How to Reset Your Mac’s PRAM / NVRAM for Better Performance?

06/17/2019     Author: Billy Gray

If your Mac is running on the slow side then it might be time to reset the PRAM / NVRAM to get things rolling smoothly again. Here’s how to do just that.


If your Mac is starting to show signs of slowed performance, then it might be time to reset your PRAM / NVRAM. This is a quick way to speed up your Mac without having to do much technical stuff. Before you do it, you should know exactly what PRAM / NVRAM are and how they work.

What is PRAM / NVRAM?

Parameter random access memory (PRAM) is where your Mac’s settings are stored. This memory keeps system settings such as the colour and brightness, volume, time & date, and other everyday functions.

It can be pronounced Pee-RAM or Pram – in case you were wondering. Basically, when you turn off your Mac, the PRAM remembers your basic system settings so that everything is familiar the next time you turn the thing on.

VNRAM stands for Non-Volatile Random Access Memory. This is pretty much the exact same thing as PRAM. It stores your system settings and data for when the Mac is turned off. The difference is that older models of the Mac use PRAM, while newer models use NVRAM.

Both of these do the same thing, and they can be reset in more of less the same way.

How to tell if you need to reset PRAM / NVRAM?

Perhaps you’ve started to notice some bugs on your Mac? We’re assuming so, otherwise, why would you be reading this in the first place?

Signs that you need to reset your PRAM / NVRAM include: Your Mac takes ages to shut down; the volume isn’t working properly; the mouse is scrolling at odd speeds – sometimes fast, sometimes really slow; and other irritating problems.

Other issues can include system settings not being picked up on, for example, your time zone is incorrect or the date isn’t right.

If you’re experiencing any of these problems then in all likelihood you need to reset your PRAM / NVRAM.

How to reset PRAM / NVRAM on Mac

So you’ve decided you need a reset – fortunately, this isn’t hard to do.

  1. Turn off your Mac.
  2. Press the power button.
  3. Straight away, press Command, Option, P, and R (all at the same time).
  4. Hold them until the Mac restarts – you should hear the startup sound twice.
  5. Now release them.

*For Macs with a T-2 security chip, you must hold the buttons until you see the Apple logo appear and disappear twice.

That’s it. Simples. Now the PRAM / NVRAM has been reset. You’ll probably notice that some of your Settings have been changed, such as the time and date, volume and brightness. You can adjust these as you see fit.

Resetting the PRAM / NVRAM should fix any problems that were associated with them. This is a simple way to get your Mac back on its feet. If the problems persist, then they didn’t originate in the PRAM / NVRAM and you should continue diagnosing them. Good luck!

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