SMC reset is a hardware reset of the System Management Controller (SMC) that resets the power management functions ( sleep, wake and battery charging) on a MacBook. It’s one of the first steps you should take when you have issues with your Mac.

SMC can cause problems for your Mac if it becomes corrupted or damaged. A hard reset will return the SMC to default settings. (Resetting SMC can be different depending on the model of your Mac.)

Issues related to SMC

  • GPU Panics.
  • Fans always on.
  • Unresponsiveness.
  • Fans spinning and overheating.
  • WiFi randomly disconnects.
  • Black screen.
  • Boot stuck on Apple logo.
  • MacBook not charging.
  • Random reboots.
  • Bluetooth connection issues.

(Note: M1 Macs don’t have an SMC chip; However if you are experiencing some of these issues, try to reboot your computer or shut it down for at least 10 minutes)

Some Macs are different

To improve security, Apple added the T2 chip on Intel Mac models produced in 2018 and after. If your computer has this chip then the process of resetting SMC will be different. To check if your computer has a T2 chip, head over to system information on your Mac and click “controller” on the left side panel. To learn more about this, check out Apple’s page.

Since that’s out of the way, below are the steps to reset SMC for Macs with and without the T2 chip.

How to Reset SMC for Macbook Pro and Macbook Air (With the T2 Chip)

Before resetting the SMC, Apple suggests that you shut down your Mac. Once it’s off, press and hold the power button for ten seconds and release. If this doesn’t fix any issues with your Mac, proceed with the steps below. 

  • Step 1: Shut down your Mac.
  • Step 2: Press and hold the following keys: Control (on the left side), Option (On the left side) and Shift (Make sure you’re using the shift on the right side)
  • Step 3: Hold these keys for 7 seconds and then press the power button. 
  • Step 4: Keep holding all 4 keys (including the power button) for another 7 seconds and then release them.
  • Step 5: After a few seconds, switch on your Mac.

How to reset SMC on iMac, Mac Mini, and Mac Pro with the T2 Chip

  • Step 1: Shut down Mac.
  • Step 2: Unplug the power cable.
  • Step 3: Wait 15 Seconds.
  • Step 4: Plug the power cable back in.
  • Step 5: Wait 5 seconds and press the power button to turn on your Mac.

How to Reset SMC for Macbook Pro's and Macbook Air's (Without the T2 Chip) 

Macbooks produced before 2018 don’t have the T2 chip.

  • Step 1: Shut down Mac.
  • Step 2: Press and hold the following keys: Control (on the left side), Option (On the left side) and Shift (Make sure it’s the left shift)
  • Step 3: While holding all three keys, press and hold the power button.
  • Step 4: Hold all keys for 10 seconds
  • Step 5: Release all keys and press the power button.

How to Reset SMC for Macbooks with removable batteries.

MacBook Pro models released in 2009 and earlier have removable batteries. The process of resetting SMC will be different.

  • Step 1: Shut down Mac.
  • Step 2: Remove the battery.
  • Step 3: Press and hold the power button for 5 seconds.
  • Step 4: Reinstall the battery.
  • Step 5: Press the power button to switch on your Mac.

If your Mac is still facing issues after an SMC reset, consider also resetting the PRAM. To learn how to reset PRAM, click this link!

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Kenyon Ndezi is a recent graduate, writer, creator of kenyonndez.com; and the owner of Neonbuild.com, which is a company focused on building apps for small businesses and individuals. Follow along and get inspired!

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