Monday, February 24, 2020

Restoring the Mac Startup Chime

Waly Kerkeboom:

Got a new Mac (like I did) and miss the old boot chime?

sudo nvram StartupMute=%00

See also: Mr. Macintosh and Howard Oakley.


Update (2020-02-26): Paul McGrane:

It will be interesting to see what this is like on a T1 or T2 Mac during a system software update. I was assuming the main reason it was disabled is there would probably be quite a lot of chimes, to the point of being silly or annoying.

Adam Engst:

When Apple disabled the startup sound by default in 2016, someone discovered that a Terminal command could bring it back […] Unfortunately, that approach stopped working with Mac models in 2017, presumably due to Apple removing the option in a macOS update, and since then, new Macs have started up silently.


I don’t understand what modern-day Apple has against the startup sound. Sure, make it an option for those who need their Macs to be silent at all times, but it’s a useful indication that the Mac is working as expected—at least to that point in the boot process. Perhaps Apple is trying to encourage the belief that Macs are always available like iPhone and iPads, but reality doesn’t support that.

John Gruber:

Use “01” in place of “00” to turn the chime off.

Update (2020-03-06): Marco Arment:

Finally heard the startup chime on my 16” and I’m so glad I enabled it.

Olivier Roux:

Also very useful as since there is no status light anymore, sometimes you had no way to know whether you had successfully managed to hard reboot your laptop if the screen remained black... startup sound fixes that

Tony Smith:

I had problems with this enabled. If I restart it does the startup chime then powers off again and then back on and played the chime again. Every time I rebooted it did this until I turned the chime off again

2 Comments RSS · Twitter

The reason is very simple: iPhones don't have one so Mac's shouldn't have one. This is the explicit rationale and the mindset behind nearly every Apple has done in the last few years. The notable exception are just that: exceptions to the rule.

The Mac has been a second class product internally since 2007. And frankly it went to third behind the iPad, and then fourth behind the Watch, in terms of prioritizing resources. This is the new reality, and there's no going back.

The startup chime isn't just a fun sound, as Adam Engst points out, the chime is a troubleshooting feature, and a valuable one at that. To be able to re-enable it is nice, but it won't assist people who, for example, buy a new Mac Mini and display together, and need to troubleshoot "no video"

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