Mac Mini SMC Switch, Resetting Mac Mini

Resetting Mac Mini SMC


Locating the SMC Switch


Locating and resetting Mac mini SMC switch is tricky business because you may have to actually open up your Mac mini. I will cover troubleshooting issues related to the System Management Controller (SMC) using methods that reset the switch with the top housing either on or off. The Mac Mini System Management Controller (SMC) is an integrated circuit found on the logic board. The SMC essentially tells your Mac when to turn on, turn off, sleep, wake and idle. It also handles the system resets using various commands and controls the fans. Resetting the SMC on a Mac mini resolves the following issues:

  • Not starting up.
  • Not displaying video.
  • Sleep issues.
  • Fan noise issue.

Resetting the SMC will not resolve issues where your Mac mini is unresponsive; in these situations simply restarting your Mac mini may suffice.

If you have already tried restarting and found that resetting the SMC is your next option, follow one or both of these methods.



Resetting the SMC with the Top Housing On

  1. 1. Turn off the Mac mini by shutting it down normally from the Apple Menu or holding the power button till it turns off.
  2. 2. Unplug all cables from the Mac mini, including the power cord.
  3. 3. Wait about 15 seconds.
  4. 4. Plug the power cord back in. Reconnect the keyboard and mouse as well.
  5. 5. Press the power button on the back to start up the Mac mini. [Note: This process does NOT reset the PRAM.]


Resetting the SMC with the Top Housing Removed

You can also reset the SMC by directly pressing on the SMC reset switch located on the Mac mini logic board.

  1. 1. Turn off the Mac mini by shutting it down normally from the Apple Menu or holding the power button till it turns off.
  2. 2. Unplug all cables from the Mac mini, including the power cord.
  3. 3. If you have an ESD strap you might want to use one to prevent electric shock.
  4. 4. Remove the top housing (Please refer to my video Mac Mini Upgrade replacing the hard drive).
  5. 5. Using a nylon probe tool, or the back of a shish kebab skewer, press the SMC switch on the logic board once. DO NOT PRESS IT TWICE, this could crash the SMC chip. [Again: This process does not reset the PRAM.]
  6. Resetting a Mac Mini Logic Board

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