How to reset NVRAM PRAM on Mac and Macbook?

One of the most important components for the proper functioning of the Mac is the NVRAM once called PRAM. There are several problems that can be solved by doing the reset of the NVRAM in a few seconds and without losing important data: so let’s see in this guide what it is and how to reset the NVRAM/PRAM.

NVRAM/PRAM: what is it and what is it for?

As already mentioned in the introduction of this article, NVRAM is an essential component to allow the Mac to work well and without startup problems, graphics, Wi-Fi and other services. If once the PRAM (Parameter RAM) performed this operation, now with the acronym NVRAM it synthesizes Non-Volatile Random Access Memory and is nothing but a reduced amount of memory where the operating system (OS X or macOS) can access quickly to find useful information such as the main boot disk, volume level set to last use, kernel panic errors and graphic settings such as screen resolution and other parameters.

When to reset the NVRAM?

If you have problems with graphics, the wireless connection does not work, the battery runs out quickly, the USB devices are not recognized, the cooling fan does not start or remains active even with a minimum load, a question mark appears when the Mac starts or the boot disk with the operating system is not recognized, in addition to resetting the SMC you should also proceed with the reset of the PRAM or NVRAM and in both cases you will not have to worry about proceeding with the backup since both operations do not result in the loss of data.

How to reset NVRAM or PRAM on all Macs

Follow this procedure carefully to reset everything correctly and effectively:

  • disconnect all connected peripherals (USB, SD, Thunderbolt, Firewire, etc …)
  • turn off the Mac
  • disconnect the power supply for approximately 30 seconds
  • connect the power supply to the Mac
  • find the Command + Alt + P + R keys on your computer keyboard as shown in the image below
  • turn on the Mac and simultaneously press the keys you have just identified and hold them down until you hear the second start-up bong of the Mac (the acoustic signal that we are usually used to hear at every start before the appearance of the Apple logo)
  • wait for the computer to start up and use it normally checking that the problems have been resolved after the reset

For completeness, it is good to specify that the combination CMD + Option + P + R is the same as above because the Command key is also abbreviated with CMD and the Alt key is also called Option / Option.

Reset NVRAM on Macbook Pro 2016: alternative method

Apple has created a single method to reset the NVRAM on any model of Mac, whether Macbook, iMac, Mac mini or Pro there is no difference, but in the Macbook Retina 2016 the startup sound was removed and therefore not we can understand in a certain way when the PRAM has been reset. For this reason, the company has updated the support page specifying to perform the procedure as already known with the only difference to keep the Command + Alt + P + R keys  pressed for 20 seconds immediately after switching on the Mac and then releasing them even if we do not hear any acoustic signal: 20 seconds should be sufficient to reset the memory.

Most likely, with the release of the new models, this procedure will be the official one and, as with the SMC, the reset NVRAM will also become completely silent.

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