How to turn your Mac startup chime back on

Posted:
in General Discussion edited October 2020
The discovery of a simple Terminal command will allow users to bring back the iconic Mac startup sound.

The MacBook Pro with Touchbar does not have a startup chime by default
The MacBook Pro with Touchbar does not have a startup chime by default


The startup chime was a central part of Apple marketing and an iconic sound associated with the Mac. An update in 2016 removed the startup chime and was thought to be lost to the product for good, unil now.

An update to macOS Catalina has appeared to restore the sound to the operating system, but left it muted. A twitter user discovered this, and shared a video and a sudo command to bring it back.

WHAT THE HECK THIS WORKS????????????

Run sudo nvram StartupMute=%00@9to5mac @Appleinsider https://t.co/zAw0yCPwbA



AppleInsider has tested this on a few machines, and it works with most. It failed to work on a 2018 Mac mini with 10-gig Ethernet, but did work on an i7 2018 Mac mini with gigabit Ethernet. Similarly, it worked on a 2018 15-inch i9 MacBook Pro, but didn't on a 2016 i7 15-inch MacBook Pro. It worked on every late-model iMac we tried.

How to turn your Mac startup chime on

  • Open the Applications folder
  • Open the Utilities folder
  • Launch the Terminal application
  • Enter sudo nvram StartupMute=%00 in the terminal, and hit return
If you want to remove the chime after re-activating it, use the command sudo nvram StartupMute=%01 in terminal.

A terminal command was discovered shortly after the removal of the chime in 2016 that restored the chime, but was removed in a macOS update. It is unknown if the chimes return was intentional, or will be removed yet again in a future update.
tdamn
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 42
    M68000M68000 Posts: 373member
    Outstanding !   Thanks for posting.  It works on my 2018 MacBook Air with current Catalina.  I noticed it’s not real loud but having it back is great.  The chime gives the Mac character,  may sound corny to some but it does.
    elijahgcornchipflyingdpcaladaniancat52
  • Reply 2 of 42
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,417member
    M68000 said:
    Outstanding !   Thanks for posting.  It works on my 2018 MacBook Air with current Catalina.  I noticed it’s not real loud but having it back is great.  The chime gives the Mac character,  may sound corny to some but it does.
    I love the sound too! I remember rebooting a room of Macs with Apple Remote Desktop years ago, it extended the sound out by a good 5 or 6 seconds because they didn't all reboot simultaneously! The volume is (or used to be, probably still is) controlled buy the level the system volume is at at shutdown.
    pscooter63welshdog
  • Reply 3 of 42
    M68000 said:
    Outstanding !   Thanks for posting.  It works on my 2018 MacBook Air with current Catalina.  I noticed it’s not real loud but having it back is great.  The chime gives the Mac character,  may sound corny to some but it does.
    Just turn up the volume of the internal speakers :-) If you have external speakers connected, disconnect them then turn up volume, connect external speakers again.
    cornchipcat52
  • Reply 4 of 42
    Delighted to learn of the restoration of that feature: I tried it on my 2017 13-in "Escape" MacBook Pro, worked beautifully. Thank you.
    cornchipcat52
  • Reply 5 of 42
    seanjseanj Posts: 260member
    If it wasn’t for the issues with the Music app, this alone would probably tempt me to upgrade from Mojave!!  :D
    cornchipnimpeachabletechcaladanian
  • Reply 6 of 42
    I am very confused.  I have a late 2015 27 Inch 5K  iMac (purchased in late November 2015 not long after it came out).  I have always kept the system up to date and am now running Catalina, and I have NEVER lost the startup chime.  Just restarted my Mac when I read this article just to make sure it was still there... and it is.
    caladanianpulseimages
  • Reply 7 of 42
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,270administrator
    I am very confused.  I have a late 2015 27 Inch 5K  iMac (purchased in late November 2015 not long after it came out).  I have always kept the system up to date and am now running Catalina, and I have NEVER lost the startup chime.  Just restarted my Mac when I read this article just to make sure it was still there... and it is.
    The ability to have a boot chime through a Terminal command on relatively new equipment was restored in Catalina, not removed.

