Revive the startup chime on your Mac

macOS and Mac Apps


After 2016 the iconic startup chime was lost to us. For most it wasn't a big problem, for those of us who rely on audio queues it was a more substantial loss. A recent article outlines a way of turning it back on. It notes that it works for the moment but things, as with any update, can change. Copying from the article in question:

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.

Note: I have done this on my 2018 MacBook Air and it works though the chime is very quiet and, as yet, I've not found a way of turning it up though I do believe it should be linked to what ever volume your internal speakers are set to on shutdown. Any experiences well received.

Further note: Though this is highly unlikely to brick your computer or mute your sound card, I advise caution when ever tinkering with anything in the back end and any such tinkering is done at your own risk.

Happy chiming...



Submitted by Soren Holmgren (Denmark) on Saturday, February 22, 2020

Thank you for sharing Oliver. I was missing this and now it works on my iMac 2015 and my MacBook Pro 2018.

Submitted by Austin Nix on Saturday, February 22, 2020

I wonder if this will still work when updating the OS, or if I'll have to change it again? I ask since I used to use a bootcamp partition, and Every! Single! Time I updated Mac OS I had to change the startup disk back to Windows since that's what I was mainly using that computer for.

Submitted by Andrea Priola on Tuesday, March 3, 2020

I just tried with my 2018 MacBook Air and it doesn’t work at all. I even restarted the system a second time, but nothing, unfortunately. I don’t know if it is a problem of sounds volume, because I always keep it quite high to be sure I can hear voiceover for example when I have to switch it on at university. I can only hear the hiss of the CPU

Submitted by Beth Taurasi on Wednesday, March 4, 2020

I love this little trick. I actually did it in terminal and it worked. It really worked, and I'm amazed. I did this on a Mac mini 2018 with Catalina. I love having a startup chime as I don't have a screen ... yet.

Submitted by Andrea Priola on Thursday, March 5, 2020

Now it works, maybe I typed something wrong last time I tried it. Thanks a lot!!!