How to reset NVRAM or PRAM on Mac

The Apple Mac is still considered a great computer, but even the most advanced ones can have issues with display resolution, audio volume, or startup disk. If you face these problems, you can try resetting the NVRAM or PRAM on your Mac. It can help fix hardware and system-related issues.

What is NVRAM or PRAM?

NVRAM stands for Non-Volatile Random Access Memory. It’s a newer type of memory used in Apple Silicon or Intel-based Macs. The special thing about NVRAM is that it doesn’t forget the settings stored in it, even when your Mac is turned off or loses power. So, your important settings are safe and won’t be lost!

PRAM stands for Parameter Random Access Memory. It’s the older version of NVRAM and was used in PowerPC-based Macs. Like NVRAM, PRAM is also non-volatile, which means it retains data even when the Mac is turned off. However, PRAM is more prone to corruption compared to NVRAM, which means it can get messed up or lose data more easily.

The settings that are typically stored in NVRAM or PRAM include:

  • Startup disk selection
  • Speaker volume
  • Screen resolution
  • Time zone
  • Recent kernel panic information

When should you reset Mac PRAM or NVRAM?

When you encounter software problems, it’s important to reset your NVRAM or PRAM. This is because the default memory on your Mac could cause lost settings or connectivity troubles. Here are some signs that it might be necessary to perform an NVRAM or PRAM reset.

  • Mac is turning off slowly.
  • Strange keyboard responses.
  • Display resolution changes aren’t working.
  • Mouse scrolling is not normal.
  • Unusual audio volume responses.
  • The boot volume is not configured (a question mark will appear before your machine turns on).
  • The time zone or clock is not functioning properly.
  • Facing issues with USB ports

The new M1 or M2 chip-based systems automatically handle the process of resetting NVRAM or PRAM. So, if you encounter any of the mentioned issues, you can simply restart your Mac, and it will take care of the reset automatically. If you still face problems, you can reach out to Apple Support for further assistance.

As for the rest of the devices, you can follow the steps mentioned below:

How to reset NVRAM or PRAM on a Mac

  1. Power off your Mac.
  2. Press the power button and hold the Command + Option keys before the grey screen displays.
  3. Hold the keys till the Apple logo appears and disappears twice.
  4. Release the keys.
  5. Now, all your settings should be restored to default. You can adjust the settings again depending on your needs.

Common Issues Resolved by NVRAM or PRAM Reset

Resetting NVRAM or PRAM can help with various Mac-related problems, including:

  • Display Issues: If your Mac’s display resolution is acting up or not displaying correctly, a reset may resolve it.
  • Audio Problems: Issues with sound or speaker volume can often be fixed by resetting NVRAM or PRAM.
  • Network Connectivity: Resetting may resolve network-related problems, such as Wi-Fi connectivity issues.
  • Time Zone and Date: If your Mac’s time or date settings are incorrect, a reset can set them back to default.
  • Battery and Power: Problems with battery charging or power settings may be resolved by resetting.
  • Startup Disk Selection: Resetting can help if your Mac doesn’t recognize the correct startup disk.


In conclusion, resetting NVRAM or PRAM on your Mac is a useful troubleshooting step to resolve various system issues. It can help with display problems, audio glitches, network connectivity, and more. By following the simple steps outlined in this article, you can easily reset NVRAM or PRAM and get your Mac back to optimal performance.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

  • Q: Will resetting NVRAM or PRAM delete any of my files or applications?
  • A: No, resetting NVRAM or PRAM only restores system settings and configurations and won’t affect your personal files or applications.
  • Q: How often should I reset NVRAM or PRAM?
  • A: Resetting NVRAM or PRAM is typically only necessary when you encounter specific issues on your Mac. It’s not a routine maintenance task.
  • Q: Can resetting NVRAM or PRAM cause any harm to my Mac?
  • A: No, resetting NVRAM or PRAM is a safe procedure and won’t cause any harm to your Mac.
  • Q: What if resetting NVRAM or PRAM doesn’t resolve my issue?
  • A: If the problem persists after resetting, you may need to explore other troubleshooting methods or seek professional assistance.
  • Q: Will I need to reconfigure my settings after resetting NVRAM or PRAM?
  • A: Yes, after resetting NVRAM or PRAM, some settings like time zone and startup disk selection may need to be set again according to your preferences.

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