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How To Reset a Mac’s NVRAM/PRAM

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Check How To Reset a Mac’s NVRAM/PRAM

Assuming your Mac is acting unusual and a software update hasn’t fixed the problem, this is probably an ideal opportunity to reset your Mac’s PRAM, SMC, or potentially NVRAM.

Peculiar issues can incorporate any of the following: fans running non-stop, Wi-Fi networks not showing, mounted drives missing, screens not changing, Bluetooth not working, MacBook not charging as much as possible, or a variety of different problems.

Resetting these systems is an invaluable piece of troubleshooting your Mac. In this guide, I’ll cover when, why, and how to reset your PRAM, SMC, and NVRAM on your Mac PC or MacBook.

  • You may have heard of random access memory, which is commonly known as RAM. Memory should not be confused with your computer’s storage (hard drive space), as RAM consists of chips in your computer that store active applications and processes.
  • That means that when you open an application, you are telling the computer to load it from its hard drive into RAM. Once the application is closed, it leaves RAM and frees up memory for other applications.
  • RAM can also be used to remember system settings. Do you know how the computer remembers what time it is, screen brightness, or system volume? That is PRAM; system information stored by your computer; even when it’s off.
  • PRAM is short for Parameter Random Access Memory and includes information about the designated startup disk, screen resolution, speaker volume, and other information.
  • Unlike other types of RAM, PRAM does not restart when you turn off your computer. This is because a small battery is installed that holds data when the computer is not turned on.
  • NVRAM is the updated Mac terminology for PRAM and is short for non-volatile RAM. Since NVRAM is non-volatile, the settings do not change when the computer is turned off or disconnected from power. When it comes to troubleshooting, resetting NVRAM or PRAM on a Mac is the same.
  • In PCs, motherboards have a similar component called CMOS. CMOS RAM also uses a small battery or power supply to store BIOS information while the computer is off. PC users can learn how to manage their BIOS settings by visiting the motherboard manufacturer’s website.

For music production, resetting the PRAM / NVRAM will reset the information related to startup disks and device connections, such as MIDI devices and audio interfaces.

  • Mac does not start properly
  • Devices do not appear
  • Monitors are not displaying correctly
  • Hard drives won’t connect
  • Bluetooth is malfunctioning
  • Time is wrong
  • Activity monitor

You can see where your Mac’s RAM is allocated in the Activity Monitor application (Finder> Utilities> Activity Monitor). You can also view the CPU and Power tabs to sort applications and processes by their processor usage and energy impact. Learn more on Apple’s Activity Monitor page.

In the event that the PRAM / NVRAM information has become corrupted, resetting the PRAM / NVRAM may be a necessary solution. Unless it restarts, your Mac may use the wrong settings, behave abnormally, or even fail to start. We recommend a wired keyboard, as wireless keyboards don’t always work for NVRAM resets. If you don’t have one, just use the second method below. Follow these steps to reset PRAM / NVRAM on your Mac.

Method 1: start command

  • If you find that a NVRAM reset might solve your problem, there is more than one way to do it. The most common method is to hold down a few keys while turning on your Mac.
  • Turn off your Mac.
  • Press the power button on your Mac and then hold down these four keys at the same time: + option + P + R.
  • Keep pressing the keys until your Mac restarts a second time. On older Macs, the buzzer will sound on reboot. On newer Macs, the Apple logo will appear and then disappear.
  • Mac startup key commands Resetting PRAM / NVRAM is not the only startup command for Mac computers. For example, + R will take you to the recovery system and the option opens the Startup Manager.
  • Learn more on Apple’s Mac Launch Key Combinations page. After pressing the power button, press and hold all the keys at the same time.

If you don’t have a wired keyboard, plug one in and use Method 1 or follow the steps below.

  • Close all applications and open Terminal (Finder> Utilities> Terminal).
  • Enter sudo nvram -c and hit Enter / return. Enter the administrator password and press Enter / return.
  • Enter sudo shutdown -r now and hit Enter / return. The computer will now reboot, that’s it!

Final remarks: How To Reset a Mac’s NVRAM/PRAM

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James Hogan
James Hogan
James Hogan is a notable content writer recognized for his contributions to Bollyinside, where he excels in crafting informative comparison-based articles on topics like laptops, phones, and software. When he's not writing, James enjoys immersing himself in football matches and exploring the digital realm. His curiosity about the ever-evolving tech landscape drives his continuous quest for knowledge, ensuring his content remains fresh and relevant.
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