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Apr 12, 2001
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The discovery of a simple Terminal command that brings back the classic startup chime on newer Macs has gone viral in recent days. Apple disabled the startup sound on new Macs in 2016, and while a couple of tricks have worked in the past to get the chime back, updates to macOS appear to have stopped them working.

16-inch-macbook-pro-orange-background.jpg

However, the latest trick - first shared in the MacRumors Forums by BigMcGuire - appears to have a high success rate, although depending on your Mac model, your mileage may vary.

If you yearn for that classic Mac sound, follow these steps to re-instate it.
  1. Launch the Terminal app, which can be found in the Applications/Utilities folder. This will open a Terminal window and a command prompt for you to begin typing.
  2. Input the following command and then press Return: sudo nvram StartupMute=%00
  3. Enter your admin user password when prompted.
  4. Close Terminal, then restart your Mac.
Make sure the volume is up, and with a little bit of luck, you'll hear that soothing F-sharp chord sound the next time your Mac boots up.

If you want to get rid of the chime after re-activating it, simply repeat the steps above but replace the Terminal command in step 2 with the following: sudo nvram StartupMute=%01.

The iconic chiming startup sound was originally made to indicate that diagnostic tests had found no hardware or software issues. A similar sound accompanied almost every Mac boot sequence since 1991 and the most recent F-sharp chord incarnation was first used in the iMac G3.

Originally, a C major chord was recorded by Apple engineer Jim Reekes using a Korg keyboard, but what most users will hear these days is a pitch-shifted version of the sound made by the Macintosh Quadra family of professional computers, first released in 1991.


The Mac startup sound was immortalized in the 2008 Disney-Pixar movie WALL*E. When the titular robot character has reached 100 percent power after positioning his solar array, the booting chime goes off.

Article Link: How to Enable the Classic Startup Chime on Newer Macs
 

kissmo

Cancelled
Jun 29, 2011
1,062
1,055
Budapest, Hungary
I also have it on my MBP 15 2018 and it works.

One mention, it’s quite different from the previous versions but it’s a nice throwback and I felt sad when they removed it.

It’s not annoying especially that many got used to hearing it.
Yes I also miss the magnetic charging port - I don’t trust third party connectors that would solve that. I saw many with broken usb-c ports...
Maybe the breathing light I miss too - it was super cool but the backlight logo... not so much. It spilled light and was disturbing people in front of you.
 

JosephAW

macrumors 601
May 14, 2012
4,738
5,837
Apple won't tolerate this for long, look for a firmware update soon to eliminate this workaround.
 
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H2SO4

macrumors 603
Nov 4, 2008
5,121
6,359
Because it was annoying when you wanted to boot up your laptop in the evening without making any noise!!
Yes, I've had that but you just turn it down using System Prefs?
My 2015, 15" still chimes but it's quiet and that's without terminal commands.
 

Marx55

macrumors 68000
Jan 1, 2005
1,834
672
Great, but still not good to reset the PRAM with Option Command P R, since after the first chime, the setting is reset and no second chime is heard! Is there any way to fix that with the new Macs?
 

H2SO4

macrumors 603
Nov 4, 2008
5,121
6,359
I can’t remember there being an option to turn it off, without using terminal!
Pretty sure you can, but there is no explicit option for it.
I'll have to experiment but I'm sure I achieved it by adjusting the sound effects part of sys prefs. Playing system sounds through internal and setting volumes down - something like that.
 

waquzy

macrumors 65816
Sep 9, 2013
1,314
1,684
Leicestershire, UK
Pretty sure you can, but there is no explicit option for it.
I'll have to experiment but I'm sure I achieved it by adjusting the sound effects part of sys prefs. Playing system sounds through internal and setting volumes down - something like that.
Yeah, there might have been an option by muting the sound before you shutdown your Mac. Something like that, but I do remember it was annoying the hell out of me!
 

Kabeyun

macrumors 68040
Mar 27, 2004
3,259
6,088
Eastern USA
They should have just added an option in System Pref to turn it on or off.
Exactly, Apple can be so annoying sometimes...
And then people will complain that it’s too hard to find. Or that the number of prefs has become annoying. Can’t have a pref for everything. Can’t design by consensus. That’s never been Apple. Jobs famously said that people don’t know what they want until you show them. They didn’t make an option to revert back to the rainbow logo either, and I’m fine with that too. It was just time to move on.
 
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zorinlynx

macrumors 604
May 31, 2007
7,240
13,894
Florida, USA
I liked the sound because it meant a successful POST had occurred.

Sometimes when waking up a machine from sleep it actually crashed and starts up from scratch again; you hear the chime and it tells you that something went wrong.

Other times you power it on and it fails to boot, but you heard the chime, which meant a successful POST and that the problem is likely in storage or the OS installation.

It was useful and there was no reason to get rid of it. It could even be turned off for those who didn't want it.
 

yurc

macrumors 6502a
Aug 12, 2016
814
971
inside your DSDT
Great, but still not good to reset the PRAM with Option Command P R, since after the first chime, the setting is reset and no second chime is heard! Is there any way to fix that with the new Macs?

Because that chime settings are stored in NVRAM. Option Command P R basically wiping entire NVRAM contents and it’s explained why it’s gone.

I also want to confirm this tricks works on my employer 2018 MacBook Pro 15, albeit being muddy compared with native chime in my Mac Pro.
 
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