macOS: How to Reset Mac SMC and NVRAM, and Why You Would Need To

Page 3 – Resetting Your Mac’s NVRAM (PRAM)

Resetting Your Mac’s NVRAM (PRAM)

You can also reset your Mac’s NVRAM (PRAM). NVRAM, or NonVolatile Random Access Memory, is a small amount of memory that stores certain settings for fast access. Settings that NVRAM stores can include:

  • Sound volume
  • Display resolution
  • Startup-disk selection
  • Time zone
  • Recent kernel panic information

Older Macs use something else called PRAM, but the steps are the same for both. If you use a firmware password for your Mac, you’ll have to turn it off before you reset NVRAM. Otherwise, these steps with either do nothing, or make your Mac boot into macOS Recovery.

After you reset the Mac SMC you could try NVRAM.

  1. Shut down your Mac by going into the menu bar, click the Apple icon () and click Shut Down.
  2. Turn it back on and immediately press Option + Command (⌘) + P + R.
  3. Release the keys after 20 seconds, and during this your Mac will restart.
  4. If your Mac plays a startup sound, release the keys after you hear the second startup sound.
  5. On an iMac Pro or MacBook that doesn’t play a startup sound, release the keys after the Apple logo appears and disappears for the second time.

Hopefully, resetting either/both the Mac SMC and NVRAM will have fixed your issues. If not, you might have to take it in to an Apple Retail store or Apple Authorized Service Provider instead.

4 thoughts on “macOS: How to Reset Mac SMC and NVRAM, and Why You Would Need To

  • I did this a couple of days ago for my 2010 15″ MBP. It was working properly until I updated to High Sierra. When it went through the process, it failed. So, I asked @applesupport for assistance. To make a long story short, I did the SMC first. It did not work. Then I did NVRAM. Somewhat worked. I had to do a First Aid on my MBP per @applesupport. It turned out that my disk is shot.

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