How to Reset NVRAM, PRAM, SMC on a Mac

Over time and prolonged usage, every device or gadget starts acting up. No matter which OS you use, whether Windows or macOS, encountering errors, bugs and glitches are quite natural. Most of us simply reboot our machine to get past several hindrances. But yes, there are still a few unfortunate times when the reboot trick doesn’t do the job.  Isn’t it? And this is when advanced troubleshooting solutions help us in resolving issues.


Image source: The Verge

While troubleshooting your Mac, you may have heard about resetting the SMC, PRAM, and NVRAM as a repair hack. So, how does this help? Wondering what these terms are all about? Don’t worry. You’ve come to the right palace.

In this post, we have covered a step-by-step guide on how to reset NVRAM on Mac, reset PRAM, and SMC on macOS.

Here you go!

Also read: Complete Guide: Reset The PRAM & SMC On Your Mac

How to Reset NVRAM, PRAM, SMC on a Mac

Part 1: How to Reset SMC on Mac

SMC (System Management Controller) is a crucial component of macOS that is responsible for low-level functions on Intel-based Mac computers. If your Mac is showing the following symptoms then resetting the SMC might help.

  • Power button not working.
  • Issues with keyboard backlight/ Ambient light sensing.
  • Battery lights behaving abruptly.
  • Mac sleeps or shuts down unexpectedly.
  • Mac performing slower than usual.
  • Mac’s fan running at a high speed or making a weird noise.

The process to reset SMC on Mac is different for Mac devices with a removable battery and non-removable battery.

Also read: How To Fix “MacBook Keyboard Is Not Working” Issue

SMC Reset Process for Mac with Non-Removable Battery


Tap on the Apple icon placed on the top menu bar, select “Shut Down”.

Once your device restarts, press and hold the Shift + Control + Option key combination and then hit the Power button at the same time.

Keep holding this key combination for about 10-12 seconds.

Release all the keys. Press the power button to restart your Mac.

SMC Reset Process for Mac with Removable Battery


Image source: iFixIT

Shut down your Mac.

Remove the battery. (Follow the steps of removing the battery as per your Mac’s make and model).

After removing your Mac’s battery, press and hold the power button for about 5 seconds.

Release the power button and then insert the battery again.

Press the power button to turn ON your Mac.

SMC Reset Process for Mac Desktop (iMac, Mac mini, and Mac Pro)


Image source: Unlock Boot

Shut down your Mac.

Now, unplug the power cable. Wait for about 12-15 seconds.

Replug the power cable again.

Again wait for about 5-7 seconds and then restart your Mac by pressing the power button.

Also read: How to Reset System Management Controller on Mac?

Part 2: How to Reset the NVRAM or PRAM on Mac

We’re pretty sure that you’ve all heard about RAM (Random Access Memory). Right? So, in Mac’s terminology, PRAM is short for Parameter Random Access Memory. And NVRAM stands for Non-volatile RAM which is a more updated technology compared to PRAM. Since NVRAM is non-volatile when your turn off your Mac or disconnect it from a power source the settings won’t change.

Modern Mac devices no longer operate on PRAM and rely on NVRAM instead. Although, the process to reset NVRAM and reset PRAM on Mac is pretty much the same. Here’s what you need to do:

Method 1: Via Start-Up Commands


Turn OFF your Mac.

Press the Power button of your Mac along with Command + Option + P + R keys.

Keep holding these keys until your Mac restarts. Once you see the Apple logo appear and then disappear on the screen, it indicates that the NVRAM has been reset.

Method 2: Via Mac’s Terminal

Another way to reset PRAM on Mac is by using your Mac’s Terminal app.

NOTE: We recommend you to use Terminal with caution as one wrong keystroke can mess with the operating system’s settings. Please be careful!

Shut down all the active apps on your Mac and launch Terminal. You can find the Terminal app in the Applications> Utility folder.

Copy and paste the following command in your Mac’s Terminal window.


Image source: Sweet Water

Sudo nvram -c

Enter the admin password if prompted. After executing the NVRAM command, reboot your Mac so the changes can take effect.

Also read: 10 Mac Terminal Commands You Should Try

Frequently Asked Questions-

Q.1. What happens when you reset NVRAM?

NVRAM is the Non-volatile Random Access Memory on your Mac that is responsible for functions related to startup disk, device connections, audio, screen resolution, date and time settings, and more. A corrupt NVRAM might trigger several issues or glitches on your Mac. Resetting the NVRAM can help in overcoming such issues.

Q.2. Is it safe to reset NVRAM on Mac?

If your Mac is behaving in a usual manner then resetting the NVRAM can help in fixing the issues. If your Mac is making a weird sound, or if there are any issues with the audio or while booting your machine, resetting the NVRAM surely sounds like a good idea.

Q.3. Does resetting NVRAM erase data?

No, resetting the NVRAM won’t erase any of personal files and data stored on your hard disk. It only resets the information related to start-up disk and devices connections.

Q.4. What is an SMC reset?

The SMC or the System Management Controller is responsible for low-level operations like power-related issues, keyboard backlight, ambient sensor light, Fan running faster than usual,  and so on. If you’re having any such issues on your Mac then resetting the SMC is a logical next step.


This wraps up our quick guide on how to reset SMC, PRAM, and reset NVRAM on Mac. If you master the steps of resetting the SMC, NVRAM, and PRAM then you can easily troubleshoot common errors, bugs, and glitches on your own.

For any other queries or assistance, feel free to drop your questions in the comments section. Follow us on social media – FacebookInstagram and YouTube.

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