by Jim Lynch

Disable Mac startup sound in OS X

Jan 05, 2016
Computers and PeripheralsMacOSOperating Systems

How to turn off the annoying startup sound when you boot your Mac. And don't worry, you can also turn the sound back on later if you want to hear it again.

One of the the things that I dislike about my iMac is how it makes that loud, annoying sound when I first boot it up. You probably know the sound I’m talking about, it’s not necessary for your Mac to boot up but Apple insists on having it play anyway. And if you’ve left the volume up on your Mac when you shut it down, the startup sound can be incredibly loud and irritating.

Unfortunately, there’s no way in the OS X interface to turn the sound off. For some unknown reason, Apple still hasn’t provided a convenient way in the OS X settings app to turn off the annoying startup sound.

Thankfully, there’s a terminal command that will let you disable the startup sound and I’ll show you how to do it in this how-to.

How to disable the startup sound in OS X on your Mac

Just follow these steps to disable your Mac’s startup sound:

1. Open the Terminal app (it’s in the Utilities folder).

2. Type in this command and then hit Enter:

sudo nvram SystemAudioVolume=%80

3. You will need to type in your password to confirm the command.

4. If, for some strange reason, you want to turn the startup sound in OS X back on, use this command:

sudo nvram -d SystemAudioVolume

Apple should add a control for the startup sound into Settings

I have no problem using the Terminal app, I’m quite comfortable with it. But other folks might not be familiar with it and might find it a bit intimidating. So I’m forced to wonder why Apple just doesn’t add a control into the Settings app to disable (or enable) the startup sound in OS X.

I can’t be the only one who doesn’t like hearing the startup sound. My guess is that there are plenty of folks who endure it, but would rather not have to listen to it when they restart their Macs. So adding a convenient control is really something that should be on Apple’s to-do list.

We’ll just have to wait and see if they ever get around to it though, I’m not optimistic about it. But at least we have the terminal command to use in the meantime. It’s nice to have a Mac boot quietly instead of blaring that awful startup sound.

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