How to Perform an SMC Reset on Mac

George Herman
George Herman
IT Security Expert

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An SMC (System Management Controller) reset is used to restore normal lower level system functionality to your Mac, particularly for power and hardware related troubles. It is very easy to do, but first, we are going to identify issues what can be fixed by an SMC reset.  

Normally, an SMC reset helps to resolve many power and hardware related issues that otherwise go undetected to troubleshooting techniques. Resetting a Mac SMC is particularly effective if you’re having the following types of problems: 

  • Issues with your Mac cooling fans: If your fans are constantly running at high speeds even when your CPU usage is low and you have proper ventilation, an SMC reset will likely fix this issue and bring the fans back down to a normal level
  • Video and external displays not working: Display brightness not working properly, the target video mode isn’t working properly, the external display isn’t working, connecting to a projector not working, etc
  • General performance and functionality problems: System feels sluggish and slow, tabs take a long time to open and close, external devices missing, Bluetooth and Airplay don’t show up, USB don’t work
  • Battery Problems: Battery life is decreased, the battery gets abnormally hot, Mac won’t charge, won’t go to or wake up from sleep, Battery LED won’t light up

How to perform an SMC reset:

  1. Connect the  MagSafe power adapter (the included charging cable to your laptop) to the Mac to charge it.
  2.  On the MacBook / Pro’s keyboard, press and hold down the Shift+Control+Option keys and the Power button at the same time for approximately 7 seconds.
  3. Release all keys and the power button at the same time (the little light on the MagSafe adapter may change colors briefly to indicate the SMC has reset).

And that is it, you have successfully completed an SMC reset. The issues you had are more than likely resolved, if not, consider resetting your Mac’s PRAM. Thank you and I hope this article helped you with getting your Mac to run like new again.

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