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How to Reset Mac PRAM and SMC

By Wian LJ | Lasted Updated 2018-07-09 01:21:10
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Find out how, when and why reset Mac PRAM & SMC in this new article!

Is your Mac acting weird lately? Like your time isn’t right and battery’s getting odd?

These are few issues on Mac that need to be attended to ASAP. 

Let’s do this!

Part 1. What are PRAM and SMC?

These are jargons for laymen but the PRAM and SMC are integral parts of Mac. They divide both the soft and hard aspects of the system for a smoother workflow.

We’ll discuss and define each to get a clearer view.

reset SMC and PRAM on Mac

What is PRAM

PRAM or also called Parameter Random Access Memory is the one who stores most of the display settings on Mac such as the desktop, time and date, speakers, mouse, other control settings, and more.

PRAM is powered by a small internal battery which is the main reason why these configurations don’t get lost when the device is powered off.

There are instances wherein the PRAM gets corrupted but a reset can easily fix the problem.

What is SMC

SMC or also known as System Management Controller is the one who handles most of Mac’s physical performance such as the fan, ports, LED indicators, Bluetooth, power, lights, and more.

It manages more parts than the PRAM.

SMC’s are available to Intel-based Macs and can also be fixed easily when things start to act weird or not responding to any configurations at all.

Both parts are vital in Mac performance and one needs to work with the other at all times based on what kind of Mac system used.

However, in more updated Mac models, instead of PRAM, they use NVRAM or called Non-Volatile RAM which acts the same but file corruptions are lesser as compared to the former.

When things go out of hand on PRAM and SMC, a simple power reset cannot fix any issues. You need to reset Mac PRAM and SMC in order to resolve any troubles.

Find out how you can reset them in the next parts below.

Part 2. When to Reset Mac PRAM and SMC

Resetting the PRAM and SMC should not be done out of habit. You should only do this when your Mac shows symptoms and appears to have the PRAM involved.

PRAM contains the following:

Virtual memory

Disk cache

RAM disk

Startup disk

32-bit addressing

Speaker volume

Keyboard

Application fonts

Status of messages

Serial port configurations

And more…

You might even see an error screen if the PRAM is not functioning well. If you are not too familiar with how these settings above work or how to fix them, better do the research first to avoid unwanted scenarios.

We will guide you on how to carefully reset Mac PRAM and SMC in a user-friendly manner as possible.

How to Reset Mac PRAM

Power off Mac. Turn it completely off and not just letting it sleep

Be quick and gentle to press and hold the Power button + Command +Option + P+ R. Press these keys before the screen goes gray or else you have to repeat the steps.

Continue holding these keys until the Mac restarts and you hear the startup sound

Release the keys and let Mac do the reboot normally

If you did not hear the startup sound twice, then probably have not reset the PRAM and might need to repeat the steps above.

However, if your PRAM does not nor is not saving your customized setting anymore, think about replacing the PRAM battery.

As for the SMC, it acts as the PRAM’s partner for device performance in mature models of Mac. They hold the following settings:

CPU

System Performance

Power

Lights

Fans

How to Rest Mac SMC

The SMC resetting depends if the Mac has built-in or removable batteries. Follow these methods on how to reset the SMC.

Mac with built-in Batteries (MacBook Pro, MacBook Air)

Turn off the device completely

Plug in the power adapter

Gently press and hold the Power button + Shift +Control +Option (found on the left side of Mac) for about 10 seconds

Release the keys

Press the Power button to turn it back on

Mac with Removable Batteries (MacBook Pro)

Turn off Mac completely

Disconnect the MagSafe plug

Remove the battery out

Press the Power button for about 5 seconds

Insert the battery back and reconnect the MagSafe

Turn Mac back on

For Mac Minis, iMacs, Mac Pros, and on Xserves

Again turn off Mac completely

Remove or unplug from the power source

Press and hold down the Power button for about 5 seconds

Plug it back and power on the device

reset Mac SMC

Sweet Reminder

Before doing any of the reset Mac PRAM and SMC methods above, be aware and cautious enough to backup your entire system to make sure that no data will be lost during the process.

That’s it! The steps are so easy on how to reset Mac PRAM and SMC. Resetting both can be safe and easy but it is not 100% guaranteed that it will fix any unwanted issues on Mac.

Part 3. Fix PRAM and SMC issues with Mac Cleaner

There is an efficient utility called Mac Cleaner by iMyMac-Cleaner which easily cleans and fixes any Mac issues.

This software runs diagnoses and informs you of the status of your device and gives you options to boost its performance. How cool is that?

You don’t have to practically spend a lot of time searching and clicking through unfamiliar steps and buttons and fear you might mess up your Mac.

Mac Cleaner speeds up your device and safely removes unnecessary files that may clog up the system.

All you have to do is to download and run the program and let it do its job! Take advantage of its free download version!

Part 4. Conclusion

We have just tackled how to reset Mac PRAM and SMC manually and digitally. Your Mac should be functioning back to normal or may have boosted because of these fixes.

For better and safer resolution, use Mac Cleaner by iMyMac-Cleaner.

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