Bring Back the Mac Startup Chime With This Terminal Command

The "sad Mac" icon that appeared along with the "Chimes of Death" on early Macs
The “sad Mac” icon that appeared along with the “Chimes of Death” on early Macs

Recent Macs have been missing something that has been part of the Macintosh experience since 1984 — the startup chime. For example, the 2019 16-inch MacBook Pro is silent during startup, along with other new Mac models. Fortunately, a few Twitter users showed that a simple Terminal command can bring back the chime.

As reported originally on AppleInsider, Twitter user @chaysegr posted a video showing a formerly mute MacBook Pro chiming at startup, which prompted a reply by @TempAccountNull that showed how it worked:

It’s easy to bring back the startup chime. Launch Applications > Utilities > Terminal, then copy the following line of code and paste it at the command line prompt:

sudo nvram StartupMute=%00

Press return, and the next time you reboot your Mac, the startup sound is back! It can be muted once again by using this code:

sudo nvram StartupMute=%01

While this definitely works with the 2019 16-inch MacBook Pro (I tested it), AppleInsider found that it doesn’t work with some other models. An update to macOS in 2016 originally removed the chime, but a terminal command to bring it back was quickly discovered. A later macOS update removed that terminal command, but it’s back again. Whether the chimes are here to stay in the future is up to the whims of Apple.


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