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How to reset Mac’s SMC & PRAM

If your MacBook Pro, MacBook Air or iMac starts acting in a strange way without apparent reason, there is something you can do to get the issues resolved. It is likely that you need to perform SMC and PRAM reset. Before we go through the steps to reset them, let’s take a look at what SMC & PRAM are.

SMC & PRAM – What are they

In the Intel based Mac, SMC (which stands fro System Management Controller) is a chip that plays a part in many physical parts of the Mac including led indicators, cooling fan and keyboard. It is also linked to a connection with the MacBook sleep mode and its power supply.

PRAM stands for Parameter Random Access Memory and it keeps information about computer configuration such as mouse, volume, date, rime and other settings. PRAM works with a small battery so whenever the system is turned off, there is no information lost.

Why is it a good ideal to reset SMC & PRAM and when should you do it?

It is possible to reset reset SMC and PRAM whenever needed, specially if your computer is not working as it should. If the below is happening, a reset may help.

  • If you are experiencing shutdown issues (slow shutdown), or the MacBook is running slow. If the external monitor or trackpad is not detected.
  • If the battery status light or keyboard backlight doesn’t work or is not working as it should.
    You can also reset SMC & PRAM if the MacBook Pro doesn’t turn and the charger is bliking orange or it doesn’t connect to WiFi.
  • If the keyboard or colume control are not working well or there is higher CPU usage when you are browsing the internet.

In most cases, resetting SMC & PRAM will get the issue resolved.

How to reset SMC

Before resetting SMC, close all the applications and reboot your computer. This could solve the issue. The process to reset SMC depends on the kind of computer that you are using.

MacBook Pro (removable battery)

  1. The first thing you need to do in the case of a MacBook Pro is to shutdown your computer.
  2. Then unplug the Power adapter and take the battery out
  3. Hold the Power button down for 5 seconds
  4. Replace the battery and plug in the power adapter
  5. Now you can start the computer

MacBook Pro/ MacBook Air (no removable battery)

  1. In this case, you also start by shutting down the computer.
  2. Then plug in the power adapter
  3. Press and hold the shift, control, option and power buttons at the same time for 10 seconds.
  4. Let go of all the keys simultaneously and switch on the computer

Mac Pro, Intel based – iMac, Mac Mini, XServe

  1. Shut down the computer
  2. Unplug the power card and allow 15 seconds
  3. Plug the power card and switch on the computer

How to reset PRAM

  1. Shut down the computer
  2. Click the Power button
  3. Before the grey color screen is shown, press and hold Command + Option + P + R keys simultaneously.
  4. Hold down these keys until the MacBook restarts and then you will hear the startup sound.
  5. Release the keys. Once you have reset PRAM, keep in mind that settings like disk caches, volume, time, keyboard and mouse preferences, will also be reset.

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