Reset Mac Laptop

Then turn on your Mac and immediately press and hold Command (⌘)-R until you see an Apple logo or other image. If you're asked to select a user you know the password for, select the user, click Next, then enter their administrator password. Your Mac has the T2 Chip. The finger print reader is, indeed, the power button. So, that is what you hold down when resetting the SMC. See Here: Image of What to Press. How to Reset It: Go Here: How to reset the SMC of your Mac - Apple Support; Scroll to: Reset SMC on computers that have the T2 chip; Proceed from there as shown.

Start up from macOS Recovery

Determine whether you're using a Mac with Apple silicon, then follow the appropriate steps:

Reset Mac Laptop

Apple silicon

Turn on your Mac and continue to press and hold the power button until you see the startup options window. Click the gear icon labeled Options, then click Continue.

Intel processor

Make sure that your Mac has a connection to the internet. Then turn on your Mac and immediately press and hold Command (⌘)-R until you see an Apple logo or other image.

If you're asked to select a user you know the password for, select the user, click Next, then enter their administrator password.

Reinstall macOS

Select Reinstall macOS from the utilities window in macOS Recovery, then click Continue and follow the onscreen instructions.

Follow these guidelines during installation:

  • If the installer asks to unlock your disk, enter the password you use to log in to your Mac.
  • If the installer doesn't see your disk, or it says that it can't install on your computer or volume, you might need to erase your disk first.
  • If the installer offers you the choice between installing on Macintosh HD or Macintosh HD - Data, choose Macintosh HD.
  • Allow installation to complete without putting your Mac to sleep or closing its lid. Your Mac might restart and show a progress bar several times, and the screen might be empty for minutes at a time.

After installation is complete, your Mac might restart to a setup assistant. If you're selling, trading in, or giving away your Mac, press Command-Q to quit the assistant without completing setup. Then click Shut Down. When the new owner starts up the Mac, they can use their own information to complete setup.

Other macOS installation options

When you install macOS from Recovery, you get the current version of the most recently installed macOS, with some exceptions:

  • On an Intel-based Mac: If you use Shift-Option-Command-R during startup, you're offered the macOS that came with your Mac, or the closest version still available. If you use Option-Command-R during startup, in most cases you're offered the latest macOS that is compatible with your Mac. Otherwise you're offered the macOS that came with your Mac, or the closest version still available.
  • If the Mac logic board was just replaced, you may be offered only the latest macOS that is compatible with your Mac. If you just erased your entire startup disk, you may be offered only the macOS that came with your Mac, or the closest version still available.

You can also use these methods to install macOS, if the macOS is compatible with your Mac:

  • Use the App Store to download and install the latest macOS.
  • Use the App Store or a web browser to download and install an earlier macOS.
  • Use a USB flash drive or other secondary volume to create a bootable installer.

When your Mac starts acting up, you’ll probably run through some common troubleshooting procedures, such as restarting it, running Disk Utility, and perhaps performing a Safe Boot. Your repair repertoire should also include a couple of additional procedures that can occasionally eliminate otherwise inscrutable problems—zapping the NVRAM and resetting the SMC.

Zap the NVRAM (or PRAM)

Back in the day, the standard list of quick fixes for random Mac ailments always included “zap the PRAM.” The P in PRAM stood for parameter (the RAM was just RAM—random access memory), and it referred to a small amount of special, battery-backed memory in every Mac that stored information the computer needed before it loaded the operating system. If the values in this memory got out of whack for one reason or another, your Mac might not start up correctly, or might exhibit any of numerous odd behaviors afterward. So you could press a key sequence at startup to reset (or “zap”) the PRAM, returning it to default, factory values.

Modern Macs no longer use PRAM; they instead use something called NVRAM (NV for non-volatile). NVRAM serves approximately the same purpose as PRAM, but instead of storing a dozen or more pieces of information, it now contains just a few: your selected startup disk, speaker volume, screen resolution, time zone, and—if your Mac has crashed recently—details of the last kernel panic.

