A common tip if something strange on your Mac is trying to reset NVRAM. NVRAM, or Non-Volatile Random Access Memory, was named PRAM (Parameter RAM) many years ago. NVRAM is special sections of memory on your Mac that store data that is retained even when your Mac is turned off, such as volume settings and screen resolution – these are information your computer uses to maintain settings after a restart.
Resetting NVRAM on MAC, PRAM and SMC, all names are associated with system management controller, basically deals with power management.
Which problems are associated with SMC or PRAM on MAC?
The following issues can be resolve if you learn how to reset SMC or PRAM on any mac or M1.
- Fast fan speed
- Incorrect resolution of attached screens
How to Reset NVRAM, PRAM, and SMC on Mac
In November 2020, Apple released its first Mac with the M1 chip. The NVRAM cannot be reset on the new Apple system.
Unlike SMC, which is no longer present on M1 Macs, NVRAM exists but works differently.
The new Macs still have a kind of parameter memory that can be viewed and changed using the NVRAM terminal command, but there is no longer any command to reset NVRAM contents.
According to several sources, including accessory maker Caldigit and comments on Apple’s support forum that claims to have spoken to Apple support, the M1 processor tests NVRAM when the computer boots after shutdown (i.e. not after a normal reboot). If there is something wrong with the memory, it resets automatically.
Until now, we have not been able to check if this means that the Mac M1 computers can “save” themselves from incorrectly set NVRAM values. We recommend that you be extremely careful when making manual changes using NVRAM.
An alternative is to start your Mac in recovery mode, launch Terminal from the Tools menu, and type the command:
We’ve seen reports that the command may produce an error message, but it should still work, and the computer forgot the password for a connected Wi-Fi network, for example.
Resetting NVRAM on an Intel-based Mac
If your Mac is pre-November 2020, it likely has an Intel processor and therefore you will need to use this key combination to reset the NVRAM.
In this case, you may need to grow an extra finger or two:
- Hold down the following keys: Command, Option (Alt), P, and R.
- Turn on your Mac while holding down these keys.
- Keep holding the keys down until you hear your Mac restart again.
- Wait for the reboot, then release the keys.
In some cases, your Mac will restart normally. In other cases, a progress bar may appear. Normally, the progress bar will fill up and then your Mac will startup. We’ve seen a few instances where your Mac shuts down midway through the progress bar but then restarts.
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