While troubleshooting your MacBook Pro, chances are you’ve heard the advice to reset NVRAM? Well, certain forum denizens discuss how the resetting process can cure all macOS related instabilities. But have you ever thought what NVRAM exactly is? Why should it be reset?
What Is NVRAM?
Let’s begin by explaining what exactly NVRAM is.
If your Mac starts seeing an unexpected ‘question mark’ icon appearing on the screen as soon as you launch the machine or when it starts from a startup disk item other than the one you’ve specified in the preferences. You might need to clear NVRAM, to fix these types of issues. You ask why? Because your NVRAM holds all these settings on your Mac. It consists of all the crucial info about booting, device configuration & other permanent components.
The Apple Support page, explains, NVRAM (Non-volatile Random Access Memory) is a small amount of memory that your Mac machine uses to store certain types of key settings. These include sound, speaker, display, startup disk, backlight levels, location services state, time zone, recent kernel panic info & other more settings. Most of the Mac users, don’t think much about their Non Volatile RAM, but it works hard anyway, keeping track of all the aforementioned details that affect the overall functioning of the system.
When Should You Reset NVRAM?
Despite a widely held misconception, resetting NVRAM on MacBook Pro might not significantly speed up your machine. But doing so would help you troubleshoot your Mac’s sluggish behaviorwhenever you’re facing issues with settings stored in the NVRAM, such as audio settings, display settings or boot disc locations. In certain scenarios, resetting NVRAM also helps in resolving kernel panics.
Why Should You Reset NVRAM MacBook?
If you are experiencing issues with your Mac’s speaker volume, screen resolution, system time, startup disk & you can’t really find an ideal way to fix the issues, the last resort is to reset NVRAM.
If you are facing any of the following Mac issues, you need to reset NVRAM on MacBook:
- A blinking ‘question mark’ icon appearing as soon as your launch your Mac.
- Mac’s display freezes suddenly or become unresponsive (without showing the spinning wheel icon.)
- Even though the volume is turned up, your Mac’s speaker stops playing audio.
- Your MacBook Pro is facing issues while connecting to an external display
How To See What’s In NVRAM?
If you are really curious about what settings are inside the NVRAM, then you can execute the following command in the Terminal window.
STEP 1- Launch the Terminal on macOS.
STEP 2- Locate Applications & head towards Utilities.
STEP 3- Execute the following command in the Terminal Windows & press Enter.
“nvram – xp” (without semicolons)
You will be able to see the entire contents of NVRAM Mac. You’ll recognize a few things, like volume levels & see a bunch of cryptic keys.
How To Reset NVRAM Mac?
Keep in mind, resetting the NVRAM will put your MacBook’s Non-Volatile RAM, back to the factory defaults. Meaning, when you restart your machine after the reset process, all your settings such as system volume, screen resolution, startup-disk selection settings, etc. will all be set as they were when you configured the settings for the first time.
Follow the steps below to reset the NVRAM on your MacBook:
METHOD 1 – Startup Command
If you believe that resetting the NVRAM will solve all your Mac issues, then there is more than one way to do it. The most common way us by holding down a few keys during your Power On your Mac machine.
STEP 1- Completely shut down your Mac first using the Apple menu.
STEP 2- After shutting down your MacBook Pro, find the Command, Option, P & R keys.
STEP 3- Now the trick is, Turn on your Mac using the Power Button & Press and Hold the Command, Option, P & R keys at the same time, as soon as you hear the Mac startup chime sound.
STEP 4- Continue holding these keys till the time you hear the startup sound again.
Observe the second startup sound would be different from the initial sound, indicating the settings have been reset to factory settings & a successful NVRAM reset!
METHOD 2 – Terminal
Here’s another quick way to reset NVRAM on MacBook, follow the steps below:
Note: Using Mac’s Terminal is an advanced way to issue commands on your machine. Although the below-mentioned command lines will help you to reset NVRAM, it’s highly recommended to learn about Terminal before venturing further.
STEP 1- Close all the running Mac applications & Open Terminal. You can find it using the Finder > Utilities > Terminal!
STEP 2- Execute the following command line & hit Enter.
sudo nvram -c
STEP 3- Now enter the Administrator password & hit the Enter button again.
STEP 4- Next, type the following command line to complete the process: sudo shutdown -r now
Press the Enter button to restart your MacBook!
You’ve Cleared Your NVRAM. What Next?
As discussed, resetting the NVRAM on MacBook, will set your system’s NVRAM back to factory defaults. So, probably the next thing you may have to do is, restore certain helpful settings (such as Brightness levels, volume settings, etc) from the System Preferences, to make sure, everything is working according to your convenience!