How to Reset Your Mac’s PRAM or NVRAM

Here is How to Reset Your Mac’s PRAM or NVRAM which is great. Depending on how old your Mac is, the device contains a small special memory called the NVRAM (Non-volatile RAM) or PRAM (Parameter RAM). They both store the settings used by your Mac to control the configuration of various systems and devices.

How to Reset Your Mac’s PRAM or NVRAM

NVRAM and PRAM differences are mostly superficial. The older PRAM makes use of the small dedicated battery to make sure the RAM power is up at all times, even when the Mac was disconnected from power. The much newer NVRAM makes use of a type of RAM that is similar to the flash-based storage used on the SSDs to store the parameter details without the need for a battery to maintain its safety.

Aside from the types of RAMS being used, and the change of name, the two of them basically do the same function of storing important that your Mac needs when it boots up or accesses different services.

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What Does NVRAM or PRAM

A lot of Mac users do not think much concerning their Mac’s parameter RAM, but it works hard anyway, keeping track of the following information:

  • Startup volume
  • Speaker volume
  • Kernel panics information
  • DVD region settings
  • Date and time, including time zone
  • Backlight levels
  • Keyboard language
  • Display settings which include resolution, color depth, refresh rate, number of displays
  • Computer name
  • Location services state (enabled or disabled)

When you start up your Mac, it would check the parameter RAM to confirm which volume to boot it from and how to set other important parameters.

Occasionally, the data that get stored in the parameter RAM is bad, and it can cause various issues on your Mac, and these issues include the following:

  • Giving you the Wrong Date, time zone, or time
  • The volume of the speaker is set to too soft or too loud
  • Displays Problems. Sometimes you might see the gray Apple boot screen and then the display would entirely go blank. At other times you would see a message that the resolution or refresh rate is out of range.
  • Wrong Startup Volume
  • A questions Mark at startup, followed by a long delay right before your mac Starts up.

How Does the Parameter RAM Go Bad?

Luckily, the parameter RAM does not go bad actually, it’s just that the data it contains becomes corrupt. There is a number of ways that this can occur. One major cause is a dead or a dying battery in those Macs that make use of PRAM, which happens to be a small-button-style battery on your Mac. Another major cause is your Mac freezing or temporarily losing power while you are in the middle of running a software update.

Sometimes, things tend to go awry when you upgrade your Mac using new hardware, add memory, get a new graphics card installed, or change startup volumes. All of these activities can write new data to the parameter RAM. Writing data to the parameter Ram is not an issue itself, but it can turn out to be a source of issues when you change multiple items on your mac.

Let’s say you got a new ram installed and then you remove a RAM stick probably because the old RAM is bad, the parameter might store the wrong memory configuration. Also, if you select to choose a volume and then later physically take out that drive, the parameter RAM might carry the wrong startup volume details.

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Resetting the Parameter RAM

One easy way to get your PRAM fixed is to reset it to its default state. By doing this, you would lose some data like correct time, date, start-up volume selection, but you can easily get them fixed. The steps include:

  • First, shut down your Mac
  • Then turn your Mac back on
  • After that, immediately press and then hold the following keys command+option+P+R. you are expected to press and hold these four keys till you see the gray screen during the startup process.
  • Keep on holding down the four keys. This process is long, during which your Mac would restart on its own.
  • When you finally hear the second startup Chime, you can release the keys
  • Your mac would finish the startup process

How to Reset NVRAM on late 2016 MacBook Pros and Later

The process for resetting the NVRAM on late 2016 MacBook pros and later carry a slightly different process. While you would still be holding down the four keys stated in the previous process, you would no longer have to wait for a second reboot or even listen to the startup chimes.

  • First shut down your Mac
  • Then turn on your Mac
  • Immediately press and then hold the command+option+P+R keys
  • After that, continue to hold the command+option+P+R keys for a minimum of about 20 seconds, you can release the keys
  • Right after 20 seconds, you can release the keys
  • With this, your Mac would continue the startup process

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When Should I Reset my PRAM/NVRAM?

Resetting the PRAM/NVRAM Can helps you with fixing your MacOS startup issues, particularly all those that are related to system audio issues or graphics display issues on your Mac.

What Happens if I Reset NVRAM on Mac?

By resetting your PRAM/NVRAM would be deleted from your Mac’s current state information and restore the default settings for your Mac, which include your display resolution, sound volume, Time Zone, etc. Besides, it would also reset your internal hard drive as the startup disk.

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