I've recently uninstalled Fan Control, and one of the steps of the uninstallation is that I need to reset the SMC.

So I've done that according to the instructions from the Apple website, however how can I be sure that it has been reset successfully? In particular, I wouldn't want the laptop to overheat because of incorrectly setup fans.

Is there any way to check all this (i.e. if the SMC and the fans are working as expected)?

4 Answers 4


Actually, as per my experience if you are going to do the SMC reset and your not-fully-charged-battery Macintosh machine is charging, the charging indicator will be the reset indicator as below.

When battery is not fully charged:

  1. Charging indicator is orange light when machine powered off.

  2. Keep pressing Shift + Option + Control + Power for 10 seconds and indicator is still orange.

  3. Indicator turns to green when release all keystrokes and keeps almost 1 second.

  4. Light turns to orange then.

  • 5
    What do you mean by charging indicator? (c) Thunderbolt usb-c Commented Jul 24, 2020 at 16:01
  • I think its the LED light on the old magsafe chargers, any modern macs with usb-c charging won't have this.
    – Cole
    Commented Aug 27, 2021 at 15:34

Here are the steps:

  1. Turn Airport off ( or disconnect Ethernet or any internet connection )
  2. Reset SMC
  3. Turn on computer

if you succesfully reseted SMC then system date and time will be wrong.

  1. Connect to internet again to automatically set date and time..

hope it helped.

  • That's quite a smart way to do it, but you really should have the Mac switched off for a period longer than a minute or two, because otherwise you may not notice the time is out by much. In my instance, the clock was 3 seconds out of sync after SMC reset and when I reconnected it to wifi it corrected itself by those 3 seconds.
    – AVelj
    Commented Dec 16, 2020 at 12:09

There is no confirm message with SMC reset, however, if you go through post checks on the processes it controls you can get an indication of whether it has worked or not (more here). In your case (fans), run the MacBook in the finder (no overt applications running like Firefox) and listen to the fans - if they are running high then SMC reset was likely unsuccessful.

Note: there are different procedures for SMC reset on different Macs including MacBooks with or without a user changeable battery, so double check Apple support online for the right model (rather than a generic 'how to reset' post).

I run a couple of MacBooks including a Pro Quad i7 2012 17" with the 1 GB graphics card. I can have Photoshop, Indesign and Illustrator open at once without high fans - although it slows to a crawl and fans rage if I run more than 3 or 4 Firefox windows and launch another browser (for website checking) which is a pain. Flash / Ad blockers help control this but its also worth looking at what is running in the background with Activity Monitor. For example, I installed a programme to force clean Ram memory which will fracture over a few hours of work... ironically when it decides to clean, the programme hogs 95% of the processor and the Mac goes into overdrive for 3 or 4 minutes, so I deleted it.

Generally you have to work more efficiently on a Mac Notebook and high fans / spinning ball are more common than on an iMac or MacPro. Clean the OS, run Onyx regularly (GUI management for the unix maintenance and cleaning scripts on your Mac) and consider Chrome (or other light) web browser. Also look out for anything running Akamai in the background and Updaters such as Adobe Application Manager - they tend to launch at startup and sit there all day talking to your web connection 'just in case' there is an update. Take control with an IP manager like Little Snitch and make these updates manually once a week.


You could try installing apps like Fan Control or SMCFanControl, but generally, as you'd expect, you'll know if your fans are not working properly if your machine is getting overheated.

  • Point of clarification - SMC Fan Control is useful to keep the Mac cooler 'beyond' the system fan settings, not simply as a monitor. For example, in a tower, if you add server ram or two graphics cards the fans will be up and down with performance, however, if you set them 25% higher through SMC the temp will remain stable. This also helps shutdown (MacPro wont shutdown if too hot - it will cool first). Stock MacBook I wouldn't install SMC because fan performance should be OK out the box. Fans running excessively are generally due to processor hogs like Adobe Updater and Flash - remove them. Commented Oct 12, 2016 at 8:44
  • @Applefanboy could you please give me a hint of procedures I could do, mentioning the above examples as well in order for me to figure out how to make my fans work correctly? I am having a similar issue on my post apple.stackexchange.com/questions/392287/…
    – Arp
    Commented May 27, 2020 at 12:09
  • Hi there - this was 4 years ago and subsequent to the post, my 17" MacBookPro did in fact expire after the motherboard fatally overheated. Since the model is no longer produced, a new replacement MB wasn't viable. When my tech support took it apart, the narrow and inaccessible ventilation channels were completely clogged up and something he described as wholly inadequate and unserviceable for any practical 'user' point of view. A design flaw then you might say or if you were cynical, designed in obsolescence. Commented Jun 2, 2020 at 15:29
  • In terms of the MacPro towers both G5 and Intel, I have had better success - 6 currently still in operation including my main MacPro 12 core 3 GHz (5,1) which is now 12 years old and counting, however, I use iStat menus now for fan control as in includes deeper monitoring of temperatures across the Mac. I also regularly open the case and remove the CPU tray to clean with compressed air which is worthwhile - pity I couldn't have done that with my expensive MBPro. Commented Jun 2, 2020 at 15:36
  • In wrapping then, if you have a (cost) friendly technician available locally who is capable of stripping your MBPro - ideally someone Mac friendly who knows the model - then I would suggest that is the most effective option. My tech advised me that if I had brought him the 17" MBPro earlier he could have saved it with a deep strip / clean but hindsight is a wonderful thing, especially since apps like Google Chrome were hogging processor on the towers as well i.e. I didn't understand fully the MBPro ventilation issue at the time - felt it was more age, ram, processor and app related. Commented Jun 2, 2020 at 15:44

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