Mac startup sound is like Windows XP startup chime. It is loud, distinct, recognizable, and sometimes extremely annoying. Especially if you left your computer with the volume cranked up to the max. This “baaam” can wake up entire house when all you want to do is quietly work, watch some movies or do whatever you want on a Mac without disturbing other people.
If you are sick of Mac startup sound, there are few tips out there for you. You can disable Mac startup sound or make it less annoying every time you press the power button.
Disable Mac Startup Sound
First thing first. There are no user-friendly and obvious ways to turn off Mac startup sound. Unfortunately, sound settings page in macOS has no option which allows disabling Mac startup chime. Therefore, you will have to mess around with Terminal to shut it up. Before digging deep into this jungle, let us tell you how to turn off Mac startup sound with much simpler actions. And yes, no common tips like “put your Mac to sleep instead of shutting it down”. We are here not to tell you how to use your Mac, rather how to turn off macOS startup sound.
Method 1: Use your Memory
And a volume slider. There is no way to disable speakers during the startup because volume buttons (function keys or TouchBar on MacBook Pro 2016 and newer) are software-controlled. MacOS startup sound is the first thing your Mac does even before macOS begins loading, so you will get no luck hitting F10 and trying to mute your loud computer.
But there is something you can do to prevent playing Mac startup sound out loud. Simply hit F10 before you shut down computer or decrease volume level to minimum values using F11-F12 (or TouchBar, or menu bar, if you have volume icon enabled). MacOS will remember this value and play startup sound quietly or won’t play it at all.
Tip. Do not think plugged-in headphones are going to save you. Mac startup sound plays through built-in speakers (even on Mac Mini) regardless of whether something is connected to 3.5 mm audio jack or not.
Method 2: Use Terminal
Now it is time to use some coding magic.
All you need to do is launch Terminal using any method you prefer. Ask Siri to launch Terminal, use Cmd + Spacebar and type Terminal or open it from Launchpad.
Type sudo nvram SystemAudioVolume=%80. Press Return (Enter). Important: this procedure requires the Administrator password. Bad luck if you don’t know it.
Done. Now your Mac will be always silent no matter which volume level you have left before shutting it down.
Obviously, you may change your mind and get that charming sound back. In such case launch Terminal again and enter sudo nvram -d SystemAudioVolume. Press Return and enter the Administrator password.