can reset the SMC on most Macs by holding down the power button for 5 seconds, then release it and turn on your Mac as usual.
When to reset
There are a few different reasons why you might want to reset your Mac’s NVRAM, PRAM, or SMC. If your Mac is having trouble starting up, or if you’re experiencing strange issues with your computer’s display, audio, or other hardware, resetting these components could help. Additionally, if you’re about to sell or give away your Mac, you’ll want to reset the NVRAM and SMC so that the new owner can start fresh.
Here’s how to reset the NVRAM on your Mac:
1. Shut down your computer.
2. Turn it on again and immediately press and hold the Option, Command, P, and R keys together. You can release the keys after about 20 seconds.
3. If you have a newer Mac (from 2016 or later), you might see a message asking you to choose a Wi-Fi network for diagnosis purposes. You can just ignore this and continue with the NVRAM reset.
4. Your Mac should now boot up as usual; once it does, check to see if your issues have been resolved.
If resetting the NVRAM doesn’t fix your problem, you can also try resetting the
Tips for resetting
If your Mac is acting up and you can’t figure out why, one thing you can try is resetting the NVRAM, PRAM, or SMC. These are all different ways of resetting different aspects of your Mac’s hardware and software, and can sometimes help fix strange issues. Here’s a rundown of what each reset does and how to do it:
– Resetting the NVRAM: This will reset things like your display resolution, startup disk selection, and time zone information. To do this, reboot your Mac and hold down the Option, Command, P, and R keys simultaneously. Keep holding these keys until you hear the startup chime two times.
– Resetting the PRAM: This will reset things like your system volume and screen brightness. To do this, reboot your Mac and hold down the Option, Command, P, and R keys simultaneously. Keep holding these keys until you hear the startup chime three times.
– Resetting the SMC: This will reset things like your fan speeds and power management settings. To do this, shut down your Mac completely and unplug it from power for at least 15 seconds. Then plug it back in and turn it on as
If you’re having problems with your Mac, resetting the NVRAM, PRAM, and SMC can often help. These steps are relatively simple to follow and shouldn’t take more than a few minutes of your time. If you’re still having issues after resetting these features, you may want to contact Apple Support for further assistance.