Macs are good computers, but they are not without problems that can occur at any time. Fortunately, problems on a Mac aren’t particularly difficult, and there are many simple steps you, as a Mac user, can take before calling AppleCare for assistance.
One of the easiest troubleshooting steps is to reset your Mac’s NVRAM. This step can solve a number of problems. In this tutorial, we explain what NVRAM is responsible for and how to reset it to fix common problems.
What is NVRAM?
Table and article summary
Your Mac’s NVRAM (non-volatile random access memory) is a type of non-volatile memory. This means that the memory contents can be preserved even if it is no longer supplied with power. This differs from volatile memory, which loses all of its memory content every time the power is interrupted.
As Apple points out, NVRAM is present on all Intel-based Macs and is responsible for storing information related to a variety of software functions on your Mac that are essential to the user experience on the macOS operating system. This variety includes the following:
- The volume at which you set the speakers
- Your screen resolution has been set to
- The startup disk that you want to boot from by default
- The time zone you’ve selected for your Mac to show the time
- All current information logged by a kernel panic
This information must be stored in non-volatile memory. If the storage can’t store system volume, screen, time zone, and startup disk information every time you shut down your Mac, it will restart using the default settings for each of the computer’s System Preferences mentioned above instead of remembering the settings you made for selected each of these settings.
Why should you reset NVRAM on your Mac?
If you’re having problems with your system speaker volume, screen resolution, system time, or startup disk, and troubleshooting macOS doesn’t seem easy, you may need to reset the NVRAM as it may not do its job properly due to memory corruption.
Resetting the NVRAM will reset the system NVRAM to the factory default settings. When you restart your computer after resetting NVRAM, the system volume, screen resolution, and startup disk selection will match the first spin settings on your Mac after you removed it from the factory packaging.
How to reset your Mac’s NVRAM
Rebooting your Mac’s NVRAM is a simple process. All you have to do is restart your Mac and hold down a specific sequence of keyboard keys as it starts up. We will walk you through the following steps:
Step 1: Completely shut down your Mac using the Apple menu in the menu bar and selecting the Shut Down option.
Step 2: After your Mac shuts down, find the keys Command, Option, P and R. on your keyboard as these are the keys you will be using.
Step 3: Turn on your Mac using the power button.
Step 4: Press and Press and hold the Command, Option, P, and R keys from your keyboard at the same time as you hear the beep of your Mac starting up.
Step 5: Press and hold these buttons until you hear the startup tone a second time, then release all buttons at the same time.
Note: The volume level of the second start ring can differ from that of the first start ring. This is a good sign as it indicates that your system’s volume has been reset to factory settings and that the NVRAM reset was successful.
Step 6: When you restart the computer, reconfigure the volume, screen resolution, time zone, and startup disk settings as necessary.
Once you finish all of these steps, you are done and your Mac should stop acting strangely. If not, you may need to contact AppleCare for further assistance as the logic card itself may be faulty. Apple notes that there is a small battery on the motherboard that the NVRAM uses to store information that can fail over time. Sometimes only the battery needs to be replaced.
Older non-Intel Macs use or parameterize random access memory instead of NVRAM. The reset process for PRAM on these Macs is exactly the same as the reset process for NVRAM on modern Macs.
We hope all you have to do is do the NVRAM reset to fix minor issues with your Mac. However, if you ever need to go through other troubleshooting steps, you can find all the guides you need.
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Here’s how to reset NVRAM on your Mac
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