Tool of the Week: Resetting PRAM and SMC on mac

I realize my battery probably is getting old...
I realize my battery probably is getting old...

A few weeks ago my mac started showing a "service battery warning." The charger would behave erratically, sometimes charging, sometimes not, and sometimes only showing a dim green light.  In addition, when charging sometimes my computer would seem a bit hotter than I remember it.

So, before heading into apple and dropping $200 on a new battery, I googled the internet and found some suggestions.  Resetting the SMC seemed like a harmless suggestion and indeed, the "service battery" message has disappeared since performing the reset.  While I was at it, I also reset the PRAM (I don't know if this did anything useful).

While I'm not an expert in said things, both resets are harmless and can fix issues related to:

  • Speaker volume
  • Screen resolution
  • Startup disk selection
  • Fans/Temperature
  • Battery/Power

Note: Resetting the PRAM may loose some of your basic settings like keyboard rate, time zone, and mouse click speed.  I didn't notice any major frustrations from doing these resets.