How to restore the classic Mac startup chime to Apple's new 2016 MacBook Pros

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited October 2016
Apple's newly released MacBook Pros do away with the classic F-sharp major boot-up chime that has been a part of the Mac since 1999. Thankfully, for those who want to keep it, there's an easy way to bring it back.




In addition to ditching the startup chime, Apple's new MacBook Pros with Touch Bar automatically boot up when plugged into power or when the lid is opened. But now, they do so silently, without the chime Mac users have grown accustomed to over the last 17 years.

While it's off by default, it's not gone entirely. A simple Terminal command spotlighted by Pingie can bring it back.

Simply open Terminal in macOS and type the following command:
sudo nvram BootAudio=%01
It should be noted that making such modifications to your system requires a user to enter their administrative password. If you want to return to the new, silent boot mode, the change can be reversed with the following Terminal command:
sudo nvram BootAudio=%00


The new auto-boot configuration when plugged in or opened can also be disabled if a user wants to return their Mac to a more familiar state. The "AutoBoot" functionality can be disabled with the following command in Terminal:
sudo nvram AutoBoot=%00
Likewise, the auto-boot functionality can be restored with yet another simple command. It is:
sudo nvram AutoBoot=%03
The current but outgoing Mac chime was first introduced on the iMac G3 in 1999. Prior to that, various versions of the chime have been a staple of the Mac since the Macintosh II.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 44
    Bring back the "Happy Mac Face"
    sphericwiggincincyteedysamoriazroger73jony0djames4242
  • Reply 2 of 44
    I wonder why they chose to remove it. It is not like people reboot their MacBooks constantly throughout the day that it would be a problem. Granted it takes up space while it isn't being used often. Software real estate is the cheapest one we have and keeping an old but nostalgic reference to the machine's origins seems like just that small dot on the I that adds the emotional attachment to the machine many of us share. It will certainly be missed.
    edited October 2016 dysamoriaaylk
  • Reply 3 of 44
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,329member
    Emotionally, getting rid of the startup chime seems like a big deal.  But then I realize that it's incredibly rare that I ever reboot the Mac, so I never really hear it anyway and even when I do reboot, I barely notice the chime - we're so used to it, it's like hearing the compressor in the refrigerator cycle

    I remember at some Apple convention, John Sculley once showed a film showing a 'computer book' conception.  When the actor in the film opened the computer book (I think they were sitting on a park bench), it gave the familiar Mac chime even though it seemed nothing like a Mac and everyone in the audience cheered/laughed because it had the same effect as if the Mac chime was hear on a Star Trek computer. 


    randominternetperson
  • Reply 4 of 44
    Whenever I have to reboot and my girlfriend is already sleeping, the chime wakes her up. So I leave the room for rebooting. I do not give one f that the sound is gone. And the "Happy Face"? Come on. It is super ugly.
    mobius
  • Reply 5 of 44
    darkpawdarkpaw Posts: 115member
    Likewise, the auto-boot functionality can be restored with yet another simple command. It is:
    sudo nvram AutoBoot%03

    Shouldn't that be: sudo nvram AutoBoot=%03  ?

    Aside from that, it's great that the startup chime can be re-enabled.
    coolfactor
  • Reply 6 of 44
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,283member
    darkpaw said:
    Likewise, the auto-boot functionality can be restored with yet another simple command. It is:
    sudo nvram AutoBoot%03

    Shouldn't that be: sudo nvram AutoBoot=%03  ?

    Aside from that, it's great that the startup chime can be re-enabled.

