Most of the time, Mac computers run flawlessly and without any problems at all. However, sometimes Mac computers can start acting up, running slow, running into minor problems or crashing randomly. You will find below the steps to Reset NVRAM or PRAM on your Mac in order to fix such problems.
What is NVRAM and PRAM
NVRAM which stands for Non-volatile Random-Access Memory can be described as a small storage location on your Mac designed to store quick settings like volume level, your time zone, screen resolution, recent kernel panic information containing details of when your Mac computer has crashed and others such details.
PRAM which stands for Parameter Random-Access Memory pretty much performs the same function as NVRAM. While, PRAM was used in the older versions of Mac, NVRAM is being used in newer versions of Mac.
Both NVRAM and PRAM can store settings even after your Mac has powered off, whereas RAM forgets everything as soon your computer powers off.
Hence, your Mac accesses the information within the NVRAM or PRAM as soon as it starts up, in order to load all your preferred settings.
Why Reset NVRAM or PRAM on Mac
It is rare for NVRAM to become corrupted however the following issues are usually related to a corrupted NVRAM and can be fixed by simply resetting the NVRAM.
- You have problems controlling the volume on your Mac
- Volume keeps resetting on your Mac
- Mac starts up with a question mark
- Mac shows incorrect Date or Time Zone
- The screen resolution on Mac keeps changing
If you have an older Mac computer which has PRAM then the issues listed above plus the following issues are usually related to a corrupted PRAM.
- Mac is not charging properly
- Mac showing incorrect battery percentage
- Drives not appearing on Mac
- Problems with Bluetooth or AirPort Mode
- Problems with Mouse and other External Devices
- Hardware related problems in General
If you are experiencing any of the issues as mentioned above, chances are that the data stored in the NVRAM or PRAM has become corrupted.
Luckily you can reset NVRAM and PRAM on Mac, which basically makes the NVRAM/PRAM settings go back to their factory default settings, which should fix problems on your Mac.
Reset NVRAM or PRAM on Mac
Follow the steps below to Reset NVRAM or PRAM on your Mac.
1. Disconnect All the External Drives from your Mac (except External Keyboard, in case you are using it)
2. Press the volume up key on the keyboard of your Mac. This will make sure that Volume is up on your Mac and you are able to hear the start-up sound on your Mac.
3. Next, click on the Apple Icon from the top left corner of your screen and then click on Shut Down… option in the drop-down menu (See image below)
4. Wait for your computer to fully shut down.
Tip: At this point, it is a good idea to make sure that you know where Command, Option, P and R keys are located on the Keyboard of your Mac.
5. Once your Mac has fully shut down, press the power key and then immediately press and hold the Command, Option, P and R keys on the keyboard of your Mac.
6. Keep holding down the Power, Command, Option, P and the R keys as you hear the first start-up sound on your Mac and Release the keys after you hear the second start-up sound on your Mac.
That will be it! – The NVRAM or PRAM on your Mac has been Reset and hopefully this should fix the problems on your Mac.
Note: In case you have followed the steps above and it has resulted in your Mac showing a Grey screen for several minutes, it is mostly likely due to connected devices interfering with NVRAM or PRAM Reset process.
To fix this problem, disconnect all USB devices (except if you need to use an external keyboard) and then follow the steps above once again to Reset NVRAM or PRAM on your Mac.