Over a period of time, you usually notice that your Mac starts behaving weird. This weirdness might not be resolved by following basic troubleshooting like restarting your Mac. For this, you might need to go to a deeper level to resolve it.
PRAM or Parameter RAM (Random Access Memory) stores some of the core values of your Mac hardware. These values are being updated regularly when you make any changes in Preferences. At times, these values could get corrupted or badly written and this causes the weird behavior of your Mac.
On the other hand, SMC (System Management Controller) is specifically for Intel-based Macs. SMC controls different things than PRAM. For example, it takes care of your CPU fan, lights on your Mac and keyboard, Power, and System Performance. Resetting PRAM and SMC are the last steps of troubleshooting. So do not do this on a regular basis as a basic troubleshooting.
Although, there is no risk involved in resetting these two, even then have a backup of important stuff on an external drive. Remove speakers and other fancy hardware from your Mac before proceeding with the guide. Please follow the guide in the sequence, and not jump directly to reset SMC.
How to Reset PRAM (Parameter Random Access Memory) on Mac
Step #1. Shut down you Mac completely. This means all the way down, and not just sleep or logging out. If possible turn OFF the power switch and then turn it back on.
Step #2. Press Power button on your Mac along with Command + Option + P + R. Make sure you press all the keyboard buttons before the gray screen appears else it won't work.
Step #3. Keep it pressed until your Mac boots up completely.
Step #4. After you let go the keys, reboot your Mac once again normally.
That's it; your Mac has reset its PRAM. Once you log back in you'll have to make few settings like adjusting mouse speed, time, volume, and few other things. All your data will be safe and sound.
How to Reset SMC (System Management Controller) on Mac
The process of resetting SMC is furthermore divided into three parts: Macs with a removable battery, Macs with a non-removable battery, and Mac PC or Servers.
Resetting SMC on Mac with Removable Battery
Step #1. As usual, turn OFF your Mac completely.
Step #2. Remove the power cord and also the battery
Step #3. Now press the power button for 5 seconds.
Step #4. Put on the battery and power cable.
Step #5. Turn ON your Mac.
How to Reset SMC on Mac with Non-removable Battery
Step #1. Turn OFF your Mac completely.
Step #2. This time do not remove the power cable.
Step #3. Now on your Mac keyboard, press Shift + Option + Control + Power at the same time.
Step #4. Let go all the keys.
Step #5. Now turn your Mac back on by pressing Power button. SMC has been successfully reset.
How to Reset SMC on Mac PC or Servers
Step #1. Shut down your Mac PC completely.
Step #2. Unplug the power cord from the machine.
Step #3. Press and hold Power button for 5 seconds.
Step #4. Let go power button and plug the power cord back into your Mac.
Step #5. Turn ON your Mac normally.
That's all. Your Mac has successfully reset PRAM and SMC. These two processes are not made for regular maintenance. The guide should be followed as the ultimate weapon after doing basic troubleshooting.