    Yah, not sure how this stuff makes it past editing... giving out the wrong commands can be very, very bad!
    dysamoriaperkedel
  • Reply 7 of 44
    eyekey said:
    Whenever I have to reboot and my girlfriend is already sleeping, the chime wakes her up. So I leave the room for rebooting. I do not give one f that the sound is gone. And the "Happy Face"? Come on. It is super ugly.
    Most people seem to be fine with the boot noise being gone. But slandering the Happy Mac is not cool. 
    calidysamoriamacguih2prandominternetperson
  • Reply 8 of 44
    sphericspheric Posts: 1,628member
    Donvermo said:
    I wonder why they chose to remove it. It is not like people reboot their MacBooks constantly throughout the day that it would be a problem. Granted it takes up space while it isn't being used often. Software real estate is the cheapest one we have and keeping an old but nostalgic reference to the machine's origins seems like just that small dot on the I that adds the emotional attachment to the machine many of us share. It will certainly be missed.
    Because of auto-boot on lid-open or being connected to power. The books no longer have a power switch. You really, really, don't want to open your 'book in a meeting or a seminar, only to have it BOOOOONG at everyone. 

    I'm going to miss it, though it's nice to know that the sound is still there in the ROM. 
    h2p
  • Reply 9 of 44
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,616member
    eyekey said:
    Whenever I have to reboot and my girlfriend is already sleeping, the chime wakes her up. So I leave the room for rebooting.
    You can put the Mac on silent and then reboot - no chime.
    dysamoriah2paylkyanimacdamn_its_hot
  • Reply 10 of 44
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,258member
    Donvermo said:
    I wonder why they chose to remove it. It is not like people reboot their MacBooks constantly throughout the day that it would be a problem. Granted it takes up space while it isn't being used often. Software real estate is the cheapest one we have and keeping an old but nostalgic reference to the machine's origins seems like just that small dot on the I that adds the emotional attachment to the machine many of us share. It will certainly be missed.
    Most likely they turned it off because of the new auto-boot "feature" of booting the computer whenever you open it or whenever it's open and you plug in the power. They probably realized that there would be many times that the computer would boot when the person wasn't expecting it so rather than annoy them with the boot chime (or wake up eyekey's girlfriend) they disabled it. 

    Luckily it can all be reversed, but it should be a preference in the System Preference UI, not terminal commands. If I want my computer to boot I'll tell it to boot, and it won't always be when I open the lid or plug in the power.
    edited October 2016 calirandominternetpersonaylk
  • Reply 11 of 44
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,258member
    spheric said:
    Donvermo said:
    I wonder why they chose to remove it. It is not like people reboot their MacBooks constantly throughout the day that it would be a problem. Granted it takes up space while it isn't being used often. Software real estate is the cheapest one we have and keeping an old but nostalgic reference to the machine's origins seems like just that small dot on the I that adds the emotional attachment to the machine many of us share. It will certainly be missed.
    Because of auto-boot on lid-open or being connected to power. The books no longer have a power switch. You really, really, don't want to open your 'book in a meeting or a seminar, only to have it BOOOOONG at everyone. 

    I'm going to miss it, though it's nice to know that the sound is still there in the ROM. 
    There is still a power button (right end of the Touch Bar), but I fully expect it to be removed in the next iteration of Apple's MacBook Pro appliance.
  • Reply 12 of 44
    eyekey said:
    Whenever I have to reboot and my girlfriend is already sleeping, the chime wakes her up. So I leave the room for rebooting. I do not give one f that the sound is gone. And the "Happy Face"? Come on. It is super ugly.
    All you have to do is hold down the mute key when you boot.
    h2pfastasleep
  • Reply 13 of 44
    For me, one of the great appeals of Apple products is their wry winks to their lineage even as they embrace the newest technology. Both the chime and the happy Mac were part of that, and I still believe that removing them cuts part f the emotional connection users have with their machines. Neither has any material effect on a computer's operation, and neither lasts more than a second or two. Whatever the rationalization, it's a loss of Macintosh proto-DNA.

