RAW Computing

Solve Mac problems by resetting the SMC

If your Apple Mac is not performing as expected and you are having problems, what can you do? The solution, of course, depends on the problem, but if you have tried everything and still the problem persists, it might be worth one final fix. Resetting the System Management Controller (SMC) can repair a variety of faults and it is worth doing when everything else has failed.

The SMC controls various aspects of the hardware, such as the fans. If the fans are running at high speed even when the Mac isn't working very hard, it could be a problem with the SMC.

Macs have various lights, such as a keyboard backlight, a battery indicator light, status indicator lights, the MagSafe power LED and so on. If these aren't working as they should be, it could be down to the SMC.

Opening and closing the lid on a MacBook should wake it and put it to sleep. If this isn't working or if the Mac shuts down unexpectedly or the battery doesn't charge properly, it could be the SMC.

A computer that is running slowly, even when it isn't doing much, and apps that are slow to start or stop responding may be experiencing SMC problems.

Reset the SMC

For MacBooks with a removable battery, unplug the power cable and remove the battery. Press and hold the power button down for five seconds. Put the battery back in, connect the power cable and turn on the Mac.

For MacBooks that don't have removable batteries, shut down and plug in the power cable. Press left Shift+Ctrl+Option and the power button all at the same time, then release them. The MagSafe LED changes colour for a second on some MacBooks. Then you can power up as normal.

For iMacs and Mac minis, shut down the computer and unplug the power. Wait 15 seconds and plug in the power. Wait five more seconds and press the power button to turn on the Mac.

It's worth remembering these procedures because it can solve various problems that otherwise seem impossible to fix.

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