Learning how to do so will be a better solution than “Turning it off and back on again.”

For some strange reason, a computer’s applications or internal components will begin to act erratically. It happens with all computers, and MacBooks are certainly no exception. These problems can include: the Bluetooth feature will not turn on or sync AirPods; the battery icon may say 50% despite charging all day; device drivers may not be working correctly.

Thankfully, the majority of these troubles can be solved by resetting the “parameter random-access memory” (or PRAM), “nonvolatile random-access memory” (NVRAM), and the “system management controller” (or SMC). These two parts might sound like techno-babble, but each connects to crucial parts and features found within the MacBook. A few, simple keyboard shortcuts with reset each and will more than likely fix issues with an unresponsive screen or recalibrating the device battery.

Resetting the PRAM and NVRAM

The PRAM is tied to various applications and settings, including display, time, and sound. For example, if the volume is acting up, this is what to do:

  1. Shut down your MacBook.
  2. Hold down the Option, Command, P, and R keys and turn the device back on.
  3. Keep pressing on the keys for about 20 seconds, until the startup chime sounds off or once the Apple logo appears and disappears a second time.

In a final step, go into the System Preferences menu and restore any changes after resetting the PRAM or NVRAM, including the default time and volume settings.

Resetting the SMC

When a MacBook’s battery or internal fan is behaving irregularly, giving the SMC a soft reset will be your best bet.

  1. Turn off the MacBook.
  2. Hold down the power button for at least 10 seconds and then release it.
  3. Please wait at least 5 seconds and then press the power button to turn it back on again.

However, there might be instances where, for example, the sound issues are still ongoing. Here is the second set of steps:

  1. Power down the device.
  2. Press and hold the Control, Option, and Shift keys for at least 7 seconds. While holding those three keys, start pressing down on the power button.
  3. Continue holding down all four keys for an additional 7 seconds and then release.
  4. Wait another five seconds to turn the device back on again.

For specific MacBook models, such as the MacBook Pro A1706, the following steps will reset the SMC.

  1. Turn off the MacBook.
  2. Press and hold down Shift, Control, and Option.
  3. Next, while holding down these three keys, start holding down the Power button.
  4. Hold down these keys for at least 10 seconds and release.
  5. Finally, turn the device back on.

MacBooks with removable batteries, on the other hand, require different steps.

  1. Shut down the device.
  2. Remove the MacBook’s battery.
  3. Press and hold down the Power button for 5 seconds.
  4. Finally, reconnect the battery and turn on the MacBook.

“Is it pronounced ‘pram’ or ‘pee-ram’?”

The MacBook keyboard is exceptionally helpful when it comes to fixing certain issues. The next time you are having some troubleshooting issues with your power, screen, or sound, now you know what to do.


Red button with words reset on black background, vector illustration

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