    Now, were they to remain user-definable options, that's fine; users should have options like those. Based on the happy Mac, though, that seems an unlikely future for the chime.
  • Reply 14 of 44
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,583member
    As long as I can still choose a start-up disk when I reboot all is good. I don't need and won't miss the chime though it will mean I will miss pressing the Option key more frequently. 
  • Reply 15 of 44
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 1,817member
    Apple is trying to make the difference between boot and wake be less notable. Makes me wonder if they've considered speeding up the boot process any. Snow Leopard boots (and shuts down) faster than any OS since.

    It's nice to have that chime when rebooting as I can pay attention to the process without looking directly at the device. I'm not bothered by it being disabled, as I have a similar complaint about noise as a commentator above, but I do think there's a lot more Apple needs to do in software engineering before we can pretend booting doesn't happen...
  • Reply 16 of 44
    macguimacgui Posts: 892member
    I like the chime and am glad that it can be restored. There are also times when I've forgotten to jump through the little hoops and started my MacBooks in a library, class, hospital, and other 'quiet' zones and everyone looks up. 

    So I'm not married to it though I'll miss it when it's gone completely. And I do miss the Happy Mac on startup. And the extension parade— a little. LOL!
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 17 of 44
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,302member
    cincytee said:
    For me, one of the great appeals of Apple products is their wry winks to their lineage even as they embrace the newest technology. Both the chime and the happy Mac were part of that, and I still believe that removing them cuts part f the emotional connection users have with their machines. Neither has any material effect on a computer's operation, and neither lasts more than a second or two. Whatever the rationalization, it's a loss of Macintosh proto-DNA.

    Now, were they to remain user-definable options, that's fine; users should have options like those. Based on the happy Mac, though, that seems an unlikely future for the chime.
    My guess is that this was done to make MacBooks more like iPads. So if the power is low, it safely shuts down and when it has enough power to boot it does. That way it's always ready to go without a separate step. That way you just touch the TouchID sensor to unlock, just like an iPad.

    So I think there is a good reason to get rid of the sound as they are changing the process of how a laptop boots up.
  • Reply 18 of 44
    eyekey said:
    Whenever I have to reboot and my girlfriend is already sleeping, the chime wakes her up. So I leave the room for rebooting. I do not give one f that the sound is gone. And the "Happy Face"? Come on. It is super ugly.
    If you mute the computer before rebooting it won't chime when you turn it back on. If the computer is so frozen that you can't do that then that's another story. 
  • Reply 19 of 44
    cincytee said:
    For me, one of the great appeals of Apple products is their wry winks to their lineage even as they embrace the newest technology. Both the chime and the happy Mac were part of that, and I still believe that removing them cuts part f the emotional connection users have with their machines. Neither has any material effect on a computer's operation, and neither lasts more than a second or two. Whatever the rationalization, it's a loss of Macintosh proto-DNA.

    Now, were they to remain user-definable options, that's fine; users should have options like those. Based on the happy Mac, though, that seems an unlikely future for the chime.
    Agreed

    I see the potential reason for removing this. Its clear the Mac is being pushed into being an appliance so they are trying to make it appear like one as much as possible. The Mac Pro and Mac Mini are dead. Apple is turning the machines to devices as close to the iPad as possible.

    Though not on my machines it won't be. 

    My computer will startup when I tell it and not when I open the lid or connect the power. Its not an appliance its a full fledged computer. Well for the time being it is but I'm sure that won't last alas.

    Boot noise will be enabled for me - A preference would be much nicer than an nvram command
  • Reply 20 of 44
    eyekey said:
    Whenever I have to reboot and my girlfriend is already sleeping, the chime wakes her up. So I leave the room for rebooting. I do not give one f that the sound is gone. And the "Happy Face"? Come on. It is super ugly.
    cincytee said:
    eyekey said:
    Whenever I have to reboot and my girlfriend is already sleeping, the chime wakes her up. So I leave the room for rebooting. I do not give one f that the sound is gone. And the "Happy Face"? Come on. It is super ugly.
    All you have to do is hold down the mute key when you boot.

    There is no mute key any more.
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