How to Reset a Mac's PRAM and SMC

If you are searching the Web for ways to fix various issues with your Mac, you may often come across responses urging users to reset their PRAM or SMC. But what exactly are these two things?

PRAM, short for Parameter Random Access Memory, is a type of memory that Macs use to store important system settings regarding audio, display, power, time zone, and more. If it gets corrupted in any manner, it may cause a wide range of issues that may be difficult to resolve without resetting the PRAM. Thankfully, performing this is easy and quick, and below we will teach you how to do it. Modern Macs use NVRAM (non-volatile RAM) instead of PRAM, but they are both essentially the same thing. Resetting the PRAM/NVRAM can help fix issues like:

  • Date or time that are constantly wrong.
  • Issues with the mouse scroll.
  • Inability to change audio or video settings.

SMC, short for System Management Controller, is responsible for configuration and optimizations linked to power, fans, light, and the overall system performance. Resetting this is often the best way to solve a wide range of random hardware issues. An SMC reset may help fix:

  • Random shutdowns.
  • Battery issues.
  • Loud fans.
  • Connectivity issues with the Bluetooth or USB.
  • Issues with the touchpad.

Resetting the PRAM/NVRAM

  1. Start by turning off your device.
  2. Press the Power button, and then hold down the keys 'Command + Option + P + R.'
  3. Wait until you see the login screen and let go of the keys.

Resetting the SMC

  1. Turn off the Mac.
  2. If you are using a desktop, unplug the power cord. If it is a MacBook, then remove the battery.
  3. Press and hold down the power button.
  4. Reconnect the power cord or battery.
  5. Turn the device back on.
April 26, 2021

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