Non-volatile random access memory, better known as NVRAM, is a small amount of memory that your Mac uses to store certain settings and access them quickly.
Some of the commonly stored settings are sound volume, screen resolution, boot disk selection, time zone, or information about kernel crashes.
This way, if a question mark appears when you start your Mac, don’t get angry. You may be able to fix the problem simply by resetting NVRAM. We will show you how to do this depending on the Apple equipment you have in your hands.
How to reset NVRAM on a Mac M1
In November 2020, Apple launched its first Mac with an M1 chip. Then, two new models will follow before the end of the year, to have different configurations in its range of MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and Mac Mini.
Thus, the SMC (System Management Controller) on the new M1 Macs no longer exists and NVRAM now works differently.
New Macs still keep some kind of settings memory whose settings can be viewed and changed with the NVRAM terminal command, but there is no longer a command to reset the contents of NVRAM.
According to various sources, including the manufacturer of accessories Caldigit and comments on the Apple Support forum, claiming to have spoken with Apple Support, the M1 processor tests NVRAM when the computer boots after shutdown.
Based on this, it does not start after a normal restart.) If there is a problem with the memory, it will restart automatically.
So far, we haven’t been able to test if this means M1 Macs can “rescue” themselves from misconfigured NVRAM settings. We recommend that you take special care if you make manual changes with the NVRAM tool.
An alternative is to start the Mac in recovery mode, start ‘Terminal’ from the ‘System Tools’ menu and enter the command:
We have seen reports that the command may give an error message, but it should still work if, for example, your computer forgets the password for the Wi-Fi network it regularly connects to.
Reset NVRAM on a Mac with an Intel Chip
If you bought your Mac before November 2020, you probably have a processor model with an Intel processor. Therefore, you will need to use this key combination to reset NVRAM.
- Hold down the following keys: ‘Command, Option (Alt), P and R’.
- Turn on the Mac while holding down these keys.
- Keep pressing the keys until you hear the Mac restart again.
- When you hear a second reboot, you can release them.
- In some cases, your Mac will restart normally. In other cases, the progress bar may appear. Usually the progress bar ends and then the Mac starts up.
You might be interested in the article on how to reset NVRAM, PRAM and SMC on Mac computer generations before the arrival of the Apple Silicon M1.
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Original article published in igamesnews Sweden.