How to Reset NVRAM, PRAM and SMC on Your Mac

Is your Mac starting to act weird? It is not becoming crazy but a bit strange, not as normal as the other days. To be more specific, you could have experienced one or some of these issues:

  • Drives not appearing
  • Battery is still in 50% charged while it should be fully 100%.
  • Wifi or Airport is not connecting.
  • Bluetooth issues such as not turn on/off or not connecting.
  • Your fan is running non-stop.
  • And other more issues.

You may have tired rebooting your Mac but things don’t come easy. The problems still exist and it beginning to disturb your works.

Don’t pull your hair yet, because a practical fix is coming your way. It’s fast and easy. How? Try resetting the PRAM and SMC.

What is NVRAM, PRAM and SMC?

NVRAM stands for nonvolatile random-access memory. It is a memory in the Mac to store certain settings to quickly access them. Some things that are stored in NVRAM are:

  • Time zone.
  • Startup disk selection.
  • Sound and volume setting.
  • Display resolution setting.
  • Recent kernel panic information.
  • Port configuration.


In older Mac, it is called PRAM or Parameter random-access memory.

Now, SMC is System Management Controller and is used to manage a lot more interesting things compared to NVRAM or PRAM. SMC stores fans, lights, power and system performance.

Before you start resetting NVRAM, PRAM and SMC, please be noted that these tricks are generally safe for your apps, data and hardware. But if you are still unsure about it, just back up your data to the external hard drive.

Now, if everything is ready, let’s start.

How to Reset NVRAM or PRAM
  1. Shut down your Mac. Not sleep or logging out but completely turn off.
  2. After the machine is off, press the Power button and then Command+Option+P+R. Make sure you press all keys before the grey screen appear or it won’t work.
  3. Keep holding all those keys until your Mac reboots again. You will hear a startup chime sound.
  4. Release all the keys and let your Mac boot normally.

Things to note:

  • We usually let the Mac reboot and chime a few times, about 2 to 3 times to make sure everything in the memory is clear.
  • After you’ve successfully resetting NVRAM and PRAM, you might need to adjust time zone, mouse speed and other small bit of settings. Otherwise, you are good to go.


How to Reset SMC

There are 3 things to note before resetting SMC on your Mac. And steps to reset the SMC on each are not the same.

  • Does your Mac has removable battery?
  • Does your Mac has built-in battery?
  • Does your Mac has battery?

Resetting SMC on MacBook and MacBook Pro that you can remove the battery:

  1. Shut down your Mac. It’s a complete turn off.
  2. Disconnect the power cable or MagSafe from the Mac.
  3. Remove the battery.
  4. Press and hold the power button for 5 seconds and release.
  5. Put the battery back in.
  6. Connect the MagSafe cord to the Mac.
  7. Turn on your Mac.

Resetting SMC on MacBook, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air with built-in battery:

  1. Shut down your Mac. Again, it needs to be fully off.
  2. Let your MagSafe plugged in to your Mac.
  3. Press Shift+Option+Control+Power buttons, all at the same time.
  4. Let go of all buttons.
  5. Turn your Mac back on by pressing the Power button and you’re ready to go.

Resetting SMC on iMac, Mac Pro, Mac Mini and XServe

  1. Turn your Mac off.
  2. Unplug the power cord.
  3. Press and hold the Power button for 5 seconds.
  4. Plug the power cord back in.
  5. Turn on your Mac.

There they are. How to reset NVRAM, PRAM and SMC on your Mac. Hope they are useful. Let us know if you have any comments.

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