NVRAM corruption is fairly uncommon, but if your Mac seems to take forever to figure out which disk to boot from, if it starts up with the wrong screen resolution, or if you have weird audio problems (like there’s no sound whatsoever, or the menu bar’s volume control is grayed out), it doesn’t hurt to reset the NVRAM—it’s quick and harmless.

Reset Mac Laptop

To reset your NVRAM, you use exactly the same procedure you once used to reset PRAM.

  1. Shut down your Mac.
  2. Press the power button, and as soon as you power up the laptop, hold down Command-Option-P-R.
  3. Keep holding down those keys for about 20 seconds. Then let go and allow your Mac to continue starting normally. If you have an older Mac that chimes at boot, hold down the keys until you hear a second startup chime.
  4. Then check the Startup Disk, Display, and Date & Time panes of System Preferences to make sure they’re set the way you want them.

If you hold down Command-Option-P-R at startup and you see nothing but a gray screen that doesn’t change for several minutes—no Apple logo, no progress bar, no second startup chime—don’t panic. The most likely cause is that your Mac isn’t registering the key presses due to wonkiness with a USB device. Disconnect all USB devices (except your keyboard, if it’s a wired keyboard), hold the power button down until the Mac shuts off completely, and then press it again and immediately hold down Command-Option-P-R.

If that doesn’t work and you’re using an external Bluetooth keyboard, try plugging in a USB keyboard instead. If you’re able to reset the NVRAM successfully with the wired keyboard, you can disconnect it and go back to your normal Bluetooth keyboard.

Reset the SMC

Yet another component of your Mac’s hardware that stores crucial settings is the System Management Controller (SMC), a circuit that deals with power management, temperature monitoring and fan control, status lights, keyboard backlights, and a few other components. If your SMC becomes confused, you could experience problems like excessive fan noise, slow performance even though Activity Monitor doesn’t show the CPU being overtaxed, apps that take forever to launch, batteries that don’t charge correctly, problems with sleep or wake, and so on. (You can see a longer list on this Apple support page.) As with zapping the NVRAM, resetting the SMC to factory defaults may resolve these problems.

Apple says you shouldn’t reset the SMC without first trying other troubleshooting tasks, such as force-quitting problematic apps and restarting your Mac. However, Apple doesn’t mention any negative consequences of resetting the SMC, nor any way to determine for sure if the SMC is glitchy without resetting it and noticing that the problem went away. I’ve reset my Macs’ SMCs many times with no apparent ill effects, and on occasion that did in fact turn out to be the solution to a problem.

Factory Reset Mac Laptop

Before you can reset your SMC, you must shut down your Mac. After that, the procedure varies depending on the type of Mac you have.

Reset Mac Laptop To Factory Settings

  • Desktop Macs: Disconnect the power cord (either from the Mac or from the AC outlet). Wait 15 seconds and plug it back in. Then wait another 5 seconds and turn the Mac back on.
  • Laptops with the T2 chip: Shut down. Press and hold the power button for 10 seconds, then release it. After a few seconds, press the power button to turn on your Mac.

If this doesn’t reset the SMC, shut down. On the laptop keyboard, press and hold Control-Option-Shift (your Mac might turn on). Hold these keys for 7 seconds, then press and hold the power button. If your Mac is on, it will turn off while you hold down the keys for another 7 seconds. Then release the keys, wait a few seconds and turn on the laptop.

  • Laptops (no T2 chip) with non-removable batteries: Shut down and unplug your Mac. On the built-in keyboard, press and hold the Shift, Option, and Control keys on the left side and press the power button and hold all of these down for 10 seconds, then release the keys. Connect the power adapter and then turn the Mac on normally.
  • Laptops (no T2 chip) with removable batteries: Shut down your Mac. Disconnect the power cord and remove the battery. Press the power button, hold it for 5 seconds, and then let go. Put the battery back in, reconnect the power cord, and turn the Mac on normally.

Reset Mac Laptop Password

Although neither of these procedures is a guaranteed cure, both of them can solve a number of odd problems, and are worth a few minutes of your time before hauling your Mac in to see the local Apple Genius.