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How to turn your Mac startup chime back on

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

Last updated

The discovery of a simple Terminal command will allow users to bring back the iconic Mac startup sound.

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.

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.