SMC stands for System Management Controller, an important low-level part of the Mac hardware. Standing by the name, the SMS controls the Management system hardware for the power consumption, battery charging, discharging or just the function in general. Not just that, it even manages the thermal activity and the fan speed, LED lighting for the backlit keyboard and the display. The GPU function and the video mode are also controlled by the SMC. The device is put to sleep and woken up as required by triggering the SMC. However, it should be noted that only the Macs with an Intel chip have an SMC in the.

You surely would have come to a point in your life as a Mac user where you would have tried rebooting your Mac but it doesn’t turn on well, you would probably go ahead and perform a PRAM reset then but that doesn’t help either, your Mac is still behaving strangely. Maybe after a little looking around on Google you decide to perform an SMC reset but then you don’t know how it’s done, SMC reset is mainly done to restore the system functionality in case something, mainly regarding power or hardware related functions has been tinkered with rendering the Mac dysfunctional or cause any other problems

Why Reset the SMC, What problems can it solve?

Normally an SMC reset resolves most of the power or hardware related issues that are not fixed by following regular troubleshooting techniques. Resetting the SMC can be useful if you’ve one the following problems.

Issues with the thermal management system of your Mac

If the fans tend to run constantly at high speed or if they’re running at high speed despite low CPU usage then it might be useful to perform an SMC reset. Also sometimes the fans stop functioning, on the whole, in these cases, an SMC reset might be helpful.

Power Management problems causing battery drain

An SMC reset might be useful if your Mac isn’t turning on or if it doesn’t sleep automatically. Sometimes you might experience random shutdowns or reboots and the battery doesn’t charge. In these cases, an SMC reset can resolve the problem unless it’s a hardware cause.

Light Management issues with the keyboard or the display

Sometimes the battery indicator lights don’t show the correct information or maybe the display backlight is not adjusting the brightness correctly according to the ambient brightness or if the keyboard backlight doesn’t work then an SMC reset might be helpful.

Video and external display connection issues

In case a video isn’t working properly or if there is any problem with the connection of an external display then an SMC reset might be helpful.

General functionality issues

For any other performance or functionality issues which might be causing sluggish behaviours despite no CPU usage, connection ports malfunctioning, Bluetooth or any other connectivity issue then an SMC reset might fix the problem.

In case you’ve encountered on of the above issues and you wish to fix it by performing an SMC reset then follow the guide(s) below based on which Mac you have. Do note that the procedure is different for each type of Mac, there is a slight difference in the procedure of the Macs with internal battery vs the Macs with detachable battery.

Resetting a MacBook Air, MacBook Pro or MacBook Pro with Touch-bar with a non-removable battery:

For most modern MacBooks with an inbuilt non-removable battery start off the procedure by shutting down the MacBook Air or the MacBook Pro and then connect the power adaptor. On the MacBook hold down the Shift+Control+Option keys together and the even the power button and then release all of the keys at the same time and the MagSafe adapter may change colours momentarily to indicate the SMC has been reset, now boot up your Mac as usual.

You should keep in mind the by resetting the SMC you will lose power specific settings like the setting for the time it takes a Mac to sleep or any other power related settings, Also the first boot time after an SMC reset might be longer than usual but it is totally normal.

Reset the SMC of an iMac, Mac Pro or a Mac Mini

The process to perform an SMC reset for the non-portable Mac is a little different, but it is equally easy and the problems addressed by the rest are the same. On any non-portable Mac follow the steps below to perform an SMC reset.

First Shut down the Mac and disconnect the power cord for the Mac and then press and hold Mac’s power button for 5 seconds and release the power button. Now reattach the power cable as usual and boot up the Mac and the device should boot up with SMC settings reset.

Reset the SMC of a MacBook or MacBook Pro with a detachable battery:

Older MacBooks having a removable battery have a slightly different procedure to be followed for the SMC reset to be done.

First shutdown the MacBook or MacBook Pro like in every other method, and then remove the battery, now disconnect the power adapter and hold the Power key for about 10 seconds and then release the button, Now reconnect your battery and the power adapter and boot up the Mac as usual. The device should now boot with the SMC settings reset.

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