Alternative zum SMC und PRAM/NVRAM Reset bei Apple Silicon Macs (M1, M1 Pro, M1 Max, M1 Ultra)

For some software problems when using Macs, resetting the NVRAM or PRAM or an SMC reset is the method of choice to get the Mac back on track. Explaining the triggering of the SMC reset here would go beyond the scope of the article and is therefore explained here . Importantly, however, performing these two resets is no longer available on Apple Silicon Macs ( MacBook Pro , iMac , MacBook Air, etc.).

What are Apple Silicon Macs?

Apple Silicon refers to those Macs that contain Apple's Arm-based System-on-a-Chip. In the product descriptions, these are Mac computers with the M1, M1 Pro, M1 Max and M1 Ultra processors.

No SMC chip and no option for PRAM reset

These Macs differ in a few ways from the Macs that Apple still equipped with Intel processors until the end of 2020. One of these points is, for example, that the Apple Silicon Macs no longer contain an SMC chip and an SMC reset is therefore no longer possible.

Also, these Macs no longer have an option to trigger a PRAM reset at startup. Incidentally, an NVRAM reset is just another name for this action.

Apple Support tip for feature similar to SMC reset

If you browse through the Apple support documentation, you will find instructions on how to trigger an effect similar to an SMC reset on an Apple Silicon Mac under the "Mac not charging " problem. The instructions are surprisingly short:

  1. Shut down or turn off the Mac
  2. wait 30 seconds
  3. only start again after the waiting time

Another troubleshooting option: Boot in safe mode

If you have problems with your M1 Mac that could otherwise be solved with an SMC or PRAM reset, you can also try a restart in safe mode (recovery mode).

On Apple Silicon Macs, safe mode is triggered as follows:

  1. Shut down or turn off the Mac
  2. wait about 10 seconds
  3. Press and hold the power button
  4. when the selection of boot options and volumes appears, release the button
  5. now press the SHIFT key (also called the shift key) and the option "continue in safe mode" should appear, which you select (then release the SHIFT key)

By starting in safe mode, various caches are deleted and the startup volume is checked by the Mac. Booting in this mode and rebooting "normally" usually helps to solve problems on the Mac.