Resetting SMC on a Mac: A Quick and Efficient Guide

What is SMC?

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The System Management Controller (SMC) is a core component of your Mac that helps manage several hardware functions. It is incorporated into the Mac’s motherboard and allows your Mac’s processor to focus on more complex tasks by taking care of rudimentary hardware functions.

As the SMC controls many essential tasks, you might experience several issues with your Mac if the SMC isn’t functioning properly. Some common issues include problems with power management, battery charging, and fan control. In such cases, resetting the SMC to its default state can resolve these problems.

Remember, the steps for resetting the SMC vary depending on whether you have a Mac with Apple silicon or an Intel-based Mac. Typically, for Macs with Apple silicon, a simple restart should do the trick. For Intel-based Macs, you’ll need to follow specific key combinations and sequences when shutting down and starting your Mac.

By being aware of the role that the SMC plays in your Mac’s function and knowing when and how to reset it, you can ensure that your Mac stays in optimal working condition.

Identifying Mac Models

Before you reset the System Management Controller (SMC) on your Mac, it’s essential to identify your Mac model, as different models have different methods and steps to perform the SMC reset. Identifying your Mac model will help you follow the correct process and avoid potential issues.

To find your Mac model, click on the Apple icon in the top left corner of your screen and select About This Mac. In the Overview tab, you will see information about your Mac, such as the model name, version, and processor details. Note down your Mac model and macOS version before proceeding with the reset process.

Your Mac model may have an M1 chip or an Intel processor. These are the two major types of processors Apple uses in their Mac devices. If you see “Apple M1” or “M#” in the processor information, your Mac is powered by an Apple M1 chip. On the other hand, if you see “Intel Core” or something similar, your Mac is using an Intel processor.

In addition to the processor type, it’s worth checking if your Mac has a removable or non-removable battery. Some older MacBook models, such as the MacBook Pro with an Intel processor, have removable batteries. On the other hand, recent MacBook models, including those with M1 chips, have non-removable batteries.

Now that you have identified your Mac model and its key specifications, you can perform the SMC reset following the appropriate method for your Mac. Remember to follow the steps carefully and ensure your Mac is powered off before you begin the process.

General Steps Before Resetting SMC

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Before resetting the System Management Controller (SMC) on your Mac, it is essential to follow a few preliminary steps. This will help ensure that resetting the SMC is necessary and will resolve the issue you are experiencing.

  1. Restart your Mac: Often, a simple reboot can fix performance issues and resolve minor hardware or software problems.
  2. Check for software updates: Operating system updates include fixes for common issues. Go to the Apple menu, select “System Preferences,” and click “Software Update” to check for available updates.
  3. Close all running applications: Some apps might be causing your Mac to behave erratically. Closing them might help identify if the problem lies with the app or the Mac itself. To close the applications, right-click or Control-click on the application’s icon in the Dock and select “Quit.”
  4. Try resetting the NVRAM or PRAM: Resetting the NVRAM (Non-volatile Random Access Memory) or PRAM (Parameter RAM) on your Mac can resolve startup and hardware-related issues. To do this, turn off your Mac, and then turn it on while immediately holding the Option, Command, P, and R keys together. Release the keys after about 20 seconds or when you hear the startup chime for the second time.
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If you have tried all these steps and are still experiencing issues, such as power-related problems or unresponsive hardware components, it may be time to reset the SMC. Remember that the process varies depending on your Mac model, so refer to the appropriate steps for your specific device.

Resetting SMC on Macbooks With Non-Removable Battery

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Shutdown Process

First, make sure your MacBook is properly shut down. To do this, click on the Apple logo in the top left corner and select “Shut Down.” Wait for your MacBook to fully power off before proceeding to the next step.

Key Combination

Now, you must perform a specific key combination to reset the SMC. Press and hold the Control (Ctrl), Option (Alt), and Shift keys on the left side of the keyboard together. While holding these keys down, press and hold the Power button. Hold all four keys down for 10 seconds. Release the keys and the Power button after 10 seconds.

Important Note: If you have a MacBook Pro with Touch ID, the Touch ID button is also the power button. Hold down the Touch ID button as part of the key combination.

Reboot and Confirmation

After releasing all the keys and the Power button, wait a few seconds and press the Power button again to turn on your MacBook. The system will reboot, and the SMC should now be reset.

To confirm that the SMC reset has been successful, check for any improvements in your MacBook’s performance or the issue you were experiencing. If the issue persists, consider seeking further troubleshooting or assistance from Apple support.

Resetting SMC on MacBooks With Removable Battery

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In this section, we will guide you on resetting the SMC on MacBook models with a removable battery. This process involves three main steps: battery removal, power button press, and reinserting the battery, followed by a restart. Please follow the instructions provided carefully.

Battery Removal

The first step in resetting the SMC is to shut down your MacBook from the Apple menu by clicking the Apple icon and then selecting “Shut Down”. Once the computer is completely shut down, disconnect the MagSafe power adapter if it’s connected to your MacBook. Then, carefully remove the battery from your MacBook. It’s essential to ensure that the battery is correctly removed to avoid causing any harm to the device.

Power Button Press

With the battery removed, press and hold the power button for 5 seconds. Make sure to count the seconds accurately, as holding the button for too long or too short might impact the effectiveness of the SMC reset process. After the completion of 5 seconds, release the power button.

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Reinsert Battery and Restart

After releasing the power button, wait 5 seconds before reinserting the battery into your MacBook. Ensure that the battery is placed and connected correctly. After reinserting the battery, reconnect the MagSafe power adapter if necessary, and press the power button to turn on your MacBook. The SMC should now be reset, and your MacBook should function as intended.

Following the steps mentioned above, you can effectively reset the SMC on your MacBook with a removable battery. Remember to handle your device with care during the process and avoid forcing any of the components.

Resetting SMC on Desktop Macs

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The resetting of the SMC on a desktop Mac varies depending on the model. The following steps outline the general procedure.

Shutdown and Power Cord Removal

First, shut down your Mac by going to the Apple menu in the top-left corner of the screen and selecting “Shutdown.” Wait for the Mac to completely power off before proceeding to the next step.

Next, unplug the power cord from the back of your Mac. Make sure to remove the cord entirely from the power source to ensure a proper reset. Wait for 15 seconds before continuing.

Power Button Press

After waiting for 15 seconds, locate the power button on your Mac. Press and hold the power button for five seconds. This step might vary for different Mac models, so be sure to follow the specific instructions for your device if necessary.

Reconnect Power and Restart

Finally, reconnect the power cord to your Mac. Ensure that it is firmly plugged into both the computer and the power source. Wait five seconds, and then press the power button again to turn on your Mac.

Your desktop Mac’s SMC should now be reset, and you should notice an improvement in your device’s performance. Remember that resetting the SMC should only be done if you are experiencing issues that cannot be resolved through regular troubleshooting techniques.

Last Updated : 04 November, 2023

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