    Your old gear will still chime. It's the 2016 and newer stuff that won't, without the terminal command.
    caladanianseanjcat52
  • Reply 8 of 42
    M68000M68000 Posts: 373member
    GiffelDK said:
    M68000 said:
    Outstanding !   Thanks for posting.  It works on my 2018 MacBook Air with current Catalina.  I noticed it’s not real loud but having it back is great.  The chime gives the Mac character,  may sound corny to some but it does.
    Just turn up the volume of the internal speakers :-) If you have external speakers connected, disconnect them then turn up volume, connect external speakers again.
    The volume setting does matter now.  Do not think the volume affected the chime on previous Macs, was at constant chime volume regardless of volume setting.  However,  not a big deal, just nice to have the chime back at all.
  • Reply 9 of 42
    M68000 said:
    Outstanding !   Thanks for posting.  It works on my 2018 MacBook Air with current Catalina.  I noticed it’s not real loud but having it back is great.  The chime gives the Mac character,  may sound corny to some but it does.
    I was so sad to find my new (as of last year) Mac Mini didn’t chime, I wrote Tim a note to say as much. Delighted to find it’s back. No need to thank me! 😀
    cy_starkmancornchipnimpeachabletechcat52
  • Reply 10 of 42
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,609member
    LOL, now there is finally a reasonable appeal to updating to Catalina.

    But no, I think I will stay at Mojave...

     :D 
    seanj
  • Reply 11 of 42
    Didn't work on my MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports) :'(
  • Reply 12 of 42
    M68000 said:
    GiffelDK said:
    M68000 said:
    Outstanding !   Thanks for posting.  It works on my 2018 MacBook Air with current Catalina.  I noticed it’s not real loud but having it back is great.  The chime gives the Mac character,  may sound corny to some but it does.
    Just turn up the volume of the internal speakers :-) If you have external speakers connected, disconnect them then turn up volume, connect external speakers again.
    The volume setting does matter now.  Do not think the volume affected the chime on previous Macs, was at constant chime volume regardless of volume setting.  However,  not a big deal, just nice to have the chime back at all.
    You could always adjust the volume of the chime with the system volume of Mac OS X, even mute it. Not sure about Classic Mac OS though (6,7,8 & 9).

    I've got a 2017 MacBook Pro 13" at work that I've missed having the chime, doesn't seem to work on that one though. The chime is part of what made the Mac, a Mac. I was sorry to see it go...
    edited February 2020
  • Reply 13 of 42
    M68000M68000 Posts: 373member
    webweasel said:
    M68000 said:
    Outstanding !   Thanks for posting.  It works on my 2018 MacBook Air with current Catalina.  I noticed it’s not real loud but having it back is great.  The chime gives the Mac character,  may sound corny to some but it does.
    I was so sad to find my new (as of last year) Mac Mini didn’t chime, I wrote Tim a note to say as much. Delighted to find it’s back. No need to thank me! 😀
    Well, thanks for your efforts
    cornchip
  • Reply 14 of 42
    M68000M68000 Posts: 373member
    mpantone said:
    LOL, now there is finally a reasonable appeal to updating to Catalina.

    But no, I think I will stay at Mojave...

     :D 
    Catalina has been great on 2 units I use, no need for 32bit
    cy_starkmanlolliver
  • Reply 15 of 42
    I always liked the guitar chord chime from the Powermac 7100 - 8100 days. 
    lolliver
  • Reply 16 of 42
    This is good news! Not only because it gives the Mac character (and is simply part of the Mac legacy), but it serves a purpose: with the chime, you can tell when you should hold startup option keys. The late model Macs look like they are shutdown for quite a while before starting back up – and you can't tell one activity from the other.

    I've heard the "benefit" stated as "you won't disturb a meeting or class", but that directly opposes the late model design which pushes keeping Macs on and ready full time.
    dysamoriamacguicaladanian
  • Reply 17 of 42
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,609member
    I am happy to report that one can toggle the startup chime with an external 10.15.3 Catalina boot drive then return to a 10.14.6 Mojave internal boot drive and the startup chime setting remains, at least on my Mac mini 2018 (non-10GB Ethernet model).

    Therefore the startup chime has always been available in the boot sequence, just not enabled/accessible in recent versions of macOS prior to the latest Catalina.

    I have decided to keep the startup chime disabled on my MacBook Air 2019. The chime does have some utility in desktop Macs though.
    edited February 2020
  • Reply 18 of 42
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,350member
    While nostalgic, I found that the chime always ended up being loud and disruptive (I.e. turning my laptop on in a meeting) so I invariably had it turned off anyway and never really missed it. 
    edited February 2020 nimpeachabletechdysamoriaDancingMonkeys
  • Reply 19 of 42
    I just turned the chime back on on my 16" macbook pro and noticed that it's a deeper more bassy sound and not the normal chime sound on my older macs. Anyone else notice this?
  • Reply 20 of 42
    that is nice, however is there a command that turns on the damn keyboard backlight prior to login.

    pre-catalina you could see the keys to type in a password, now... darkness
    dysamoria
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