SMC is the System Management Controller in Apple Macs, and that is a controller that takes care of almost every important function in the system. At some situations where your Macbook might be throwing an error for some reason and you went through all the troubleshooting options, you might be left with SMC reset as the only option.

But is resetting the SMC of your Mac really necessary whenever you find something wrong? Here’s a list of reasons where you are suggested to perform a SMC reset.

When to reset SMC on Mac

Fans running speeder than normal

Usually, the functioning of the fans in Mac is dependent on the usage level, and whether there is any heavy usage going on. If it is not, the fans don’t run. But if the fans are running at high speed even when the usage is minimal, you might have to do the reset of SMC.

Improper functioning of Mac lights

  • If a Macbook, Pro or Air has backlit keyboard, the user gets to control the intensity of the light. Sometimes, these lights act weird and don’t light up based on the user’s controls.
  • In those Macbooks which have a battery indicator light and it doesn’t work properly to show the remaining battery percentage.
  • If the display backlight doesn’t work according to the light changes in the surroundings, that indicates a SMC reset.

Target display mode

A computer supporting target display mode is not seeing the display mode functioning properly, or turning on or off on its own abnormally.

Power and Battery Issues

  • If your Mac isn’t responding to the power button correctly
  • If the battery of your Mac is not charging properly, or is charging intermittently
  • If the Mac is shutting down automatically without the user’s prompt
  • Opening or closing the lid does not wake up or sleep the Mac
  • The LED light on MagSafe power adapter is not correctly lighting up whenever the Mac is charging. This light is seen only on the portable Macbooks.

Performance of Mac

  • Although you are not giving your Mac a lot of load, and the CPU utilization is low, the computer is slower than normal
  • The application icon bounces for only a few times when the app is launched, when the Mac is functioning normally. When it bounces for more times than normal, you might need to reset SMC.
  • The applications are not functioning normally, or have stopped responding even when there is minimal usage

One of the very common indications is the non-sleeping of the Mac whenever the screen/lid is closed. The Apple logo still stays bright and the Mac doesn’t sleep.

These are the reasons when you might want to do a reset of System Management Controller in your Mac. Though, you know that Apple’s service center is where you might have to end up rather than trying things out yourself if the SMC reset doesn’t solve the problem.


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