banner cyber security privacy

When and how to reset your Mac SMC (System Management Controller)

Mac SMC reset


Is your Mac acting funny?

Stuff like, your external drive is not appearing or your desktop, or your MacBook has been plugged in for 2 days but the battery is only showing 50%. Maybe your screen is not adjusting correctly, or your Bluetooth devices are disconnecting constantly. You have tried restarting your Mac several times but to no avail. When you reach that point where nothing you’ve tried is helping, you know it’s time for something more aggressive like an SMC reset.

Although SMC resets are generally safe to do, I would strongly recommend backing up your important files before attempting it.

The System Management Controller reset should only be used has the last resort.  It manages low level settings and only works on Intel-based Macs. If you are having issues, and have tried everything else, resetting the SMC is the next logical trouble shooting step.

What can an SMC reset fix?

here is a complete list straight from the Apple website

  • Power button not responding
  • Opening and closing the lid on Mac notebooks
  • Battery not charging
  • Battery charging status and indicator light
  • Thermal Management ( Fans running at high speed even when idle)
  • Ambient light sensing
  • Keyboard back light not working

If your Mac is experiencing any of these issues, resetting the SMC could solve it. Problem with the SMC can also result in system Performance. If your Mac is running poorly even when there is no apps running with a low CPU usage, resetting the SMC could help resolve the issue.

The technic to reset your SMC depends on the device you have.

MacBook Models After 2009

If you have a MacBook without removable battery, which is every MacBook made after 2009, follow this procedure.

  • Unplug the power cord, then shut down your Mac
  • Hold the Shift + Control + Option keys down, then press and hold the power button down. Keep all the keys pressed down for 15 second, then release them.
  • Plug your power cord back in, then turn on your Mac. You SMC is now reset.

MacBook Models Before 2009

It’s been a long time since Apple laptops had removable batteries, but if you have an older MacBook made before 2009, here is what you do.

  • Shut down your mac
  • Remove the Battery
  • Press and hold the power button for five seconds, then reconnect the battery and the power. Turn you Mac on. Your SMC is now reset.

Resetting SMC on an iMac

If you have an iMac, Mac Mini, or Mac Pro, resetting the SMC is supper simple.

  • Shut down your Mac, unplug the power cord from the wall
  • Wait 15 seconds
  • Plug the power cord back in, then turn on you iMac, done.

Resetting the SMC is often the only solution for problems related to power and thermal issues. Just remember to back up your Mac before attempting it, before finding yourself in an absolute panic if something goes wrong.

Updated on 4-7-21


Are you ready to get your computer fixed?

Call or text 804-347-6647 to schedule your repair TODAY!

Request a House Call

Microsoft certification cyber security and privacy

Apple certified pro cyber security and privacy

A+certification cyber security and privacy

Call Now Button