How To Reset M1 Mac SMC, NVRAM / PRAM? Is it Possible?

M1 Mac SMC, NVRAM Reset


You’ve recently purchased a M1 Mac computer and are looking for a way to reset SMC and NVRAM / PRAM, to filter out initial release macOS Big Sur bugs? Unfortunately, unlike Intel-based Macs the new Apple Silicon chip doesn’t come with a manual NVRAM or SMC reset option!

Why Can’t You SMC Reset M1 Mac?

The straightforward reply is because there is no SMC available on Apple’s new M1 Macs!
The M1 Apple Silicon is a similar chip to the ones the company designs for iPhones and iPads. Neither of them support manual SMC or NVRAM resets. Why should the new Macs be different?

Apple has integrated everything in the new chip, including technologies like a neural processor (NPU) and memory in one single package. This is how Apple managed to increase processing power and maximize energy efficiency!

Fact: SMC stands for System Management Controller, NVRAM means (nonvolatile random-access memory) and PRAM (Parameter RAM). The two memory types are reset with the same procedure on Intel-based MacBooks.

M1 Mac Auto NVRAM Reset

According to a reader that has reported this find to us, Apple support has confirmed that NVRAM is available in the M1 Apple Silicon Chip, but the machine is configured to automatically run test on startup and automatically reset the NVRAM if needed. There is no option to trigger it manually!

NVRAM Commands Still Possible

nvram commands are still available and working in the Terminal app. You can read or write key-value store, but the reset at boot key command, available for Intel-based Macs isn’t available.
For example, you can add additional boot arguments. However, there is no manual reset option.
Fact: NVRAM contents are available in System Information, if you go for Software -> Logs -> NVRAM.

Conclusion: You can’t reset the SMC, because the M1 Mac doesn’t have a System Management Controller. You can’t manually reset the NVRAM / PRAM because your Mac does this automatically, if needed, during every startup.

Why are you trying to reset NVRAM or SMC in M1 Mac? What macOS Big Sur bug is causing you problems? Use the comments section and let us know.

Related: common M1 Mac problems are:
M1 Mac Bluetooth connectivity issues in macOS 11.0.1 Big Sur!
Universal Clipboard not working in macOS Big Sur!
M1 Mac restore problems: ‘An Error Occurred Preparing The Update’
Premature battery aging, maximum capacity going down after only a few days!
M1 Mac not shutting down properly, getting pink screen and a specific popup after every reboot.